PTK Scholar Dash top fundraisers share the strategies that brought them success.
Thank you to everyone who participated in Phi Theta Kappa’s second Scholar Dash 5K! Nearly $50,000 was raised, creating more than 830 Golden Opportunity Scholarships to cover the membership fee for deserving students.
It was a fierce competition among PTK’s 29 regions, and three stood out as the top fundraisers: Illinois took the top prize, raising $5,550; Kansas/Nebraska was second, with $4,909; and Colorado/Wyoming was third, with $4,729. The Illinois Region will receive the first Scholar Dash trophy and a pizza party via Door Dash, courtesy of Cengage.
We are proud to celebrate each of these regions for their successes! They deployed unique tactics to reach the top, and you can use their examples to raise money for your next event, grow your chapter and alumni participation, and increase member engagement.
Strong alumni engagement pushed the Illinois Region into first place. Alumnus and former International President Kevin R. Braden turned his monthly Golden Opportunity donations into a one-time annual gift and rallied other alumni in the region to do the same.
“Joining Phi Theta Kappa was a turning point in my life, so it’s important to me to not only give back but also pay the experience forward,” Kevin said. “The Scholar Dash is a fun and easy way for alumni to stay involved with PTK and help ensure future generations of members get the same impactful experiences they received.”
Kevin’s efforts earned him an Apple® watch as the top individual donor. However, he is donating the prize to Lindsey Spaustat, an alumnus from the Kansas/Nebraska Region who single-handedly raised just over $2,000 in honor and memory of her brother Justin, who passed away when he was 21 years old, just as Kevin’s sister Ellen did. Thirty-four students will be able to join PTK because of Lindsey’s efforts.
For the Kansas/Nebraska Region, peer-to-peer campaigning at the chapter level proved to be a powerful tool. For example, the Tau Theta Chapter hosted campus bake sales and sold stainless steel PTK cups as fundraisers. It also got college faculty and staff involved by organizing a jeans day — staff were able to wear blue jeans on a specific day by donating, and they learned more about PTK in the process.
The region offered a prize to its top-fundraising chapter, and it hosted a fellowship webinar for members to get their Scholar Dash questions answered. Alumni played a part here, too — the Kansas/Nebraska Alumni Association donated $500.
“Scholar Dash helps potential PTK members join the organization, and I wanted others to experience PTK as I have,” said Fiona Bartelli, Regional Vice President of Service and Scholar Dash team captain. “PTK has impacted my life in so many positive ways, and I hoped that by encouraging my region to participate I could do that for someone else.”
The Colorado/Wyoming Region used a different approach — it designated Scholar Dash an official regional project and used part of its budget to purchase registrations for its members. This let students participate for free and focus instead on fundraising.
Regional leadership voted unanimously for the regional funds to be used in this way to make participation as accessible as possible to current members. Regional Coordinator David Siguenza said this will be an ongoing project for the region and is planning to raise money throughout the year to purchase registrations for next year’s event.
“We can make a difference, we can create an opportunity for that next leader,” he said. “I know we will make a difference to a lot of members, and it doesn’t need to stop here. It’s just the start of our legacy as a region.”