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‘Notre Dame Day is a celebration of all things’: Ninth annual Notre Dame Day returns to normal format

| Friday, April 22, 2022

Beginning Sunday, 911 student organizations will trying to raise money for their causes as part of the 9th annual Notre Dame Day. The annual fundraising effort begins at 6:42 p.m. EST and runs until 12:11 a.m. EST Tuesday.

Notre Dame Day is filled with a plethora of events and means of fundraising. Students will be able to take part in Notre Dame Day in many different ways, such as calling past donors, reaching out to their networks to make a donation and participating in a referral challenge that could win them items such as a bookstore gift card.

Courtesy of Katie Kerby

One of the core elements of the fundraising effort is the live broadcast that runs throughout Notre Dame Day. The broadcast will run from 6:42 p.m. to 12:11 a.m. Sunday, then again from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6:42 p.m. to 12:11 a.m. Monday. On this broadcast, people will be able to participate in group competitions. 

“We’ll have a Lip Sync Battle, we’ll do a 40-yard dash, we’ll do a hummus-making competition and a sandwich-making competition,” senior associate director of annual giving programs Katie Kerby said. “There’ll be more interactive things this year on the broadcast.”

One competitive aspect of Notre Dame Day is the Challenge Fund. For each unique donor that donates to a cause, that cause earns a share of the $250,000 fund.

“The Challenge Fund makes it a little bit more like incentivizing and a little bit more worth it to participate,” Kerby said. “It really helps, especially smaller groups, get actual funding that they need for the future.”

This is not the only prize money that organizations will be able to compete for. Groups that have been identified by the Student Affairs Organization (SAO) as having causes focused on diversity and inclusion will be able to take part in the We Are All ND Challenge. The 25 groups in this category with the highest percentage increase in unique donors from Notre Dame Day 2021 will win an extra $1,000. 

In 2019, the last “normal” year of Notre Dame Day, according to Kerby, there were 32,418 gifts donated. The past few years have been slightly different because of the pandemic. Because of the suspension of in-person classes due to COVID-19 in spring 2020, the past two Notre Dame Days happened in consecutive semesters. Individually, both raised less than an average Notre Dame Day. Combined, the two days raised over $4 million for 733 different causes.

Kerby said because Notre Dame takes pride in traditions, it was not easy to go without the regular format of Notre Dame Day for the past couple of years. 

“There was just a lot missing the last couple of years and Notre Dame, the whole community, got through it stronger and better,” she said. “But at the same time, this is our comeback year in a lot of ways and we just want to be able to recognize all the good stuff that’s been able to happen on campus this year.”

During this returning year, SAO has not announced a set goal that they would like to raise. They believe that it is more dependent on each club and that they just hope to raise as much as possible for the organizations that need it, Kerby said. 

Kerby added that Notre Dame Day is a great way to see Notre Dame’s mission to be a force for good come to life. 

“The money raised by Notre Dame Day touches all corners of campus, the South Bend community and even the world,” she said. 

Notre Dame Day is more than just a fundraiser, Kerby said.

“Notre Dame Day is a celebration of all things,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to share some of the best stories that we see on campus and from Notre Dame alumni or parents.”

She emphasized the importance of Notre Dame Day, not just for the money, but for what it means to the Notre Dame community.

“Notre Dame Day in my mind is the epitome of how you can celebrate and be a part of the Notre Dame community as a student and then also after you graduate,” Kerby said.

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