The University of Guelph will mark Giving Tuesday, a national day for supporting charitable activities, by highlighting its United Way campaign and launching a new crowdfunding project to support innovative and inspirational ideas.

On Dec. 1, several events will support the University’s United Way effort, including fundraising with red piggy banks in the University Centre courtyard.

“Giving Tuesday celebrates making a difference in the lives of others through giving to non-profit organizations, which is also what the University’s United Way campaign is all about,” said Patricia Tersigni, director of academic programs and policy in the provost’s office and United Way campaign co-chair for U of G.

“It’s the perfect day to highlight the many ways that students, staff and faculty give their time, talent and money to support people in need in our local community.”

A United Way display in the UC will include donation collections, raffles and gift baskets. There will be raffles for a $500 voucher from Goliger’s Travel Plus and tickets to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, as well as salsa dance lessons in Peter Clark Hall at 12:15 and 5:15 p.m.  and a student trivia night in Brass Taps.

Alumni Affairs and Development will also be involved in Giving Tuesday and will be launching a new crowdfunding effort for 10 U of G projects.

“Big ideas need support,” said Ryan Brejak, associate director of the annual fund. “At U of G, there are many initiatives underway that will answer important questions, bringing change, help and hope to people and communities around the world.”

The projects are: support for Syrian refugee students; clinical testing for ovarian cancer; honeybee research; healthy eating strategies for families, Scottish studies genealogy; mentoring software for business students; robotics equipment; self-injury outreach; biodiversity efforts and food scarcity research.

“Through this crowdfunding platform, project leaders can raise awareness about their work and keep supporters up to date with progress,” Brejak said.

A promotional webpage contains details and goals for each initiative.

The 10 projects were chosen after consultation with each of U of G’s seven colleges.

Guelph was among the first universities in Canada to celebrate Giving Tuesday. In 2013, a giving fair was held on campus to promote volunteerism. Last year, a 50-hour giving challenge marking the University’s 50th anniversary raised nearly $200,000.

Beyond campus, Giving Tuesday is also marked through the city’s Guelph Gives initiative involving dozens of local charities and businesses, which was spearhead by the University of Guelph in 2013.