The WKU SpiritFunder, a crowd-funding tool used to fund programs and projects across campus, has begun fundraising for the Women in Science and Engineering Living Community and several other programs.
More than $1,000 has recently been donated to the Women in Science and Engineering Living Community for first-year students. Donors through SpiritFunder have the opportunity to choose to support the projects that matter most to them, contribute what they can afford, and help convert others to support a project.
Heather McWhorter, director of leadership annual giving, works within the WKU Office of Philanthropy and said the tool helps students in many different ways.
“Even if the projects do not meet their goals, the students benefit from all gifts given,” McWhorter said. “Some of the students put in a lot of time, effort and energy promoting their campaigns, and when they see others get excited and support their cause, it really means a lot.”
Through SpiritFunder, small gifts can make a large difference. All funds raised go to support the campaign proposal, and 100 percent of the funds raised on SpiritFunder go to support the projects.
The WISE Living Community was primarily designed to bring female freshmen with similar interests together in an effort to help them develop a sense of belonging and to help them thrive, according to Cheryl Steven, dean of Ogden College of Science and Engineering.
“Students that form strong social and professional networks and friendships have a much higher retention, persistence and graduation rates,” she says. “Often, female students in the sciences and engineering feel isolated and different, so this community gives them the opportunity to live with other young women with similar interests.”
Stevens said the living community has “built-in activities that provide both professional development and social interaction,” and funds raised by the SpiritFunder will “support both.”
Donations raised through SpiritFunder will allow women in the WISE Living Community to attend guest lectures from women in science, visit local organizations and businesses and open networking opportunities with peers and professionals.
This semester, SpiritFunder is also funding several other programs, including the WKU eSports team and the Stuff the Bus Scholarship Fund.
SpiritFunder is also currently accepting applications for the next round of fundraising. To be considered for the next round of fundraising, the application must be completed and submitted to the website, spiritfunder.wku.edu.
Reporter John Singleton can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected]