NCCWSL Fundraising Comes from All Over
If you don’t know already, the AAUW/NASPA National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) will be held May 30–June 1 at the University of Maryland, College Park. NCCWSL is the only national conference that brings together college women leaders to address important and contemporary leadership issues. Last year, more than 600 college women attended this life-changing event, and we are expecting even more attendees this year! The conference is reasonably priced (and the prices haven’t increased in years!), but attendance does still cost money. Many attendees receive financial assistance through personal fundraising, national or state scholarships, AAUW states and branches, or their college or university.
NCCWSL financial support comes from everywhere. Nina Harris, assistant dean for undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, is a university administrator who fully funds her students’ attendance at the conference. The university is an AAUW college/university partner member, and the conference’s association with AAUW is the core reason for her support. Harris sees the conference as an important developmental experience for women and one that she values highly. “As long as we have the funds, someone will be sponsored to attend the conference,” she says.
Students from the University of Michigan, Dearborn, attend NCCWSL in droves (38 total!) because of a shared fundraising effort between administrators, the local AAUW Dearborn (MI) Branch, and AAUW of Michigan. Lee Savage, program manager at the university’s Women’s Resource Center, says that the center supports attendance at NCCWSL because the conference has had a “truly remarkable” impact on students. Savage says that “students return home ready to improve their campuses and communities. Each student takes away something different from the conference, but all are given the gifts of confidence and finding their voice.” She explains that students are expected to organize their own fundraising, as well to cover any remaining costs. Many students work together on group fundraisers, such as selling paper cutouts of buses like the one they will take to NCCWSL ― which are then displayed on a wall in the student center ― or organizing bake sales. Benita Robinson, a 2012–13 National Student Advisory Council member and current membership coordinator of the AAUW UM-Dearborn student organization, reports that students are also selling “AAUW Dollie Pins” to fundraise for NCCWSL.
We hope these stories of support and fundraising from Michigan and Maryland inspire you to fundraise for your own trip to NCCWSL or to support a student who wants to attend. If you’re interested in attending the conference this May but can’t afford it, visit the NCCWSL website for more tips on how to obtain funding assistance.
This post was co-written by AAUW College/University Relationships Intern Courtney Douglas and AAUW Leadership Programs Intern Nzinga Shury.