STEPHENVILLE, Texas — It’s time again for the largest community-wide giving event in the nation.

North Texas Giving Day, an 18-hour online marathon designed to empower every person to support local nonprofits and other worthwhile causes, kicks off Thursday, Sept. 17.

Tarleton State University is participating for a fourth year. Gifts will help the Tarleton Fund advance student-focused academic programs that create learning options, provide scholarships and give the university the flexibility to respond to unanticipated opportunities.

More than a dozen programs benefited from the Tarleton Fund last year, including the university’s Kinetic Performance Lab where students use state-of-the-art exercise and sport performance equipment to provide personal training for the Ranger ROTC cadet team.

The Tarleton Fund also made it possible to buy and install an interactive Lumiglas® colored plasma panel in the science building lobby. Students use the panel to teach visiting K-12 students about electricity.

"Giving to the Tarleton Fund on North Texas Giving Day touches each Tarleton student no matter which campus, degree or co-curricular program," said Janice Horak, Assistant Vice President for Development. "These dollars boost academic and co-curricular activities providing for an enhanced student experience."

To donate, visit between 6 a.m. and midnight Sept. 19. Donations also can be scheduled now through Wednesday, Sept. 16, and will be processed on the morning of North Texas Giving Day.

Last year the event raised more than $50 million to benefit almost 3,000 programs. About 170,000 individual gifts were made to North Texas charities and nonprofits.