The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting brand new challenges for advancement, university students, and our world as a whole. Most universities are undertaking initiatives aimed at supporting students facing unexpected challenges, both financially and otherwise during this time. This is such important work that demonstrates why many of us are in advancement in the first place.
We’ve already shared our favorite stewardship ideas from our recent live Q&A with Lynne Wester, but we’ve also been hearing so many unique ideas from universities about how they’re supporting students that we just had to share more good vibes!
Here are some of our favorite ways that universities are stepping up and supporting students during the COVID-19 epidemic:
BC’s Day of Caring
Many advancement teams have spent the last weeks debating whether to proceed with giving days or postpone them in light of COVID-19 concerns. The team at Boston College had a giving day scheduled for March 18, but keeping in mind the university’s Jesuit community values, they used this opportunity to honor students affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
After deciding to make the transition from a day of giving to the “Boston College Day of Caring,” the team took the opportunity to highlight the care and concern that alumni, parents, and friends of the university had for students. #EaglesForOthers indeed.
Check out our episode of the RAISE podcast about BC’s Day of Caring featuring Peggy McCorkle and Megan Tiede and read the Day of Caring announcement.
Oklahoma State University’s Cowboy Family Website
Oklahoma State University created a website dedicated to offering assistance to Cowboys in need and to provide ways for Cowboys to help each other.
There are videos from university leadership, news from campus, advice from experts, links to donate to OSU’s emergency fund, a form to write notes to the graduating class of 2020, information about virtual events and much more.
Kudos to the OSU team for pulling together such a comprehensive library of resources for their campus community!
Texas Tech University
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the team at Texas Tech asked for support for their Red Raider Response student relief fund. The fund aims to help the 100+ students that were studying abroad amidst the COVID-19 outbreak and cover their unexpected expenses associated with returning home to their families.
More than 400 donors quickly stepped up to help the affected students and Texas Tech reports that all students that were studying abroad have now returned safely home. Initiatives like this allow the alumni and parent community to come together and support students in unprecedented ways!
Big 12 Virtual Career Fair
It’s no secret that the graduating class of 2020 is dealing with unprecedented challenges in their senior spring. Between missing out on milestone events like commencement, and not being able to participate in campus traditions during their last semester, seniors likely feel down on their luck. Couple that with graduating into an uncertain economy and a tanking stock market, and students are likely feeling anxious about the future, to say the least.
Big 12 Universities came together to host a live, nationwide, online job fair to help connect students with employers that are hiring. Cheers to that!
Suffolk University, like many other institutions, has been promoting their student emergency fund to financially support students during the COVID-19 crisis.
Suffolk is making it easy for alumni to donate, online or via SMS text, in order to help students recover from job and income loss, make emergency rent payments, and other emergency assistance.
Beyond caring for its students, Suffolk is taking initiatives to support the city of Boston as well. As of the end of March, the university is planning to relocate students living in a 172-room residence hall to a different dormitory in order to convert the former into a temporary homeless shelter during the COVID-19 crisis.
Suffolk is truly setting an example for its students to be conscientious and supportive citizens during this time of need.
Is your team doing something unique to support students and faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep updating this post to reflect all the great ideas we’re seeing!
Here are more resources for managing remote teams as the advancement industry confronts the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond
Here’s EverTrue’s take on the novel coronavirus pandemic and its impact on advancement: We don’t have all the answers, but we’re going to learn from each other and share best practices for remote fundraising, working from home, and handling uncertainty. Bookmark this page and subscribe for ongoing updates.