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How Four Diamonds Drives Student-led Fundraising with the Penn State THON

The Challenge

After nearly five decades, THON was extremely well established with a thriving culture among Penn State students, alumni, and community members. But the student-run philanthropy reached their fundraising pinnacle in 2014 and saw fundraising totals decrease in subsequent years. THON needed a custom, user-friendly fundraising platform to amplify student voices, make donating online easy, and expand their fundraising efforts.

The Solution

Starting in 2017, THON and Four Diamonds partnered with DonorDrive to improve their supporter experience, activate more donors, and increase the impact of the beloved university event. Students could now personalize their fundraising pages, share THON’s mission and solicit donations through email and social media, and see how their efforts measured up to their peers with accurate leaderboards.

The Result

After raising $11.6 million in February 2020, THON adapted to the remote learning environment with a virtual 46-hour livestream event in 2021. Partnering with DonorDrive made for a seamless transition, and students spread out across the country came together to raise $10.6 million. THON — stronger than even in 2022 — hosted the in-person dance marathon again and celebrated their 50th anniversary. In 2023, the event raised a record-breaking $15 million.


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