SpiritFunder, WKU’s crowdfunding platform, announces new campaigns

SpiritFunder, WKU’s crowdfunding platform, is relaunching today (Oct. 18) with five new campaigns. Projects featured on SpiritFunder come directly from WKU students, groups and faculty who are looking for more opportunities to learn, grow and achieve.

“SpiritFunder originally launched in April 2017,” said Aarika Gunn, Assistant Director of Leadership Annual Giving. “Over three month-long campaign cycles in 2017, 11 campaigns raised more than $30,000 to support WKU projects and programs.

“We’re excited to relaunch this platform because it is such a great way to bring attention to important initiatives that might otherwise go unfunded,” Gunn continued.

The five campaigns launched today include:

• Big Red Marching Band Uniforms: The WKU Big Red Marching Band needs new uniforms! With 280+ members, the 2018 BRMB is the largest in school history, the largest student organization on campus and the largest college marching band in Kentucky! The BRMB is WKU’s most visible student organization and is the definition of inclusion and diversity with members from all colleges and corners of campus. Due to unprecedented growth, the band does not have enough uniforms for all members. Your support will help the Big Red Marching Band continue to be a powerful visual presence on the WKU campus.

• First Generation Student Scholarship: Established by the Department of Psychological Sciences, the First Generation Student Scholarship provides financial support and matches students with volunteer faculty mentors who have regular one-on-one meetings to help students succeed. Your support will help the scholarship reach endowment level so awards can be made as soon as possible.

• Kentucky Museum Camp Scholarships: Each year, the Kentucky Museum hosts camps for children ages 5-10 to learn artistic skills, gain self-confidence, make new friends and visit the Museum during school breaks. These camps are taught by local artists, with the help of WKU students, and provide meaningful engagement with the arts, the Kentucky Museum and WKU. Support for this campaign will provide children from low-income families in our region with full scholarships to attend a camp of their choice.

• WKU Aging Research and Student Training: The newly established WKU Center for Applied Science in Health & Aging (CASHA) is answering health and aging challenges by identifying, developing, and mobilizing innovations in aging science to promote successful aging. Make a gift to help students travel to senior centers and nursing homes, where they gain valuable skills in implementing health promotion programs for older adults and in conducting timely research projects. Tablet computers and sophisticated accelerometers (to measure older adults’ movement) will be purchased to help students conduct their research and acquire hard skills for their chosen professions. Finally, funds will be used to cover travel costs for 10 students to attend the GSA conference in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 13-17, 2019.

• WKU Fly Fishing Montana Student Experience: Make a gift to support 12 WKU students participate in a life-changing educational experience by fly fishing in world-renowned rivers in Missoula, Montana. This innovative course was developed in 2012 to create a phenomenal and intense learning experience in which WKU students could be introduced to, and embrace, a lifelong recreational pursuit while learning about the recreation and tourism industries, conservation, natural resources and the economic impact of fly fishing. Your support will help make this experience possible for those who may not otherwise have the funds to participate in this life-changing class.

Typical campaigns will have goals of raising $2,000 to $10,000. Crowdfunding can be used to raise funds for projects like a new piece of research equipment, memorial scholarship funds or a study abroad trip for a cohort of students. The platform cannot be used to raise funds for faculty or staff salaries, money for tuition or projects created with the purpose of raising profits. Gifts made through SpiritFunder are considered charitable contributions to WKU, and 100 percent of such gifts are tax-deductible.

“Through the power of participation, crowdfunding harnesses energy and enthusiasm and allows alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff to make a collective impact on the WKU community,” said Gunn. “Donors choose to support a campaign that is important to them, donate what they are able and help recruit other donors in their networks.”

Visit wku.edu/spiritfunder to learn more about crowdfunding and to make a gift today.

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