Posted 5/10/2013 by Molly Flood
When I logged into Facebook during my train ride to work, I was reminded that yesterday was not any random Thursday. It was my alma mater’s (Saint Mary’s College) 24-hour Alumnae Donor Challenge. An anonymous donor promised to donate $50,000 to the college’s annual fund if at least 500 other alumnae made contributions on May 9th. The development office took this challenge seriously and promoted the event via email, mailed postcards and numerous social media postings. A Twitter hashtag (#bellesgiveback) was circulated and Facebook page was created. Happy hours were planned in select cities to encourage dontation. All of their leg work seems to have paid off. Not only did 901 alumnae donate $106,565 in one day, but it kicked off a Saint Mary’s love fest on social media. Friends promoted the event, shared inspiring graphics, posted the video and talked about their love of SMC.
When the goal was reached in the early evening, I felt a true sense of accomplishment and pride. Saint Mary’s pulled off the double trick of raising a large amount of money in day and energizing their alumnae donors. These types of donor challenges are all the rage in collegiate circles, but they would be quite effective for any size bar foundation. This article provides background about a similar challenge put on by Skidmore College and serves as an effective how-to for any charitable foundation that would like to put on a similar event. Raise money and turn a random work day into a love fest for your organization. It sounds like a winning fundraising model to me.