Give the Gift of Education This Holiday Season

Monday, December 10, 2012

The holiday season is also time to make year-end charitable contributions that can do a lot of good for others. The University of West Georgia offers several tax burden-reducing opportunities to help give students a leg up on their education.

Why consider giving the gift of education this holiday season? In short, the need is substantial and the benefits are many.

This fall semester, only 51% of undergraduate students who qualified for need-based aid (as determined through standard financial aid processes) received it. More than 6,000 undergraduate students were determined to have financial need, but less than 1,800 had their entire financial needs met. Financial contributions are critical to shrinking that gap and helping students achieve their educational dreams.

In the short-term, many of the giving opportunities at UWG will provide scholarship money to lessen the financial burden of earning a degree for students and their families. Others will provide equipment and other resources that improve the quality of education. Providing a better quality education makes UWG more competitive among its peers, enabling UWG to attract and retain the best and the brightest students and faculty, and makes its graduates more competitive in the workplace.

In the long-term, helping more students earn more degrees not only helps those students individually but the inter-connected economies of the community, state and nation. It helps improve the workforce which can aid in attracting and maintaining businesses. More students attending UWG means more spending regionally. In the last fiscal year, UWG and student spending equated to $418 million – an average of $1.15 million per day – in economic impact; this spending supported 3,880 area jobs and created a labor income impact of $186 million.

There are also the intangible benefits.

“Beyond its considerable economic impact, the University of West Georgia’s total contribution to the area is immeasurable,” said Daniel Jackson, the president and CEO of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s hard to place a dollar amount on the creative, cultural and social influence generated within our community by its students, faculty and staff. They volunteer with civic groups, aid our elderly, train our workforce and help us plan for a brighter future.”

Here are three examples of opportunities to give the gift of education at UWG:

  The Annual Fund – How the majority of student scholarships are funded
When a contribution is made to the Annual Fund—much like being able to get a drink from the kitchen faucet when one is thirsty—it allows UWG to quickly provide funds where and when they are needed. Gifts of any size truly make a difference. Please visit the Annual Fund website or contact Frank Pritchett at 678-839-4107 with any questions.

  Howl for UWG – Locally designed wolf sculptures support student scholarships and creative expression 
The first wolves created under the Howl for UWG public art project helped raise $55,000 toward student scholarships and are located on campus and around the community. The beautiful, vibrant wolves are the talk of the town! To find out how to sponsor a local artist-designed wolf, please contact Bill Norris at 678-839-6501 or visit the Howl for UWG site

  The Caring Way – A brick-paved walkway to the new building for the School of Nursing 
Help build the pathway to the most forward-looking nursing program in the state by purchasing a 4” x 8” brick for $200 to share an inspirational message or commemorate a nurse, nursing faculty member, loved one or a special date. The building is anticipated to be completed by June. Please visit the Caring Way website or contact Mary Hart at 678-839-6136 for more information. 

Prospective donors are encouraged to speak with a tax advisor to explore individual circumstances and with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, which can share more information about the opportunities highlighted as well as many more. End of year gifts can be safely and securely made online or, if you have questions, Bart Gillespie, Director of Advancement, can be reached during UWG’s holiday break from Dec. 17 – Jan. 2 at 678-292-8882.

Thank you for considering a gift to the University of West Georgia.  Happy Holidays to you and yours!