BY SARAH ALLISON
Every year, there are students who will be unable to stay at Franciscan University without financial aid. The “I Love Franciscan” fundraising event aimed to increase awareness and to raise money for at least 12 students.
Although the fundraiser was aimed at alumni, the event kicked off March 16 in the J.C. Williams Center. The words “I Love Franciscan” were written in chalk on sidewalks and walls around campus, and many students picked up free T-shirts and took photos to share on social media.
Tim Delaney, director of alumni relations, described it as an “online engagement event” which focused on social media as a way to reach out to alumni. It also supported events and gatherings in other cities. The slogan was “live, love, give” – by doing acts of kindness, by sharing on Twitter or Facebook reasons for loving Franciscan University and by donating.
The goal was to receive 800 financial gifts. According to the fundraising website, only 620 gifts were contributed. However, the goal of raising $50,000 was exceeded by $5,000 for a total of $55,000.
The closing event took place in Finnegan Fieldhouse on March 27, with local alumni gathering for a board meeting. This event ended with a talk about “I Love Franciscan” and a final request for donations.
Franciscan officials hope to continue running the event every year in order to continue reaching out to alumni and aiding students in need.
“Last year we did a test run,” said Nadia Kramer, development officer. “This year is the first ‘I Love Franciscan’ event.”
The fundraising website also offered an option, besides donating, to become a “champion.”
“There were several alumni who championed the university,” said Kramer. “A few people set up champion sites and actually had their own personal fundraising sites.”
This also helped to spread word of the event even farther.
The aim of the event, said Kramer, was not just to raise money but also to engage alumni, which they succeeded in doing.
“I think people had a lot of fun with it,” she said.