100% Anselmian: 5th Annual Days of Giving Breaks Records

April 9, 2019

By Michelle Adams O'Regan

On April 4 and 5, Saint Anselm College held its 5th annual Anselmian Days of Giving, which broke records for both participation and funds raised. The 2019 Days of Giving goal was to bring together 2,024 supporters (a gift for each student on campus) in 48 hours. With offline gifts still being tabulated, that participation goal has already been exceeded by 173%, with more than 3,500 individuals making gifts totaling over $750,000.

The entire community (alumni, faculty, staff, students, monks, parents, and friends) were encouraged to give their “Anselmian breakdown”- all of the unique ways they are 100% Anselmian.

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Gifts of any amount made to the college counted. The community shared information through social media using the hashtag #AnselmianGiving, and participants dedicated their gifts online to designations including The Saint Anselm Fund, Anselmian scholarships, The Meelia Center for Community Engagement, The New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP), and many more. Alumni in Reunion years could give on behalf of their classes, many of which had matching gifts from classmates. The Class of 1969 led the way in dollar amount by raising more than $105,000, while the Classes of 2009 and 2014 held the record for most donors.  

This year was marked by a large number of matching gift challenges, which were posted on the college’s online fundraising platform, GiveCampus. Successfully met challenges included:

  • Jeffery ’69 and Irene Burke made a $35,000 match broken down as $20,000 for the Class of 1969 and a $15,000 match for all alumni;
  • An anonymous alumni donor made a challenge gift of $50,000 broken down into $35,000 released when the campaign reached its 2,024 donor goal and $15,000 released when the campaign reached its 3,000 donor stretch goal;
  • Board of Trustee members and their spouses Linda ’87 and Peter Connly and James ’85 and Tracey Van Hoof made a $10,000 matching gift to Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives;
  • The Nursing Sumer Preceptor Fund, led by a dedicated group of nursing alumni including Board of Trustees members Christine Dixie Douville, MSN, RN ’86 and Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, APRN, AOCNP, FAAN ’78, put forth a lead gift and matched dollar for dollar donations up to $5,000 to enable nursing students to complete their preceptorship experience during the summer prior to their senior year;
  • The Undergraduate Research Fund, in which Dean of the College Mark Cronin and Associate Dean Christine Gustafson matched $20 per donor up to $1,000 for gifts to fund undergraduate research opportunities for students;
  • Richard Meelia ’71 made a $2,500 matching gift to The Meelia Center for Community Engagement;
  • The Student Book Fund, in which Eric Nichols, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission, donated an additional $10 up to $1,000 for every gift made to provide textbooks and supplies to students.

More Facts and Figures:

  • In total, 3,515 members of the community donated.
  • 100% participation was garnered from a number of college departments, including Physical Plant which alone made 100 gifts to the campaign.
  • The monastic community made a gift on behalf of each monk.
  • Gifts came in from across campus and the world in denominations ranging from $1 to $50,000.
  • The total amount raised was more than $750,000.
  • Hundreds of volunteers—including alumni, faculty, staff, monks, parents, and students—assisted by making phone calls, sending emails, taking photos, and spreading the word through social media.
  • The second annual Hawks Athletics fundraising challenge, #HawksSoarHigher, garnered participation on behalf of all men’s and women’s teams and exceeded the goal of 1,000 donors by 226%, raising $116,500 of the total.

In an email to the community, Senior Vice President for Advancement Jim Flanagan expressed his gratitude: "This was the most successful Days of Giving in the history of Saint Anselm College. Your participation will make an impact on the Hilltop every day and directly support our students. Thank you for continuing a great tradition.”

For these two days, the size of the gift did not matter; what mattered was how many Anselmians participated. Foundations, grant-giving institutions, and ranking publications like U.S. News and World Report measure Saint Anselm based on participation — the number of participants, rather than individual or total gift amounts. This directly impacts the work of all the college's departments, including Admission for national rankings and the applicants the college attracts, Finance for credit-worthiness, bond ratings, and qualifications for grants, Athletics for ability to recruit top athletes, the NHIOP for broad national reach, and most of all, students, as most gifts go directly toward programs that support students.

Special Thanks:
John Davis, Associate Vice President, College Advancement; Julie O’Connor, Executive Director, Annual Fund; Ashlee Demers, Senior Associate Director, Annual Fund; Shelagh Daly, Assistant Director, Annual Fund; Mark Reimer, Executive Director, Advancement Operations; Jon Lu, Director, Advancement Operations; the entire Advancement team; Michelle Adams O’Regan and the College Communications and Marketing team; Daron Montgomery and the Athletics department.

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