The Office of Annual Giving received 1,520 alumni gifts during its second annual BowdoinOne Day, a 24-hour fundraising campaign on Tuesday. The number of donations exceeded both this year’s goal of 1,300 gifts and last year’s total of 1,274 gifts, according to Director of Annual Giving Brannon Fisher and Annual Giving Administrative Manager Marian Skinner. 

Participation was monitored across six regions: New England, Mid-Atlantic, West, Midwest, South, and International. The alumni in the Mid-Atlantic region participated most at 14.8 percent. The Midwest region came in second, with 12.9 percent participation. The event took place from 12 a.m. to midnight on Tuesday. 

On this day, the senior class—whose donations count towards the alumni fund—reached 61 percent participation, enough to unlock a matching grant from an anonymous donor. For each senior class over the next four years that reaches over 60 percent participation, the donor will give a $10,000 scholarship for a member of the rising first year class. Prior to Tuesday’s event, the Class of 2014 had 49 percent participation, according to Skinner.

Fisher and the Office of Annual Giving conduct the 24-hour campaign annually to help build a sense of excitement around donating.

“We find that creating a sense of urgency and some kind of a deadline to rally around is helpful for our donors and for our volunteers who help us do the fundraising,” Fisher said in a phone interview with the Orient.

April 22 was selected as the date for the campaign this year so that it fell between tax day and the end of the fiscal year. Last year, it fell on April 23.

“It takes some of the pressure off,” said Fisher, “and also it’s helpful for our volunteers to be able to check [donors] off without too much additional outreach in the late spring.”

In a 2013 Orient article on last year’s event, Fisher mentioned that April 23 marked the day in which funds from tuition and endowment ‘run out’ and the rest of the academic year is symbolically supported by alumni donations.

Fisher said he is pleased with how the day unfolded. Neli Vazquez ’14, one of the four directors of the senior class gift campaign who helped plan the event, felt the day was successful not only because the senior class surpassed the 60 percent participation benchmark, but also because of the strong sense of spirit it raised in the student body.

“A lot of people were coming to the table [in Smith Union] to fill out thank you cards [to alumni] and say what they were thankful for, and that’s really for me what Bowdoin One Day is about,” said Vazquez. 

Fisher believes that much of Bowdoin One Day’s success this year stemmed from increased efforts to engage students and alumni over social media. Though Bowdoin sent some tweets and posted to Facebook on Bowdoin One Day last year, this year’s approach was more dynamic.

“The approach this year—which was much more effective—was to get other people to do the tweeting and the posting and for Bowdoin to simply re-tweet or re-post so that it wasn’t necessarily being driven by the College, it was being driven by alumni,” said Fisher.

“Our main strategy was to raise awareness about the campaign, what it was, generate a lot of alumni involvement and school spirit,” added Social Media Director Holly Sherburne in a phone interview with the Orient.

There was a photo challenge each day for the five days leading up to the One Day campaign that encouraged people to post pictures of Bowdoin memories, polar bears, and college gear on any social media outlet. Each day’s winner was awarded with a gift card to iTunes or Amazon.

“We started on Thursday, which is traditionally a day where people post throwback Thursday photos,” said Sherburne. “So we started off by incorporating the similar theme to dovetail on that and I think that made for a really successful kickoff that could lead into the next five days.”

Vazquez felt that sharing images of students helped remind alumni why it’s important to donate to the College.

“I think it’s meaningful to [alumni]—especially the older alumni—to see that Bowdoin is still a place worth investing in from the student perspective, that their wonderful experience and the reason they give is still very much alive today,” she said.

From Thursday through Tuesday, Sherburne and the Office of Annual Giving instructed people to use the hashtag #BowdoinOneDay on Twitter and Instagram.

“We at Bowdoin were looking for that hashtag so we could help amplify their conversations and it wasn’t all just...Bowdoin encouraging people to give,” Sherburne added.

According to Sherburne, #BowdoinOneDay was tagged in over 330 photos on Instagram and mentioned in over 460 tweets. Sherburne mentioned that Facebook also played an integral role in the social media strategy, although activity on Facebook is more difficult to quantify since much of it took place on individual profile page.

No analysis has been done yet about the impact that social media had in regard to the number or value of gifts given during the campaign.