Big Give marshaling alumni and campus to ‘Think Bigger’ Nov. 19

Big Give Last year, UC Berkeley launched a one-day giving blitz, reaching out to alumni, students, faculty, staff and Cal parents to support the campus with a donation. What happened surprised even the most optimistic, when alumni and friends around the world responded by banding together to raise 7,336 gifts to nearly 400 programs across the campus, adding up to a total of $5.3 million in a 24-hour period.

This week, Big Give is back: the giving period runs from 9 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Wednesday, Nov. 18, until 9 p.m. PST on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Already, enthusiasm on campus and in social media is building for the one-day drive, timed to take place during Big Game Week.

With the theme of “Think Bigger” — and the hash tag #CalBigGive — this year’s effort asks supporters to dig deeper, literally and figuratively, and imagine the many ways in which Berkeley helps them to reach beyond the campus, the state and the nation.

On social media, people are weighing in with “Think Bigger” thought-bubbles filled in with their own ideas on how Berkeley reaches beyond itself. At BigGive.berkeley.edu, people can download blank Big Give signs for posting to social media, allowing them to fill out a thought bubble with how Berkeley helps them aim higher, reach further and shine brighter.

Posts so far have invoked a mix of humor and pride. These include an image by Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who earned his M.B.A. at the Haas School of Business in 1986, imagining “more entrepreneurs” from Berkeley, while his creation, Dilbert, muses, “fewer bosses.” Meanwhile, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive Director Lawrence Rinder imagines “bigger arts” in his post. (A dynamic feed of posts like these can be found on the Big Give homepage, BigGive.berkeley.edu.)

Day of events and contests

Activities on Big Give day will center on a noontime rally at Memorial Glade, featuring the Cal Band and the UC Rally Committee. At Big Give headquarters, also on Memorial Glade, visitors will be able to watch the leaderboard, make a gift online, create thank you messages for donors and have shots taken in a photo booth equipped with Big Give thought-bubbles.

Campus units are also getting in on the action with events taking place Big Give day. The Lawrence Hall of Science, for example, has been busy knitting a giant blue and gold scarf that will be placed on its big whale sculpture on Nov. 19; and the UC Retirement Center is inviting Berkeley’s retired staff and emeriti faculty to an open house that day at 101 University Hall in conjunction with Big Give.

A variety of contests will also take place on Big Give day, and donors will be able to help their favorite Berkeley schools or programs win challenge funds. Contests will also take place on social media, with categories including a random “thought-bubble selfie,” “caption this” and most creative pic of a child or pet promoting Berkeley.

More details on Big Give, including contests, social media and answers to most frequently asked questions, can be found at BigGive.berkeley.edu.