September 21, 2023

Beth Hunsinger: Paying It Forward

It’s like Christmas, except on caffeine. For Beth Hunsinger, the university’s director of annual giving, a year of working and planning all comes down to a single day.

UMW Director of Annual Giving Beth Hunsinger. Photo by Alex Sakes.

UMW Director of Annual Giving Beth Hunsinger plans all year for UMW Giving Day. Photo by Alex Sakes.

Beginning at midnight on March 20, donors have 24 hours – until 11:59 p.m. – to celebrate the UMW spirit of giving back.

The second annual Mary Wash Giving Day provides donors the chance to expand the impact of their donations thanks to several one-day challenges and matching gifts.

This year’s theme – “What can you do in a day?” – encourages the UMW community to consider what can happen when we come together to give back, Hunsinger says. She hopes people will also think about what we can do today because of UMW.

Q: How did you become the director of Annual Giving?

A: It was a dream opportunity to work for my alma mater. Fourteen years after I graduated in 2001, I came back. My previous experience in independent school communications, marketing and advancement aligned with the position requirements.

Q: How did Giving Day get started?

A: We held our first 24-hour online day of giving last year to inspire alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends of Mary Wash to come together on one day and “give back to pay it forward.”

Q: Any changes this year?

A: Last year, we received 1,218 gifts on Mary Wash Giving Day, so this year we have set the bar even higher at 1,908 gifts in honor of the University’s founding year.

Q: What does the university do with the money it raises?

A: The dollars donated by Giving Day donors support service-learning opportunities, undergraduate research, scholarships, student travel, internships, athletic teams, leadership development, theatrical productions, preservation of historic sites, artistic and cultural experiences, and more.

Q: Are there other ways to help on Giving Day if you can’t make a monetary donation?

A: Absolutely! One of the most important ways to help is by spreading the word on social media, leading up to and especially on Giving Day, by including the #MaryWashDay hashtag and the Giving Day URL: