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Big giving by Cal Parents

Big Give logo on blue background reads 'seize the moment now - 3/14'

It happens just one day a year: UC Berkeley’s “Big Give” campaign, when students, parents, faculty, alumni and friends are encouraged to donate to campus in a single, generous 24-hour period. In 2018, more than 8,600 gifts were received — including those from nearly 600 Cal Parent families. This exceeded all past records by an overwhelming margin. According to Daniel Scarpelli, executive director of annual programs, Cal Parents have been extremely generous to Berkeley overall, and particularly during Big Give. In the campaign’s first four years, parents contributed more than $5 million.

“Big Give is a demonstration of the Berkeley community’s commitment to philanthropy and giving back,” says Scarpelli. “It’s also an opportunity to donate across programs and areas of campus. In 2018, more than 600 funds benefited from gifts, including student organizations, athletic teams, research programs and the Cal Parents Fund.” One of the most attractive aspects of the campaign is that donors can support any area of their choosing.

This year, Big Give will fall on March 14, also known as Pi Day. A broad range of Pi- and pie-themed festivities are planned to heighten the fun factor. Scarpelli and his team aim to increase the number of gifts to 10,000, incentivizing participation throughout the day with contests and challenges across campus. With a new feature, “Big Matches,” the Parents Board will be able to match specific dollar amounts raised through a certain number of gifts to the Cal Parents Fund.

The theme of this year’s Big Give is “Berkeley Moments.” The theme reflects the fact that the Berkeley experience is made up of a million little moments — and everyone’s experience is different. So we’re asking you to think of your own Berkeley moments, which are pieces of a much-bigger pie, and how they keep you connected to the larger legacy of this remarkable university. You can share them at

You’ll be hearing more from us as we gear up for the big day. We hope you’ll join our effort by digging deep and giving big to Berkeley on March 14. You’ll be among thousands of alumni, students, parents, and friends in seizing the moment to make Cal even greater in the years ahead. Everyone deserves a big piece of this pi(e)!

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