Second ND Day raises 1.8 million for student, alumni causes
Alysa Guffey | Thursday, April 22, 2021
Notre Dame Day 2021 wrapped up Monday at midnight after 36 hours of live broadcast featuring numerous students, alumni and faculty sharing their stories and encouraging members of the community to donate to over 700 causes.
This year, Notre Dame Day occurred twice during the 2020-2021 academic year to make up for the missed annual fundraising day in the spring of 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic initially hit. In total from the two events this year, $3,785,239 was raised through 43,027 gifts. The 2021 day raised $1,895,874 alone.
Katie Kerby, assistant director of alumni and parent giving, said the additional day in the fall was added as a means to provide funding for student clubs.
“We wanted to honor the missed Notre Dame day from last spring and ensure that students have the funding that they needed,” Kerby said.
The current plan is to return to a single annual day during the spring semester, Kerby said.
While the majority of groups participated in both giving days, Kerby said some groups decided to only participate in one day.
“There were some groups that just participated in the fall and pushed really hard, and then some just participated the spring because they either didn’t want to overwhelm donors or the students felt like they didn’t need to participate again,” Kerby said.
A change this year was that the minimum donation amount was lowered from $10 to $5 to make a donation more feasible for younger alumni and students, Kerby said. With the change in minimum donation, the number of gifts went up, and the average donation amount rose to $35.
Topping the leaderboards for the total amount of money raised was the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund with $104,960 raised through 330 gifts. The fund dedicates donations to finding a cure for Niemann-Pick Type C, a rare neurodegenerative disorder.
Kerby said the fund typically tops the leaderboard because it receives high dollar amount donations.
Meanwhile, the groups with the highest number of donors included the Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, IDEA Center Inventor’s Fund and St. Edward’s Hall.
St. Edward’s raised the most out of any residence hall on campus, with a total of $25,231. Kerby said she sees St. Edward’s success in Notre Dame Day donations as a reflection of rector Fr. Ralph Haag’s commitment to introducing the event to families early in their time with the hall.
St. Edward’s hall president and sophomore Michael Lynch also credited Haag with the dorm’s fundraising efforts.
“He has been here for a number of years and he’s just been able to create a great community,” Lynch said. “He has relationships with pretty much all the [St. Edward’s] men because we’re a smaller dorm.”
Lynch also noted the history of St. Edward’s as a contributing factor to the large donation pool.
“Being the most storied dorm on campus, we have a lot of tradition, a lot of culture and so the Steds men current really enjoy it and Steds men of past really know how special it is and so they make sure to donate to keep it going,” Lynch said.
Despite the University’s efforts in planning Notre Dame Day, Kerby said the ultimate reason for its success is the efforts of the students to promote their causes.
“Our students — they do it — and everyone like steps up to the task and it’s really no work of us but all of our wonderful cause leaders and so I‘m really proud of all the work that it takes to pull it off,” Kerby said.