By Emily Dawson, Contributing Writer
West Liberty University’s CEP 443 Fund Raising and Grant Writing class held an announcement and information session about the West Liberty University ‘Awesome Project’ on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Student Union.
This project promotes mini grant applications, in which WLU students, faculty members, staff members, and students representing a campus organization can submit grant proposals. The winners will be awarded up to $1,000 for a project that will benefit the WLU campus community. There are no restrictions on the project, but it is preferred that it can be completed by the end of 2016.
“The West Liberty Awesome Project is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and all organizations to make a difference on campus,” project participant Daniel Morgan said. “Anyone can write a mini-grant proposal that outlines their project. Some of the ideas that we’ve talked about in class include bringing puppies on campus for scheduled visits throughout the year, or getting some water bottle refilling stations like the one we have in Campbell Hall.”
“As long as you include information regarding the project description, its benefits, a budget, and the plan to implement the project, we’re very interested to read the ideas that the university comes up with,” Morgan said. “Our main criteria is that the proposal be something that will benefit the entire campus, not just one organization or department.”
If interested in applying, one must include their name and contact information, the name of their idea with a brief description, and their requested funds for the project. One must describe a problem that they want to fix or an opportunity they see for the campus, along with the project’s potential impact on the community, who it will benefit, and how they will benefit. Additionally, one must include a budget with details on how the money will be spent, how they propose to implement the project, and who will be involved in implementation.
“This is the first semester the Fund Raising and Grant Writing class has been offered,” project participant Teracyn Rich said. “We’re learning about grants by actually writing a grant over the course of the semester. Through the Awesome Project, we’re also learning, first-hand, about grants from the funder’s perspective. Our instructor proposed a ‘real world’ scenario in which we would award a grant for a project. As a class, we decided that the grant should benefit the WLU community.”
From the applications, the Fund Raising and Grant Writing class will select the winner. The class then has the discretion to fund either a portion of or the full amount requested for a given project idea. The West Liberty Awesome Project has been proposed in hopes of encouraging campus involvement as well as letting student voices be heard. It will also serve as an educational tool for the class to experience reviewing and selecting grant proposals. This project is a chance to better West Liberty University, and it is a chance to make a difference.
Completed ‘Awesome Project’ mini-grant applications are due by Thursday, March 3, 2016 at noon as an emailed PDF file to Lou Karas, the professor of the Fund Raising and Grant Writing class. Finalists will be announced on Thursday, March 24, 2016, and the final announcement will be made on March 31, 2016.