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The Blue & Gray Press | March 30, 2017

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UMW offers unique kickstarting opportunity

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By NEPHTHALIE LAUTURE

Student organizations now have the chance to raise additional funds for their clubs through a campaign sponsored by the University of Mary Washington Office of Annual Giving.

The Mary Washington Focus Initiative is a campaign created in order to allow alumni, parents and other UMW community members to support a student’s academic and extracurricular endeavors.

“Many students already actively fundraise for the organizations they are involved with and often use crowdfunding platforms for these efforts. With various online fundraising platforms, like kickstarter.com, indiegogo.com and gofundme.com, transaction and usage fees are incurred directly by the organization or group fundraising on these sites,” Assistant Director of Annual Giving Gretchen Armentrout said. “With the Mary Wash Focus Initiative, student groups or organizations receive 100 percent of the donations they raise because the Office of Annual Giving covers the website maintenance and transaction costs.”

In order for students to be considered for eligibility, they must be in good standing with the university, and the organization must be approved through SAE.

The deadline for application is on Nov. 17.

Students are required to fill out an application where they describe their project’s mission and provide a two-page summary of the organization’s goals, as well as the impact the project will have on the UMW community.

Many students found the application process to coincide with the organization’s needs.

The women’s ultimate frisbee team are just one of the many student organizations that were a part of the Mary Washington focus initiative. Supervised by faculty advisor Stephen Davies, the team’s goal was to make $800 in order to get to national tournament.

“The application process was relatively painless and fairly simple. I was encouraged to apply by Gretchen and she was very helpful throughout the whole process,” former team captain Laura Pape said. “With the donations, we were able to go to more tournaments during the spring season, which was really crucial for us. It allowed our players more exposure to the sport and helped our teams ranking

Once completed, applications must be submitted to Kate Wheeler, director of Annual and Parent Giving. Projects will then be up for selection by alumni volunteers who graduated 10 years prior.

“We submitted our proposal and heard back pretty quickly that we had been accepted,” Pape said.

Fundraising for the campaign runs from Jan. 6 to Nov. 14. During this time, clubs will be responsible for actively campaigning for their project. Projects will remain active on the website until Nov. 14 or until they have reached their funding goals.

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