ANU Giving Day 2021: Make a Difference

9th September 2021

Education with a philanthropic bent of mind is certainly not alien to the Australian National University (ANU). In fact, Professor Schmidt encapsulated the spirit of the University and the recipe for true success as a community:

“Real change requires a community of people with an unassailable belief that they can achieve something extraordinary together. Your support will ensure that we can reach our full potential and continue to shape a better future. So I invite you to help shape our nation and stake your place in the future of our world.”

And there’s no time like the present for support and togetherness. In this context, continuing a tradition that was initiated back in 2015, ANU is all set for Giving Day 2021, on 6–9 October. We recently caught up with the team executing this year’s Giving Day—the ANU Annual Giving Team—to understand what this campaign is all about and how each of us can support it.

1. What is the genesis of Giving Day?

Australian universities, including ANU, have been running the Giving Day program successfully for many years to bring their community together in support of students, research and other critical initiatives. Originating in the US, Giving Day today has evolved in Australia into an annual event showcasing how the generosity of donors is shaping the future for students at Australian universities.

2. So what exactly is Giving Day?

Giving Day is a fundraising event where you get to show your support to a university fund or area that aligns with your values and interests. It is a timed event (this year it’s running for 75 hours) to demonstrate the impact our community can make in a short amount of time.

3. Tell us a bit about the history of Giving Day at ANU.

Our first Giving Day was in 2015, when we raised $100,000 for the National Institute for Mental Health Research. We’ve held Giving Day almost every year since then, raising funds for various programs such as rural and regional scholarships, Australian Dictionary of Biography, refugee support, and more. Thanks to the generosity of donors in 2018, ANU was able to establish 27 additional rural and regional scholarships, allowing talented students to come to ANU and pursue a degree in their chosen field. This spirit of giving—in the springtime—has made Giving Day an annual ANU tradition of our community coming together to support newer possibilities.

4. What’s your favourite ANU Giving Day story?

The year 2019 was our favourite Giving Day, because we were not only raising funds for scholarships; we were also giving back to our current student community. We want Giving Day to be an event that our students look forward to and remember fondly as alumni. In 2019, we put on a free sausage sizzle at Kambri and hosted trivia at Badger & Co. with vouchers to be won. Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, ANU has stepped back from holding in-person Giving Day events. We look forward to continuing in-person events as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are thrilled to be hosting Giving Day 2021 digitally, because it is such a powerful way to bring the community together.

5. What do you hope to achieve for Giving Day 2021 at ANU?

This is our first Giving Day featuring areas to support from across the whole University—there’s 24 areas to choose from. Our hope is that everyone in our community will be able to find an area that they’d like to support and that the impact is felt across all of these areas. There may even be areas that some of our community weren’t aware of that they get to discover this Giving Day. We have an ambitious goal of reaching $75,000 over the 75 hours. Achieving this goal will make a big difference to our students, our researchers, our communities and our nation.

6. How can someone go about supporting the cause?

There are multiple ways you can support Giving Day. You can give to an area you would like to support, including the School of Culture, History & Language. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and share our posts. You can update your details to make sure you receive our Giving Day emails or share your experience of studying at ANU with a student caller if you receive a call. We are grateful for all of the ways our community connects and shows their support. For any queries or clarifications around how you can be involved, please contact Brooke Disney or Nick Pudney at

So we invite each one of you to give, support and spread the word. Because as stated by the greats of the past:

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members” (Coretta Scott King) and;

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” (Helen Keller)!

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster