July 3, 2014 in Washington Voices

Donations go to business microloan fund

By The Spokesman-Review
How to help

To support the fundraising campaign for the Avista Center for Entrepreneurship at Spokane Community College visit www.crowdswell.com and search for entrepreneurship in Spokane.

In hindsight, Hoopfest probably wasn’t the right venue for a fundraiser to support the Avista Center for Entrepreneurship at Spokane Community Colleges.

Throughout the basketball tournament volunteers in pink overalls, carrying signs, worked the crowd for $5 donations. They raised $500.

“It just wasn’t the right crowd,” said Tony Higley, district development officer for the Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation. “People were from out of town or they were very vested in the basketball games going on.”

The good news is that the fundraising campaign continues through July, Higley said.

SCC launched the campaign on a challenge from Spokane Teachers Credit Union which offered a one-for-one match up to $10,000.

“We are using Crowdswell to help us because they are a local startup,” Higley said.

Crowdswell is a website like Kickstarter which uses social media to reach potential donors.

“We plan to invite all our students, supporters, staff, everyone we can think of, to donate,” Higley said.

The Center for Entrepreneurship funds microloans for new businesses launched through the center. Avista’s foundation gave the center $500,000 toward the fund.

“They challenged us to raise $250,000 for the same purpose over the next five years,” Higley said.

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