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Thank you for helping the UNC Institute for the Environment have the “best day ever” for GiveUNC

March 31, 2023

The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) had the “best day ever” Mar. 28 for GiveUNC—Carolina’s 24-hour giving challenge. The Institute recorded its most successful GiveUNC effort to date, raising more than $375,000 from 110 donors in 24 hours. GiveUNC, Carolina’s university-wide day of giving, engages alumni, friends, faculty, staff and other Carolina supporters to invest in the causes they care about most.


Although the official totals have not yet been released, the Institute placed third on the Unit Leaderboard behind Carolina Athletics and the Carolina Parents Leadership Society and sixth overall including colleges and schools for total dollars raised.

“GiveUNC is an amazing day of engagement for the university and our community,” said Mike Piehler, director of the UNC Institute for the Environment, chief sustainability officer at Carolina and professor in Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences. “IE’s supporters always rise to this occasion, propelling our small unit to the highest levels of giving university-wide.  We love the friendly competition and the chance to share the incredible things our unit is doing for North Carolina and beyond.”

The strength of GiveUNC is in the collective impact donors from across the world can make in just one day. This year, several IE Board of Visitors members provided an array of “challenge” gifts to encourage maximum support. The Institute unlocked all of its challenge gifts.

  • Alec Guettel provided $50,000 for 15 gifts of $20+
  • Philip Blumenthal donated $25,000 for every seven gifts made, up to $250,000
  • Pavel Molchanov gifted $5,000 for 10 gifts of $100+

Friends of the Institute near and far also helped to make this day a success.

The Institute develops multidisciplinary collaborations to understand major environmental issues and engage myriad academic disciplines, public and private partners, and an informed and committed community. Through IE’s air and water research centers, its public service and outreach, sustainability initiatives, and field sites and experiential education programs, the IE provides interdisciplinary forums for faculty, students and community partners to meet pressing environmental challenges.