Since its launch in 2015, Colonial Crowdfunding has allowed student organizations to raise funds for passion projects that benefit the George Washington University and the greater community. Now in its fourth semester, the program is giving another set of student organizations the opportunity to tap the GW network to support their ventures, which include a cappella, hackathon, tutoring, fencing and outdoor adventure projects.
Registered student organizations can submit project applications through the Center for Student Engagement’s OrgSync portal. A committee made up of a student representative and staff from the Division of Student Affairs and Development and Alumni Relations reviews each submission and selects promising projects to move forward. In its four semesters, Colonial Crowdfunding has received 72 applications, and 19 projects have advanced to participate in fundraising. To date, student organizations have raised more than $25,000 to support these 19 projects. Another round of Colonial Crowdfunding is expected to launch for the fall 2017 semester.
George Washington Today spoke to the student leaders spearheading this spring’s five projects to find out more about their goals and what the GW community’s support can help them produce.
Project: The a cappella group GW Pitches is raising money to record an original EP this spring. They are hoping to partner with a recording artist to gain exposure and improve their sound.
“Recording is the best way for a cappella groups to push themselves to their best and share their music with their friends, family and the greater a cappella community,” junior Hannah Friedman said.
Why You Should Support Them: “For us, it is not just about the music,” Ms. Friedman explained. “We see ourselves as an a cappella group with a cause and are always seeking opportunities to combine music and progressive activism. We would love to be able to share this passion with the GW student body—increasing awareness for the arts on campus is so important, and we are proud to be a part of that effort.”
Project: The GW student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery plans to host another year of its weekend-long Hackital, a hackathon-style event designed to give individuals the tools and space to build tech projects.
“Students and faculty from a vast array of disciplines have expressed interest in supporting Hackital in several ways, from attending the event to mentorship. It’s great that we can create an environment where everyone, from artists to engineers, can collaborate, learn and build together. Last year, we had over 1,000 sign-ups, and this year, we’re aiming to more than double the size of our event,” junior Joseph Schiarizzi said.
Why You Should Support Them: “It’s an opportunity to network, to find mentorship and to make lifelong friendships. GW students get access to new technology, like virtual reality headsets and special APIs, and the resources they need bring their ideas to fruition,” Mr. Schiarizzi said.
Project: Project Rousseau GW works with underserved high school students between the ages of 17 and 20 in the D.C. area and helps them get closer to a college education through free SAT classes and mentorship. Funding will provide test materials, such as SAT prep books and sample tests, for these students.
The group also organizes activities outside the classroom, including trips around the city and international exchanges in Canada and Denmark. Project Rousseau is currently working with high school students from Luke C. Moore High School and the SEED School.
Why You Should Support Them: “This benefits the GW community by allowing GW students the opportunity to work with the high schoolers and act as their mentors. We also provide GW students with community service opportunities by teaching SAT classes and volunteering at food kitchens along with the high schoolers,” junior Reshika Subbakaran said.
GW TRAiLS Adventure Bound Grant Fund
Project: GW TrAiLs is raising money for its Adventure Bound program, designed to provide outdoor experiences for incoming freshmen. The money will go to a grant fund that will extend financial resources to students who may otherwise not be able to participate in Adventure Bound. The registration fee will be covered, and students receiving support will be able to choose from six trips.
“The mission of GW TRAiLS is to provide the greater GW community with diverse outdoor experiences that promote leadership, self-discovery, respect for the environment and community service. Through these principles and actions, TRAiLS strives to foster an active outdoor community at GW that benefits our lives, our city and our world,” sophomore Ethan Young said.
Why You Should Support Them: “The impact of Adventure Bound on students has been tremendous. Nearly every student I have spoken to had a meaningful experience on Adventure Bound. It allows them to enter college calmer, confident and ready to face the challenges of the freshman year transition,” Mr. Young said.
GW Fencing International Competition
Project: The GW Fencing Club hopes to attend an international competition, and the funds they raise will pay for tournament fees, travel and transportation costs.
“The goal of this tournament is to raise the profile of our club. We know it will be a challenge to raise enough money in time for us to attend, but this project demonstrates the direction we are taking GW Fencing. We have been growing for the past few years, and we are looking for more ways to continue that growth,” senior Daniel Howlett said.
Why You Should Support Them: “This will benefit the GW community by raising the profile of club sports in general. Not every student can join a varsity program, but they still have amazing opportunities through club sports,” Mr. Howlett said.
This story was originally published on GW Today.