Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Capturing the Spirit of Pro Humanitate

The following is another interesting post courtesy of first-year MBA student Sandie Taylor, who has her own blog Working for the Woman. Another look at Sandie and her interests can be found here.

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09

Last week, I ventured out of the Schools of Business halls, joining a second-year friend to check out a meet-and-greet for the The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem. The event happened to be just a few blocks away from my house, but getting to interact with new, interesting people from the greater community made it feel like a retreat! We met women who went by Tari, Velvet, and Scott, and their personalities lived up to their unique names. Everyone was so inviting and willing to share a lot about the fund’s mission, and it was great to see how many people in Winston-Salem are passionate about it.
It’s a really neat concept that has been used in many cities to fund nonprofits that serve women and girls. Here’s the deal. The organization looks for people to donate $1,200 to the fund to be used as grant money. Once a year, each donor gets one vote to go toward selecting their favorite grant applications. The nonprofits that receive the most votes from the donors receive the grants. In 2009, The Women’s Fund awarded 11 grants totaling $162,511.
My friend and I are both interested in women’s initiatives, so we wanted to attend the event to scope out how the organization operates and if there are ways students at Wake Forest can get involved. Turns out, the organization is extremely inclusive, and there’s a variety of ways to participate. You don’t have to drop $1,200 to be a donor. You can get together with 12 other people to donate $100 each and share your vote. Or, if you’re limited financially, you can apply to be a participant scholar, which gives you the opportunity to evaluate the applicants and vote with someone else’s donated money.
We found out that a group of 12 law students and law faculty at Wake Forest have donated and voted together. I’d definitely like to see something similar happen at the Schools of Business and perhaps connect some of the students to consulting projects with the fund. With Wake Forest’s motto being Pro Humanitate, this opportunity seems like a great fit!

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