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Saint Mary’s seeks to spark participation in annual fundraising event

| Thursday, March 1, 2018

Saint Mary’s is hosting its sixth annual 24-Hour Donor Challenge, an event during which students, alumnae and families associated with Saint Mary’s donate to the College.

Christine Swarm, director of annual giving, said in an email the event primarily aims to garner revenue, but also hopes to foster community among individuals who support Saint Mary’s.

“The 24-hour Donor Challenge is a single-day fundraising event for [Saint Mary’s],” Swarm said. “This is an opportunity for alumnae, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends to come together to support current and future Saint Mary’s students. This year, the 24-hour Donor Challenge begins at [midnight] Thursday … and concludes at midnight [Friday].”

Swarm said the initial goals for the campaign are to have 4,000 people donate to Saint Mary’s before the end of the event and to have 1,844 people donate before noon.

“The goals are to rally 4,000 donors in 24 hours,” she said. “If we reach that, the College will receive $100,000 in Annual Fund challenge gifts from four alumnae. And, if we secure 1,844 donors before noon EST, we have the opportunity to receive an additional $25,000 Annual Fund challenge gift.”

Additional goals depend on who donates, Swarm said, for money from certain demographics can dramatically increase the overall total.

”Even further, if by midnight on Thursday, 1,000 Belles of the Last Decade [BOLD] alumnae give, we secure $10,000 more,” she said. “If 2,000 BOLDer alumnae [graduates between 1900 and 2007] give, we secure $10,000 more. If 500 current students give, we secure $5,000 more. And if 500 parents of alumnae or students give, we secure $5,000 more.”

Events around campus will promote the 24-Hour Donor Challenge and attempt to engage the community in direct participation, Swarm said.

“With the help of our student volunteers from Class Gift Campaign, there will be refreshments and snacks available at our tables on campus throughout the day,” she said. “We will be present in the dining hall, the Great Hall in Le Mans, Spes Unica and the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex.”

Social media platforms offer more extensive information, Swarm said, in an attempt to reach individuals not currently on campus who still wish to contribute.

“People can follow the Donor Challenge activity on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @BellesGiveBack or donorchallenge.saintmarys.edu,” she said.

The 24-Hour Donor Challenge is important because it encourages reflection about Saint Mary’s, Swarm said.

“It is an opportunity for alumnae, students and friends to reflect on the value of a Saint Mary’s education and why this experience is worthy of support,” she said.

The total amount of money will enhance Saint Mary’s overall, Swarm said.

“Gifts to the Annual Fund support current operations of the College and allow for immediate delivery of the programs and resources that provide Saint Mary’s women with an excellent academic and intellectual experience,” Swarm said. “These gifts go to work where the need is greatest at the College and support scholarships and financial aid, excellent faculty, technology and learning, student life and faith development and campus renewal and preservation.”

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