UPDATE (Tuesday, May 5, 2:10 p.m.): The College reached 4,314 donors by the end of BowdoinOne Daysurpassing the goal of 4,300and unlocked the $2 million challenge for financial aid according to the final tally posted on bowdoinoneday.com.

The ongoing Senior Class Gift Campaign (SCGC) reached 70 percent participation at press time, unlocking two matching donations worth $10,000 each. Meanwhile, the College awaits the results of BowdoinOne Day, a month-long donation campaign that ended on yesterday. If over 4,300 gifts were given to the College by yesterday, anonymous donors would give $2 million to be used for student financial aid.

Although the One Day website noted that there were 3,976 gifts in total at midnight last night, the Office of Development said that the system takes time to process the gifts and the final number of gifts and amount of money raised will be reported early next week.

“It’s promising,” said Neli Vazquez ’14, the Annual Giving’s alumni fund associate. “I feel good about this year.”

Since January, 38 class agents from diverse backgrounds have been working as liaisons between students and the Office of Development. The mission of the campaign is educating graduating students about the importance of giving back to Bowdoin and encouraging them to contribute to the alumni fund.

“It is an education-based campaign,” said Vazquez. “That’s why the match grant is matched towards participation, and not how much money we raise. We highly focus upon how a gift of five dollars is just as effective as a $50 or a $100, because the percentage is what unlocks the match grant.”

First instituted in 2012, the class agent program has been growing ever since. Class agents talk about SCGC and the alumni fund and stay in touch with the students to whom they are assigned—in most cases their friends. 

One of the important jobs of class agents is clearing up misconceptions about how the College raises and uses funds. 

“To ensure everyone is getting the message,” said Nancy Walker ’15, one of the SCGC directors. “To ensure that every senior has a 10-minute talk, learning about SCGC and the alumni fund at large, and debunking some rumors that can get floated around—things that can get misconstrued; to ensure everyone is graduating, making the decision to give based on the full most information.” 

“The biggest misconception is that the school isn’t in need for anything, because Bowdoin is a prestigious institution and the tuition is high,” added Walker. “People think there is a vault with the endowment, just sitting there, like a McDuck person. But the endowment isn’t sitting behind a safe. X amount of the endowment doesn’t transfer into X amount of expendable money.”

The College’s official website says that 53 percent of the operating budget comes from tuition and fees, and funds taken from the endowment account for 29 percent. Annual giving contributes to only 6 percent of the whole.

Last year the Class of 2014 reached 87.3 percent participation by the end of the year, a historical high, and unlocked a $10,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor; the Class of 2013 had 85 percent participation in the SCGC, according to Kacy Hintze, the associate director of annual giving.

“Our overall goal is 85 percent,” said Walker.

Besides the anonymous donor who challenged the last three graduating classes, President Barry Mills will also commit $10,000 if the participation goal is fulfilled. The donors will give $20,000 scholarships in total to rising first years.

Yesterday was BowdoinOne Day, the final day of the month-long alumni fundraising campaign in April. To earn the $2 million for financial aid from anonymous donors, 4,300 donors, including the graduating senior class, must have donated by yesterday.

For students, BowdoinOne Day is about celebrating school pride and expressing gratitude to the donating alumni. A number of events were organized to engage the student body and encourage social media posts with #BowdoinOneDay.

“We’re really trying to make it a Bowdoin Pride Day that centers on us coming together as a community and thinking about those alumni who had generously made the opportunity and environment we had here possible,” said Vazquez.

There was tabling for thank you notes to alumni, a photo shoot with the polar bear mascot and distribution of free #BowdoinOneDay frisbees on the Quad.

“They are feeding off good sentiments from the campus,” said Hintze. “The reason why we are having students post on social media is that they are showing off how great their experiences are, which makes the alumni feel good about their investment in students.”

This is the third year BowdoinOne Day has occured. In the past, BowdoinOne Day was a 24-hour fundraising campaign, but this year lasted a month and aimed for a higher goal compared to the 1,520 gifts received last year.

Bowdoin has retained a high alumni participation rate, especially the youngest graduating classes, according to Hintze. U.S. News lists Bowdoin as one of the 10 schools where the greatest percent of alumni donate.

“Bowdoin is really fortunate in the sense that the gifts coming from alumni are genuine,” said Vazquez. “We don’t really have to do much to incentivize them. The alumni base is so proud and still so loving of the Bowdoin community that they are willing to give it back to maintain the same experience, if not a better one for future students.”