By Janeth Beltrán Apodaca
Another year of One Pine Day crowdfunding has raised funds for special projects and needs at Whitworth University. The program, which is based on faithful generosity, recruits valuable donations for student resources at Whitworth University and has done so for eight years now.
Tad Wisenor, the Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement, says the main goal of One Pine Day is to “celebrate Whitworth’s enduring mission.” This is done by inviting faculty, staff, parents and friends to support the crowdfunding of projects that will leave an impact on student experiences at Whitworth.
Some of the projects from this year include but are not limited to: increasing support services for students with disabilities, preparing female students to lead and succeed through the women’s leadership network and developing a counseling center relaxation room to decrease stress and boost mental health amongst students.
With the help of 427 alumni, 167 faculty and staff and 131 parents – including 106 new donors, a total of $224,318 was raised on One Pine Day itself, though donations could be made through the end of the month.
Fatima Rodriguez, a third-year student-athlete, shared what receiving full funding for the cheer team project means to her.
“It would give me a new opportunity to represent Whitworth,” said Rodriguez.
After 10-15 years, this will be the first time the cheer team will be getting a new set of uniforms.
“Our main goal with these new uniforms is to provide size inclusivity that will represent Whitworth University and ourselves as cheerleaders,” said Rodriguez.
The cheer team, like the rest of the programs, were chosen through a selection process led by a committee from Institutional Advancement. “In order to guarantee a balance of projects, we will occasionally reach out to academic departments, athletics teams or programs to help them brainstorm possible projects,” said Wisenor.
The process of planning and execution takes about 5-6 months prior to the “giving day.”
To keep donors involved, previous project successes encourage support through different social media platforms. “We also send emails to everyone in our database and encourage them to pursue the projects and choose ways to be involved,” said Wisenor.
Even though there is a high success rate in the funding of projects, it is not guaranteed that all projects will be funded.
The library, for example, is one such project which only met 67% of its $10,000 goal. The funding will be used to provide booths with benches to improve students’ group work and study sessions at the library.
Marianne Stowell Bracke, the Director of Library Instructional Services says the booths will create more privacy and a “mental feeling of being in your own space,” said Stowell Bracke.
Special modifications will be made since the library was unable to complete its fund goal through the crowdfunding of One Pine Day.
“I think that they [donors] believe in Whitworth and they believe in our students, and they are outpouring their support as a testament to that,” said Stowell Bracke.
The opportunity to fund the remaining projects ended on March 31, 2022, with twelve out of the fifteen projects receiving full funding. More information about the projects funded through One Pine Day and the end results of the fundraising is available here.