by Laura Thomas, Published October 12, 2011
Women in Philanthropy at EMU kicked off alongside EMU's comprehensive campaign on April 19, 2010 with 33 members pledging a total of $100,000. WIP-EMU's mission is to strengthen ties between women and EMU, educate women about the power of personal and collective philanthropy, increase gifts by women to EMU and to distribute financial awards to members of the EMU community. Each voting member pledges $1,000 per year for three years. Each year's allocated funds are awarded to WIP-EMU grant applicants selected by the voting members.
In WIP-EMU's inaugural grant year, 28 applicants responded to the first call for proposals. Members undertook the difficult task of narrowing requests totaling $115,000 to $41,000 available for awards. Ten grantees received funding, including twelve EMU faculty members, two EMU staff members, 339 EMU students and two student organizations. During WIP-EMU's spring meeting, three grantees reported on their projects: VISION students defrayed expenses for Alternative Spring Break trips to Memphis to paint, clean and tutor; Dr. Rebecca Sipe's students planned and organized the first phase of Diversity Ambassadors in the Honors College; and Dr. Claudia Petrescu's American Humanics students conducted their own grant program to gain a better understanding of the grant process before entering careers in the nonprofit world. The students, faculty and staff involved in these projects expressed their gratitude to the women of WIP-EMU for providing experiences that may not have otherwise been funded.
Women in Philanthropy at EMU is more determined than ever to continue to meet the growing need for additional support on campus. The WIP-EMU Executive Council set a membership goal of 60 by the end of the campaign; the group currently has 51 members. Each new membership adds $1,000 to the annual grant funds available to award. For additional membership and grant information about WIP-EMU, go to www.emich.edu/wip-emu/.