Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Advance-Titan completes $50,000 challenge grant, raises more than $54,000

As part of a dollar-for-dollar challenge grant, the UW Oshkosh Advance- Titan raised more than $54,000, $50,000 of which will be matched by an anonymous donor, the paper announced Wednesday.

The paper was forced into deficit spending in the late 2000s due to the loss of its routine advertisements.

Even after attempting spending cuts, attempts at increasing of advertisements sales and alternative funding, the A-T fell $74,000 into debt.

The A-T worked along with UW Oshkosh Foundation to meet the challenge by the deadline of Feb. 11.

Between the grant and the fundraiser, the A-T now has more than $104,000 to use for debt resolution and the growth of the paper.

The anonymous donor said the A-T holds a vital role on the UWO campus and the growth of future journalists.

“The Advance-Titan plays an important role in developing young writers for after-graduation career opportunities, as well as the role student writers provide various constituents: friends, alumni, parents, regarding current and timely issues impacting our University”,” the donor said.

“It’s important to have a viable student-managed newspaper on campus.”

Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said completing the challenge grant gives the A-T a chance to have a sustainable future.

“This challenge grant opportunity was a great success and will help secure the Advance-Titan as a financially sound asset on our campus for the foreseeable future”,” Leavitt said.

“A student newspaper is critical for our campus and I – long with the many donors who participated in the giving opportunity – certainly want to make sure it’s around for another 100-plus years” A-T faculty adviser Vince Filak worked closely with Barbara Beuscher from the UWO Foundation to raise money.

Filak said donations for the #WeNeedTheAT fundraiser came from various groups of people. “

Everyone from recent graduates to people who almost predated the journalism program itself,” Filak said.

“We had family members of current staffers and recent graduates step up as well.

We had some faculty, staff and administrators here at UWO who also donated to our cause.”

Filak said donations also came from many student media outlets, wanting to help the newspaper.

““The student media world was incredibly helpful as well, with advisers from other publications, the head of the Student Press Law Center and the leaders at the Associated Collegiate Press all giving us help”,” Filak said.

“It really was a team effort when it came to donors.”

Editor-in-chief Katie Knox said the vast number of donations shows the importance of student media.

“Completing the challenge grant not only shows how much of an impact the A-T has on the community and the outreach we have, but also means that we can continue to provide a paper for the students of UWO,” Knox said.

“It means we can give future journalists a chance to dive into the field.”

Filak said having the pressure of the debt eliminated will allow the staff to focus on their jobs. “

First and foremost, it means we can get back to covering the news instead of being the news,” Filak said. “

Everything that led up to this incredible gift was really hard on the staff members because they felt constantly under siege.”

According to Knox, along with a sense of relief, completing the challenge grant allows the A-T to increase revenue of advertisement sales.

“This challenge grant has been a huge blessing, between people giving up time, energy and money for us, we’ve also had an increase in interest for ads”,” Knox said. “

Through ad sales and the yearly Titan Guide, I know we can keep the paper out of the red.” Filak said the surplus money, after paying off the debt, is planned to go to opportunities for the A-T staff, present and future. “

“One donor noted that he wanted to give so that students could get the experience of going to a college media convention and experiencing the kinds of things that inspired him as a student”,” Filak said.

“There is now money for us to enter contests, so that our staffers can see how they measure up against competition from around the state and across the country.”

Beuscher said the most rewarding part of working on the #WeNeedTheAT campaign was seeing how much the A-T has affected people in a positive way.

““We have an impressive list of over 125 donors and that is a great response from the A-T alumni and friends of the A-T”,” Beuscher said.

“One alum that made a significant gift said that the amount of his gift could never repay what he got from his A-T experience.“

A new business model will be executed as the paper goes forward to prevent the paper from falling back into debt.

““Our new model incorporates a few things that will be helpful”,” Filak said. ““First, the chancellor has pledged support in the form of a subscription to the paper, which will provide us with a standing block of revenue on which we can rely each year”.

In addition, we are working with a company that provides us with free distribution racks and will pay us to place them on campus.”

Knox and Filak want to extend a “thank you” to everyone who has donated and helped with the fundraiser, especially Leavitt and Beuscher.

““Barbara Beuscher was the most incredible human being and we don’t come close to making this goal without her”,” Filak said. “

She is a true professional and the reason why we managed to do as well as we did.

The administration, from the chancellor all the way down to the chair of our department, was incredibly helpful in terms of making the pieces fit.”

““I’m extremely happy that we are able to work closely with the University and that we can continue to strengthen that relationship”,” Knox said. “

It means a great future for student media.”

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