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The Blue & Gray Press | February 26, 2018

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Alumna creates program for fundraising

BY COLEMAN HOPKINS

A new grassroots campaign, the University of Mary Washington Community Outreach Initiative, is a program that aims to provide students with fundraising opportunities for projects, research and organizations.

Gretchen Armentrout, a UMW alumna said she created the program because she was tired of seeing students with ideas held back by the constraints of funding. She specifically drew attention to clubs and extracurricular activities that need funds when attempting to participate in tournaments or competitions.

“While [the other programs] require money paid back, the UMW Outreach Program does not,” said Armentrout. “This program is one hundred percent for the students; so no pay back.”

All students who are in good standing are able to apply for funds on behalf of an organization or group and the projects must be affiliated with UMW. Funding will not be given to individual students, according to the UMW website.

The program was based off a conference Armentrout attended last June, but the idea for the program was several years in the making.

Students must apply for the funds through a process in which they submit proposals for their organization or project, according to the UMW website. Students are given the freedom to choose for their own fundraising goals.

The selected applicants will be featured on the UMW website and will be showcased for alumni, parents, friends and students at the university for financial support. The Office of Annual Giving will assist the students who apply by distributing their information, according to the UMW website.

Applications are currently in the process of being accepted. Applicants can apply until Nov. 15.

“Students will apply for a spot through November, and will be informed of their spot on Jan. 6 when the online site opens,” said Armentrout. “We will review the applications and order them, but regardless of how it is initially numbers, everyone will eventually have their chance.”

Each application will be reviewed UMW Graduates Of the Last Decade (GOLD), a committee of alumni volunteers.

“With the alumni ability, we have great potential,” said Armentrout.

The awardees will be chosen based on their professionalism, innovation, social and community impact, commitment and promotions plan.  The projects that are ranked in the top four will be chosen, and the respective students will be notified by Dec. 20.

Once chosen, the projects must be completed within the year and a video report of the progress is to be submitted by Nov. 14, 2014.