Western Carolina University is focusing its annual GivingTuesday initiative on raising awareness of and contributions to the Fund for WCU, which provides financial support for first-year access scholarships and for campus projects that increase alumni and community engagement with the philanthropic activities of the university.
WCU’s Division of Advancement has set of goal of 525 individual donors for GivingTuesday 2022. To help meet that goal, a large group of donors has issued a challenge and will contribute an extra $18.89 for everyone who gives to the GivingTuesday effort, up to 600 donors. The amount $18.89 is in homage to the year of WCU’s founding.
That challenge could result in up to an additional $11,334 to the Fund for WCU, if the GivingTuesday initiative surpasses its goal and hits the 600-donor mark, said Rebekah Cheney, director of annual giving.
“We are so grateful for the generous matches committed by members of the WCU Foundation Board and members of our Division of Advancement leadership team,” Cheney said. “The Fund for WCU supports innovative projects and deserving students across WCU’s campus. My hope is that these matching gifts will inspire many people to give, which will enable us to have a positive impact on more Catamounts than ever.”
Previously known as the Loyalty Fund, the Fund for WCU has generated approximately $40,000 in scholarship support to 82 students for the 2022-23 academic year, the first year of the 1889 Fund Scholarship Program.
The Fund for WCU also made available a total of $40,000 through the 1889 Impact Grants Program to support a variety of campus projects. Those ventures ranged from the creation of free exhibitions of historical photographs hosted at sites across the region to a new initiative designed to recognize current Brinson Honors College student leaders and build stronger connections with young alumni of the college.
GivingTuesday, which was launched in 2012, is a nationally observed day of philanthropy held on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and after the big shopping days of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. This year’s Giving Tuesday falls on Nov. 29.
Cheney urges donors to check with their places of business to see if those companies or organizations provide corporate matching gifts for contributions made by their employees to maximize their philanthropic impact.
“The GivingTuesday website is already up and running, so you can make your gift early or on Nov. 29,” she said.