2,208 members of the Amherst community made a gift

On April 18, we came together #ForAmherst! A record-breaking 2,208 members of the Amherst community made a gift—that’s the largest number of donors in a single day in the history of the Amherst Fund. We quickly surpassed our original goal of 1,000 donors and then our second goal of 1,821 donors. In all, 2,208 donors made gifts and gifted more than 800 donuts in honor of members of the Amherst community. Because we surpassed both of our donor participation goals, two generous anonymous donors made matching gifts totaling $150,000!

  Students and staff at a giving day table in Valentine Dining Hall

Make a gift, give a donut

New this year was the option to make a gift in honor of a member of the Amherst community (a faculty member, staff member or student) and to send that person a donut. The honoree received an email inviting them to pick up an Atkins Farms apple cider donut (or an apple) at one of four locations around campus.

In preparation for giving day, Atkins Farms made over 2,000 cider donuts, and Advancement staff and other volunteers managed donut-laden tables at Valentine Dining Hall, Frost Library, Keefe Campus Center and the Alumni Gym. Staff arrived early—in the case of Val, well before the start of the day’s classes—and stayed until the late afternoon, taking gifts, giving donuts and answering questions about what the gifts support. Parents gifted donuts to their students, and alumni of all generations gifted donuts to faculty and staff on campus, often with thoughtful and kind messages: 

“To Prof. Wako Tawa, whose excellent instruction had a much greater impact on my life than I ever anticipated it would.” – Justin Neely ’94

“To Prof. Rick López [’93], one of the most supportive and caring professors on campus!” – Carlos Gonzalez Sierra ’14

“JT Thompson has been an extraordinary coach and supporter of Amherst. He deserves a dozen donuts… or more.” – Lou Greer ’59

Often, the gift of a donut would result in a domino effect of donut-gift-giving to friends, colleagues and classmates. While in Val, Stephen Burke ’21 gifted his friend a donut, saying, “It’s a fun thing to do and great to see your friend’s reaction.” Monica Messer, a staff member in Facilities, who received a donut from Diane Hutton, a fellow staff member in the geology department, said, “It’s a fun way to raise money for Amherst and show appreciation.”

All gifts—big and small, online and in person—support financial aid, research opportunities, artistic exploration, championship athletics, dedicated faculty and talented students. Giving Day is one of the most important days of the year for the Amherst Fund. The participation of so many members of the Amherst community makes a huge difference in a short amount of time.

April 18 was a great day for Amherst and for the campus community. And Giving Day just kept giving:  The fate of all the leftover donuts? Apple cider bread pudding in Val.

  • 2,208 donors made a gift #ForAmherst. This tops last year’s results of 1,487 donors.
  • The challenge also raised $260,023.
  • The top four classes on the day’s leaderboard were the classes currently on campus, with the seniors in the lead with 68 donors and many people giving multiple gifts.

The Amherst Fund (which comprises the Alumni Fund and The Parents' Fund) has been key to the College’s excellence over time, allowing Amherst to apply resources as needed across campus. The Amherst Fund is vital to the College’s financial health and makes up over 5 percent of the total operating budget each year.

#ForAmherst gifts count toward the Promise Campaign, the five-year, $625 million campaign to preserve Amherst’s long-standing strengths while supporting the College’s ambitions to innovate in instructional and curricular practices.