ahoya3Georgetown University’s Relay For Life saw a 30 percent drop in fundraising during a year with dramatically decreased participation.

The walkathon event last Friday raised $207,533, down from last year’s profits of about $300,000 and a little more than half of the $400,000 raised in 2010.

Participation in the fundraiser also declined. About 1,800 people attended the event at MultiSport Facility, and according to Co-Chair DJ Wise (COL ’13), there were between 500 and 1,500 participants on the field at any given time during the night. By comparison, over 3,000 people participated last year.

Despite the drop in fundraising and participation, the event’s coordinators said that group morale and cause awareness remained high.

“It looks like we were down in numbers, but in the ways that mattered the most, we made huge strides,” Co-Chair Ryan Muldoon (COL ’13) said. “In general, the committee members and those that attended the event were more intimately involved in the cause.”

According to Muldoon, a larger group than usual remained at the event throughout the night this year.

Wise added that many colleges and universities across the country have seen similar unexplainable decreases in fundraising and participation despite increased marketing throughout the year.

Wise also pointed out that most Relay teams waited longer than usual to begin raising donations this year, and many did not launch their fundraising efforts until early April.

“It did seem like the campus wasn’t reacting as much as they had in the past,” he said.

In previous years, Georgetown’s fundraising efforts were comparable to those of much larger schools, including Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia. But recently, Georgetown’s ability to compete has stagnated. Virginia Tech raised $570,695 this year, while the University of Georgia’s relay raised $276,442.

“It is simply difficult for a school of just 6,000 students to compete with schools of 25,000,” Muldoon said.

Rachel Carrig (COL ’13), the top individual fundraiser for Georgetown’s relay and captain of the Hoya Blue team, expressed frustration with the fundraising process and said that her success was partially due to her contacts from previous years.

Kendall Sarson (COL ’15), whose team raised over $1,400, said that she found it difficult to get people to donate.

“I think that part of the problem is that people don’t know where the money goes,” Sarson said.

According to Wise, the event committee aims to have a stronger presence on campus next fall, with a kickoff event planned for either October or November. The group will also take greater advantage of social media in its marketing strategies.

“One of the things that we saw that was successful [was] the sharing and liking of photos through social media, particularly Facebook,” Wise said.

New event Co-Chairs Emily Moffat (COL ’13), Dan Silkman (COL ’15) and Molly Paris (SFS ’13) were announced Thursday evening.

“This year was kind of a rebuilding year. Sometimes, when you focus on that, you lose a little bit of the numbers,” Moffat said.

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