Textbooks 2.0 focus of 2021 All In for K-State


The KSU Foundation will host the all-day philanthropy event All in for K-State on March 24 to support Textbooks 2.0. All In for K-State gives people a chance to focus their donations on one cause for that day.

Textbooks 2.0 is K-State’s grant program for faculty and instructors to develop or adopt inexpensive and high-quality digital alternatives to traditional print textbooks. The program supplies up to $5,000 per course.

“[The event] is a really engaging 24-hour experience where we asked you for a gift once, but then once you’ve given it we keep you engaged and continue to inform you as to what it is … what that money will actually accomplish,” Eric Holderness, associate vice president of development, said.

Beginning in 2019, All In for K-State has a fundable idea committee that gives applications to campus partners to decide the objective of their event. Last year’s philanthropy was delayed because of the pandemic.

“We put a call out for applications and got 15 to 20,” Holderness said. “We used about four weeks to evaluate, decipher, ask more questions of those applicants, and Textbooks. 2.0 was the cream that rose to the top this year.”

The first All In for K-State focused on Cats’ Cupboard

“We bring everyone together for 24 hours and go all-in to fund this one thing that’s most important to the K-State community that particular year,” Holderness said. “Then the next year, we get to do it all over again, for something else just as fun and fascinating and impacted.”

Andrew Bennett, head of the mathematics department at K-State, helped bring the open alternative textbook initiative to the university. Bennett’s first resource was published in 2010.

“Open textbooks don’t just save students money — professors can adapt materials to fit the class rather than students struggling to match the textbook to the lecture,” Bennett said. “With the flexibility of open materials that can be accessed from anywhere, students use the materials more than they would a normal textbook.”

Holderness said Brian Lindshield, health and human sciences professor, is the cutting-edge of producing these resources.

“[Lindshield] partnered with a LibreText open platform to build these really interactive and really cool resources that he actually took me on a tour of today,” Holderness said.

Textbook 2.0 is the foundation’s second iteration, Holderness said. Cats’ Cupboard raised over $320,000 dollars in 2019 from donations to the food pantry on campus.

All In for K-State plans to hold the annual event on the last Wednesday of March for years to come.

“Each year will be a different fundamental idea, whose sole purpose is to deliver high philanthropic impact,” Holderness said.

KSU Foundations partnered with K-State alumni who built a website that allows it to host live video feeds of interviews with students and faculty impacted by the Textbooks 2.0 initiative. It also has a gift forum, which is where Holderness said they direct people.

The Foundation’s website functions year-round, with March being dedicated to All In.

“We believe that ‘All In’ solves problems on the day, but we also think that it gives us an opportunity to put on public display the culture of philanthropy at Kansas State, which is strong,” Holderness said. “If you consider other campaigns like K-State Proud and others, perhaps even the $1.6 billion campaign we just completed this past June, the culture of philanthropy’s strong. And this is just another indication of that.”

Holderness said he is excited, not just for this year, but for years to come.