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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

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11th annual Notre Dame Day breaks records

From Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening of this past week, Notre Dame held its 11th annual Notre Dame Day fundraising effort, garnering a total of $4,003,575 from 35,100 donors. 

820 organizations received donations including sports teams, student clubs, residence halls and charitable organizations, among others. On ND Day, the University held a 14-hour broadcast in which these organizations advertised their causes.

Editor’s Note: The Observer participated in Notre Dame Day this year and thanks to the generosity of its supporters and raised a total of $22,137 from donations and its share of the challenge fund. Thank you immensely.

“Through this event, we celebrate the contributions and talents of our incredible students, faculty, staff and our alumni, parents and friends,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said during the broadcast.

Brandon Tabor, associate vice president for development and University relations, said this year was record-breaking for the University.

“This was a record-breaking year, in terms of the number of people who donated, the amount of money they donated and the number of Notre Dame student causes, clubs and residence halls that they support,” Tabor noted.

Causes also received money from the $250,000 challenge fund, with shares distributed based on each unique donor who made donations to an organization. Other prize funds and matches also raised money for causes.

The Ara Parseghian Medical Fund received the most amount of money, collecting $733,899.93, followed by the Rockne Athletic Fund, which received $135,241.62. The Ara Parseghian Medical Fund also attracted the most individual donors at 2,394, while financial aid, in second place, brought in 994 donors.

When it came to residence halls, St. Edward’s Hall towered over the rest, raising $83,483.72, followed by Dillon Hall, which raised $63,963.07, and O’Neill Family Hall, which raised $31,016.19.

Tabor explained that the planning for the event is separated into the fundraising campaign and the live television broadcast.

He said the development office collects stories of Notre Dame alumni and students doing notable things throughout the year, which they then begin to sort through in January to prepare for the broadcast. 

“In the first week of January, we go through and we say ‘What are the stories we’re going to tell and what clubs need to raise money and how can we put a campaign together to inspire people to give and put a story package together that's worthy of people's time?’” Tambor said.

Tabor said the development office spends the three to four weeks before ND Day beginning to fundraise by reaching out to student clubs, residence halls, donors and alumni organizations. Key to this year’s success, Tabor said, was the decision to require at least 50% of the stories on the broadcast be about students.

“We made an aggressive decision to include students more in our storytelling,” he emphasized. “We can say that the Notre Dame family wants to hear about sports, and about superstars and you know, whatever else, but we made a bet on the students this year, and it paid off.”

Tabor stressed how unique ND Day is amongst other universities.

“We’re the only school in the world that does this because no one else is crazy enough to attempt it,” he joked.

Tambor stressed that the preparation that goes into the event is all ultimately worthwhile.

“All that work is worth it because it has a real-life impact on other people,” he said.