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Ole Miss Quickly Surpasses Fundraising Goal, Turns to Scholarships with Helmet Sales

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A new website called Ignite has exploded Ole Miss fundraising, surpassing its initial goal of $75,000 for goal post relief within four hours.
That’s the word from Suzanne Thigpen, director of annual giving for the university who arrived on campus last year and immediately advocated purchasing the fundraising technology from ScaleFunder.
“It’s a peer-to-peer system integrating just about every available social media outlet,” she explained. “It’s a way to expand our office, (which is her and some part-timers in the annual giving office) and offer a different way of fundraising where donors can really see where their money goes. The platform is mobile-phone friendly and utilizes Twitter, Facebook and email sharing to give us the most exposure possible.”
In the aftermath of Saturday’s thrilling victory and goal post caper, Michael Thompson, Ole Miss’ senior assistant athletic director for communication and marketing, visited Thigpen and asked if the new fundraising platform was ready for action.
“The campaign launched at 1 p.m. (Oct. 7),” Thigpen said. “To date, right now (11 a.m. Oct. 8) we’ve raised $95,293 and the campaign will continue for 20 days. This effort has gone viral.”
IMG_3270Thigpen describes the current campaign as a partnership between athletics and the academic side of Ole Miss fundraising. Another campaign to raise funds for the Chucky Mullins Scholarship Fund began today. Created in 1989, the Chucky Mullins Scholarship assists Ole Miss students who have a physical disability or demonstrate exceptional financial need. More than 250 students have received aid from this scholarship.
Now, Ole Miss is selling the power blue helmets worn during the Memphis game Sept. 27 for $1,000 each. A No. 38 helmet decal is going for a $100 donation, and a print of the memorable photo of Mullins and coach Billy Brewer taking the field before that fateful game 25 years ago is only $38.
Andy Knef is a HottyToddy.com editor and can be reached at andy.knef@hottytoddy.com.

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