America’s most-played college football rivalry has extended to the field of fundraising.
Saturday, Nov. 19, marks the 147th game between Lafayette and Lehigh and the second year of the Giving Challenge, a spirited competition to engage alumni and students by seeing which school can rally the greatest number of donors. It kicked off Nov. 1 and as of late Wednesday, Nov. 9, Lafayette holds a slight lead.
“We’re trying to feed off the atmosphere of the competition between the two schools,” says Brook Wolcott, assistant director of the Annual Fund. “Everyone at Lafayette wants to beat Lehigh and everyone at Lehigh wants to beat Lafayette. It’s a great opportunity for both schools to increase donations.”
Wolcott stresses that the goal is donors, not dollars. Lafayette won the challenge last year by a score of 740 to 724, shattering its record for young alumni participation by 21 percent. “It was a huge success,” says Wolcott.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- Visit www.LLChallenge.com to donate online or call Wolcott at (610) 330-5620.
- Or donate by texting PARD and your name and class year to 20222 up until the start of the game’s third quarter.
- Then join fans from both sides in a spirited conversation on Twitter using #Rivalry147.
Unlike last year, when only graduates of the classes of 2001 to 2010 could donate before the game, the fundraising showdown is open to all alumni, who also have the option this year of donating $10 by text. Last year, fans could only text gifts during the game. The $10 is added to the donor’s cell phone bill. Wolcott says he’s received quite a few calls from other schools in the Patriot League about the College’s use of “text to give” technology. “We were early adopters,” he says.
Lafayette is telecasting the game live to more than 60 alumni parties in the U.S. and London. Find a party near you at www.bit.ly/LLTelecast.
There’s a lot riding on the outcome. The winner of the challenge will be announced during the fourth quarter of the game and presented a trophy by a representative of the losing school.
“It would be very embarrassing if we had to present Lehigh with a trophy on their home field,” Wolcott says.
No one is taking the challenge more seriously than seniors, who are directing their gifts toward internship stipends for underclassmen.
“A lot of internships are not paid,” Wolcott says. “It’s difficult to do an internship in New York City when you’re not receiving an income.”
Last year, seniors raised a total of $33,000 for internship stipends.