Knotts brothers’ $10K gift kick starts NSU Athletics’ Day of Giving

As #GivingTuesday begins in less than 24 hours, Northwestern State’s Day of Giving is ahead of the curve.

Mike Knotts and his brother Kenny, a former Demon baseball player, made sure NSU Athletics had a head start, donating $10,000 to the department Monday as the kickoff of the annual day of generosity.

“We are excited to get things rolling,” Mike Knotts said. “Giving Tuesday donations to the Demon Unlimited Foundation provide an opportunity to move forward and position NSU for success to which all alumni and former athletes aspire. (Kenny and I) want to be a part of that.”

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. It falls the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States.

In each of the past three years, donors have given Northwestern State Athletics more than $20,000 on Giving Tuesday – even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Knotts’ gift puts NSU well on its way to making it four straight years of at least $20,000 in donations.

#GivingTuesday donations can be utilized to assist NSU Athletics in various ways – giving to the annual fund for athletic scholarships, adding to an existing endowed scholarship, sport-specific giving or to ongoing capital projects such as the Sports Performance Center that recently surpassed $1 million in donations.

Mike Knotts had even grander designs on what his and his brother’s gift can start for the department.

“I called several alumni friends and challenged them to join us in giving back to Northwestern State,’’ he said. “We are trying to challenge others – whether it’s through a phone call or through a video or (Assistant Athletic Director for Development) Ryan (Hall) calling and asking. We’re hoping they’ll say, ‘Mike’s in, so let’s all get in.’”

Dealing with his first #GivingTuesday at Northwestern State, Hall expressed the department-wide appreciation for the Knotts’ largesse.

“It was huge, enormous,” Hall said. “Mike and Kenny bleed purple and love Northwestern State. For him and his brother to step up with such a huge gift to kick off the Day of Giving is massive for our department and hopefully will encourage and entice people to follow suit.”