On October 28, alumnae, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends came together — completely virtually — for 24 hours of paying it forward to the next generation of extraordinary Barnard women during a Giving Day unlike any other. The Barnard community has always been known for its ability to take on any challenge with spirit and devotion, but the palpable enthusiasm and love for our students were beyond impressive this year. By standing together, we soared to astounding new heights.

With the goal of raising $1.2 million, Barnard set out to hit an ambitious total, and boldly succeeded by reaching  $1,835,731 and counting, from 3,556 gifts.

The dollar results represent a 65% increase from 2019, and the community raised the bar on total gifts by 41%. While this record-breaking level of support would be a point of pride in any given year, these 2020 numbers are especially meaningful as the College and our students continue to rise to the challenge and confidently persevere through converging global crises.

Among our many Giving Day accomplishments, Barnard also finished in second place in alumnae/i participation, stood strong and finished fourth among the University’s fundraising powerhouses, and won the Origami Challenge, thanks to creativity from Nelly Palmer ’83.

Two Barnard-only challenges inspired widespread participation this year. The Barnard Board of Trustees collectively challenged the Barnard community not once but twice, thanks to Barnard’s early success in rising to the occasion. Both challenges were met by the community, and by the end of Giving Day, the Trustees had kicked in $460,000 to the final total.

In addition, a group of alumnae from the most recent 15 classes challenged the classes of 2006-2020 to exceed 800 donors and unlock an additional $10,000 for the Barnard Annual Fund. Results are still being calculated, and we hope to know about the status of this challenge soon.

Full Giving Day 2020 results are available here.

In addition to making gifts throughout the day, the Barnard community shared their memories, photos, and love for the College on social media.


{SWIPE} for a few of my favorite reasons to give to @barnardcollege this Giving Day! For those who don’t know, Barnard is the womxn’s college of Columbia University meaning we have access to the same classes, dining halls, libraries, and Columbia degree. However, from an administrative perspective, we have separate application processes and separate endowments (aka we don’t have access to Columbia’s $10B endowment) and rely heavily on contributions from alums and friends to fund financial aid, campus upgrades, first generation/ low income student support, emergency relief support, amongst other necessities. This Giving Day, I’m donating to Barnard and encouraging you all to do so as well (ANY AMOUNT goes a long way, think $10) because I wouldn’t be who I am today without the love and support of such an incredible community of passionate, brilliant, and kindhearted change-makers. ⠀ ⠀ When we support the educational opportunities of womxn, we all win. Sending lots of love and hugs to my Barnard friends today and always! Link to donate in my bio! 💙 🐻#ColumbiaGivingDay #Barnard

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“I give on Giving Day because it feels wonderful to join together on a single day to affirm the exciting work taking place at the College,” said Amy Veltman ’89, AABC President. “It’s more important than ever to do what we can to sustain the Barnard experience for today’s determined and remarkable students.”

Contributions to the Barnard Annual Fund made on Giving Day, and always, directly impact students by bridging the gap between tuition and the true cost of a Barnard education. This year, funds raised will help provide laptops, technological updates to classrooms, and other remote learning equipment that bolster the Barnard experience, as well as help Barnard meet increased financial aid requests, fund a new Summer semester, offset room and board refunds, and help maintain the health of the community.

Sally Vallimarescu, Director of Annual Giving at Barnard, was especially proud of the way the community came together during a particularly difficult year. “The College faced all sorts of new challenges this year with Giving Day having gone fully virtual, but I’m thrilled by the way every single one of us rose to the occasion,” she said. “Gifts to the Annual Fund are always important, but they are absolutely vital during these uncertain times.”

No matter where or how we gather, Giving Day is about the community coming together and sharing our love for Barnard. In an especially challenging year for the College, we’ve shown the world just how high we can fly.