April 30, 2015

24-Hour Giving Challenge Exceeds Participation Goals with 750 Alumni, Students, Employees and Friends' Gifts

The SUNY Empire State College 2015 24-Hour Giving ChallengeA total of 750 alumni, students, employees and friends of SUNY Empire participated in the college’s 2015 24-Hour Giving Challenge yesterday, Wednesday, April 29, exceeding all participation goals and surpassing 2014’s total by nearly 100 donors.  

The overwhelming success of the campaign was made possible by generous challengers who pledged their support based on the number of donors who stepped up during the 24-hour fundraising event. Together, the challengers and individual donors contributed more than $101,000.

By mid-day on Wednesday, 400 donors had come forward, qualifying the college for the original $30,000 pledge from alumnus and Foundation board member David Mazzetti ’10 and his wife, Joy.

When this target was reached, an additional $10,000 was pledged by the New York Community Bank Foundation, if a total of 550 donations were made by midnight, which was rapidly achieved.

Finally, alumnus and Foundation board member John Corrou '94 and his wife, Jane, came forward with another $10,000 gift, if 700 donors had posted contributions by midnight. That goal was met, with two hours to spare.

“On April 29, we showed strength in numbers and achieved great things,” said college President Merodie Hancock. “And, while we were humbled by these results, we were truly gratified by the outpouring of pride and encouragement from so many. Our students are the grateful beneficiaries of all of this support.”

Inspired by the Mazzettis, the Corrous and the New York Community Bank Foundation, members of the SUNY Empire community offered some creative incentives among themselves, including homemade chili, goatee-shaving, lip sync challenges and more.

The day was widely publicized and virtually “attended” thanks to an innovative campaign that featured emails, Twitter, Facebook contacts, links from the college’s homepage to a continuously refreshed, dedicated website reporting on how many donors had contributed to the 24-Hour Giving Challenge and how many were still needed to reach the participation goal, as well as articles in the college’s internal newspaper, Exchange, reflecting the climbing number of donors.

“Thank you to the alumni, students, employees and friends who helped us to exceed our goal.  We could not have done it without you!” Hancock concluded.