HAWKstarter offers Laurier new opportunities

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Various new projects at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus have received some additional funding this month due to a new crowd funding website called HAWKstarter.

HAWKStarter, launched on Nov. 29, was coined “Giving Tuesday,” as over 100 donors donated more than $6,000 through the crowdfunding website. HAWKstarter allowed for seven projects to receive funding, which includes various interests at the university led by Laurier students, staff, and faculty.

Ryan Brejak, associate director of annual giving at Alumni Relations and Development, expanded on the creation of HAWKstarter, as well as additional information about how HAWKstarter operates as a crowdfunding website. According to Brejak, Hawkstarter was created by the Alumni and Development office along with members of the Laurier community, who supplied influential ideas that contributed to the creation of the crowd funding website. However, Brejak explained that it was various requests from the community to create a crowd funding like platform.

“It was created from a number of people on campus asking to do crowd funding. They had unique or interesting projects that they wanted to work on [and] they wanted to do crowd funding to help fund those projects, but we didn’t really have a platform to offer them,” Brejack said. “So we looked at HAWKstarter being a service for the university community to help those people promote and receive funding for these projects at Laurier.”

Brejak also explained how HAWKstarter is different from other crowd funding platforms, such as Kickstarter or indiegogo

“[HAWKstarter] is something that the university is providing so we can issue charitable tax receipts for [the donations].”

“When someone supports a project on Kickstarter they get nothing out of it, but when they make a donation to a project on HAWKstarter, they’re making a charitable donation to Laurier so they get a tax receipt and can claim it on their income tax,” Berjak said.

“So that’s a big incentive to donate to one of the projects on HAWKstarter.”

An additional benefit of donating using HAWKstarter is that students get to decide which project they would like to donate to, or donate to various projects that catch their interests.

The various projects receiving this funding include: Teaching Excellence Toolkit for Haiti, Women in Science Award and Inspiring Futures: Walls to Bridges Bursary Fund, which helps a formerly incarcerated student complete her education at Laurier. The project that has surpassed its goal as of Dec. 28, is the Laurier Forest Project from the Sustainability Office.

“Each of the projects had a goal of $5,000 dollars,” Brejak said.

“As of now, the Laurier Forest Project has raised $6,000 and then Walls to Bridges was the one that is now closest to reaching their goal and then a few other projects have hit the half way point, but the Laurier Forest [Project] has raised over $6,000 dollars and has 44 donors, which is great.”

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