24-hour fundraising blitz at La Salle is wildly successful

Call it college fundraising, ala blitz.

La Salle University for the first time is holding a 24-hour donation drive with the goal of getting 320 people to contribute - a symbolic number based on the date 3/20 — La Salle’s birthday.

By 2 p.m., the university had reached its goal and then some: “Donations are coming in so fast, it’s tough to keep up,” the university tweeted. “Last count, we’ve raised $38,818 from 373 donors!”

Just before 3 p.m., the amount was up to $42,253 from 423 donors.

The campaign has been so successful that earlier today the university revised its goal to 640 donors, according to its campaign website: http://www.lasalle.edu/dayofgiving

“The response has been overwhelming,” said Helene Baczkowski, director of the La Salle Fund. “This will be probably the biggest one single day that potentially we’ve ever had.”

The effort, called “Lasallian Day of Giving: Spring La Salle Forward,” is the university’s first 24-hour giving campaign, held on the first day of spring. About 30 students have been manning the phone banks, reaching out to alumni and others in the La Salle community for donations.

“The event was done this way to get alums (and students and others) excited about La Salle's anniversary,” said university spokesman Jon Caroulis. “This way alums, students and friends could honor the university’s past with a contribution to ensure a great future.”

The university, which is 151 years old today, typically raises over $10 million a year.

Baczkowski said other universities have held one-day fund raising challenges.

“We’re not the first one, but we thought it was a great idea so we jumped on it,” she said.

Donors can designate where their cash should be spent, Baczkowski said. The general push, she said, is for scholarships and financial aid.

The fundraising will continue until midnight.