About the entry
This emerging program is in its founding year and is being led by the University's First Lady, Deborah Smatresk. Diamond Eagles is open to any UNT community member who donates $1,000 or more to the Diamond Eagles Excellence Fund. Gifts must be made by the end of the calendar year in order to qualify for the biggest benefit of the program: members vote to decide which project to fund in the following year. A list of worth-while projects are picked by University Leadership, which is then given to the members for the vote. The project that receives the most votes will get funded by the Diamond Eagles. Notably, once word got out that members of the program could vote to steer the spearhead of their collective fundraising efforts, multiple memberships per household/family emerged.
From the Judges' Report
Innovative use of giving circle model and smart leveraging of first lady in the appeal. Excellent engagement results by building in a vote for what the fund will support. Garnered a lot of enthusiasm and had strong results.