Topics: Alumni, Foundation, Giving

February 2, 2021

One Ball State Day cake

While much of the population of our nation and the world was practicing physical distancing last Spring, One Ball State Day brought thousands of Cardinals together, virtually, to make an investment in students at a time when they needed it most.

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April 6, 2021
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Alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students representing all 50 states contributed 6,322 gifts totaling nearly $534,000 for One Ball State Day (OBSD), held on April 7, 2020.

That success was recognized when OBSD received the platinum award, its highest honor this January, from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), a global non-profit association dedicated to educational advancement. The platinum award is considered CASE’s top honor.

The award, for “Best Practices in Digital Communications,” recognized the challenges of holding the annual one-day fundraiser just as the threat of the COVD-19 pandemic was emerging at Ball State and across the nation. Ball State was selected for the award among 400+ member institutions of CASE’s Great Lakes District, encompassing Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Lola Mauer, associate vice president of strategy for the Ball State University Foundation, said lessons learned from last year’s OBSD will inform planning for this year’s fundraiser, to be held on April 6, 2021.

Because of the pandemic, Ball State’s 2020 OBSD reached out to potential donors via online mediums and emphasized critically needed aid to current and matriculating students through the Jack Beyerl Emergency Aid fund and other initiatives.

Mauer sees those strategies and priorities potentially continuing this year as the pandemic is being resolved on a national scale.

Reflecting on last year’s OBSD, Mauer said, “While things looked different due to the pandemic, the Ball State network of Cardinals on campus and around the world showed up in a big way, surpassing the numbers of our inaugural giving day in 2019. One Ball State Day 2020 saw increases in giving from employees, parents and students—a feat considering we were remote.”

In total, CASE has given nine regional and national awards to OBSD. “To have One Ball State Day recognized by CASE with nine awards in two years is an honor I share with everyone who made gifts, posted on social media, and showed our students and faculty that we are better together,” Mauer said.

CASE also gave a gold award to Ball State for “Best Student Produced Video.” Sent in an email link to all alumni on their birthdays, the annual video reminds graduates of their times and connections to Ball State, with glimpses of campus life and opportunities to hear from current University and student leaders. Honorable mentions were given to Ball State in four other 2020 CASE award categories: “Best Practices in Fundraising,” “Marketing on a Shoestring,” “Fundraising Pivot,” and “Best Practices in Annual Giving.”

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