After Two-Year Delay, First #BobcatGivingDay Rings Up Success

More Than $145,000 Raised in 24 Hours


Frostburg State University’s #BobcatGivingDay, held this spring, was an incredible success, raising $145,305 in 24 hours from 1,225 donors (more than doubling the University’s 500-donor goal).

Of course, when the campus organizers originally chose April 1, 2020, as the campaign’s launch date, little did they know the joke would be on them.

Weeks before the 2020 #BobcatGivingDay, a campaign designed to raise fund awareness and donor support in a 24-hour period, the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers in the FSU’s Advancement Office halted all events.

bobcat cut out and student

“Of course, we couldn’t go ahead with #BobcatGivingDay while the world was in a state of uncertainty,” recalled Kathleen Breighner, director of Annual Giving and the originator of the 24-hour campaign. “We didn’t feel it was right to go on with the day with so many people struggling, so we decided to postpone it for a year.”

While the concept of Giving Days is new to FSU, many organizations and universities across the country have chosen one particular day to rally donors to give to their funds. Breighner chose April 1 as #BobcatGivingDay because it is the unofficial birthday of FSU’s loveable mascot Bob Cat. But April Fools 2020 was no laughing matter. Then when 2021 rolled around, FSU was still in a state of transition with many faculty, students and staff operating remotely. Breighner and the organizers felt strongly, once again, that a day like #BobcatGivingDay should be celebrated to its fullest and in person. So they postponed it yet again until 2022.

“I was just blown away. The FSU Office of Advancement is grateful for the incredible generosity from our FSU family. It was truly humbling.”

Flash forward to a year later where the FSU campus was fully operational, and donors were ready to give. Planning and promotion resumed to encourage the FSU community to make a gift to any FSU fund or program that personally meant the most to them.

Breighner felt that the University should not focus on total dollars raised to measure the success of the campaign, but on donor engagement. They set a modest goal of getting 500 donors to participate in #BobcatGivingDay. To add to the excitement, the FSU Foundation Board of Directors stepped up and generously donated a $10,000 prize to the fund that had the most donors within the 24-hour period. That incentive heightened a spirit of “healthy competition” among the funds, Breighner noted.

“We knew a lot of advocates for FSU funds would see the $10,000 prize as a way to create excitement for the day,” she said. “But we just weren’t prepared for how excited everyone would be.”

Advocates took to email, phone calls and social media to rally support and promote their individual funds. Early gifts also came in by check and credit card. Everyone was ready for the long-awaited #BobcatGivingDay of 2022.

The #BobcatGivingDay team set up a day-of-command center in the Lane University Center with games, giveaways, photo ops and refreshments. At the noon launch on April 1, donors and dollars started to roll in. It was clear to organizers that they were going to quickly reach their projected donor goal. By 2 p.m. that day, the #BobcatGivingDay team watched together as they surpassed 500 donors.

“I was just blown away. The FSU Office of Advancement is grateful for the incredible generosity from our FSU family,” said Breighner. “It was truly humbling.”

More gifts continued throughout the evening, into the night and well into the next morning on Saturday, as different funds closely competed for the prize from the FSU Foundation. In the early lead was the Annual Fund, with Athletics’ Football and Lacrosse showing strong momentum. But not to be ruled out were the supporters of the FSU Children’s Literature Centre. As the placements shifted throughout the day and night, CLC moved out ahead in the early Saturday morning hours. And when the noon bell rang on Saturday, CLC secured the top spot with 174 supporters and the coveted $10,000 prize. Coming in second place was Men’s Lacrosse with 138 and third was Football with 105.

For more information on how you can advocate for an FSU fund during the next #BobcatGivingDay or make a gift at any time, contact the Office of Annual Giving at 301-687-4200.

Save the Date!
Next #BobcatGivingDay
March 1, 2023



CLC group oses with oversized check

Children's Literature Takes the Lead

Advocates worked the phones and social media to eke out the most donors for the big $10,000 prize.
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Clarks holds socks she designed

Knock Our Socks Off!

FSU student Samina Qualeen Clark designed Frostburg-themed socks for a #BobcatGivingDay giveaway.
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Warren Evans

#GivingDay's Go-To-Guy

Student Engagement Ambassador Warren Evans was the “secret weapon” to making #BobcatGivingDay a success.
Get a student's perspective

How to Give

Lynn Ketterman
Director of Development

FSU Foundation Inc.
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303