This year, BowdoinOne Day, the culminating day of a month-long fundraising campaign, finished with a total of 2,994 gifts, or $770,000, from alumni, parents and students. 32 percent of these gifts came in on One Day itself, which took place on April 28.

While this year’s One Day campaign finished about 1,500 donations short of its goal of 4,500, it was still the second best year of the campaign’s history, according to Director of the Alumni Fund Aric Walton.

“We set the goal that we did in hopes of matching last year’s accomplishment which was an incredibly audacious goal given that last year was extraordinary,” said Associate Vice President for Annual and Leadership Giving Brannon Fisher.

Last year, the campaign reached an all-time high of 4,314 gifts by the end of the month. Anonymous donors gave $2 million to be used for student financial aid after the campaign surpassed its goal of 4,300 gifts.

In explaining the anomalous success of the previous year, Walton called it a “perfect storm.”
“President Mills was nearing the end of his term… We just had Clayton Rose announced, so there was a lot of the Bowdoin community,” said Walton. “[This year] we had more dialogue going, or just as much, it just didn’t translate into the same number of gifts.”
The Alumni Fund recruits over 700 alumni to help fundraise year-round. The contributions received through the BowdoinOne Day campaign were among the 6,891 received this fiscal year thus far, which ends on June 30.

In addition to the help of alumni volunteers, BowdoinOne Day also relies on social media to publicize the campaign and connect Bowdoin alumni from across the globe.

“The students were pretty instrumental in helping get that hashtag out there and raising the awareness of the day,” said Walton. “The social aspect is really important. It’s a window back into Brunswick for one day to see what’s going on.”

Though BowdoinOne Day this year received no matching donations, the overall alumni participation rate of 39.6 percent is still similar to that of other years.

“[A matching donation] just didn’t materialize this year, and looking back, that’s going to be a good thing. We want people to authentically think about supporting Bowdoin. It’s a great place to support,” said Walton. “We don’t take alumni support for granted—we know that we have to earn it every year.”

In addition to BowdoinOne Day, the Senior Class Gift Campaign (SCGC) is another major ongoing fundraising effort of the College. The campaign just reached 58 percent participation this week, a mere two percent away from unlocking a $10,000 match donation.

“[The SCGC] is an effort to educate people on how to be alumni,” said Kiefer Solarte ’16, one of five SCGC directors. “It’s a big switch going from senior year to not having the same relationship that you had with Bowdoin…[the SCGC] is about getting people to engage, not only this year but for the future as well.”

With a goal of 85 percent participation, the campaign will continue until June 30. 
 “We really don’t look at a monetary goal at all,” said Margaret Webster ’16, another director on the SCGC team. “When we get a gift, there’s always been a conversation about what that means. We’re very fortunate that the amount of that gift doesn’t matter and that participation is so important.”

This year, the money raised by the SCGC will support a scholarship for a student in the Class of 2020. While the Class of 2016’s SCGC is the fifth to donate its efforts toward a scholarship, it is the first to graduate a member of its own class who was supported by the SCGC fund of another class.