By: Hannah Paige Michels ~Head Photo Editor~
Xavier got glad this month with the fourth annual March Gladness fundraising campaign March 1-2. Each year, the 48- hour event provides a platform for clubs, organizations and groups on campus to ask alumni, students and faculty to give back to what they care about at Xavier.
This year’s campaign resulted in 1,799 donors giving a total of $103,290 to a variety of areas of campus, but Carolyn Adams, Assistant Director of the Annual Fund and head coordinator for March Gladness, says it’s not all about the money.
“For the past two years we have strictly focused on donors, not dollars—meaning all we promote is getting people involved in the act of giving, rather than getting caught up in the dollar amounts people give,” Adams said.
The Xavier community nearly doubled the 1,000-donor goal for this year, giving to 25 different on-campus campaigns such as the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, College of Arts and Sciences and Student Aid.
“We truly want people to give to what they love at Xavier,” Adams said.
Another year of gladness brought some new additions to the campaign. This was the first year using Amplo, a virtual fundraising platform that allowed donations and gifts to be interactive and tracked in real time through the March Gladness website.
A new year also included a new t-shirt design after three years of the same look, and from now on, each year will bring a new design. March Gladness also preceded a taste of March Madness with this year’s campaign falling during a basketball game for the first time.
Two donation stations were set up during the basketball game, along with advertising throughout and a pre-game for social media influencers to get the word out about giving to the campaign using the hashtag #gladxavier.
In addition, an anonymous challenge gift of $25,000 was awarded to the top five campaigns with the most donors: Center for Faith and Justice, Undergraduate Research, School of Psychology, Student Clubs and Club Sports.
Even with the changes, Adams’ favorite aspect of the campaign was the student involvement that was displayed.
“Personally, I think the coolest part is getting to see students give back. Developing a sense of philanthropy is so important,” Adams said. “Xavier does a wonderful job at teaching students how important it is to give back. Students do it every year when they go on Alternative Break trips or when they volunteer their time, but to see students giving their money to benefit the programs on campus that mean the most to them… that’s wonderful.”