WASHINGTON (March 1) – The “1867 Text-to-Give” campaign, a unique, student-run fundraising effort to aid Howard University and its students, has gotten off to a promising start, says Marcus Ware, one of two students spearheading the endeavor.
Howard students, alumni, faculty, staff and others have already contributed thousands of dollars towards the goal of raising $100,000 by March 12, the date this year for the University’s annual Charter Day celebration, Ware said.
The money will be used to fund need-based scholarships and the annual student-run Alternative Spring Break. Each year, hundreds of Howard students forgo the beach or trips home for spring break and instead visit troubled communities across the nation to help. The program is funded and organized by students and the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel.
| Ware, a second year law student, and senior political science and English major Corey Briscoe are asking the Howard University family, particularly recent graduates, to text $10 through their personal cell phones for the special studentinitiative.
Business cell phones should not be used for this effort. Donors simply dial 50555 and text 1867, the year Howard University was chartered.
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Hundreds of people texted their contributions Sunday, Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, in Cramton Auditorium during the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel services after Dean Bernard Richardson allowed Ware to make an appeal to the congregation. Scores more students joined the campaign during a request for contributions at the Bison basketball game Feb. 19 in Burr Gymnasium.
Ware will make another appeal at Sunday’s Chapel service and during the Bison’s next game.
Ware, the graduate student representative on the Howard University Board of Trustees, said he and Briscoe, the undergraduate student trustee, have been heartened by the effort so far.
“Alumni have been very receptive to a text campaign,” he said. “We’ve reached out to 30 of the regional alumni club presidents, and we’ve gotten a good response from them. If anything, we’d ask that the students step up a little better, but we are very thankful and appreciative of the response we have gotten.”
Using texting to raise money is new approach at Howard. It reaches out to one of higher education’s toughest potential donor groups, recent graduates, by combining two important elements, Ware said.
He said he believes that by asking for a small amount of money and by making the giving process simple, more people, especially students and recent graduates, will be more willing to donate.
"Ten dollars is not a lot of money," he said. “You can easily spend that at McDonald’s or for a movie. It’s certainly not too much to ask for a place that has helped shape and guide you and so many other graduates."
Briscoe said that while the money is important, one of the major goals of the campaign is to get recent graduates into the mindset of giving back to their alma mater early on. And, he said, small things can produce large results.
"We believe that it is not only large scale, high profile donations that make the difference, but the collective contribution of the entire Howard family that achieves ultimate success," Briscoe said.
For more information, contact Marcus Ware at email@example.com or Corey Briscoe at firstname.lastname@example.org