Last year the emergency student scholarship fund found itself without money. To help fill the gap, Director of Annual Giving Haley Fowler turned to crowdfunding as a way to raise money.
A donor started the emergency student scholarship fund in 2009. The fund was set up with the goal of giving assistance to students who found themselves in overwhelming financial situations.
The scholarships awarded from the fund allow students to stay in school and graduate. Over $36,000 in assistance to students has been awarded over the last five years.
A student can qualify for the scholarship if they have exhausted other means of paying for school and are still falling short.
“One young lady, her dad had passed away unexpectedly,” Fowler said. “She was working two jobs, could barely pay her living expenses, and then trying to pay tuition. She qualified for the emergency student scholarship.”
If awarded the scholarship, $500 is deposited to the student’s account. Those funds can then be used to pay for academic items such as books and tuition.
This year being the second year of the campaign, Fowler wanted to stay true to a formula already proven to work. She set the goal of the campaign at $11,754 to honor each of the students enrolled at the university.
Rather than turn to outside companies to run the Day of Giving campaigns, Fowler used internal resources. This choice was a deliberate one made to lower the costs of the campaign.
She chose to use the University’s social media and email resources to spread the word. The donations themselves were taken in through a website set up specifically for the day of giving. Several donors agreed to match different contributions to the campaign.
This article originally appeared in the March 30, 2016 print edition of The Echo.
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