Written By: Ava DiGiacomo and Madelyn Harnish
In order to make THON™ possible, much of the success is attributed to the donors. The Donor and Alumni Committee (DAR) is responsible in making sure that these donors are thanked for their contribution and reach out to obtain more donations. They also oversee the organization of THONvelopes, a way of asking for donations using ommittee members to send out letters in the mail to family members or friends as a way of getting more interests in donating. Grace Sibley is the captain of Volunteer Development for the Donor and Alumni Relations committee. This is her fourth year contributing to THON’s yearlong effort.
As the Volunteer Development Captain, Grace is responsible for “creating and providing professional development opportunities and resources for the THON community”. By doing so, she can inform other committee members on how to reach out to prospective donors with the hope of receiving more donations. She also leads the Voulnteer Development Focus Group (VDFG) with a group of captains from each committee to coordinate meeting crashes and give information to their committee members. Her favorite part of being a DAR captain is being able to work on projects. “While our mission to engage with our donors and alumni remains the same, there is a lot of freedom to explore new ideas and projects that have not been done in the past,” said Grace.
Grace decided to join the DAR committee because she wanted to be able to help more alumni understand how they can easily donate. “I come from a very large Penn State family, yet I realized that my family members know little about how to get involved in THON separate from traditional fundraising,” Grace said. She knows that many alumni do want to contribute to THON but do not know all the ways in which they can. Grace wanted to help fix this by reaching and communicating with more alumni. She also believes it’s important to know why alumni are essential for making THON happen. “I think it’s important to recognize how impactful the Penn State Alumni community can be for THON,” Grace said. “While our student volunteers are a force, the alumni that carry on these experiences and share their stories allow THON to grow and touch the hearts of people outside of our immediate communities.”. Grace is able to inform people of this importance through the use of her involvement.