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Saint Mary’s aims to raise funds for campus community during annual Donor Challenge

| Thursday, February 25, 2021

Saint Mary’s will be holding its 24-hour Donor Challenge Thursday until 11:59 p.m. The annual fundraiser collects donations from students, alumnae and friends of the College to support the College.

Senior Class Campaign co-chair Deirdre Drinkall said the day-long challenge offers the community a chance to rally together and support Saint Mary’s.

“The goal is, of course, to make as much money for the school as we can to go towards our scholarships or opportunities, renovations — basically to the Saint Mary’s Fund, which goes to the area of greatest need,” she said.

Junior event planner Jackie Drew gave an in-depth look at what donors contribute to when they give a financial gift to the College.

“We really push for trying to get contributions because we put all of them towards important things on campus, so things like scholarships and financial aid,” Drew said. “Every student who’s accepted receives some type of assistance package — that’s all developed through donations. … They also contribute towards funding programs like academics, religious programs, extracurriculars, athletics, campus renovations, Campus Ministry and different things like that. So, it makes a lot of opportunities possible on campus.”

As a part of her role in Donor Challenge, Drew created a video highlighting different student experiences on campus — something she said she is proud of.

“I really enjoyed it because it’s great to hear how impactful Saint Mary’s is on everyone and the things that it allows them to do or the opportunities it gives them,” she said. “It’s just really great to see how rewarding it is to be a part of this school and in more ways than one.”

The Donor Challenge gives participants unique milestones to hit in order for the College to receive additional funds, Drinkall said.

“The reason why Donor Challenge is so special is because we have a lot of challenge gifts,” Drinkall said. “If we have 4,350 donors by midnight tomorrow, then the College gets an extra $100,000, and then if we have 1,844 donors by noon, then we get an additional $30,000. So, those are all just participation based. They’re not based on like how much money people give — it’s just that people give.”

Emphasizing the value of student donations, Drinkall said the Class Campaign wishes to get as many students involved as possible.

“[Class Campaign’s] goal is to get as much student participation and donor challenge as possible just to show our alumnae how much we love Saint Mary’s and how appreciative we are of their support that we’re willing to give what we can to support our College,” Drinkall said. “Our goal for this year is to have 500 student donors and to have as high of a participation rate from the senior class as possible.”

According to Drinkall, there will be several strategies to simplify the location process for students, including on-campus donation sites.

“We encourage all students to give what they can,” Drinkall said. “A great idea is if you want to donate less than $5, you could even do $2.21 if I’m in the class of 2021. Any amount counts. We are going to be taking payments at different locations throughout campus to help you out. There’s going to be one in Reignbeaux [Lounge]. There will also be [a location] in the winter wonderland tent and then the Student Center, so students can find a Donor Challenge Ambassador at one of those locations.”

Drew echoed Drinkall’s statement, saying how important it is to make Donor Challenge as inclusive as possible.

“It’s great to just see as many people involved as possible,” she said. “So even if it’s a $1, $5 or $100 [donation], I think the most important thing is the quantity of people that we really get involved, so everyone knows how just meaningful it is.”

In addition, Drew said she appreciates the donors who get invested in the College.

“People really do get excited about Donor Challenge, and it’s just so cool that there are people all across the country that want to stop in their day and partake in this to support Saint Mary’s.”

Drinkall recalled the infectious energy that comes with the day of Donor Challenge.

“I just love the energy of the day,” she said. “It’s really exciting to see the letter board coming in with how much money we’ve raised. And for Phonathon, it’s very special because we’re the ones calling alumnae to talk to them and to see if they want to donate to the Saint Mary’s Fund, but on this day, they are calling us to donate to the Saint Mary’s Fund.“

Beyond the excitement that comes with the day itself, Drinkall said she looks forward to the opportunities it presents.

“It’s an opportunity for us to just show our love for Saint Mary’s,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to rally behind a common goal, and it’s an opportunity to show our gratitude to our alumni because we really wouldn’t be here without our donors.”

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About Genevieve Coleman

Genevieve Coleman is a junior at Saint Mary's majoring in English literature and secondary education with minors in theatre and creative writing. She currently serves as Saint Mary's News Editor.

Contact Genevieve