When Giving Becomes a Team Effort

NSU Vice President of Finance and CFO Alyson Silva

A dose of competition can foster participation, as NSU’s Financial Operations office can attest. Three years ago, when Alyson Silva was looking for ways to raise her team’s participation in the annual staff giving campaign, an idea was born. Silva, vice president of finance and chief financial officer, divided her staff into teams and assigned captains. Then, she charged those captains with the challenge of educating and encouraging their co-workers to give back.

To Silva’s delight, the plan worked—84 percent of the team members participated in the campaign.

“It’s very exciting for me to see the group pull together for the staff giving campaign. The team captains put forth a lot of effort to motivate their colleagues. They helped them understand where their contributions go and how they can help support students.”

Silva and her team created the NSU Financial Operations Changing Lives Scholarship to provide support in the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. “We want to focus our giving in an area where we are uniquely aligned,” she said.
The scholarship already has a few beneficiaries, and the thank you letters they have sent to the department have had a positive effect. “I share them with my group at the staff meetings and it really makes us feel like our gifts are impacting these students’ lives. It’s not just a name, it’s reality, and their letters help us see that,” Silva said.

While Silva understands that not everyone can afford to give a lot, she believes that “if everybody gave a little, they’d be surprised at how big an impact they can make together.”


A donor can name a Changing Lives Scholarship with a gift of $1,000 each year for five years. For $5,000 paid each year for five years into NSU’s endowment, a donor can create a named scholarship, research, faculty support, or program fund designed to last for generations. Interested in establishing a scholarship? Please contact annualfund@nova.edu or (954) 262-2127.

Students interested in scholarship opportunities can go to nova.edu/financialaid/scholarships