Record year for annual MUSC fundraising event

January 05, 2022
Assortment of logos conveying donating with text overlaid that says Giving Tuesday
Donations to MUSC on Giving Tuesday 2021 were nearly $1.4 million more than in all the previous years combined.

The pandemic might be testing this country’s patience, but it certainly isn’t affecting its philanthropy. Over the holidays, a record $1,863,144 was raised for the Medical University of South Carolina as a part of Giving Tuesday. 

Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday started with a modest goal: do something good in the world. Since then, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving has grown into a global giving movement and the biggest giving day of the year in the world. In 2017, MUSC got in on the action, and in that year and the subsequent four years, raised nearly $800,000. This year alone exceeded that cumulative total by more than $1 million. 

“We are humbled by the generosity of this community,” said Kate Azizi, vice president for Institutional Advancement. 

Even though MUSC is considered a state-funded organization, in reality, less than 4% of its annual budget comes from the government. That’s why donations are so critical. All the money raised on Giving Tuesday goes to the MUSC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has supported MUSC in its lifesaving mission since 1966. This time around, gifts ranged from $5 up to nearly $500,000.

More than half a million dollars of the donated money will go to scholarships for MUSC students. The MUSC Alumni Association donated $450,000, with a portion dedicated to enhancing diversity across MUSC’s entire student body. Donors inspired by the generosity of MUSC’s alumni gave an additional $80,000 to a variety of scholarships at MUSC’s six colleges.  

“Diversity and inclusion are central to our mission and pursuit of excellence,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, “and increasing scholarship support is critical to reaching this goal. We are grateful to the Alumni Association, our alumni and the community for making scholarships a priority on Giving Tuesday.”  

In addition to scholarships, money raised on Giving Tuesday will advance research, enhance patient care and help to meet MUSC’s other greatest needs across the enterprise.

The single largest gift from an individual came from Pam Harrington. The nearly $500,000 she gave will help to provide emergency care and other medical services to residents of Johns, Kiawah and Seabrook islands. More specifically, it will support the building of the new Sea Islands Medical Pavilion, which will serve those island communities. 

Hank and Laurel Greer, who made the largest single gift on Giving Tuesday last year, generously gave again to the MUSC Health Heart and Vascular Center. Their gift of $250,000 will support the Hank and Laurel Greer Endowed Chair in Electrophysiology. An endowed chair is a prestigious honor and a powerful tool for recruiting and retaining world-renowned leaders in patient care, education and research.

Gifts of all sizes have the power to change what’s possible at MUSC. Of the more than 300 gifts the MUSC Foundation received on Giving Tuesday, approximately 95% were less than $10,000, and 86% were less than $1,000. 

Dozens shared why they gave, on the MUSC Foundation’s Giving Tuesday activity page. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Rodny Chisholm gave in memory of his nephew: Camden Scott Meyer. “Camden will always be in our hearts and prayers, and it’s the legacy of his name that helps provide support and services through the College of Health Professions.”
  • Heather Mallard, MUSC director of strategic transactions, was happy to contribute on Giving Tuesday. “I’m proud to work at MUSC Health and humbled to be able to support in a small way the work of our front-line heroes in mental health!”
  • Another donor gave to the Norris lab because of the research they are doing for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a rare connective tissue disorder that can take years to diagnose. In July of last year, then-Miss America Camille Schrier, who has EDS herself, brought national attention to the work Russell “Chip” Norris, Ph.D., and his team were doing in the lab. “Thank you and please keep it up!” the donor wrote. “You help us feel seen and heard.”

Azizi wants donors to know just how meaningful their gifts are. “Your incredible support of MUSC’s mission will make a profound impact on countless lives,” she said . “We can’t thank you enough.”