The Kansas State family will come together March 27 for All In for K-State, a new fundraising effort by the KSU Foundation. In a 24-hour event, Eric Holderness, associate vice president of development for the Foundation, said the whole K-State family will come together to achieve one objective.
That objective is to raise money for one philanthropic program, which will be announced March 1.
“Other universities have day of giving events, but we aren’t going to do a typical one here,” Holderness said. “We were challenged by our board of directors and K-State alumni and friends to think about a giving day.”
The event really started taking shape in July, Holderness said. Other universities such as the University of Kansas or University of Nebraska typically take a “shotgun” approach to giving days. This approach encourages alumni and others to donate to the school, but the donors choose where their money will go—K-State will have a different approach.
“While this approach is great and the schools raise lots of money, the amounts distributed to the individual departments and programs isn’t as impactful,” Holderness said. “Our strategy is devised to be impactful. These investments by alumni and friends of the university will be invested in a singular, fundable idea.”
The program is selected by a committee of students, faculty and staff and will be a different program each year. Holderness said the Foundation hopes to tell a story of what philanthropy can do on campus.
While the program that will be the focus of this event was chosen in December, Holderness said the Foundation is waiting to announce this until March 1 so it is fresh in everyone’s minds throughout the month leading up to the day of giving.
“We believe that if we own the month of March with a singular message, it will be to our benefit,” Holderness said. “I think that ultimately we will see that it will raise more money because we will have a full complement of storytelling and impact stories through the month to show that this program has already made a great impact on our campus.”
Holderness said that donors could also see the program that is chosen and decide that they don’t want to donate to that endeavor.
“Sure, it may be something to worry about,” Holderness said. “We ask donors the other 364 days of the year ‘what do you want to accomplish with your money and what is meaningful to you?’ We are hopeful that it is a family-take-care-of-family mentality toward this endeavor and it truly resonates with them as a truly impactful endeavor. They will set aside what they might want to accomplish the other days and say ‘Yeah, I will get behind this because that is what is important on this day.'”
Holderness said the Foundation will primarily reach out to alumni and other supporters of K-State which the Foundation calls “friends of K-State.”
While there is one singular program that will be the focus of the day, there is no set monetary goal. The Foundation is keeping moderate expectations, Holderness said.
“Since this is the first year, we don’t want to make the focus on monetary goals,” Holderness said. “It should be on the program. That won’t keep us from giving out full effort, but the impact is so much greater than the money.”
The Foundation released a video to inform the public about the effort. This video has the same energy of a pre-game video before football or basketball games, said Holderness, which is to get people excited and make it appear as a team effort.
“We want people to see it as a team effort and feel like they are sitting in the locker room, waiting to give their best shot,” Holderness said. “That is what we believe this day can be.”
Donations will be accepted through a website created specifically for that day and over the phone. The loading page of the website will feature a progress tracker.
“We want the tone of this day to be smart and sharp and positive,” Holderness said. “So many people ask for money from a stance of need. We want to not ask from the stance of ‘what do we need?’ but from the stance of ‘what if?'”