The Gordon College Athletics Department held its fifth annual Clash of the Tartans fundraiser on the 19th and 20th of October. Over the course of thirty hours, Gordon sports teams competed with one another to raise funds and faced off in a series of smaller competitions to earn bonus prizes.
Outside of the Athletics Department budget, Clash is the primary source of funding for athletic teams. Donations received through this event finance essential equipment, gear, and transportation to out-of-state events. This year, the athletic department set a target of $100,000. This goal was surpassed, with a record-breaking number of individual donations bringing in over $150,000—the largest amount ever raised during a Clash fundraiser.
The Men’s Lacrosse team pulled ahead with over $23,000 raised in donations, followed by the Cross Country/Track & Field team with over $17,000. Alyssa Floyd of the Women’s Soccer team won the Most Valuable Player award for the greatest amount of donations, and Steven French of the Cross Country/Track & Field team won the Most Valuable Player award for the greatest number of individual donors.
In addition to record setting donation volume, Clash 2021 was also a great success in terms of total number of donors. More than 1400 individual donors gave to the Athletics department this year, exceeding the number of every previous year. Jon Tymann, Director of the Athletics Department, explained the significance of this number not just to Gordon Athletics, but the whole college.
“With any fundraising, you want to build a donor base…. We have, at minimum, 1400 athletic donors. And that helps the college because…donors to the college probably have more than one interest; they’re giving to athletics during this campaign, but they might be giving to theatre or music or academics at some other venue also.”
2021 marks one hundred years of Gordon athletics. As a means of celebration, Clash 2021 introduced the Century Club, a group for donors who contributed $100 or more to a sport. Each Century Club donor will receive special updates, invitations, and newsletters from the sport to which they donated. This initiative seeks to strengthen the bond between donors and the college.
“Fundraising is about building relationships,” Tymann explained. “If I say to you, ‘I want you to support rowing,’ and you give me $100, you may do it because you’re a nice guy, but for you to repeat giving me $100, it’s because you like the mission.… You’re giving because you believe in what we’re doing at some level.”
Although the Clash is an excellent opportunity for Gordon College to celebrate its Christ-centered and community-based approach to athletics, Tymann went on to emphasize its potential to direct attention to the other aspects of the school:
“Collaboration is key. Here at Gordon, we have so many good departments and so many good people here doing good work. I say to people, ‘listen, athletics isn’t the only thing to give to.’ … Every department has these kinds of opportunities; it’s a matter of people collaborating to accentuate those opportunities for the other wonderful things going on around campus.”