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March 28, 2012
By Ashley Herring, University Relations intern
Northwest Missouri State University’s recently launched social giving website, Paw to Paw, is proving to be a successful initiative in support of projects on campus through micro-funding.
The website, launched publicly in February, targets Northwest alumni and friends through social media, inviting them to donate to a University cause in $25 increments. Since its launch, Paw to Paw has garnered donations totaling more than $3,000.
Already donors have fully funded three Adopt-a-Bearcat scholarships in the amount of $250 each. Also, in early March, $325 was raised to purchase a Wacom Intuos4 Medium USB Tablet for the art department.
The Wacom tablet allows graphic design, drawing and photography students to draw naturally in Photoshop and other design software with the use of a pressure sensitive pen instead of a computer mouse, Philip Laber, professor and chair of the Department of Art, said. By learning to use these tablets, students will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of software programs that will serve as important tools in their future careers.
“We are really excited that the request has already been met, and we would like to express our gratefulness to the donors,” Laber said. “There is ongoing need for this new technology, and our long-term goal is to add more tablets to the classroom for additional students to use.”
Adopt-a-Bearcat scholarships assist students who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend Northwest. The University matches a donor’s gift dollar-for-dollar and awards scholarships in the donor’s honor or that of a loved one.
With more than 28,000 fans of Northwest’s Facebook page, the University has realized the power social media has to connect its alumni and friends. The Paw to Paw website is an extension of Northwest’s social media tools that allows supporters to help fund academic endeavors.
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. Once a project is funded, it is added to a list on the site so donors can see how they assisted students and faculty.
A sampling of projects currently needing funding support include 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.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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