Just a dollar can change the school

Caitlin Husted, Senior Editor

One dollar. Everyone knows that it can buy a candy bar or a Coke from the soda machine, but many people don’t know that just one dollar can help Millikin get back on track.

At least, that’s what the Office of Alumni and Development is hoping for.

Last year, Millikin’s annual fund received more than $2.3 million in donations. In this fund are groups such as the operating budget support, donations for unrestricted dollars that are spent on a yearly basis, gifts to various academic departments and athletics program.

Along with this amount, around $12 million came in as gifts to endowment. This money contributed programs such as towards the Transform MU campaign and scholarships.

Although combined, Millikin has received a fair amount of money, unfortunately, it’s not enough. With only 13 percent of alumni donating to the school, some new ideas are being implemented in order to reach out.

As of right now, Millikin contacts alumni through phone-a-thons, personal solicitations, mail campaigns and e-solicitations. However, now, Millikin is trying out a technique called crowdfunding.

According to Forbes.com, crowdfunding is, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”

Although the means of crowdfunding has changed over the years, its success can traced back as far as 1884. At this time, the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty depleted their funds for the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. In order to spread the word, newspaper publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, advised Americans to donate to the cause through his newspaper “New York World.” Within six months, Pulitzer’s urging encouraged more than 125,000 people to contribute to the cause. With each person contributing a dollar or less, the total raised was more than $100,000.

Millikin is hoping alumni will have this kind of mentality and donate to their school.

“[We are] encouraging people to give mostly through social media and encouraging young alumni, even if they can give 5 to 10 dollars, it does make a difference,” director of Development/Millikin Fund Amanda Landacre said. “That’s something we want to let people know; that those little gifts do make a difference. If everyone gave 10 dollars, we would be doing very well as a university.”

Even as broke college students, one dollar is still doable. It’s easy to search around your room, pick up the spare change lying around and donate back to the school.

After graduation, it’s easy to justify not donating because you’re just starting out. Then you’re getting married. Then you’re having kids. Then life has gotten in the way. There’s always an excuse. Millikin is doing its best to give students the education they deserve, but there comes a time where they need students and alumni to give back.

One dollar. It may not be much, but it really can make a difference.