By J1 Reporter Grace Ellis
In hopes of raising more money for its annual student-led fundraiser, Walk-A-Thon, Marian recently began accepting online donations via its website. Since Walk-A-Thon’s inception in 1984, the school only accepted physical forms of payment. However, more recently Marian decided to make this slight change from previous years, by adding a digital aspect to the cause.
Ms. Mary Catherine Ruesch, Marian’s social media and website manager, was the website developer behind this new payment method. Reusch worked to make this new process possible.
“The biggest reason for the addition of the online donation option was to make it easier for students to raise their goal,” Ruesch said. “Sending in cash or a check may not always work for everybody, so the convenience factor was really the driving force.”
The online payments totaled nearly $38,000 from 626 individual donations. Approximately 30 percent of the total amount raised ($131,623) was sent in through the website. Digital donations came in from 31 different states, the furthest being Hawaii. Nebraska had the most online contributions with 452 donations, according to Ruesch.
As many expected, the website was a big hit. “I think that the online donations were incredibly successful! Just looking at the total dollar amount raised and all the different states that money came from, I would say it was a success!” Ruesch said.
While the website did attract many pledgers, it also had some skeptics, particularly among older people. “We had some grandparents call in to donate instead of using the website because they didn’t trust its security,” Mrs. Beth Dye, a new Student Board moderator, said. “Instead, we had to get their donations through the phone.”
Overall, the addition of digital donations was beneficial to Walk-A-Thon. “I am very pleased with how Walk-A-Thon turned out this year,” Dye said. “And I look forward to improving aspects of it next year in order to help the girls raise more money.”