The First Day of the Rest of Our Thrives

Posted 5 months ago

This is it. After 1,096 days (there was a leap year in there) of dreaming, friend-making, and storytelling, Thrive: The Complete Campaign is done. (Remember that Thrive, as our high-trust-high-impact fundraising brand, will continue.)

So how’d we do?

The transparency of our Thrive menu robs me of much of the suspense (as always, you can see the live totals on all our projects at oc.edu/thrive), but I want to hold off on giving you the final stats until the end of the week. Spoiler: they’re good, good stats.

Why wait?

It’s fitting to end Thrive proper with another peek behind the fundraising curtain, and this peek pertains to the closing process of a campaign. You see, while Thrive officially concluded at 11:59p yesterday, our counts are not yet final.

Here’s why. There have been more than 21,000 different gifts, pledges, pledge payments, and matching gifts across 295 projects since we started on June 1, 2014. Some of these investments were cash, others stock transfers, and still others were non-liquid assets like cars and houses. (Yep, someone gave us a house. We’ve gotten cattle before, too!) Some of our donors helped us buy new tools for our academic programs. Some of our donors simply gave us those new tools directly. We had families and organizations who had to cancel or end their pledges early. We had others who gave more than they initially committed. We took in grants, we received trust payments, we earned money on donated mineral rights, and more. And several of these blessings amid this wonderfully complicated stew were rolling in as recently as last night.

All this means that we have some digging to do in the proverbial couch cushions before we can honestly say our counts are 99.99% on point.

Will the numbers go down?

No way. We have told you an honest and complete story for three years now, and we’ve been watching our stats like hawks to do so. My guess is that our final total will go up just slightly, as we catalogue the last of our gifts this week.

Will the numbers go up enough to justify all this suspense?

Almost undoubtedly. If you’ve been around our team at all, you know we’re fond of saying things like “every person and every penny counts.” And we say those things because we believe them. I’ve seen over half-a-million dollars bring a coffee shop to life, but I’ve also seen $3 buy one life-changing cup for a prospective student. I’ve been floored by the sacrificial investments of the 9,306 people and businesses credited in Thrive right now, but I also know there’s power in donor number 9,307. That might be you, in fact, and your personal touch here makes a louder statement than you know. We’re not going to fail to share that statement or our thanks.

So hold your breath and start the drum roll. The couch cushions are coming off as we speak.

-Will