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Feb. 6, 2012
Updated Feb. 7, 2012
With more than 27,000 fans on Facebook page and a growing number of projects on campus that deserve support, Northwest Missouri State University has developed a micro-funding idea it's calling Paw to Paw. The website, which was launched publicly Feb. 6, targets Northwest alumni and friends through social media who would like to give back to the University.
“The concept for Paw to Paw evolved from Northwest’s amazing success with social media,” said Mallory Murray, chief design and marketing officer. “It was clear that Bearcats have a deep desire to be connected to the University, as evidenced by the fact that we have the largest Facebook following in the MIAA and one of the largest followings in Division II and the nation compared to our peer schools.”
The goal of Paw to Paw is to provide avid Bearcat supporters an opportunity to give back to the University in relatively small increments, starting at $25, using social media and to engage and educate them about a variety of financial needs across campus.
Within 36 hours of the website’s public launch, Northwest friends had contributed enough money to fully fund an Adopt-a-Bearcat scholarship, at $250, making it the first initiative to be funded through Paw to Paw. Adopt-a-Bearcat scholarships offset college expenses for Northwest students, who may not be able to afford to attend Northwest. The University will match gifts, at a minimum of $250, dollar-for-dollar and award scholarships in the donor’s honor or that of a loved one.
Funding projects from departments throughout campus are submitted for inclusion on the Paw to Paw website year-round, with a stipulation that the price tag can be no more than $2,500. Alumni and friends can click on a picture of a project, learn about the funding needs and give in $25 increments to the cause. Once a project is funded, it will be added to a list on the site so donors can see how they assisted students and faculty.
A sampling of projects currently seeking support include opportunities to fund a field trip for petrology students to the Arbuckle and Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma, a trip for students to attend a Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference, the establishment of a student string quartet, and a tall conductor’s podium to improve the safety for ensemble conductors.
“Micro-funding is not a means of replacing traditional philanthropy,” said Mike Johnson, vice president of university advancement. “It’s a way to engage donors and illustrate to them that their giving – at any level – can have a direct impact on students.”
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468