Trustee Giving Challenge Breaks Record

April 24, 2015

Editor's note: Final results as calculated May 6 reflect a total of $1,883,590 in gifts and pledges, including trustee challenge money.

A record number of Bucknellians came together to raise more than $1.7 million for students on April 23 in the University’s most successful one-day giving challenge yet.

More than 4,000 donors made gifts to meet the $300K in a Day Trustee Challenge, in which members of the Board of Trustees offered $300,000 in bonus funding as an incentive to participate.

From 12:03 a.m. until the stroke of midnight, the momentum was nonstop as Bucknellians around the globe made gifts online and by phone. Bucknell student callers worked the phones all day, reaching out to alumni and parents.

The Main Challenge

The trustees initially offered to donate $250,000 if donor participation reached the 2,500 mark. By 6:30 p.m., that challenge was met. The trustees immediately offered an additional $35,000 if another 500 Bucknellians donated. That challenge was met by 9 p.m.

Young Alumni and Students

A special challenge was offered to the classes of 2000-2018: Reach 1,000 donors and the trustees would contribute $50,000. The younger Bucknellians hit that goal by 7:30 p.m. Again, the trustees quickly responded by offering another $25,000 if an additional 250 young alums and students donated. Mission accomplished by 11 p.m.

Surprise Bonus

Late in the afternoon, young alumni and students received a surprise announcement from President John Bravman. He and his wife, Professor Wendelin Wright, pledged $100 for every additional gift ­— up to $10,000 total. Students and young alumni quickly took to social media to share news of this opportunity. Just three minutes shy of midnight, they reached the 100 gifts needed to secure the Bravmans’ offer.

Over the course of the day, donors made $1,382,458 in gifts to support academic departments and activities all over campus. The $370,000 in challenge money brought the Trustee Challenge preliminary total to $1,752,458.

The response to the challenge was incredible,” said Scott Rosevear, vice president of Development & Alumni Relations. “The enthusiasm of our alumni, parents and friends speaks to their love for the University and their belief in our future, including our younger alumni, who really showed strong support. We’re grateful to all of the Bucknellians who made gifts, as well as to the leaders, staff and volunteers who made the challenge a success.