Students remain uninformed about massive Delaware First fundraising campaign

Delaware First Banner
Brandon Holveck/THE REVIEW
Students attend the Delaware First Festival, but other students are unaware of the campaign and its effects.

BY
Senior Reporter

In the six months since Delaware First’s kick-off, the fundraiser has raised $600,802,308 of its $750 million goal, but students still remain disconnected from the campaign’s efforts.

Many students said they have not heard any news regarding the progress of the fundraiser since its inaugural festival on Nov. 9, 2017.

“Last semester, the Delaware First weekend was huge,” Brittany Benner, a senior who studies secondary mathematics education, said. “Now all I really see about it is the banners hanging up on the side of the roads. They’re not really talking much more about it in any of the emails, so I think [the campaign’s momentum is] going down, if not just plateauing [since] that first … weekend.”

As Benner observed, the university’s advertising for Delaware First has slowed since the fundraiser’s opening weekend. The university’s lack of social media coverage of the campaign shows this drop off.

The university posted a recap of Delaware First’s inaugural weekend on its Instagram on Nov. 9, 2017, but did not post about the fundraiser again until Dec. 29, 2017, when it showed four seconds of footage from the kickoff festival during a year recap video. Likewise, the university’s Facebook account has mentioned Delaware First one single time since its opening weekend. This lone mention also came during a year recap video cameo.

The university has advertised Delaware First more on Twitter by tweeting about the fundraiser five times and retweeting about it twice since the opening weekend.

Delaware First officials did not respond to The Review’s requests for comment about the campaign’s advertising strategy before publication.

“I feel like advertising is a huge thing here,” Derrick Hunter, a junior computer science major, said. “I feel like [the Delaware First team] should look more into advertising, but the right type of [advertising].”

With the decreased social media presence, students are unaware of their role in the Delaware First campaign and how they can support it.

Nicholas Kinsella, a sophomore finance major, said more students may donate to Delaware First if the campaign better informed students of how the fundraiser affects them.

“If they are presented the information and see what it’s for and if they understand how it’s going to help them, then yes, [students should donate to Delaware First],” Kinsella said.

Kinsella believes that informing students about the buildings, Delaware Stadium renovations and other projects Delaware First hopes to fund will excite some students into donating to these causes.

Other students, however, are less inclined to donate even if they enjoy the prospect of new facilities.

“As a student … I don’t have money to be donating necessarily … but I also would love to see the football stadium get refurbished, so it’s tough,” Sarah Godek, a junior applied nutrition major, said.

Some students may donate to the campaign and others may not. Many students, nevertheless, are still undereducated about Delaware First, leaving a large pool of potential donors untapped.

“All I know about [Delaware First] is that I have heard of it and nothing else,” Jeffrey Baker, a sophomore civil engineering major, said. “The name seems familiar … I think maybe I’ve heard it in passing.”

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