Whitworth finds funds in a mix of tuition money and donations

Abebaye Asrat Bekele | Staff Writer

Whitworth is largely a tuition-driven institution and with other sources of funding such as donations and grants, said Larry Probus, vice president of finance administration.

“More than 90 percent  [of the budget] is tuition,” Probus said.“We get a little bit from grants from governments either state or US government.”

The process of budget allocation takes months and the final decision is presented to the board of trustees in April, Probus said.

“We have a three-year budget but it is updated every year,” Probus said.

It is common for universities to use tuition and donations of different types for operating costs, Probus said.

“[Donations are] really not budget relief, it is add on,” said Kelsey Bumgarner, assistant director for donor relations. “Donations go to projects that are not part of our budget.

Donations can be used to fund projects that were not initially planned in the budget, said assistant director for annual giving Margaret Claassen Cosby.

“To a certain degree yes it affects the budget but not really because it really just determines what we do on campus that is above and beyond what our power of the course is,” Bumgarner said. “It is not black and white.”

Donors are informed that they can give the money to any department or program they want,  annual giving specialist Jordan McCandless said.

“The money can go virtually anywhere on campus even as far as a specific department or a specific student program,” McCandless said.

The donor money is used to fund scholarships and improvement of facilities among other things, Bumgarner said.

“The usage of that fund is determined by the department who receives the fund and its determined by what they think is most necessary at the time they have the money,” Bumgarner said.

The student philanthropy council works as a bridge between donors and students, Bumgarner said.

“Student philanthropy council was initially created to help educate the general student body on what private donor dollars do for their experience here,” Bumgarner said.

The student philanthropy council is hoping to raise awareness on campus about the Day of Giving, which is happening on  April 25 and 26, said Claassen Cosby.

“For Day of Giving we are going to hopefully raise some funds for different departments around campus and athletic teams for different projects they are hoping to fund that are not in their budgets ahead of time,” Claassen Cosby said.

Donations don’t necessarily have to be monetary, they can be service hours or getting involved in one’s community, said Bumgarner.

Contact Abebaye Asrat Bekele at abekele20@my.whitworth.edu