BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – South Dakota State University is celebrating the seventh annual One Day for STATE event where the nine colleges, various organizations and student activities have 24 hours to raise money for the university.

The day of giving invites students, alumni and families to give back and celebrate the university by donating to specific organizations.  

Steve Erpenbach, president and CEO of the SDSU Foundation, said the single day fundraiser, as opposed to individual fundraisers throughout the year, helps capture people’s attention and builds more anticipation around the event. 

“It’s remarkable and it’s grown every year,” Erpenbach said. “It’s really a way for people to show their support for SDSU and anything on campus.” 

People can choose specific areas they would like to donate to, including SDSU Athletics, The Pride of The Dakota, Hobo Day Committee, Jackrabbit Stampede and Medical Lab Science program. The money these organizations receive will go directly toward recruitment efforts, educational trips and updating their resources. 

Erpenbach said one way people are encouraged to donate is through challenges that unlock additional gifts from donors. This year, the goal is to get 5,000 donors and unlock $700,000 in gifts. Challenges range from getting donations from all 50 states, 1,881 donations for the year the school was founded and encouraging more recent graduates to donate. 

“We have donors from every state and 80 countries so this is a wonderful opportunity to connect with those people,” SDSU President Barry Dunn told KELOLAND News. “One Day for STATE has proven to expand the awareness of South Dakota State and reconnect alumni that haven’t connected with us lately.”

The total amount raised this year will be added to the university’s $500 million Bold and Blue campaign. Last year, the university collectively raised 2.4 million dollars from 5,362 donors around the world. The fundraiser’s first year saw 1,100 donors who raised around $280,000. 

Social media plays a large part in making One Day for STATE work and is accessible to such a wide audience. Organizations typically flood their social media feeds with testimonials from members on how the club has benefited them, ways they’ll use the donation money and featuring new members to the public. 

The SDSU softball team stationed themselves outside the University Student Union during the day, hoping to entice people to donate. Cheyanne Masterson, a senior third baseman, said they’re hoping to raise $50,000 during One Day for STATE, upping their total from last year of $37,000. 

“The money we get this day goes towards our hitting technologies, anything for practice and travel and overall better athlete experience,” she said. 

The finish off the day, the Yellow and Blue Block Party takes place on the Alumni Green from 5-8 p.m. There will be food trucks, a Pride of the Dakotas band performance, free SDSU Ice Cream and games.

“It’s just awesome to see everyone come together for one cause and that is SDSU”

The donation period ends September 7 at 11:59 p.m.