GOLD Challenge: 24 hours. 1,032 Donors.

Kristin Perks Champa ’91, executive director of Annual Giving and director of School of Music development, shares an update on DePauw’s recordsetting GOLD Challenge, supported by Graduates Of the Last Decade.

WHAT IS THE GOLD CHALLENGE?

The Gold Challenge is a 24-hour giving effort to garner University support from those who graduated from DePauw in the previous 10 years. Driven by social media, the Challenge creates a flurry of excitement and competition, with peers pushing peers to make a difference and a name for themselves as a part of the GOLD Challenge legacy. While the focus of the GOLD Challenge is participation, meaning the goal is based on the number of participants versus a dollar amount, challenge gifts are often presented to increase the financial impact of the Challenge.

HOW DID THE VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE GIFTS INCREASE THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF THE GOLD CHALLENGE?

This year’s Challenge reached an all-time high in matching funds. President Brian W. Casey and his current and former board chairs – Marshall W. Reavis ’84, Sarah Reese Wallace ’76 and R. David Hoover ’67– provided the first $100,000 to kick start the dollars-for-participation effort this year. As the 24-hour period was coming to an end, an additional $50,000 challenge was leveraged by Elizabeth “Betty” Pfeffer Allen ’56, a previous challenger for the day of giving. Raj Bellani, dean of experiential learning and career planning at DePauw, provided a final gift to help secure a total of $152,500 in matching funds. The challenge dollars were added to the $38,885 raised by GOLD alumni alone.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW GOLD ALUMNI RALLIED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA TO REACH THE MILESTONE GOALS OF THE CHALLENGE TO SUPPORT THE UNIVERSITY AND REACH THE CHALLENGE GOAL OF 1,000 DONORS?

Throughout the day, challenges were posed via social media; GOLD alumni could “unlock” the challenge dollars and token content through their participation. Using social media allowed for unique peer-topeer fundraising, and classes came together to challenge other classes.

CAN YOU SPEAK TO THE COLLECTIVE IMPACT OF GOLD ALUMNI IN RELATION TO THE GOLD CHALLENGE?

The 2015 GOLD Challenge participation represented a 36 percent increase over the previous year’s total and was amplified by the leadership and participation of GOLD Council president Adam M. Gilbert ’10 and a host of other alumni volunteers and social media advocates. A total of 1,032 young alumni made donations on Nov. 11, 2015, which eclipsed the one-day drive’s goal of 1,000 donors, demonstrating that every gift, no matter the size, really does matter. While the numbers alone speak volumes, the collective impact of those who participated provides benefits to our students far beyond the numbers.

HOW DOES THE GOLD CHALLENGE IMPACT THE CAMPAIGN FOR DEPAUW?

As one of the priorities in The Campaign for DePauw, participation in the GOLD Challenge allows young alumni to actively participate in the Campaign. When alumni make a habit of showing support for DePauw year after year, the University grows in the way we encourage our students to – thoughtfully, intentionally, with the legacy of the past behind us and the promise of a bright future ahead.


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