Campaign for Change tops last year’s donations

Ben Wolford

Last day to participate is Dec. 5

As of Friday, more students donated money to the Campaign for Change than in the 2007 campaign.

The program, which is in its second year, raised more money, as well, totaling $1,248.17 to date.

“You can see the great response we’ve had so far this year,” said Kelly Brant, senior associate in institutional advancement. “So what we wanted to do was build on that excitement and give out a scholarship early.”

Whitney Aquino, sophomore Spanish major, won one of the eight $500 awards that eventually will be announced. Brant said she will tell the other seven recipients the week of Dec. 8.

So far this semester, 261 students donated. That’s up 29 from the total in 2007, when $892.11 was collected.

The last day to participate is Dec. 5.

Campaign for Change accepts donations of at least a dollar from students and turns the money into scholarships for those who donated. Winners are selected at random, and anyone who donates has an equal chance of winning.

When student donations reach $25,000, it will become an endowed scholarship, and the interest accrued from the fund will supply future awards.

Brant said one reason for increased participation is that the program is in its “second year of branding and getting the word out.”

In Kent State’s institutional advancement department, “increased participation” has been a seldom-used term since the economic downturn began. Gene Finn, vice president for institutional advancement, said donations have declined since late September.

But the Campaign for Change has not been affected by the economy. In fact, Albert Melfo, director of annual giving, said economic hardship sometimes spurs more donations.

“It highlights the need for this type of support,” Melfo said. “Loans now have become a little harder for students and their families to get.”

Melfo said the goal of the Campaign for Change is to teach future alumni how important giving is to a university.

“This perception of state universities being completely funded by the state, that’s been gone for about 20 years now,” Melfo said.

Brant offered another reason to give.

“It feels good to do good,” she said.

Contact administration reporter Ben Wolford at [email protected].