By Audrey Mirth
Photo courtesy St. Mary's Community Fund
On November 8, the St. Mary’s Community Fund (SMCF) launched their largest internal campus fundraiser, GIVE 901. The two-week fundraising event, primarily hosted by the GIVE 901 Committee on SMCF, works to raise money to fund grants for MidSouth non-profit agencies. This year, however, GIVE 901 is going to look a little different.
The philanthropy process begins with 25-30 grant applications that are narrowed down to about seven grants of $5,000 to $7,000. In a typical year, grants cannot be awarded to the same agencies four years in a row to ensure the agency is functioning without relying on the grant; however, this year every agency is eligible due to COVID’s impact on nonprofits.
As far as other changes made this year to the fundraiser, GIVE 901 Chair Tallulah Taylor (12) said, “What’s special about GIVE 901 this year is that we are balancing the contactless events from last year with some of the events from pre-COVID years. Some of our fundraising ideas that came about during COVID, like the online silent auction, were very successful, so we’re continuing with that. It turned out to be a way to reach people within the greater SMS community, such as grandparents and alumni, and to promote Memphis shops that were willing to donate items.”
Nonetheless, some traditional events will stay the same with new donation incentives for the student body. Jingling, standing at the entrances with donation buckets, will still be done every morning of GIVE 901, but with the incorporation of the new blue and white teams this year, SMCF will collect for grade incentives on Mondays and Wednesdays and collect for team points on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Additionally, SMCF members will be hosting a potluck party in their grade sponsor’s ALAPP on the last day of GIVE 901 as a last push towards final donations.
The totals from GIVE 901 are to be announced on November 23, part of a special spirit day on which those who have purchased a 2021 GIVE 901 shirt can wear them. On that same day, the grades in both Middle and Upper Schools that raised the most will be announced.
Taylor said, “Whichever grade raises the most – it’s been a long standing tradition that we give them a ‘skip day of service.’ In the springtime, they’ll have a day off of school to visit one of our funded agencies. It’s a meaningful incentive because students get to volunteer and can really see where their donations are going.”
Be sure to look out for SMCF members jingling on your way into school and drop some money in the buckets, as well as the other fun events coming your way these next two weeks.
For & By Students
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