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All-In to hold fundraising day

Drake students will have the opportunity to donate money to students in financial need, to their favorite schools at Drake or to the university at large at the ninth annual “All-in” event this Thursday, March 3.

Every spring, the Drake Student Alumni Association (SAA) hosts the 24-hour “All-in” giving challenge to raise money for various aspects of Drake University.

“The ultimate purpose is really to offer a day where the entire Drake community, alumni, students, staff and parents witness what we can do when we all come together,” said Becca Widmer, the Director of Annual Giving at Drake. 

According to Widmer, donations made within the 24 hours of All-in “go further” because of the many “challenges” that will be going on.

“For example, there are individual challenge matches for each school, thanks to various alumni and donors,” she said.

Widmer also said that if they reach a total of 1,250 donors, it unlocks a challenge match of an additional $100,000 for Drake. She said this is the ultimate goal.

SAA Vice President of Philanthropy Amber Hussain said that all donations not directed to a certain school or department will go into the Catalyst Fund, an emergency student fund that is available to all Drake students.

“Those donations will be going directly towards other students, the people you see around you every day,” she said. “If someone needs a computer fixed, tuition paid for, help with room and board, etc, the Catalyst Fund helps students with those things, big and small.”

Hussain said students should not be discouraged if they do not feel they have much money to contribute.

“One of the biggest challenges we host is the Caldbeck challenge, which will match every donation a student gives up to $1600,” she said. “You may think ‘Oh, my donation is just $5’, but everything is doubled.”

The Caldbeck Student Philanthropy Challenge is named after Diane Caldbeck, a longtime employee and alumna of Drake. According to Hussain, the challenge is funded by Caldbeck’s three children, all of whom are Drake graduates.

“My brother, sister and I were motivated to endow the Caldbeck Challenge to honor our mother,” said Kelly Caldbeck, one of the contributors to the fund. “She taught us at an early age to love the power of philanthropy.”

To Caldbeck and her siblings, private education depends heavily on the generosity of its alumni. 

“I am committed to making a Drake education possible for future generations as my education was made possible for me,” she said.

Caldbeck said she knows that the cost of higher education is expensive, and for many students, the thought of contributing money to Drake in addition to the tuition they already pay seems hard to comprehend.

“Yet, as members of the Drake community, we’re all in this together,” she said. “Give a gift, let us match it and let’s make a difference at Drake together.”

Hussain said there will be several events happening over March 3 and 4, including a kickoff event at noon on March 3 in the Olmstead Breezeway, a performance by Jim the Pancake Man at 6 p.m. on the Pomerantz stage and Dollars for Donuts at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning in the Olmstead Breezeway.

She also said students could check out all of the “challenges” that Drake will be offering at https://all-in.drake.edu/, which is also the website students can use to make their donations if they do not plan on attending the in-person events.

“This event really gives the opportunity for people to give to what they care about here at Drake,” Widmer said. “Give to areas where you think it is deserved.”

Both Hussain and Widmer encouraged students to “put their money where their heart is.” 

“Help others experience the Drake you get to experience day-to-day,” Hussain said. “Help build your bulldog community so it can last forever.”


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