The smart way for Minnesotans to discover, support and engage with charities.
Posted on 10/14/11 by Guest blog by Matt Fedde, Associate Director of Annual Giving St. Olaf College
Hi, I’m Matt. One of my jobs at St. Olaf College is to find ways to educate current students about the importance of philanthropy, with the hope that after graduation everyone will give to the college every year.
The Student Alumni Association (SAA), is a student government organization with a mission to connect students with alumni. There are some pretty great programs like Ole Night Out where alumni host small groups of students in their homes for a home-cooked meal. We try to match students to alumni with like-interests (pre-med students with doctors, etc.). Maybe the alum will give the student some great advice about the job market she’s interested in. Perhaps it will result in an internship. Pretty cool, right?
The one thing that we’ve struggled with is how to connect alumni and students and giving to the college. We’d like alumni to know how awesome the students are that they’re supporting. We’d like students to know how many alumni are giving to the college to support them… How do you do that?
With the arrival of Give to the Max day – the answer was obvious. We knew from the 2009 Give to the Max day that alumni were really jazzed about giving to the max. So, let’s get students to rally around beating other Minnesota schools and winning the big $20,000 regional prize.
The SAA leaders put together a big, splashy, fun event to promote Give to the Max Day.
Throughout the evening, SAA members tossed beach balls in the cafeteria, answered questions, encouraged their friends, acquaintances, parents, and family members to give. Spurred on by the tight competition with the North American Bear Association, by the end of the night over 200 students had participated in the challenge and were instrumental in leading the college to victory!