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Student Philanthropy Month Encourages Bobcats to Give Time, Talent, Treasure

March 12, 2024
A photo montage depicts several students at UC Merced.
UC Merced is marking the third annual Student Philanthropy Month in March.

UC Merced invites all Bobcats to give back to the university and campus community by participating in numerous events planned throughout March as part of the third annual Student Philanthropy Month.

The monthlong initiative, hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations and Student Alumni Association (SAA), is dedicated to building a culture of philanthropy and awareness at the university.

Over four weeks, students are learning about philanthropy and its exponential impact at UC Merced and beyond. Through activities focused on the themes of leading, serving, giving and engaging, they are getting a first-hand look at the various ways their time, talent and treasure can make a difference.

"We're thrilled to build upon the tradition of Student Philanthropy Month. Our primary goal is to build excitement around the various forms of philanthropy," said Magdalena Castañeda ('15), interim assistant director of Alumni Relations. "Thanks to the incredible support of our community, we're able to continuehighlighting spectacular initiatives led by our students that enhance the Bobcat experience — from cultural celebrations to professional development."

The annual Bobcats Give Back: Day of Service is one of the most popular events hosted during Student Philanthropy Month. In 2023, more than 70 students, alumni, staff and community members made their way to Lake Yosemite to help clean the area.

Everyone is invited once again to help beautify the same space this year on Saturday, March 16. Volunteers are asked to meet at Lake Yosemite from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. to pick up litter, pull weeds and collaborate on other projects.

The event is hosted by the UC Merced Community Engagement Center, Office of Alumni Relations and SAA. Volunteers are asked to register online.

Another highly anticipated activity during Student Philanthropy Month is the opportunity for student clubs and organizations to raise funds for their specific projects. A total of four groups will receive tips on fundraising fundamentals and philanthropy best practices and utilize a crowdfunding platform to help generate support for their causes.

From March 18 through the end of the month, the following groups will take part in the fundraising initiative:

  • Bobcat Band is raising $1,000 for band instruments.
  • Pilipinx American Alliance is raising $1,000 for Pilipino Cultural Night.
  • Diversified Doctors is raising $500 for initiatives that will empower future health care leaders.
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers is raising $1,000 for professional development opportunities.

Students are encouraged to use peer-to-peer outreach, social media and any other appropriate means at their disposal to help spread the word about their fundraising goals.

Anyone who would like to contribute to any of the projects can do so on the fundraising website before March 31 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

The fundraising groups will have the opportunity to raise even more support for their projects during Game Night on Thursday, March 21, in the California Room. Beginning at 6 p.m., members of each group will face off in several games that test various abilities — all with the hope of winning a grand prize for their team.

While only the fundraising groups can vie for the big prize and bragging rights, everyone is invited to show up and cheer on the teams. Anyone interested in attending can register online.

In 2023, the Bobcat Band won the grand prize. Now in their second year participating in the initiative, the student musicians are hoping for a repeat to help fund their growing membership.

"With our participation last year, we were able to raise a large amount of funds. We have not been able to reach the same level of fundraising on our own this year, and having this external resource is incredibly beneficial to ensure our club continues to grow," said Jesus Santos, president of the Bobcat Band. "This was also a fun event overall last year, and it'd be great to have more of our club members experience it."

More information about Student Philanthropy Month is available online.

Alyssa Johansen

Alyssa Johansen HeadshotPublic Information Officer

Office: (209) 413-9330