WKU Sisterhood dedicated to university philanthropy

Elizabeth Beilman

Becky Sims said she knows her $1,000 donation to WKU might not do much.

But the combined gifts of the women of the WKU Sisterhood will make a difference, said Sims, a Sisterhood member, office coordinator for Intramural-Recreational Sports and an alumna of WKU.

The mission of the Sisterhood, an organization of about 40 women, is “advancing university priorities through philanthropic engagement and a collective voice,” according to the group’s brochure.

Amanda Coates Lich, the development officer who is assigned to work closely with the WKU Sisterhood, said members’ $1,000 annual donations are pooled and awarded to a project through a democratic voting process.

“One hundred percent of the dues go right back out to support a project or organization here,” Lich said.

Lich said the Sisterhood aims to bring women together who are passionate about giving back to campus organizations that need to make a substantial change.

“The whole point of an organization like this is you give a single impactual award,” Lich said. “It really makes a difference.”

A selection team chooses five project applicants from a group of about 20, Lich said.

A representative from each organization then has a five-minute presentation and two-minute question-and-answer session to persuade members of the Sisterhood to vote for their project, Lich said.

The Sisterhood’s first donation went to the Women in Transition project, which supports the continuing education of adult women in the WKU community, according to information provided by the WIT.

Donations helped fund scholarships and building renovations for the program.

Lich said members of the Sisterhood include faculty, staff, alumnae and others committed to making a difference at WKU, from women right on campus to as far as Texas.

“This is an above-and-beyond organization,” Lich said. “These members are movers and shakers of the community.”

Donations do not have to be paid all at once; members can pay biannually, quarterly or monthly, according to the brochure.

The Sisterhood also accepts any amount donations from non-members in the form of credit, check and other methods, according to the brochure.

Sims said she’s a member because she believes in collaborative fundraising as the most effective means of making an impact.

Sims worked in health care for 20 years but returned to WKU because she wasn’t ready to retire.

“I’m really passionate about the students I work with,” Sims said. “I love them like my own.”

Sims would like to see the Sisterhood grow because of the change it can implement.

“I would like more women to get involved,” Sims said. “I see many great things in the future for the Sisterhood.”

Sims was very pleased with the recipient of last year’s award.

“It’s not going to affect this project just today – it’s going to impact it in the future,” she said.

Anyone who wants more information about the WKU Sisterhood can contact Lich at [email protected]