Whit: Approaching our "Drive for 25" campaign goal

From an email this week:

On behalf of the Virginia Tech Department of Athletics and the Hokie Club, we are excited to share that the "Drive for 25" campaign is nearing completion of the initial mark!

Launched in 2016, Drive for 25 was created in the hopes of bolstering the Hokie Club to 25,000 members on an annual basis. As the end of January approaches, membership in the Hokie Club is approaching 23,500. While the goal is in sight ahead of the March 31, 2022 giving deadline, efforts are continuing to be made to grow membership well beyond this mark.

Although reaching this goal is a moment to celebrate, giving trends for the current drive year suggest that the Hokie Club should surpass the goal of 25,000 members by a substantial margin. However, all of Hokie Nation is still needed to complete this achievement. While someone is not required to do everything, we do ask all Hokies to participate. Any donor at any giving amount in the current drive year (Drive Year 2022) is counted towards the goal of 25,000 members.


DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


Wasn't it around 16k members when he was hired?

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Also, per the drive for 25 website it apparently had dropped to below 10k by 2016.

If the giving guides are accurate, Whit started from 10,158 donors which was 12th among ACC in 2014.

By 2019, we had 16,197 and were 4th in the ACC.

In the past 2 plus years we have grown this by just under 50% and currently have 23,293 which is just slightly above Clemsons reported 2019 numbers.

Based on that, I think it is fair to say Whit and the athletic department have done a hell of a job.


They department has really been elevated. Anyone who was calling for Whits job was extremely short sided.

He has done an amazing job. He has been a great AD and a solid figure for the VT athletics department.

Imagine what he's going to be able to do when the football team starts winning again. This is phenomenal work by Whit and the team. A major reason why he is so well regarded in AD circles. People see his behind-the-scenes work and they know how good he is at it.

This is why I just roll my eyes heavily whenever I read idiots in our fanbase calling for Whit to be fired because Fuente sucked at his job

This is my school
This is home

But he had a bad press conference!

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Hear, hear. He's had a few stumbles, but Whit has done a great job since getting here.

This is exciting! I am curious for those who were not in original 10,000, like me, who are now, what tripped the trigger for you? I am not sure mine was Whit related, as the big difference for me was I rejoined after becoming an empty nester have having more tine/$ for I want to do, after dropping out when I stopped buying season tickets due to kids sports. TKP probably did more for me than Whit did, as it engaged me in the community from a distance, even though I still don't get season tickets or go to more than few games a year.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Personally, I've always wanted to donate at least something but the Hokie Club really pissed me off, the school really pissed me off and I've been living on a shoe string since 2007. Now, one of my businesses is doing well, so I joined Key Players Club and then decided to let go of my frustrations with the school and donated to Hokie Club. Pry is really refreshing and makes me want to give more. TKP has certainly engaged me much more than the Hokie Club ever did, which it seems like they are getting much better at.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

I didn't know what Hokie Club was until ~3 years after graduating, and didn't know how to join/donate for another 2ish years. The website was so challenging.

Been donating a small monthly amount since figuring it out.

Twitter me

The Hokie Club made essentially no effort to engage me at any point when I was a student or recent alum. Fresh out of school, I was broke for a few years so I had nothing to donate anyway but again there was still silence from the Athletic Department. When I returned to Blacksburg in 2017, there was more messaging and a sense of excitement about the program and I could actually go to games so I figured it would be worth it to donate and buy season tickets.

Yeah, it was pathetic how bad we were. The engineering school did a much better job of asking me to donate than the Hokie Club. We bought tickets to games, went to triad Alumni events, and no-one reached out to ask if we wanted to give again. We got more requests for money from the away schools we bought tickets to then VT. I can only picture where would be if we paired this effort with a winning program and the support that comes with it. First time I bought season tickets to see Michael Vic play I gave enough to get seat on row 4Q. Not sure how many season tickets were sold to get to that row, but there were a lot more than 25,000 people in front of me.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I'm not entirely sure why I joined. Just wanted to kick a couple bucks over to VT to support. However out of college I had $0 to my name basically after debt, and don't know that I knew what Hokie Club was. Their presence is much more noticeable now compared to the 2010s when I graduated. I also like that they have a few special swag promos and I'm more than willing to donate for those. I'm only 2 years as a member of HC, but I'll keep at least basic low level support going to help keep numbers up.

I became a donor through TKP. After following along the recruiting threads and other things long enough, the knowledge of where we truly stood in relation to Clemson and other schools it made me realize that I could contribute something even if it wasn't much.

When they started this drive for 25, I was fresh out of college and living in an apartment with a leaky ceiling and a mice problem (there was a ton of other b/s but it's too long for this post). No way I was going to take disposable income and hand it over to something that doesnt give me any ROI $$. I officially joined with the hiring of Brent Pry as I am satisfied with the direction that he's (at least attemping to, recruiting, fan engagement, etc) moving the program

But in reality, it's cuz I bought a house, got promoted/pay raises multiple times, and finally have money I'm willing to throw at sportsball

They'll really get after ya

Happy say I contributed to bumping that number by 1.

Would love to see what are total donation / avg donation per contributor compares to the rest of the league now.

How do the numbers exactly work? What's counts as a donor towards the 25k? do you need to donate every year? What if you only have donated 1 time in last 5 years? Do you need to set up a repeating donation every month/year?

Just curious because I would probably categorize myself as a casual donor as I donate anytime sports teams (football and basketball) are doing well, or there's good news that comes out, etc.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

The numbers always work.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Current membership levels start at $25 so I would assume the Hokie Club counts you as a member in any year that you give at least that amount. That's also why membership numbers fluctuate some, as people might give a one-off donation so they count that year but not the next, unless they donate again.

This is awesome seeing the growth from year to year. It doesn't give insight into the dollars, but seeing thousands of additional Hokies donating is fantastic! I got the email and plan on donating something. Hopefully I can increase my donations year to year. I also volunteered to become a billionaire and donate shit tons of cash and planes to the football program(per my comment somewhere else on here), so we'll have to see when that happens.

I am interested to see the other schools numbers in 2020 and 2021 to compare growth and see if we are gaining steam or keeping pace.

ND at 10,792? Damn.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

It's a small school just like Miami.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I mean, if each of them give $100k and each of ours gives $10, they still come out way ahead. Just making up numbers to say us having so many more doesn't necessarily mean anything. And, as pointed out, they are a small school. But having had such a football legacy, their donors do probably give a LOT more on average than ours do.

This is a better representationof fundraising as a whole as opposed to just donor count.

I assume 2021 was not complete yet and that's why it is lower

Yeah, so just because Notre Dame has less donors, clearly doesn't mean they're getting less. And your assumption seems sound.

For what it's worth, VT's fiscal year runs from July 1 of the starting year to June 30 of the current year (source). So FY2021 is July 1 2020 to June 30 2021 - which includes the COVID football season - I imagine that's why the number is low.

To add to that, I believe this includes FY2019 revenue for all other schools. Regardless, pretty disappointing that we were 9th in the ACC in fundraising in 2019. Although I suppose FY2019 included the 2018 football season, which did not inspire many donations.

Twitter me

Thanks for the information. I guess the COVID year makes sense.

I just tried to setup a reoccurring donation and when I select the " setup a payment schedule" button it takes me to a page that says "active pledges" where I can't do anything. Anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

You're trying to use the website. Hasn't worked for me in years. I send checks in the mail.

"active pledges"


You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

His decision was made after a phone call with longtime Virginia Tech assistant coach Bud Foster. All Foster told him was, "We win. They don't."

Alright so Whit did the thing and got rid of Fuente and Pry did the thing and hired recruiters so this year I might have to be a golden hokie.

I caught up on IPTAY last year (after not donating at all for a while) but I ran the numbers today and to catch up to what would have been IP25AY the number is right around the golden hokie level.

Maybe I'll give the website one more shot. Then, when it inevitably doesn't work, send a check.

Can you explain how that works?

Is it Ten bucks a year and then increased each year by how much?

So IPTAY means "I Pay Ten A Year"

So the year you graduate you pay 10. Then the next year you pay 20. Then the next year you pay 30, etc.

Since our number is 25, I'm thinking about taking IPTAY to IP25AY.

I graduated in like 2005 I think, I'd have to check. Ten + ten + ... = after 16 years, 160 this year. But at IP25AY the number changes. By a lot!

Think about it. Worth doing if you have the chance. Like if you don't have to excavate barbed wire from your property line or something.

Thanks for the clarification. I had never seen a breakdown of how it was supposed to work.

I had only heard about needing to increase annually with no guide as to how much, maybe that vagueness is intentional in hopes folks will make larger than $25 jumps

The website is still a wreck. It's gotten better, but the various layers are still a major PITA to navigate through and donations are more difficult than one would expect.

EDIT: I still can't wrap my head around donor rankings either. Went from 40th percentile last year to 15th percentile this year without contributing that much more.

The website frustrates me as well. I donated to the Football Enhancement Fund the day Fu was canned. I attempted to join the HC when I saw Whit's tweet saying we are close. I need to make a drink and sit down in front of a computer and give it another try vs. navigating it on my phone. I feel like we could have so many more donors if joining the HC was just a "couple of clicks away" like most things are today.

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden