Student Giving Society looks to share need for philanthropy

Student Giving Society looks to share need for philanthropy

T he Student Giving Society (SGS), formerly known as Senior Class Giving, kicked off in January 2020. The name changed to better reflect Georgia College’s entire student body. Since the program began this year, 163 students contributed, raising $3,418.89. The total amount donated since 2015 is $21,720 from 896 donors. 

Funds will benefit the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence Fund, the College of Business Excellence Fund, the Georgia College Helping Hands Hardship Fund, scholarships and more.

“Students have the freedom to choose where their gift goes on campus, meaning they can support an area, department or fund that has made the most impact on them during their time at Georgia College,” said Jill Selby, donor engagement assistant for Annual and Constituent Giving. “This allows them to designate an area they’re currently affiliated with and potentially encourages others to support the university as well.”

Junior psychology major Sherree Clark Metcalf chose to allocate her SGS donation to the Heritage Fund to help support student scholarships. 

“Being a member of SGS provides me the opportunity to give back to my school without having to wait until I am an alumna to give,” she said. “I’ve received a scholarship from Georgia College, which greatly benefited me, so it’s nice to give back and do the same for others.”

Out of 23 total gifted funds, the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence Fund, College of Health Sciences and GIVE Center have received the most student funding so far. 

Junior psychology major Sherree Clark Metcalf
Junior psychology major Sherree Clark Metcalf

However, there are many other areas students can donate to including: A Seat at the Table Annual Food Scholarship, Campus Life, Government and Sociology, Information Systems and Computer Science, the Cultural Center Foundation Account, Georgia College Panhellenic Council Endowed Scholarship, International Scholarships and the International Dinner, Music Therapy Department and NPHC Historical Preservation Foundation.

Georgia College students are notified of SGS updates and promotions via email and social media channels. Selby’s goal is to grow participation each year to achieve funding goals through class competitions. 

“Being a member of SGS provides me the opportunity to give back to my school without having to wait until I am an alumna to give. I’ve received a scholarship from Georgia College, which greatly benefited me, so it’s nice to give back and do the same for others.”
– Sherree Clark Metcalf

To become a member of SGS, first-year students must give $5, sophomores—$10, juniors—$15 and seniors—$20.21. At graduation, SGS donors will receive a special cord to wear.

“Students should plan to give their gift as soon as possible to ensure they can take advantage of events and opportunities throughout the year,” Selby said. “We are working to create events and engagement opportunities that allow us to maintain proper social distancing guidelines and adhere to all COVID-19 restrictions.”

Unique benefits of belonging to SGS are invitations to exclusive events, including special alumni networking, resume-building and volunteer opportunities. Members also receive a commemorative annual gift.

“Students will have the opportunity to listen and learn from alumni at various events,” she said. “We encourage students and alumni to network and build relationships to further their experiences on-campus and beyond.”

Selby will announce more information about event plans in coming weeks. 

Still a student herself, Metcalf finds joy in donating towards student scholarships that help her peers. She understands the importance of alumni staying connected to campus, and SGS members are a great conduit to make that happen.

“The networking opportunities with SGS and alumni allows them to keep up-to-date on what’s happening at Georgia College,” she said. “It also lets alumni see how much the students care about the campus and their surrounding community.” 

Greer Potter, ’20, likes to give too. Being a past member of SGS provided the incentive for her to donate. The special education teacher became chair of fundraising and spirit night for the Council for Exceptional Children—the premier association for special education professionals.

“I loved my time at Georgia College,” said Potter. “I wanted to be able to give back to the organization that gave me the opportunity to learn so much about my profession.” 

Learning to donate becomes a habit. Metcalf said she’s used to giving now and will continue to give towards scholarships after graduation.

“It makes me feel proud,” she said, “to know that I’m making an impact on the student body even in a small way.”

Learn more about SGS.