Twice the Impact fundraiser raises money for student scholarships, article by Editor-in-Chief Riley Howard

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Rocky work study students connect with alumni at the annual Phonathon. Photo by Riley Howard

Rocky work study students connect with alumni at the annual Phonathon. Photo by Riley Howard

Last month with the help of a group of donors, the Office of Institutional Advancement helped raise over $50,000 in donations through its Twice the Impact fundraiser.

The fundraiser was started after the donors offered to match donations dollar for dollar up to $25,000. Members of the Rocky Mountain College community were challenged to donate to the fundraiser through an end of the year mailing. All of the proceeds went into the college’s Annual Fund.

Pete Bolenbaugh, a team member of the advancement office, noted the importance of the Annual Fund.

“All of the money donated to the Twice the Impact initiative went into the Annual Fund, which helps fund student programs and goes toward scholarships,” said Bolenbaugh. “It’s what helps us keep tuition as low as we can at Rocky Mountain College, by funding as much of it as we can through philanthropy.”

Kelly Edwards, vice president of institutional advancement, said that this year the advancement office will focus its efforts in several areas. One goal is to add $1.1 million to the annual fund in the 2017 fiscal year (which runs from July 1-June 30 each year). Through the Twice the Impact fundraiser, and other initiatives, this year over $721,000 has already been donated to the Annual Fund.

The advancement office will also focus on the impACT Today Transform Tomorrow campaign. The effects of this campaign can already be seen around campus with the enhancements to Herb Klindt Field, the construction of the new Laboratory Science Building, and the renovations to the existing Bair Science Center.

The advancement office runs several annual fundraising initiatives. Last November the Black Tie Blue Jean fundraiser was held. This fundraiser involves a formal dinner held in the Fortin Center. Plates are sold for $100 and an auction is held to raise money. In 2015, the fundraiser brought in over $421,000. All of the money earned is used for student scholarships.

This fundraiser is also used as a time to thank donors for their support.

“Our donors, all alumni and friends of Rocky Mountain College, play a large role in determining the future and continued development of the college,” said Edwards. “Their donations go a long way to support scholarships, making RMC a reality for many deserving students. Donor contributions make a big difference to the operating budget and this helps sustain regular programs and initiatives. Their support can also be used to fund and sustain innovative programs that help improve the quality of the education. We are forever grateful for all of our donors who believe in our mission and help make RMC a better place each and every day.”

Another fundraising initiative is the annual Phonathon. Rocky work study students meet three times a week in the distance learning center connected to the library with the goal of reconnecting with alumni and other members of the Rocky community. As many as ten students can work the phonathon at a time.

Martha Thompson works in the Advancement Department and leads the Phonathon effort. “The core group of students that we have right now is amazing,” said Thompson, “We have students that can kick up a conversation with an 80 year old. It’s just neat to see how these young students can connect and communicate with our alumni.”

Thompson says that there are positions open if students are interested in the Phonathon. The job is posted on the college’s career services page, and if students are interested in getting involved they should contact Thompson.

Terran Brown, an intern with the advancement department, helps supervise the Phonathon. Brown says that she enjoys participating in the Phonathon for many reasons.

“We get to have a one-on-one relationship with many of the alumni. It’s really awesome just being able to hear their stories and having that personal connection,” said Brown. “I definitely wouldn’t be here without my scholarship, so I personally depend on the donations received through the Phonathon, and I know that many other students are in the same situation.”

Through these initiatives and the generosity of donors, over $3.5 million has been raised for Rocky Mountain College in the 2017 fiscal year. These donations have already made an impact in the lives of students at Rocky Mountain College and will continue to do so for many years to come.

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