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Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro signs a giant thank you card for the 1,316 donors who raised $431,395 for the university’s first-ever Day of Giving event. (Daniel Avalos/The Collegian)

Did student rallies help bring in donations?

Students and alumni alike rallied together at the corner of Shaw and Chestnut from 5 to 9 a.m. in support of Fresno State’s Day of Giving campaign.

The Day of Giving was a 24-hour online fundraiser meant to “enhance student success,” according to its website.

“It’s not what you give, it’s that you give. Even a $10 gift is going to make a huge impact here on campus,” said Fresno State’s associate director of digital fundraising, Jennifer Mariucci.

Student held up signs that read “Honk if you love Fresno State,” “Day of Giving,” and “It’s Time to Feed the D.O.G.” The ralliers had the most fun with the sign that asked drivers to honk.

“It feels so good when students hear and see the community supporting Fresno State and valuing this university, it lets them know that they have a community that loves and supports them,” Lori Clanton, a Fresno State alumni, said with a smile on her face. “They feel that in the honks and they will really feel that in the donations.”

The rally was intended to bring visibility to the fundraising event and make the community more aware, Mariucci said. Several news outlets showed up to spotlight the cheer event, which only helped to meet Mariucci’s goal of visibility.

Mariucci said the students had been helpful in the fundraising drive by taking part in the rally and other activities throughout the day.

“[The students] have been awesome, they’ve been doing interviews and really just helping –  from a student voice – getting out the importance of Day of Giving and why it’s important to support student success here on campus,” Mariucci said smiling.

Even so early in the morning, Touger Moua, a Fresno State student who arrived at 5:30 a.m., said the loss of a few hours of sleep was completely worth it.

“I can honestly say I don’t need the extra hours because I probably would have been up just touching my phone or laying around,” Moua said. “It’s a good motivation to wake up in the morning too, to come help support.”

Mariucci said the decision to host the rally so early came from the amount of morning traffic at the intersections near the university. But also, starting the day and the fundraiser with excitement is helpful, she said.

And the cheer efforts  at the street corners were productive in terms of donations too. Mariucci believes the rally had a direct impact on the donations.

“I really think that’s from people being out here spreading the word with all the traffic going by,” Mariucci said.

On Friday, the university announced via FresnoStateNews.com, that donors gifted a total of $431,395 and there were 168 digital ambassadors who helped secure 1,316 gifts.