The Cats’ Cupboard at Kansas State University will benefit from All In for K-State, a new fundraising project from the KSU Foundation, on March 27.
Cats’ Cupboard was chosen because the selection committee, a group of 13 campus leaders, thought it will be the most impactful and bring the greatest amount of change to campus.
“We each brought unique perspectives as to what the campus and student community needed,” said Jordan Kiehl, student body president and member of the selection committee. “We were provided the proposals that had been submitted and then used a set of criteria to evaluate each one and how successful we thought it would be as the chosen program.”
Food insecurity is an issue that affects about 40 percent of K-State students. Since its inception, Cat’s Cupboard has had over 4,000 visits.
“One of the things that they hope to accomplish this day is not only raise money, but also reduce the stigma that is involved around food insecurity among students at K-State,” said Eric Holderness, associate vice president of development for the Foundation.
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Holderness said Cats’ Cupboard was chosen because it runs like a start-up company. The Foundation wants the day of giving to take a project “from start to flourish,” and by choosing this program, they have the opportunity to do so.
The application process to be considered for being the focus of this day was simple, Holderness added. The main idea was ‘what does success look like after this day?’
“The simplicity is so this can be recreated year after year,” Holderness said. “We are expecting more applications next year after people see what we are doing.”
With less than 26 days until the big day, Holderness said the Foundation will amp up its social media and email campaigns. He expects Cats’ Cupboard will as well.
“We have brought them in as members of our staff essentially for the past three months,” Holderness said. “We want to understand their needs and be plugged into their program. This is a big deal for them as the ‘fundable idea,’ and we want it to be fun and painless for them.”
Holderness said many alumni, friends of K-State and other universities have been in contact with the Foundation to ask about the day of giving. They are intrigued about the new approach to fundraising and philanthropy.
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“We are excited to see what we can do together,” Holderness said.
Since Cats’ Cupboard is still relatively new (less than two years old), a big focus of the Foundation for the next few weeks will be educating donors and others about food insecurity on campus and in the United States. Holderness said communication will be important over the next 26 days. Once people are aware, they should have no problem chipping in.
“I think that everyone will be eager to engage,” Kiehl said. “There’s no other school that runs a program like this, so hopefully students, alumni and community members alike will buy in and continue to show people why K-State is so special. We all have such strong ties to the university, and it’s within everyone’s nature to want to help anyways. I think once it starts on the 27th, it’ll spread like wildfire and K-Staters both past and present will feel compelled to participate. I know I’ll definitely be adding a few dollars into the pot and hopefully getting some of my family to do the same.”