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Case Study: Marquette Giving Day Success with M Club Donors


  • Over $300K raised for athletics initiatives
  • 400% increase in # of alumni athletes who donated
  • 61 alumni athlete 1st-time givers
  • 520 alumni athletes joined network
  • 12,063 engagements in network



The fourth annual Give Marquette Day continued to build on previous successful years with one segment in particular showing tremendous growth. Through strategic outreach, the number of alumni student-athletes who made a 2021 gift on Giving Day increased by 400% over the previous year. 

Through the M Club Participation Challenge, a fundraising intiative designed to inspire the competitive spirit and pride for their program, Marquette alumni student-athletes were challenged to see which sport could raise the most. In addition, thanks to a generous donor, the Women's Lacrosse team received an $8,000 matched gift for having the highest M Club participation rate, while the Men's Golf team received an $8,000 matched gift for raising the highest amount of overall dollars.

One key way Marquette promoted the event and reached 400% growth with alumni student-athletes was through their athlete network, which launched in late 2019. To date, 520 athletes have joined the network from 32 states and 10 countries. Those athletes have made 12,063 engagements through career opportunities, mentoring, connections, virtual events, resources, and fundraising initiatives like the M Club Participation Challenge on Giving Day. By expanding the athletic department's digital reach, 61 alumni student-athletes were identified as first-time givers. Consistently communicating and engaging with alumni student-athletes through the network directly impacted Giving Day and the total $300,000+ in donations raised for athletics initiatives.

In addition to challenging sports to compete against each other to raise the most, Marquette also showed how funds would be used. Within the M Club Student-Athlete Network, alumni student-athletes could quickly visualize their donation at work within their program AND click to give.

Megan Bianco, Advancement Officer for Direct Marketing at Marquette Athletics, shares Giving Day success with alumni athletes on this March 2021 Fundraising Workshop.


Quotes from Marquette Letterwinners on why the M Club Student-Athlete Network is valuable

“I was able to land an excellent opportunity with help from the staff from Marquette. I leveraged the competitive traits that I gained from my playing days as a college athlete in my current professional career.”
- Madison Dunker, Women’s Soccer, ‘18

“Playing for Marquette was such a large part of my life and helped shape who I am today. It’s important that I stay in touch with my teammates and continue to utilize everything my University continues to provide us. I look forward to staying connected with the Athletic Department and cheering on my University for many years to come!”
- Dan Fitzgerald, Men’s Basketball, '08

“I had the fortune to participate in the MUAA Mentor Program and was paired with an individual who was a tremendous resource for me, both personally and professionally. My mentor was able to offer insights into an industry and grant career/interviewing guidelines to succeed in this industry. He also detailed what to expect for life after college athletics and being in the professional world making the transition much easier. That is the beauty of this program, you will be paired with a likeminded individual that has succeeded in his or her industry that is eager to see you succeed as well.”
- Cole Blazer, Men’s Lacrosse, ‘18


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