April 25, 2014, BY Christina Masciere Wallace

We did it!

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‘$250K in a Day Trustee Challenge’ Smashes Goal

They did it again. Bucknell supporters met the annual one-day Annual Fund giving challenge — more than five times over.

This year’s theme was “$250K in a Day.” The Bucknell Board of Trustees pledged $50,000 for every 250 gifts made to the Annual Fund on April 24, up to a total of $250,000 for 1,250 donors.

No problem, said the student callers, who began calling Bucknellians in Australia, Europe, Asia and Africa at 7 a.m. Eastern time. Meanwhile, Bucknell fundraisers and volunteers used social media and their phones to reach out to alumni, parents and friends.

By 1 p.m., they met the goal. But the excitement was just beginning. An anonymous trustee immediately stepped forward and offered an additional $50,000 if the Annual Fund team could reach 2,000 donors.

Bring it, responded the student callers. They worked the phones all afternoon in a party atmosphere, talking up Bucknell and giving away prizes to lucky donors.  By 5 p.m., they surpassed 2,000 gifts.

Another trustee sweetened the deal at 5 p.m., offering another $10,000 for 2,100 gifts. Just 30 minutes later, the $10k was in the bag.

At 6:30 p.m., President John Bravman and his wife, Prof. Wendelin Wright, pledged $10,000 if the Annual Fund team reached 2,500 donors. The student callers set their sights on the western U.S., blowing past that goal at 8:30 p.m. 

When they finally hung up the phones at midnight, Bucknell had received $1,580,328 in gifts and pledges from 2,968 donors, well more than double the participation goal. Add the $320,000 in challenge money from the trustees, and the Annual Fund raised $1,900,328 to benefit all current students.

Not bad for a day’s work.

“This is a tremendous day for Bucknell,” said Scott Rosevear, vice president of Development & Alumni Relations. “From the leadership of our trustees, to the generous response of our donors, to our incredible staff, student callers and volunteers — it all underscores our ‘WE DO’ attitude. It’s far more than a campaign theme. It’s the Bucknell way. We are so grateful to have such a dedicated community.”