PULLMAN –The biggest RSO, Registered Student Organization, at Washington State University called Cougs in Space is the pilot organization being helped by the WSU Foundation on funding. The first steps by WSU in history toward allowing student organizations to fund for themselves using a universal university platform.
Cougs In Space is testing a new crowdfunding platform in connection to the WSU Foundation that allows student organizations to create a funding plan tailored to them. This coming after there was a struggle to get student organizations properly funded. Cougs in Space chief operations officer, Michelle Danese, stated the plans to get people and inventions to space has been a struggle because of funding fallouts.
“The thing is that space is really expensive.”
Once the cry for help was heard; the WSU Foundation stepped in after there annual CougsGive funding drive for the whole university to help. Shelly Neuhart, WSU Foundation annual giving manager, wanted to let students know that they would be heard and that the plan would be to give them room to expand, but give financial support. They are rolling out the plans this week calling it Coug Starter.
“The main purpose of Coug Starter is to help and teach students about philanthropy but also give the opportunity for students promote websites and crowdfund with some help to reach what they are working for.”
The new platform has already been in the process since January, but has not started funding any organizations. The foundation would have a budget or access to tools for students to use to create a crowdfunding program starting in October. The only thing the organizations are to do for the platform is to apply online and give reasons for help from the Foundation. There has only been four student organizations in the WSU network to sign on to the idea so far.
“I would like it to grow, we start off with four main groups, then want to see how it works and then hopefully expand to even more groups.”
Another factor the Coug Starter platform provides is the ability to connect and communicate with all colleges to work with the Foundation and keeping track of how to accomplish their goals. This would allow all organizations, not just RSO’s, to have a backing not a barrier on finances and support.
As the platform takes shape over the summer the members of Cougs In Space won’t just be inventing new space technologies, but also how to build themselves up with the support they have been searching to find.
“We are big organization and we try to help each other out, but when WSU is there to back you up you feel appreciated and helped.”
The Coug Starter platform will be piloted throughout the summer and then fully implemented in October of 2019. Student organizations are encouraged to apply online at anytime this summer. If you would like to found out more information on the platform you can visit https://foundation.wsu.edu/cougstarter/.