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WKU launches SpiritFunder with 3 inaugural crowdfunding campaigns

SpiritFunder, WKU’s very own crowdfunding platform, launched Monday (April 17). Crowdfunding is a unique tool that harnesses energy and enthusiasm and allows alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff to make a collective impact on the community. Similar platforms are being implemented at universities across the nation as a way to bring attention to small, but important initiatives that might otherwise go unfunded.

According to Jenny Pyle, WKU’s Assistant Director of Leadership Annual Giving, projects featured on SpiritFunder come directly from WKU students, groups and faculty who are looking for more opportunities to learn, grow and achieve. “Whether through research, community outreach, entrepreneurship or student projects, crowdfunding is a way to get big ideas in front of the world,” she said.

Typical campaigns on SpiritFunder will have goals of raising $2,000 to $10,000.

Pyle said the launch includes three inaugural campaigns:

  • Big Red Needs a New Suit: The ultimate fan and supporter of all WKU’s intercollegiate sports, Big Red makes hundreds of appearances around the community each year including wedding receptions, ribbon cuttings and birthday parties. You can help keep Big Red looking like the furry, lovable creature that we all know and love!
  • WKU Storm Chase Student Experience Summer 2017: Make a gift to help eight students fulfill their dream of participating in this award-winning, nationally recognized capstone Meteorology field course. This innovative experience challenges students to bring theory into practice across the Great Plains as they diagnose, forecast and map severe weather and its potential local impacts.
  • Hardcastle Adopt-A-Class Scholarship Fund: The Bowling Green Rotary Club began the Adopt-A-Class Scholarship Fund in 1991 with a suggestion from loyal Rotarian Charles Hardcastle. His idea was simple – to adopt a single class in an elementary school with a high percentage of free and reduced lunch and give them the hope of a college education. Melissa Watson, a Bowling Green Rotary Club member, has pledged to match the first $10,000 donated to the Adopt-A-Class Scholarship Fund.

Crowdfunding can be used to raise funds for projects like a new piece of research equipment, memorial scholarship funds or a study abroad trip for a cohort of students. The platform cannot be used to raise funds for faculty or staff salaries, money for tuition or projects created with the purpose of raising profits. Gifts made through SpiritFunder are considered charitable contributions to WKU, and 100 percent of such gifts are tax-deductible.

“Our campus constantly buzzes with exciting projects and programs,” Pyle said. “Crowdfunding will not only allow WKU’s alumni and friend networks to learn about these projects and programs in real time, but also enable them to truly take part in making them successful by making a personal, direct impact through a financial contribution of any size. We are thrilled to facilitate this direct connection between our campus and our wider community.” 

Crowdfunding shows how small gifts can make a huge difference. Community members can choose to support the projects that matter most to them, contribute what they can afford and help recruit others. “SpiritFunder is the next great way to share the WKU Spirit,” Pyle said.

Visit to learn more about crowdfunding and to support a campaign today. Contact: Heather McWhorter at (270) 745-3257 or Jenny Pyle at (270) 745-6490 or via email at

Contact: Heather McWhorter, (270) 745-3257

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 Last Modified 5/2/17