Ring the Bell Exceeds Goal, Raises $267K

ring the bell logo 2019 blueNorthwood’s third annual Ring the Bell giving day took place on March 8th, raising over $267,000 for the Northwood Fund. It was nearly a $120,000 increase from last year’s event. In the weeklong lead up to Ring the Bell, Northwood released several videos and endorsements featuring teachers, students, and alumni. Several alumni pitched in with matching challenges with individual totals as high as $20,000.

While the day may have just been another school day for most Northwood students, it is important to think about the impacts of the day. $267,000  is a considerable amount of money, especially given Northwood’s size, and it goes a long way to enrich daily life at Northwood. As Mr. Tim Weaver stated in an email to Northwood students, parents, and alumni, “Today, over 50% of Northwood students receive some form of financial aid and 100% of them benefit from gifts to The Northwood Fund, supporting the people, programs, and facilities that ensure Northwood can offer the best possible student experience.”

RTB Results

“I think the results speak for themselves,” said Director of Advancement Mr. Alex Niefer in an interview a few days after the conclusion of Ring the Bell 2019. “We really appreciate the trust and generosity that our alumni, families, and friends have invested in Northwood and it really showed during Ring the Bell.”

Following the event, Niefer reflected on the work that went into the day of giving “Ring the Bell is the result of a lot of hard work,” he said. “Nine months out we started preparing and there are a lot of details. Anytime you do something for the second or third time around you iron out some of the wrinkles from previous years, so we are excited to have done that,” added Niefer.

Niefer said he and his team have already reflected on Ring the Bell 2019 and look forward to an even better day of giving next year. “We’ve identified areas where we could improve, where we could be a little more efficient,” he said. “Other boarding schools, colleges and universities hire consultants to come in for $12,000 – $30,000 to run their giving day for them.” Niefer says Northwood’s giving day is operated without outside help. “We run everything internally: we build the website, we write all the appeals, we design all of the marketing collateral, and we secure all the matching funds,” he said. “It’s an extensive amount of work. So it’s not really just one day. It’s nearly a full year of planning a preparation to make this one day as successful as possible. It’s a true team effort.”.”

While this year’s Ring the Bell was a major success, Niefer thinks it can be better. “ We are constantly looking for ways to be more efficient, to free up more of our time for more person-to-person fundraising like making more phone calls and sending more emails on the day rather than managing all the operational aspects, all of the releases and all of the leadership gifts. We’ll get there, we’re just learning every year.”

Niefer and the rest of the advancement team are already starting to prepare for next year.


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