UW Ethics Club Ignites Community Impact Through Innovation

Spark Tank logoThe University of Wyoming Ethics Club will resume its student-led SparkTank -- a “Shark Tank”-style competition dedicated to uplifting Albany County nonprofit organizations.

SparkTank will take place from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. The event promises to be an evening of “inspiration, collaboration and philanthropic investment.”

“Since its inception in 2018, SparkTank has been a beacon of hope for the local community, providing essential support to nonprofits serving those in need,” says Kent Noble, UW Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Faculty Fellow and an Ethics Club adviser.

Each year, Ethics Club students invite all Albany County-based nonprofits -- focusing on essential needs, such as food, shelter, safety and clothing -- to submit applications to receive funding. The comprehensive process encompasses soliciting nominations; receiving pitches from the nonprofits; selecting the finalists; making on-site visits; participating in an on-campus question-and-answer session; and receiving guidance for presentations. The final step culminates with the “Shark Tank”-style competition.

Club members recently met to view and discuss the SparkTank 2024 nomination videos. The competition is tailored for nonprofit organizations and engages UW Ethics Club students to strategically determine the allocation of funds raised by both the Ethics Club and “Sales Seminar” students.

This year’s SparkTank competition will help support a new cohort of nonprofits making a difference in Albany County. With more than $165,000 allocated to invest in this year’s finalists, the competition is poised to make a significant impact, Noble says.

The finalists are:

-- Laramie Interfaith provides food, housing and essential services to individuals and families in need.

-- SAFE Project supports survivors of domestic, relationship and family violence, sexual assault and stalking.

-- Stork Support supports newborn and child necessities for families facing financial hardship.

-- Tele-Hope pairs college athletes with youth in the community to inspire and support them in achieving their dreams.

SparkTank is open to the public, and members of the community can attend by registering here by Friday, April 19.

Noble says through the dedication and hard work of UW’s Ethics Club and “Sales Seminar” students, SparkTank has raised an impressive $400,000 for local nonprofits, bolstering their efforts to provide food, shelter, safety, clothing, health care and other vital services to community members in need.

“The impact of SparkTank extends beyond the dollars raised,” he adds. “SparkTank 2024 promises to be an evening of innovation, collaboration and community impact. Join us as we come together to ignite positive change and support the nonprofits that make Albany County a better place for all.”

Impacts of UW’s SparkTank Program

A recent economic impact study conducted by the UW Center for Business and Economic Analysis showed that funding injected into local nonprofits catalyzed a multiplier effect, resulting in increased business-to-business spending and heightened household expenditure driven by labor income.

The cumulative effect of SparkTank’s support reached approximately $1.62 million in economic output, contributing $709,000 to the local gross domestic product, generating $618,000 in labor income and leading to the creation of 17.5 new jobs. These figures underscore the tangible and far-reaching positive effects of SparkTank on both nonprofit organizations and the broader community, according to the report.

For more information, email Noble at knoble@uwyo.edu.

Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929
Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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