Frequently Asked Questions

About the Day

Every October, Columbians around the world—alumni, students, parents, friends, neighbors, faculty, and staff—come together for Columbia Giving Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event. We support the schools, programs, and causes that are important to us, helping them earn matching funds, and we foster innovative research, revelatory art, championship athletics, and the transformative experience of a Columbia education.

Giving on Columbia Giving Day

How Do I Decide Where to Give?

Giving Day 2016 is over, but you can always change lives through your everyday giving to Columbia—no matter what your philanthropic passion is, there is something for everyone. Visit to learn more.

What areas could Columbia Giving Day donors support?

In addition to supporting school and program annual funds across the University, donors could designate their gifts to an impact initiative: the Earth Institute or the Friends of the Medical Center, for example. These annual fund gifts were immediately put to work supporting the area of greatest need for a school or program, making a vital difference in the lives of students and faculty. Gifts to our crowdfunding projects were directly allocated as described in each project’s description.

Did 100% of my gift go to my designated area?


Where did challenge money go?

Challenge and prize money was distributed to the winning school, program, and initiative’s annual funds.

Was there a minimum donation amount?

Yes, there was a $10 minimum donation during the event.

Could a donor have sent a gift by mail or phone?

Due to the short timeframe of Columbia Giving Day, only gifts made by phone or online counted toward the contest goals or matching funds.

Could a donor have given stock in support of Giving Day?

Donors could give a gift of stock to support their favorite school, program, or cause.

Can I give via a charitable rollover from my IRA?

Yes! You can transfer funds directly from your IRA to make a charitable gift to Columbia, tax-free. To make your IRA charitable rollover count for Columbia Giving Day, you must contact your plan administrator requesting the distribution to Columbia, and then send a copy of your request to by 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday October 26, 2016. For more information, please contact the Office of Gift Planning at Columbia at (800) 338-3294 or

Was it safe to make my gift online?

Yes. The information collected during the giving event was only used by Columbia University. It will not be sold or shared with any third-party organizations.

Is my Giving Day contribution tax-deductible?

Yes. Your gift is entirely tax-deductible. You will receive an e-mail confirmation that will serve as your receipt for tax purposes. If you did not receive this e-mail confirmation, please e-mail for help.

Could you make a recurring gift on Giving Day?

Donors could start recurring gifts on Giving Day, but only payments processed on Giving Day itself would toward Columbia Giving Day—while the first installment would have been eligible for challenge match funds, the grand total would not have been.

Who took the photos on the home page of the Giving Day website?

Clockwise from top left: Joel Jares; CAA; Lindsey R. Dean and Colleen Deng; Charles Manley; Joaquim Goes; Colleen Deng; Eileen Barroso; Chris Taggart; Bärbel Hönisch; Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin; Lindsey R. Dean and Colleen Deng.

What other information do you collect?

The Office of Alumni and Development utilizes the Rocketfuel platform to collect anonymized visitor data on Columbia websites and then serve targeted display ads on other sites. By using our website, you consent to the collection and use of your information by Columbia websites. We use other partner platforms such as DoubleClick (a subsidiary of Google) and LinkedIn to deliver advertising campaign data and website visitor insights. Our partners use technology such as cookies and web beacons to collect this data. To learn more about opting out, visit the Rocketfuel website, or click the AdChoices icon on or near the ad. You can then make choices about whether to continue to allow online behavioral advertising. You can also manage what information Google and LinkedIn collect and use.