Northwestern State smashes #GivingTuesday record with more than $40,000 raised

Generous Northwestern State donors smashed the athletic department’s #GivingTuesday donation record by giving $40,485.

The generosity started with Mike Knotts and his brother Kenny, a former baseball player, when they donated $10,000 to kickstart the #GivingTuesday campaign.

Donors followed their lead, contributing more than an additional $30,000 which still topped NSU’s previous best drive.

“I couldn’t be more appreciative and grateful for Demonland to rise to the occasion and set a new record for NSU Athletics Day of Giving,” said Ryan Hall, NSU’s assistant athletics director for development. “This is a testament to the love and passion that our great supporters have for NSU Athletics and ultimately our student-athletes.

“Thank you to all of the donors who participated, as each of you made the difference to set this new record and show why NSU and the Natchitoches community continue to be so special. Fork ‘Em.”

This year’s campaign marks the fourth straight in which donations spilled over the $20,000 mark. NSU’s previous record was $27,552 donated in May of 2020, a campaign in which donors helped fill the budget hole left by the cancellation of spring and fall athletics because of the COVID-19 pandemic that spread worldwide in March 2020.

“On behalf of NSU’s student-athletes, coaches and staff, much appreciation is extended to all who helped make 2021 Giving Tuesday the best in athletic program history,” said NSU athletics director Greg Burke. “It was heartwarming to see so many of our loyal donors once again make a gift and was equally pleasing that the donor list included a number of first-time contributors.”

#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.

The proceeds benefit the Demons Unlimited Foundation, which is a 501c3 non-profit entity supporting NSU Athletics through scholarship funding for all 14 sports, facility enhancement, student-athlete recruiting efforts and coach retention performance bonuses among other methods.

The DUF is tasked with generating more than $1 million annually to assist the department and individual sports in underwriting annual operating expenses and program enhancements.

The foundation will shift its focus toward year-end giving (most gifts are tax deductible) and renewing and adding corporate sponsorships before barreling into the last half of the fiscal year. For more information on the DUF, visit

Other ways to support the DUF include starting or contributing to an endowed scholarship. Former NSU student-athletes can also join the N-Club at

Pictured: Northwestern State Director of Athletics Greg Burke, NSU Assistant Director for Development Ryan Hall, Mike Knotts and NSU Vice President Jerry Pierce pose with a commemorative check representing Knotts’ donation to the Demons Unlimited Foundation.

Photo: Jason Pugh/NSU Athletics