UMW GIVE Campaign provides chance for student projects to receive recognition, funds
By EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH
What is the University of Mary Washington’s GIVE Campaign? The crowd-funding website, sponsored by the Office of Annual Giving, sends details of student projects to more than 40,000 alumni, parents and other students, who can give directly to the projects on the website. In many ways, the website is similar to more popular crowd-funding website such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe, except they directly affect UMW students.
Two student groups, “The One Note Stand” and “CCI@UMW” are currently featured on the University of Mary Washington’s GIVE Campaign, handing these groups the opportunity to have their projects funded.
The GIVE Campaign, which stands for the “Gifting to Initiatives of Virtue and Education” and formerly called Mary Wash Focus Initiative, gives students and student groups undertaking projects that bring awareness to a charity or a not-for profit endeavor an opportunity to be featured on the campaign’s website, alumni.umw.edu/GIVEcampaign.
For students and groups who want to get their projects funded, the deadline for the GIVE Campaign has been extended to Sunday, Nov. 15. The original deadline was capped at Nov. 1. Individual students or student organizations must fill out a form provided on the GIVE Campaign’s website giving the contact information of each student involved in the project, a proposal describing the project and its mission and then detailing how the funds from the campaign will be used in their projects.
According to Melanie Johnson, associate for the Office of Annual Giving and advisor for UMW Student Philanthropy, the name change was meant to reflect that philanthropy is happening among students, alumni and parents involved in the campaign. Johnson believes the campaign can teach students about the importance of philanthropy and fundraising, two practices that can make a huge difference in promoting and enacting good causes.
“My hope is that every student realizes that they can make a difference through their support, regardless of the amount,” Johnson said, “and that their combined contributions have the power to do some amazing things.”
“The One Note Stand’s” project involves raising the remaining $5,000 needed to create a research endowment in honor of Robert Ericson, a senior environmental science major who was involved with “One Note Stand” and passed away in April 2014 before his graduation. The endowment would provide $1,250 to a student studying environmental science and be named the “Robert Ericson Environmental Research Fund.” The fund currently has $31,257.77 from 140 donations.
According to Ian Spangler, president of “The One Note Stand,” the group’s advisor, Paul Griggs, accounts receivable manager from the administration and finance office, was the one who told them about the UMW GIVE Campaign. The campaign, in addition to the donations they received from UMW Foundation staff members, other UMW student clubs and anonymous donors, has allowed the group to receive the funds they have so far.
According to Spangler, a research endowment needs a minimum of $25,000 to get started. The group has exceeded that goal, but the funds are currently accruing interest in the MaryWashington Foundation and should be ready for disbursement next year. Spangler hopes that the endowment will allow future students to study what Ericson was passionate about, and to preserve his memory as someone who was genuine and loved his major.
“I think the outpouring of love and support in his memory is reflective of how strongly the community felt he deserved to be eternalized on this campus,” Spangler said, “so, I am very happy to look back on this and know that he won’t be forgotten.”
The project from “CCI@UMW” involves educating the UMW and Fredericksburg community in training service dogs. The puppies the members train will eventually become service dogs to people with disabilities.
“CCI@UMW” are affiliated with the national organization called “Canine Companions for Independence,” a 501 nonprofit organization based in the United States that trains and provides service dogs to people all over the country.
The group was also notified of the campaign through their advisor, Christina Eggenberger who also works for the Center for Honor, Leadership and Service.
The funds will be used to cover expenses for the puppies in training which include food, veterinary care and training classes, according to CCI@UMW president Beth Hardbower. According to Hardbower, each puppy costs approximately $3,000 to raise.
That is a hefty cost, but Hardbower hopes the GIVE Campaign will encourage other students to get involved in the group and make the group’s mission worth the cost.
“More dogs on campus means more opportunities to spread awareness to UMW and the surrounding community about how much of an asset service dogs can be to those with disabilities” Hardbower said, “and it also allows more people learn about how these dogs become service dogs.”
Once the projects are received, they will then be reviewed by the campaign’s committee comprised of recently graduated alumni and student leaders with the Student Philanthropy Council on Saturday, Nov. 21 and ultimately selected.
According to the GIVE Campaign’s website, projects are selected based on how professionally they are presented, their innovation, their social and community impact, their commitment and a strong promotions plan.
For more information, Lori Izykowski, assistant director of giving can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 654-1361.