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All In Giving Challenge Postponed

Drake University’s All In 2020 Giving Challenge, which was originally scheduled for April 2-3, has been postponed to June 4-5 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The All In campaign is a 24-hour period, from noon on June 4 to noon June 5, where alumni, parents and friends of Drake are encouraged to donate. When a certain number of donors is hit, bigger gifts are “unlocked” for Drake.

“It takes the idea of being generous and giving and sort of makes it fun and shows everyone you know maybe you’re not making a big gift but when lots of us give we can do big things,” said Becca Widmer, Director of Annual Giving.

Donors can choose if they want to designate their gifts to sports, the arts, the library or something else, but most donations go toward the Drake Fund, an unrestricted fund for Drake students.

Last year the All In campaign gathered 1680 donors to raise $517,434. This year they had an initial goal of 1881 donors, to honor the year Drake was founded, but they have been cautious about setting other goals. Regardless, Widmer said “as many people that do [donate] we will celebrate.”

Drake initially postponed All In because of COVID-19, but Widmer also said it was not the time for a hard push and that there were a lot of other needs, like the Student Emergency Fund that alumni were encouraged to donate to.

The giving office chose June 4-5 for the new dates because they wanted the event to remain within this fiscal year, before June 30, and allow for as much time as possible to pass from the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

“When they made the national decision to extend social isolation guidelines until April 30, we were sort of like ‘okay, that’s an indicator that we need to do the right thing,’” Widmer said. “We are hoping that by that June date if restrictions haven’t been lifted, we’ll at least have a better idea of when they could be.”

Widmer said they will work hard to stick to that date if COVID-19 continues to run its course, but they’re “not going to push on this if it’s not appropriate to.”

According to Widmer, Drake has had a strong fundraising year as far as annual giving, which has helped become a bit of a buffer for this situation.

Another part of the All In campaign comes from Drake Phonathon, a group of students who call alumni, parents, and friends of Drake all throughout the year about donations to the school.

During All In, students who work Phonathon call all day Thursday and until noon on Friday, different from their typical shifts, to help donors pledge their gifts. There is food and games all day and everyone is getting pledges all day.

Cora Jane Sly, a junior at Drake, has worked for Phonathon since her first year as a work study job. Sly is now a Student Supervisor which means she helps lead shifts as well as call alumni like everyone else.

This year so far, Drake Phonathon has raised at least $220,000 with a goal of at least $400,000 so the postponement of All In has impacted their fundraising season.

This year would have been Sly’s third All In campaign and since it was moved to June; it is unsure if she will be able to participate since Phonathon has never called during the summer.

Since working during All In in previous years, Sly said, “It’s a really cool 24 hours where a lot of money is raised and it’s pretty cool to be a part of that.”

If you are interested in being a part of the Phonathon team, you can apply for the fall by emailing Liz.seffrin@drake.edu or checking Handshake.

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