Gustavus fundraises for student benefit

Wednesday November 16th, the Gustavus Advancement office will sponsor the third annual Give To Gustavus Day.

All members of the Gustavus community are encouraged to give generously between the hours of 6am and 9pm and share their giving on social media, so as to motivate friends and family to give generously as well and ensure that the college is able to provide a first class education for current and future students.

Live tickers will track the amount of money raised for the college, as well as progress made towards specific goals. To further promote the event, social media users are encouraged to use a pair of hashtags, #FireuptheRouser and #GivetoGustavus.

All money raised will go to the Gustavus fund, more than three-quarters of which is used for the direct benefit of students.

The tradition began as a way to help provide encouragement for faculty and alumni to help support students and the basic day to day operations of the college.

Last year, thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of many members of the Gustavus community, more than $170,000 was raised for the Gustavus Fund.

This year, the Advancement Office is optimistic that even more can be raised.

“A lot of people are trying to help students and raise scholarships in their spare time,” said, Kasey Linde, Manager of the Gustavus Fund. “They don’t really need to do it, but they do.”

This year, Give to Gustavus Day will be largely modeled after crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe or Kickstarter, with specific targets for certain donor subgroups, such as alumni from a certain year or current/former participants involved with specific Gustavus programming.

Generous donors have made approximately 20 pledges in significant amounts of money if specified fundraising targets are met.

“I think people get excited about giving on one particular day because they can see the results happen,” said Ann Peterson ‘83, Associate Vice President for Advancement and Director of Development.

“They’ll say ‘I made a gift of $100, but 300 more people also gave a gift of $100.’ So when everyone decides to give on the same day, there’s a lot of momentum.”

44 percent of money contributed to the Gustavus Fund goes students scholarships and financial aid, while a third will go to supporting the research, instructional, and academic resources utilized by students and their professors.

13 percent will go to support on-campus student services like the Diversity Center, CAB and Residential Life, 8 percent for institutional services, and 2 percent for other campus events and programming.

“Our tuition only covers about half of what it costs to run Gustavus – everything else comes from different [organizations], and from people giving back,” said Senior John Baron, who as Manager of GusLink Student Phoning, has organized multiple phone bank shifts to reach out to donors and alumni about the event.

“Giving back on Give to Gustavus day helps our education to succeed and excel and helps those in the future as well.”