Eighth annual Wildcat Alumni Challenge begins raising funds for CWU athletics


Andrew Prouse, Staff Reporter

The eighth annual Wildcat Alumni Challenge fundraiser has begun. This event provides funding for CWU athletics, and helps build philanthropic skills for student athletes.

The Wildcat Alumni Challenge is a fundraiser that began on Oct. 11 and lasts until Nov. 30. Only former student athletes can donate during the challenge. Former student athletes can also only donate to the program they took part in. For example, an alum who played volleyball can only donate to the volleyball program. 

A press release put out by CWU athletics announcing the event stated in it’s seven years the challenge has raised over $300,000 for athletics. These funds go towards upgrading and maintaining athletics facilities as well as providing equipment for athletes to use.

A minimum donation is $25. That minimum donation goes to the general CWU athletics fund. Anything above a $25 donation goes towards the alumni’s specific program. 

Associate Athletic Director for Development Troy Nealy explained the purpose of the challenge aside from fundraising is to help promote the idea of philanthropy to student athletes.  

 “Creating a culture of philanthropy amongst student athletes is the secondary objective for the challenge besides fundraising,” Nealy said.

The challenge has seen some changes since the COVID-19 pandemic. Alumni were contacted via text throughout 2020 and that has mainly persisted. 

“We kind of switched to a texting platform so now we are using both a combination of phone calls and texts, but it is very text heavy now,” Nealy said.

Nealy said while the new texting method is more successful in getting donations, the impact on student-athletes is different through the phone call method.

 “We’re trying to get the student athletes to actually get on the phone and reach out to their alumni, and that is a big purpose of this is to make that personal connection,” Nealy said. 

According to the press release from CWU athletics there are three bonus donations that are given to the program that lead in the following categories:

  • $5,000 to the highest percentage of alumni participation
  • $2,500 to the highest alumni participation in numbers 
  • $2,500 to the most funds raised overall