Penny Wars: Even When You Lose,You Still Win

The University of Washington Tacoma’s undergraduate Net Impact chapter is hosting a fundraising event called Penny Wars on the first floor of the Dougan building. The competition began on January 5 and will likely continue through late January. Penny Wars works by pairing Registered Student Organizations (RSO) with local nonprofit organizations (NPO) in an effort to collect donations. The objective is for each RSO to try and raise the most points for the NPO they are representing. Every penny donated to an organization counts as one positive point while any other currency counts as negative points; negative five points for a nickel, negative ten points for dimes and so forth. This adds an element of drama to the competition while maintaining the primary objective of collecting donations. At the end of the competition the RSO with the most money in their bin may not be the winner of the competition.

Rather than the focus being on the amount of money raised by each RSO, Penny Wars puts an innovative spin on fundraising while encouraging teamwork among students and the participating organizations. This year Net Impact and the Accounting Student Association will represent the Humane Society while the Marketing Society will represent the Tacoma Rescue Mission. The Milgard Faculty will also be participating and will represent Junior Achievement while the ROTARACT Club will represent Tree House Multicare. Lastly, ASUWT will represent the Boys and Girls Club.

UWT held its first Penny Wars competition two years ago. Since then, the event has not taken place on campus but last summer students once again came together to start preparations for the second UWT Penny Wars. Director of Student Engagement Elizabeth Hansen, described the process students went through to receive funding for the Penny Wars display that is currently located on the first floor the Dougan building. This past November, students submitted a request for $200 from the Campus Event Fund to support the building of the Penny War display. On December 12, 2014 the Campus Event Fund decided to accommodate the request by allocating money from the Student Funding Committee in the amount of $10 for marketing and $190 for supplies. The display was then built over Christmas break.

While talking about the upcoming Penny Wars, president of Net Impact UWT, Derek Collins said, “It’s a fun way to bring people together, although they are competing against each other it is for a good cause.” When asked what students should know about the upcoming Penny Wars event on campus, Collins answered “It’s amazing to watch people come together and get things done. We’re a small organization so I’m glad we were able to pull it off.”


Penny Wars (Molly Reetz)

photo illustration by Molly Reetz

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