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Saint Mary’s raises more than $600,000 in donor challenge

| Monday, April 27, 2015

donor_challengeUSESara Shoemake

Saint Mary’s hosted its third annual Donor Challenge Day last Thursday and raised more than $600,000.

According to a College press release, two anonymous donors pledged $175,000 to the Annual Fund if 3,000 donors made gifts within 24 hours. By midnight, 3,486 alumnae, friends, faculty, staff and students invested $425,881 in Saint Mary’s, securing the $175,000 gift, totaling $600,881.

Director of annual giving Heather Frey said the impact of the total raised Thursday is a huge accomplishment.

“More than $425,000 was contributed that day to provide support for scholarships, athletics and Annual Fund, along with other areas that donors wanted to invest in,” Frey said. “Many thanks to the two donors who contributed the $175,000 for the challenge match, which certainly added momentum to the giving that day.

Frey said the Annual Fund is a large part of the College’s operating budget.

“[The Annual Fund] takes gifts of all sizes and combines them to create resources for scholarships, programs, professors and everything else that directly impacts the students,” she said.

Promotion for the donor challenge was handled mostly through social media, Frey said.

“Alumnae, parents, students and friends were invited to remember and share the impact Saint Mary’s has had on their lives,” she said. “They rallied their friends and family to give back to Saint Mary’s to allow current and future students to experience the same opportunities.”

Frey said an eight-day social media campaign highlighted important aspects of the Saint Mary’s experience including “#sisterhood” and “#professors,” and progressed towards the day of the donor challenge.

“The photo-a-day project brought in a flood of creative photos that brought the Saint Mary’s experience to life in a powerful way,” she said.

According to Frey, the amount of support speaks highly of the education at Saint Mary’s.

“To have so many people, even entire families, step forward in such a big way for Saint Mary’s is a very visible sign that they are committed to Saint Mary’s and the education provided here, and they want to be a part the College’s success,” she said.

Saint Mary’s concluded it’s “Faith Always, Action Now” capital campaign at the end of December, raising $105 million, according to a College press release.

Vice President of College Relations Shari Rodriguez said in a college press release it’s extraordinary to see the Saint Mary’s community come together to support to College.

“On the heels of our successful ‘Faith Always, Action Now’ campaign, it’s heartwarming and encouraging to see how many alumnae value their education and years spent at Saint Mary’s and wish to give that same experience to future generations of students,” Rodriguez said.

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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