By Staff Writer Seth Tamarkin.
Last year, the university posed an interesting question to students and faculty, asking, “What could we do with 1,895 minutes?”
The question was an introduction to the Corsair Challenge, a new annual crowd-funding challenge that lasted 1,895 minutes long and sought to secure as many funds as possible for various UMass Dartmouth institutions, primarily through social media.
After successfully raising over $100,000, the Corsair Challenge returned for a second iteration on April 2 and 3.
Ann-Marie Reddy, Director of Annual Giving, spoke on the importance of the annual event and the university’s goals.
An important reason they have the event is to increase the network of donors to support the school, “particularly from alumni, faculty, staff, and parents.”
There are many other events surrounding the challenge other than just tabling too. “We have a lot of online challenges.
We have $25,000 match from the Alumni Association, and we have a variety of other smaller challenges, such as $15,000 for football. That gets released when 300 donors give to football.
We also have challenges in business, engineering, parents and other challenges that spur people to give.
In addition to the online events, the university had physical events which encourage student involvement and educate people on campus.
In both the Campus Center and library, for instance, a table was set up in the Campus Center and the library with a multitude of giveaways.
“At the tables we have spinning wheels so people can win prizes, we have cookies, t-shirt giveaways and various things like that”, Reddy said.
The wheel wasn’t the only way for students to win swag though. Also, students could obtain items like a phone wallet or t-shirt by writing on a large note card what their favorite aspect of UMass Dartmouth is.
Then, their note card got taped to the wall behind the table, where they remain. The result is a giant wall where anyone walking by could see peoples’ favorite parts of Umass Dartmouth.
Just a few of the many cards included were things like “diversity” and “meeting new people,” but specific locations like “CWGS”, and “Frederick Douglass Unity House” were mentioned too.
Reddy also talked about what goals the University was hoping to set with the second Corsair Challenge.
Asked about the amount of donors the school hoped to get, Reddy said “When we started out, our goal was 500 donors because last year our goal was 300, but we ended up getting over 1,200 donors.”
As for totals, Reddy reported that the Corsair Challenge raked in over $120,000. Perhaps the best part about the fundraiser is that donors got to choose whichever organization they loved most to donate to.
“People get to choose what they love most to give their donation to,” Reddy said, “So we had people giving to athletic teams, Arnie’s cupboard, the Gospel Choir, Black History 4 Seasons, scholarships, Bridging the Gap, and many more. People were giving to all sorts of organizations on campus.”
At 1,200 donors and over $120,000, it looks like the second annual Corsair Challenge was a smashing success. Hopefully by next year, that numbers will only get larger.