Spiders Helping Spiders

Generous Spiders provide a web of support for students

December 1, 2023


The Spiders Helping Spiders campaign lasts just one week in November, but students feel its impact throughout the year. In 2023, 1,376 people gave to the annual giving campaign — more donors than ever before.

“I’m thrilled with this year’s results,” said Kim Lebar, director of Annual Giving. “We far exceeded our previous record for the number of donors. That’s a real outpouring of support for our students. We raised a lot of money that will be put to use right away.”

The number of donors increased by 69% over last year, including 336 first-time donors. Donations arrived from seven countries: the U.S., Bermuda, Chile, China, France, Germany, and Honduras.

The campaign, now in its fifth year, took place Nov. 1-7 and brought in more than $312,000. The total included more than $145,000 in matching funds donated by alumni and families of current students. Others served as ambassadors, spreading the word about the campaign and encouraging others to contribute.

The donations support the Student Emergency Fund, Career Opportunity Fund, and Undergraduate Financial Aid. In the 2022-2023 school year, 952 students received donor-funded aid and scholarships.

“The funds raised through Spiders Helping Spiders make a real difference in the lives of our students,” Lebar said. “We want every Spider to thrive at Richmond, and some need extra help due to circumstances outside of their control. That could be an emergency, not having enough money to buy an interview suit, or needing financial aid to attend.”

After the campaign, Donor Relations hosted its fourth annual Gratitude Day. At the event, students wrote thank you notes to donors, to let them know of the personal impact of their philanthropy.

“I think annual campaign exemplifies how Spiders take care of one another,” Lebar said. “We’re part of a generous community that is deeply committed to caring for one another.”

Or, as one Spider wrote in a message with their donation: “To the Spiders facing emergencies … we see you, and we’ve got your backs.”