The Trinity community participated in  its first 24 Hour Giving Challenge, a fundraising campaign lasting 24 hours, on Oct. 28. The goal for the 24 Hour Challenge was to receive 480 donors in a day, and the University would donate $24000 towards scholarships and financial aid.  The Challenge was sponsored by the Office of Annual Giving.

A total of 867 gifts were donated, and Annual Giving raised $156,323.76.

The number of donations was record-setting for Trinity, according to Callum Stewart, associate director of personal giving.

“We had 867 gifts in a 24 hour period. That’s a record number of gifts in a 146 year history at Trinity University,” Stewart said.

Annual Giving donated $24000 of the total received to financial aid.

Stewart explained the idea behind the day-long campaign.

“It’s a new initiative across the US in higher education: 24 hour giving challenges. We thought we’d do something that challenged the community at large. So we challenged faculty, staff, alumni, parents, students,” Stewart said.

The Challenge received three anonymous donations of $24000 from two parents and one alumni. The largest donation received was $30,000.

The campaign relied heavily on social media to reach its audience and attract donors.

“Before the day we had volunteers pushing out on their emails, posting on their own social media accounts—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—whatever they felt most comfortable with. Trinity is a traditional university, this is the first time we utilized online social media content in this capacity.”

Danny Anderson, university president, posted several tweets on Twitter encouraging donors. After the Challenge he tweeted, “Congratulations and thank you! You reached the stretch goal before finish time.”

Brenna Hill, junior political science and urban studies major and student ambassador, explained the role of the students.

“We had over 100 students make a gift during the challenge, so students definitely played a big part in helping Trinity reach our goal.”

Students who donated could give at any level, and their involvement was vital, according to Stewart.

“It didn’t matter if you donated a dollar or $100. Those 112 students played a 25 percent role in triggering our $24000,” said Stewart.

Volunteers nationally helped in the planning and implementation of the Challenge.

“It’s been in the planning stage for about three months now. It utilized 50-75 volunteers across the nation including 8 national alumni board members, 9 chapter presidents, various parents, faculty and more,” said Stewart.  

Student Ambassadors worked to secure funding during the campaign and made thank you calls the following day.

“Student Ambassadors were tabling in Coates the day of the challenge, collecting student gifts and educating students about the importance of philanthropy at Trinity,” said Hill.

The Office of Annual Giving is considering holding the 24 Hour Giving Challenge annually or extending the time frame of the campaign to 48 hours.