It only too 3 days, so there's still almost the entire month to donate! Remember, $1,000 was our minimum goal. And no one likes the guy who does the bare minimum. Ever been driving behind a guy who insists on driving the speed limit? No one likes that guy right? Right. So to keep you donating with no clear goal in sight, we're changing the rules. Remember this from the donation page?
"For this, you will be given no prize"
It was right below me taking a slap at the stupid goat up the road. Well sucks to that- WE'VE GOT A PRIZE! A Sur-prize, actually (puns!) because I have no idea what it is. We contacted Gail Pederson, who is the boss of Ralphie, and told her about our efforts, and she has graciously agreed to give us... something. Everyone likes mysteries! Our campaign is now like an M. Knight Shyamalan movie, except not horrible. The twist is that the prize was within you all along! Or something. Never mind, let's just move on. Gail also mentioned this in her email:
It would be great someday if we could raise the $30k it takes to support the program, so everything certainly helps. Our new trailer we purchased last season was done solely on donations we received from generous fans!
So we raised 1/30th of her budget in 3 days. That's almost 2 weeks of the year! That's pretty great. I was actually terrified when I posted it and was writing my, "well that failed miserably" article in my head as soon as it went live, but you guys are better than me. We want to especially thank the good communities at Allbuffs and Buff Stampede for helping to publicize and support the cause. The Buffs Internet won the week. We've got 3 more weeks. Everyone who has already or will donate in the future will be entered to win our thing.
What have we learned? We learned that I am not alone in my frustrations with the athletic department fundraising efforts among donors of modest means. The comments section was eye opening. And look, I get it. Donating money to an institution that more and more resembles a professional sports franchise, for no tangible reward other than hopefully keeping up with Phil Knight is in many ways illogical. I mean, no one would ever just donate cash to the Broncos, right (unless it's put to a vote and the idiot voters gift them a stadium, of course). But we can, and should do better. It wasn't really that hard to crap out a bunch of words and set up a crowd sourcing page. It shouldn't be hard for people who actually derive their livelihood from raising money for the athletic department to do better. What does better look like? I have some suggestions!
First, and easiest- put a big shiny "DONATE" clicky on the front page of cubuffs.com and link it to a page outlining all of the opportunities to which to donate. The Ralphie Fund, the facilities project, every individual sport, whatever. Add a "click here to donate" line to every email you send out. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of ending up on a politician's email list should know that.
As I mentioned in the last post, I think a good idea would be a brick campaign. Put your name on a brick for $250. Everyone loves their name on things. Every kid who was lucky enough to be on a well funded little league team can tell you this. You sell a thousand bricks, that's $2.5 million. BOOM. Fix the sound system in Folsom. Start now. Set up a booth at every freshman orientation, and on move in day. If this was started, I guarantee you that I'd have a brick, my incoming freshman brother would have a brick, and my family would have a brick. That's $750 from the Frasers. If you ONLY sold a thousand, you should probably find a new line of work. For $250, you get your name on a brick, a picture of your brick, and some sort of map as to where it's placed. Plus, you get to come back in 20 years and show your kids YOUR brick, your permanent place on the CU campus (other than where you carved your name into a table at Norlin). And it's exclusive- future classes won't be able to do that, because they weren't here for the campaign, This is your special piece of CU. And you are quite literally helping to build the foundation of the future of our athletic department.
And it also works as a metaphor. I can't afford to donate a grand to Ralphie. You can't either. But we add what we can to the pot and suddenly we've built a tiny fundraising Voltron. Bricks are the same. One brick isn't worth a whole heap (I mean, unless you chuck it through a window or something), but add a bunch of brick together, and suddenly you've got a building, or a promenade leading up to your football stadium.
My third idea is even simpler. It's so easy, it's ludicrous that we haven't done it already. Donate $100, get your name in the program for the season. You also get a copy of your program with your name on the cover. Or $50, or $10. Who cares? It's a list of names somewhere near the back of the program. And you get a cool thing to put up in your office. Maybe more money gets you on a special list, or bolded, or in gold. Again, who cares? It costs next to nothing.
In closing, I want to sincerely thank all of you again for supporting our little experiment, and for supporting Ralphie. I'm guessing that many of you didn't even know there was a special fund for her. Hopefully you'll think of her the next time you've got a spare 5 spot. Please don't think that I'm ungrateful for raising the bar and going for more. I'm really, truly grateful. It's just that we've got another 26 odd days, and why the hell not? Ralphie can always use the money. We want to see her fat, happy, and trampling stupid Cam for years on end. Go Buffs!
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