Helping Hands

Donors and UM support students during pandemic

For UM’s most vulnerable students, the financial pressure of a broken laptop or rent increase might mean dropping out of school. Nothing has exposed this reality like the COVID-19 pandemic, which has challenged some students to meet even basic needs.

UM student wearing a backpack

Many donors have stepped up to make an immediate difference for these students in 2020 — proof that not even a global pandemic can dampen the UM spirit of generosity.

Across all UM schools, colleges and programs, gifts designated to support Impact Funds have given UM leaders the flexibility and critical resources to be responsive to students’ needs in this extraordinary time. Impact Funds provide deans and program directors the opportunity to direct discretionary support where and when it is needed most.

Donors also have directed funds to be used specifically for ensuring student success in units throughout UM during the pandemic. This support has included making scholarship funds available for current and transfer students experiencing unexpected life changes due to the pandemic and providing laptops and Wi-Fi access for remote learning.

Between April and the end of Campaign Montana in August, over 100 students benefited from the generosity of alumni and friends who donated more than $108,000 to the UM Emergency Student Support Fund. The emergency fund, launched by the UM Foundation and the UM Office for Student Success, helps enrolled students by covering essential needs like housing, medical and dental bills, and transportation.

You Can Help

During the COVID-19 pandemic, your gifts to support college, school and program Impact Funds and unrestricted scholarships make a life-changing difference for UM students experiencing financial hardship. To learn more and give, visit