MSU Wild

Students walk through campus against on a clear day Jan. 19 at Montana State.

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Montana State University’s second annual online fundraiser drew in over $438,000 in 29 hours.

The university’s ‘Giving Day’ raised funds for over 60 projects on campus during the virtual fundraising event on Feb. 11-12.

Although the university had the goal of having at least 2,000 different donors, the 1,521 donors helped exceed last year’s total amount raised by over $100,000, MSU reported.

“Even in the face of the pandemic and all the disruption it has caused, I was pleasantly surprised to see us exceed our fundraising total over last year,” said Nick Lonardo, vice president of the annual fund, in a statement. “This year donors really stepped up to support Montana State.”

The event is designed to raise money for projects and groups on campus that wouldn’t normally have access to fundraising.

Some of the projects seeking donations included the Bounty of the Bridgers MSU Food Pantry, MSU Hilleman Scholars Program and the university’s Veteran Support Center.

The African Students Association was seeking funds to support an African culture celebration event to showcase dance, music and fashion from different countries. The group raised $4,267 from 30 donors.

Bukola Saliu, a graduate student who is the group’s president, said in a statement that she was humbled by the donors’ generosity.

“I think that was the surprising thing for me. Especially during this time of global uncertainty, where people are barely scraping by,” she said.

“They are still selfless and kind enough to donate. There is still kindness in this world, and we hope we can bring great joy to all with all the fun events we will be planning thanks to the generous donations.”

Bobcat Athletics received one of the highest number of donations at 118 donors for a total of $20,632. The department said with limited to no attendance at competitions due to the pandemic, it has impacted the revenues from ticket sales. The organization had the goal of fully funding one athletic scholarship at just over $28,000.

MSU’s School of Architecture was raising money to design and build a net-zero energy tiny home. The group said the tiny home would be used as housing for visiting lecturers and faculty to test its function and design for one year. The home would then be sold and the funds would be used to construct a second unit.

The group received $16,671 from 69 different donors.

Students Against Sexual Assault, which was fundraising to provide financial support to sexual assault survivors, raised $11,960 from 93 donors.

Bounty of the Bridgers Food Pantry, which has seen an increased need during the pandemic, received $11,516 from 92 donors.

The Associated Students of MSU’s Outdoor Recreation Program was also seeking money to construct a 30-foot yurt as an avalanche and wilderness education center. It raised $15,949 from 89 donors.

The university’s Alumni Foundation hosted the fundraising event, and people could select the groups to donate to and track contributions at givingday.montana.edu.

Chris Murray, president and CEO of the MSU Alumni foundation, said in a statement that the event was a “remarkable” show of support.

“Even during this time of uncertainty and isolation, over 1,500 donors stepped forward to advance MSU,” he said. We are humbled and so very grateful.”

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Liz Weber can be reached at lweber@dailychronicle.com or 582-2633.

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