When Shaniqua Wallace began her first semester, she didn’t believe in student giving.
She was already paying thousands of dollars in tuition, and she saw no point in giving the university more money than she needed to — until she learned more about Temple’s efforts for philanthropy.
Three years later, the senior marketing major serves as the strategic partnerships coordinator of the Fox Student Philanthropic Society, a student-run organization that fundraises and creates awareness about the power of students giving to each other.
Through tabling on Main Campus and hosting fundraising events, FSPS raises money for their school’s philanthropic projects, particularly the Fox Student Emergency Fund, which then awards scholarships to accepted applicants.
In the last fiscal year, FSPS raised about $7,500 from nearly 400 Fox students, Kim Hamm, Fox’s associate director of development and alumni relations, wrote in an email. Besides the emergency fund, some money went toward other causes like the 2016 senior class gift.
Fox’s emergency fund helps a few students per year make up for tuition they can no longer pay, whether it’s due to a family emergency or a medical condition. Student Financial Services selects students who meet the criteria for the scholarship.
When FSPS was restarted three years ago, its student founders decided to focus mostly on fundraising for Fox’s student emergency fund.
In the past, the emergency fund has helped students like Rasheena Wilson, a 2016 business administration alumna, who graduated with the help of the Eva C. Moore Scholarship given through the emergency fund. It allowed her to transfer to Temple despite a financial situation that left her unable to pay tuition.
“When you learn about programs like the Student Emergency Fund … and you learn what it really takes to run a university and keep the programs and opportunities that we have open, you realize this is more than just one person … it takes a community,” Wallace said.
“This is about supporting each other in the end,” Wallace added. “It’s about making it comfortable for other people to be able to continue their education.”
Wallace works with other Fox student organizations to build a philanthropic culture on Main Campus and foster a community around student giving to the school. She added that students don’t realize how impactful, whether big or small, donations to their school can be.
“You think of philanthropy and you think of people who are millionaires,” Wallace said. “Or you don’t think you have the money or the resources or that your coins matter. … Anything that you provide matters.”
FSPS members hope to help students understand that anyone can get involved in philanthropy. Wallace said she hopes to create awareness of the organization’s efforts and “how philanthropy can change things among the student body,” she added.
“I can definitely say that these kids are having a great time,” said Kelly O’Donnell, an FSPS staff adviser. “Their level of fun and their level of enthusiasm at their tabling and at their fundraising events draws people in, and people want to be a part of it … and in turn, are inspired to give back.”
“I feel like [FSPS] is something that really bridges the gap between ‘I just go to school here,’ and ‘I really care about my school because I know my school really cares about me,’” Wallace said.
Emily Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.