As Franklin College students, employees, alumni, trustees and friends are dispersed far and wide due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) social distancing recommendations, their hearts were joined together in the spirit of giving during the college’s eighth annual giving day, #GivetoGRIZ, on Thursday, April 16. The result was the most successful one-day giving event to date for the college.
The college raised a total of $247,971, surpassing a goal of $150,000. Meeting the initial goal “unlocked” over $50,000 from the college’s challengers, who pledged money toward the challenge goals for this specific event. Donations reflect an increase of 50 percent compared to last year. The total number of donors for the day was 1,086, an increase of 7.3 percent from last year and surpassing the goal of 1,000.
“Our eighth annual #GivetoGRIZ 24-hour giving challenge was the most successful to date, thanks to the generosity of the 1,086 donors who supported Franklin College,” said Dana Cummings, vice president for development and alumni engagement. “At a time when many other institutions are either canceling or postponing their giving days due to COVID-19, it speaks volumes that the Franklin College community came together to make this #GivetoGRIZ the best one ever.”
“The outpouring of support from alumni and friends during #GivetoGRIZ reflects an impressive vote of confidence in the mission, direction and future of Franklin College,” said Kerry Prather, Franklin College president. “We are so indebted to all who contributed during this time of financial uncertainty, and we are inspired by their faith in this great institution.”
The money raised during this one-day giving event goes toward the Franklin Fund to help provide tuition assistance for Franklin College students that qualify for assistance. Nearly 100 percent of Franklin College students receive some form of financial aid, many of whom would not otherwise be able to afford a college education. The funds will also help cover unexpected expenses associated with the need to make alternate learning a reality due to the COVID-1 pandemic. This includes a web-based conferencing system, increased access to an online platform for course instruction, additional cleaning supplies and anticipated costs associated with the basic needs of the students.
While the annual giving day has traditionally relied on social media and email to reach out to alumni and friends of the college who live across the country and the world, this year’s campaign was unique in that the entire drive was virtual. The staff involved in putting this event together utilized social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to market this 24-hour fundraising event. They also drummed up excitement and awareness of the day by counting down to the day of the event and encouraging two online contests – one featuring participant’s pets and the other featuring future Grizzlies. In addition, the college used Zoom video conferencing to unite professors, students, staff members, alumni and friends in virtual chats during a morning “Coffee with a Prof,” a “Lunchtime Chat” and an evening “Happy Hour.”
The one-day giving challenge began in 2013, raising a total of $14,500 from 137 donors and earning the office of development and alumni engagement a silver award in their district from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Each year, both the number of donors as well as the total monetary donations have steadily increased. “It is a testament to the hard work of our team who continues to come up with creative ways to engage with our donors, as well as the generous nature of our supporters,” says Cummings. “Grizzlies believe in one another and support one another, and that has never been more apparent than now.”
While the one-day giving challenge is over for the year, donors wishing to make a donation to the college’s Franklin Fund during this current fiscal year still have until June 30. To give online, visit franklincollege.edu/giving/ or call (317) 738-8040.
For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.
POSTED Apr 20, 2020