Next Thursday, Oct. 24, the annual fundraising event known as Give to Gustavus Day will take place. Historically, this day has been marked as the single most important day in contributing to the Gustavus Fund. Donations received during the fundraiser go towards financing all areas of the school. The money raised on this day will have an effect on every Gustavus student.
“Give to Gustavus Day is the biggest and best day to support the Gustavus Fund. The impact of your gift to the Gustavus Fund is felt immediately all across campus. On Give to Gustavus Day, you can join the entire Gustavus community in giving back,” the Gustavus webpage for the event said.
The Gustavus Fund is an important resource on campus that helps to provide scholarships to deserving students among other things.
“Through gifts from generous alumni, parents and friends, the Gustavus Fund provides $2.7 million every single year to support students and our campus. Gifts to the Gustavus Fund get put to work where they are needed most, including student scholarships. The great thing about the Gustavus Fund is that it touches every single Gustie, every single day,” Director of the Gustavus Fund Katie Schroeder said.
Schroeder takes pride in her job and has a special connection to its purpose.
“As the Director of the Gustavus Fund, I see one of my roles as being a champion for alumni giving. I’m a proud Gustavus alum. I wouldn’t have been able to go to Gustavus without the support and generosity of others – so now I pay it forward. It’s a pretty special job,” Schroeder said.
As a member of the Gustavus class of 2003, Schroeder has a special connection to this school and her job. Providing money for scholarships is not all the Gustavus Fund does, however. A large portion of the money raised goes towards funding other areas of the campus.
“Gifts to the Gustavus Fund support everything on campus. 43% of funds raised go towards Scholarships, 34% to Academic Support and Research, 13% to Student Services, 8% to Institutional Support and 2% to Events and Outreach,” Schroeder said.
The money raised at this event truly affects every area of the Gustavus campus. Paying professors adequate salaries, keeping class sizes small and acquiring the latest technology are all enabled by this fundraiser. On top of this, the money is put towards other annual events and attractions such as the Nobel Conference and the Hillstrom Art Museum. Give to Gustavus Day is by far the largest single day of fundraising for the Gustavus Fund, and this year’s event is expected to be the biggest yet.
“We raise 28% of our goal for the year on this one day. We hope to raise $500,000 from 1,250 donors this year. Last year we raised just under $500,000 from 1,089 donors,” Schroeder said.
The numbers put up by donors on this day are historically very large, and the Gustavus Fund intends to increase them this year. As a way to increase donations, Gustavus has planned promotional events throughout the day. Challenges are set to provide an incentive to donors.
“The challenges are one of the best parts of the day! Our challenges are almost all participation-based. The Bergman’s (President Bergman and her husband) are sponsoring the 50-State Challenge for the third year in a row. When a gift is made from all 50 states, they will make a $50,000 gift to the Gustavus Fund,” Shroeder said.
There are other engaging challenges that will be rolled out when the donations start early Thursday morning.
All of the challenges will be active at 6:00 a.m. on October 24 at the Give to Gustavus webpage and livestream. The livestream has been a featured aspect of the fundraiser over the last few years. It offers an additional way for donors to connect with the event. The livestream will include alumni Tane Danger as a roaming reporter. Danger will feature student work from around the campus in the livestream. In the Evelyn Young Dining Room, student workers will be calling donors to thank them for their gifts as they come in.
“All gifts in all amounts make a difference. What matters most is that people give something,” Schroeder said.
This event is critical to the Gustavus Fund. The money raised during Give to Gustavus Day 2019 will support students, departments, and events all over campus.