Why Should I Get Involved?

Women in Philanthropy at EMU (WIP-EMU) is an exciting group at Eastern Michigan University organized by women passionate about the University, its mission, people and programs.

The idea began in June of 2008 when Sondra Shaw-Hardy visited EMU to discuss women’s philanthropy. A core group of EMU women continued to meet after the initial gathering, and with the help of a similar group at Ball State, we officially launched WIP-EMU in April 2010 with 35 charter members and more than $100,000 donated by women.

WIP-EMU gives donor members the opportunity to vote on the projects that will receive our collected money every year.

How does it work?

The idea is simple: each voting member initially pledges a minimum of $1,000 per year for at least three consecutive years. Each year, all of the money raised is distributed back to the EMU community, which includes faculty, staff, alumni, faculty-sponsored students and University-recognized student groups. All members of the EMU community are eligible to apply for grants of up to $5,000 each.

As of May 2017, we have over 40 members and have distributed almost $300,000 in grant awards in the first seven years of operation. We are hoping to add to our membership and are inviting you to consider joining us as we work to strengthen, educate and give to the EMU community.

Our current members include alumnae, administrators, regents, friends of the university, staff, faculty--both current and retired--spouses of current or former employees, and others passionate about EMU.

Projects for grant consideration must meet one of the following four criteria:

  • Enhance learning for EMU faculty, staff, alumni and/or students
  • Collaboratively improve the EMU climate
  • Foster creativity and innovation as they relate to EMU
  • Improve communication among diverse groups within the EMU community


Our goals are to:

  • Strengthen ties between women and EMU
  • Educate women about the power of personal and collective philanthropy
  • Increase gifts by women to EMU
  • Distribute financial awards to members of the EMU community

You probably are already a strong supporter of the University and contribute to Eastern Michigan University in many ways. We are grateful. WIP-EMU is a relatively new organization and represents an additional way for you to show your passion for the Green and White. It has been an exciting start for WIP-EMU with a positive presence on campus, five rounds of grant distributions and an opportunity to support and share grant research and activities with the EMU community.

We invite you to join us in our work. Call or email Karen Menke Paciorek, chair of the outreach committee, at [email protected] or 734.487.3260, or Jaclynn Tracy at the College of Education at [email protected] or 734.487.2749, with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you and having you join our growing group.

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