By Amelia Kibbe
Once again St. Bonaventure University asks its alumni, friends and family to participate in its annual Bona Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising event for the school’s The Bonaventure Fund.
But this year, school administrators also welcome students to take part in the activities, participating in a scavenger hunt and winning university gear on Feb. 23.
Last year, St. Bonaventure initiated the Giving Day campaign, which challenges donors to give online, by phone and with checks, said Karen Heitzinger, the director of Annual Giving for the university.
Alan Riddle, a university development officer, said he hopes the event continues to grow.
“I’m hoping for another successful day this year in order to cement #BonaGivingDay as the next great Bonaventure tradition,” he said.
Gifts will be counted for all 24 hours of Feb. 23, from 12:01 a.m. until midnight, Heitzinger said. Heitzinger added the focus will be online donations, but any checks dated Feb. 23 and phone donations made during business hours will also figure into the grand total.
Last year, the university received more than $325,000 in total for The Bonaventure Fund, which provides money for student scholarships, academic support and student services, Heitzinger said. This year’s goal is to exceed last year’s grand total, she added.
“We had so much adrenaline in the office during last year’s Giving Day,” she said. “All gifts count. Some people think a $5 donation doesn’t, but it does.”
Similar to last year, both the university and other donors will offer challenges throughout the day, said Heitzinger. New software will allow donors to team up and challenge other groups to donate. For more information about how teams work and to donate, visit www.sbu.edu/BonaGivingDay.
In addition to donations, Heitzinger said she also encourages alumni and friends of the university to promote the event through social media, by tweeting, sharing and posting about the day.
While last year’s giving day took place in late April, this year and in the future the event will take place in February, coinciding with Bona Pride Day and the university’s homecoming weekend.
As for the scavenger hunt, Heitzinger said students, through clues, can post selfies between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. using the #BonaGivingDay. The first clue will be found on the event’s website.
“It’s for fun, of course, and to raise awareness as to what The Bonaventure Fund is about,” said Heitzinger about the hunt, adding donations from students are also welcome.
Riddle added the excitement from last year motivates the team for next week.
“As a first-time initiative we really had no idea what to expect going into the day, so it was great to witness the overwhelming support the university received,” he said.
Overall, she said, the day is an opportunity for the St. Bonaventure community to come together to support the university and its future.
“People should donate on Bona Giving day because it’s really for the students,” she said. “We are looking forward to this.”