ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – In response to the financial hardships caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Bonnies Athletic Fund (BAF) today launched Mission 2021.
The goal is to reach 2,021 donors this fiscal year, an ambitious target given that the record for BAF donors in a single year is 1,358.
"As we have proven time and time again, the passion of Bonnies fans, alumni and friends is unmatched," St. Bonaventure Athletics Director Tim Kenney said. "We are confident that when people understand the difficult situation we now face, it will fuel that passion even more and help to push us past the goal of 2,021 donors."
While there are still many unknowns about the specifics of each sport's season, St. Bonaventure's 370 student-athletes remain on campus, taking in-person classes while adjusting to training under St. Bonaventure's safety protocols. Each team aims to be ready for a return to competition whenever their seasons begin.
Nearly half of the Athletics Department's $7.5 million operating budget is funded through revenue from basketball ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, fundraising and the NCAA. The pandemic will cause a significant drop in ticket and sponsorship revenue. The Athletics Department also forecasts that its 2021 NCAA allotment – the money shared by Division I schools from March Madness – will only be about one-third of what it was projected to be.
"If we cannot have any fans attend games in the Reilly Center, the revenue shortfall may be as high as $1.5 million," Kenney said. "At the same time, we are committed to keeping the student-athlete experience as whole as possible. We plan to play games and compete for A-10 championships. This is why BAF Mission 2021 is so critical."
As of Oct. 18, the BAF counted 223 donors this year. Today begins the new push toward 2,021 with just over seven months to accomplish that goal. Bona's fiscal year ends May 31.
Part of the Mission 2021 initiative is a challenge among Bona's teams. An anonymous donor has pledged $2,021 to the team with the highest number of donors who make a gift to that program by May 31.
To join Mission 2021, click here. Your support will help us further the mission of advancing championship-caliber athletics by funding operations, programmatic support and facilities that enhance the complete student-athlete experience.