The totals are in, and the Spoon River College Foundation’s #GivingSPOONday campaign received 396 gifts, far surpassing its goal of 300 gifts. Including all matching funds, the campaign raised $100,154.75, shattering the previous record of $61,925 set in 2021.
As part of the larger Giving Tuesday movement to create a worldwide day of giving, the SRC Foundation had challenged all friends of SRC to “show SRC students that they matter,” and give 300 separate gifts to benefit SRC in the 24-hour period of November 29.
“Our goal this year was a ‘stretch’ goal, so we came right down to the wire, but our supporters came through for our students,” said Colin Davis, Executive Director of the SRC Foundation. “While SRC students’ need is greater than ever, this proves that they’re not facing their challenges alone. To see this kind of response when we know how much financial need is out there right now is simply incredible. We can’t thank our communities enough.”
According to Davis, gifts ranged from $1 to $15,000, with a median gift of $50. When the large “challenge” gifts are removed, the average gift was around $112, and gifts came from 15 states and 93 zip codes. Gifts came from as far away as Florida, Vermont, and California.
“The appeal of helping students at SRC truly reaches all corners of the country,” said Brendon Bauman, SRC Foundation Board member and #GivingSPOONday co-chair. “But it’s our communities here in west central Illinois that stepped up for us in the biggest way.”
What started with a goal of $5,000 in 2015 has grown to the SRC Foundation’s largest fundraising campaign each year. Dozens of new donors get involved annually, and it takes the efforts of over 50 people, not including the donors themselves. Since 2015, the campaign has raised over $320,000 to help benefit SRC students, and donors from 28 states have made an impact on students.
As always, donors had the option of directing their gifts to be used however they saw fit. While some directed funds to specific scholarships, facilities, student or community programs, or the Student Emergency Hardship Fund, many donors made unrestricted gifts, which help the Foundation quickly meet the needs of SRC and students as the needs arise.
“With our unrestricted funds, we were able to launch our new Emergency Hardship Fund in 2020 as a way to help SRC students remain enrolled in classes and on track,” Davis said. “That has helped us keep 79 students enrolled who otherwise may have been forced to drop out. That’s the kind of impact our donors can have, even if they just tell us to use the funds where they’re needed most.
People who were unable to participate in #GivingSPOONday but still wish to help local students at SRC by visiting the Giving Tuesday webpage or by calling (309) 649-6395. The college is closed for winter break from Dec. 17 through Jan. 1, but gifts are tax-deductible in 2022 as long as they are postmarked via USPS by December 31.
“Higher costs of gas, utility bills, rent, and other goods and services have impacted all of us, but community college students are affected disproportionately, and student need remains great” Davis said. “The generosity of our friends during #GivingSPOONday will allow us to meet more and more of those needs.
“The beautiful thing about #GivingSPOONday is how everyone – even if it’s just by sharing information about the campaign on social media or making a gift of a dollar – makes an impact on the campaign, and thus, students’ lives. We are so grateful for everyone who helped make the campaign a success and remain thankful to live and work in such generous, caring communities.”