Who doesn’t LOVE hearing the phrase unrestricted giving?  Doesn’t it bring to mind images of true philanthropic impact?  Things like reams of paper, ink cartridges, and other mission critical office supplies?

Yes, we know.  The WCU Foundation gets it.  Along with nonprofit organizations around the country, WCU has seen a decrease in unrestricted giving.  Donors, understandably, are telling those organizations that they must demonstrate clear, meaningful impacts of their gifts.  The 1889 Impact Program is here to do just that.

In consideration of the growing need for unrestricted dollars as well as sustained interest among the WCU Foundation Board, Advancement Staff, campus departments, and the donor base, the Division of Advancement has launched the 1889 Club, an annual giving society, with the purpose of increasing unrestricted support through developed solicitation plans and strategies for the Fund for WCU – the fund for unrestricted giving.

In July of each year the Division of Advancement will analyze the receipts to the Fund for WCU for the most recently ended fiscal year.  The funds raised during the most recently completed fiscal year will be divided into three areas:

  • 1889 First Year Access Scholarships
  • 1889 Impact Grants for Campus Partners
  • Stewardship Operations Support

First Year Access Scholarships
These annual funds will be administered by the University Scholarship Office within the Division of Student Affairs in a way that is impactful, in alignment with the mission of the institution, and in strategic partnership with Admissions.  The primary focus of the 1889 First Year Access Scholarships will be the recruitment of incoming freshman students to WCU.

1889 Impact Grants
The grant program was created in order that WCU colleges, departments, and units could access funds to support initiatives which align with WCU’s philanthropic priorities and further enhance the engagement of alumni and stakeholders to the philanthropic life of the university.  The applications for 1889 Impact Grants will open annually in August and will be reviewed by the WCU Foundation Board Executive Committee in October of each year.  Recipients will be notified of their award in November and funds will be transferred to the department by January 15 of the same academic year.  All funds must be expended by May 30, and a report from the awardees should be provided to Advancement by June 30 for use in Advancement annual reporting.

Submitting units must have approval from the appropriate Executive Committee or Provost Council member, and the unit should have a university trust fund established.  Impact Grants will be transferred in their entirety to the department or unit trust fund (2xx) for expenditure based on the submitted information.  Grant applications should be submitted no later than October 1, 2021.

APPLY TODAY FOR AN 1889 IMPACT GRANT  – Check out this website and application form.

Stewardship Operations Support
Unrestricted dollars directly support the WCU Foundation’s ability to manage giving societies, including the 1889 Club and its impact programs, host donor events, engage additional alumni and friends to broaden the base of support, and continue to find creative and meaningful ways to say THANK YOU to our donors.  The ROI for these thank you events, mailings, video messages, and ongoing stewardship work is critical to the philanthropic success of all of our colleges and student experience partners.

Advancement knows that our donors are interested in making an impact and that we’re uniquely positioned to help connect that desire with the amazing things happening on our campus.  We can’t wait to see what amazing ideas come up and doing everything we can to support you.

The 1889 Impact program is supported by the members of our 1889 Club.  Information about membership in the club is available here.

The direct link to the grants application is here go.wcu.edu/1889grants