The first gift I ever gave was $5. And it lit a fire in my heart

Anna Wales: “I want to ask, ‘What am I doing to make this a better place? How am I going to leave it better when I’m gone?’”

Anna Wales: Business relations coordinator, Arizona State University Polytechnic campus
Anna Wales: Business relations coordinator, Arizona State University Polytechnic campus

My Story

The founding provost of the campus, Charles Backus, modeled generosity and showed me that philanthropy begins with even the smallest of gifts. The first gift I ever gave, I signed up to donate $5 out of every paycheck through payroll deduction. I wanted to invest in a scholarship for our students on the Polytechnic campus.

ASU taught me how to give. At that moment, I thought, ‘I’m a donor!’ It lit a fire in my heart. It made me realize, ‘I can do this’ … Being able to invest back is the best part. I’m investing in my ‘family.’

Why I Give

I wish I could help create a culture of generosity at ASU. Instead of asking, ‘What is my employer going to do for me?’ I want to ask, ‘What am I doing to make this a better place? How am I going to leave it better when I’m gone?’

What I Care About

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“My contributions are a way of returning that investment that ASU is making in me. I have had an amazing career. I feel like the world has been my oyster,” says Anna Wales.

‘Why I Give’: Stories from ASU faculty and staff

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asufoundation.org/campaignASU

ASU Foundation, one of Arizona’s oldest nonprofits, raises and invests private contributions to Arizona State University. https://www.asufoundation.org/

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