Recently I’ve been discussing how local nonprofits based in college towns can benefit from involving college students in their organization. But larger not-for-profit organizations can utilize college students in much the same way.
E4pWVU is a student organization created to assist E4p, Inc., a 501©(3), not-for-profit organization with a branch in Schenectady, New York, and the satellite office in Morgantown. E4p’s mission is to provide organizations and individuals the opportunity to invest resources into sustainable local and global initiatives focused on “the 4 E’s: educational resources, economic value, environmental sustainability, and energy independence. The E4pWVU branch utilizes college students to assist E4p Inc. through fundraising, creating awareness, assisting with a variety of global and local initiatives.
Ep4 reaches out to college students through the college email listserv, Mix announcements, the student organization office, and through social media. The WVU E4p organization uses Twitter, Facebook, and a blog to reach out to students and the community.
Michelle Corder, E4pWVU President, says college students can be asset to any nonprofit organization, national or local. “College students often have more free time than adults in the workplace because they often do not have family obligations and other responsibilities that post-college age groups may have,” explained Corder. “Similarly, a college town is a close-knit community, where communication is easily facilitated and there is better access to resources. Similarly, in an educational environment, it’s easy to meet people who want to support nonprofit initiatives.”
Last year, E4pWVU helped out frequently at the Bartlett House. In addition, they had parties for community children, taught job training skills classes, and seminars to adults trying to find a job. In May, the group took a trip to Malawi, Africa to teach high school courses, spend time with orphans, among other things.
This year the group hopes to fundraise and hold a clothing drive for orphans in Blantyre, Malawi and other members of the community there. They are also planning to start a program be peer mentors for high school students in South Africa.
E4pWVU is a great example of a large nonprofit organization that has a local branch and utilizes the potential of college students to meet the needs of their organization and promote their mission. Creating smaller communities within a larger community allows more conversation, more growth, and more improvement for organizations. E4pWVU shows us that just because your organization may not be located in a college town does not mean you can’t utilize one. By making a satellite location through a college campus, your organization can grow and serve more people than ever before.