Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

The 20 Best Higher-Ed Crowdfunding Campaigns

Loading in …3

Check these out next

1 of 36 Ad

More Related Content

Slideshows for you (20)

Viewers also liked (20)


Similar to The 20 Best Higher-Ed Crowdfunding Campaigns (20)

More from EverTrue (20)


Recently uploaded (20)

The 20 Best Higher-Ed Crowdfunding Campaigns

  1. 1. WHAT IS CROWDFUNDING? By definition, crowdfunding is the process of funding a project or cause by raising small amounts from a large number of people. Usually carried out online, it has become an innovative new way to fundraise by harnessing the power of peer-to-peer relationships and social media. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals all over the world now use platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Crowdrise to jumpstart new ventures, raise funds for personal purposes, solicit charitable donations, and pursue their passions.
  2. 2. Higher education has stepped into the world of crowdfunding, too. In the past few years, advancement offices at colleges and universities across the nation have developed their own crowdfunding programs, allowing alumni, students, faculty, and friends to donate to specific funds or causes that they are passionate about. Many campaigns even feature student-led projects.
  3. 3. In fact, crowdfunding has already begun to revolutionize the way that schools fundraise. So who are the leaders of the crowdfunding craze? Here at EverTrue, we analyzed the initiatives of higher-ed institutions across the USA and present to you: *Schools listed in alphabetical order. The 20 Best Higher-Ed Crowdfunding Programs*
  4. 4. Launched in 2013, ASU’s crowdsourcing program provides a platform on which students and faculty can raise funds for their organizations and passion projects. From funding research, to service trips, to Forgiveness Tree Ceremonies (one of their most successful projects!), these campaigns have spurred hundreds of gifts across campus and beyond. According to the team, PitchFunder has also played a role in increasing ASU’s donor base. The majority of gifts have come from people who haven’t previously been tied to the institution, about 10% has come from faculty, and about 10% from students. Arizona State University PitchFunder
  5. 5. – Tiffany Antor, Associate Director of Annual Giving Programs at Arizona State University “ via Wikimedia Commons
  6. 6. With the understanding that a personal connection to a cause can inspire giving like no other, CMU kicked off its crowdfunding program this past November as a tool exclusively for students. Over a 30-day period, students were tasked with advertising their campaigns through social media, email, and other outreach methods in order to achieve their fundraising goals. The first round of projects was so successful—drawing both first-time and consecutive donors—that CMU is looking to expand the program to see the impact it would have for alumni and faculty-run projects as well! Carnegie Mellon University CMU Crowdfunding
  7. 7. – Mary Ann McCollough, Director of Constituent Insights and Business Operations at Carnegie Mellon University “ via Wikimedia Commons
  8. 8. The history of Cornell’s crowdfunding efforts began in 2013 with seven pilot projects—each of which was fully funded (and even overfunded!). Due to the success of the program’s initial launch, the Alumni Affairs and Development team has since unrolled several new sets of projects, one in tandem with Cornell’s Sesquicentennial campaign. According to a blog post from Andrew Gossen, the Senior Director for Social Media Strategy at Cornell, young alumni have made up 45% of alumni donors for crowdfunding projects. Clearly, Cornell has figured out what makes their millennial constituents tick! Cornell University Cornell Crowdfunding
  9. 9. Lehigh students have a fantastic tool at their disposal with Ignite LU, the university’s official crowdfunding platform. Whether students are looking to raise money for their campus organizations, research projects, or athletic endeavors, they can submit a proposal for a chance to be featured on the site. One of the most interesting ways that Lehigh has been using the platform, however, is to raise money for the Lehigh Fund—merging crowdfunding and the annual fund. The project, still going strong, has already raised over $8 million from over 14k donors! Lehigh University Ignite LU
  10. 10. When you land on the MiddSTART homepage, you’ll see the phrase “A network of microphilanthropy that supports Middlebury students.” From the dozens of funded projects listed under the Success Stories tab, there is no doubt that MiddSTART has been living up to its mission of enabling students’ passions. Besides funding student initiatives, alumni can contribute to a scholarship fund to help a high school student attend Middlebury. A creative use of crowdfunding, this has allowed alumni to truly make a difference in a student’s life! Middlebury College MiddSTART
  11. 11. For the Penn State Schreyer Honors College (SHC), no gift is too small when it comes to crowdfunding. (The STOP Hunger campaign, which was 100% funded in August 2014, emphasized that “just 25 cents is enough to give a meal to a family in need”!) A great feature of the program is that, when you navigate to a project page, you can find the specific impact that every donation level will make. This approach has worked wonders for encouraging alumni to give; SHC has been able to fund scholarships, research grants, service projects, and more with the generosity of their constituents. Pennsylvania State University Schreyer Honors College Crowdfunding
  12. 12. Given the decline in effectiveness of traditional fundraising outreach methods —like direct mail and phonathons— Pepperdine has been testing out crowdfunding as a way to appeal to the younger generation and to inspire a culture of philanthropy in students and alumni. The latest round of campaigns revolves around the theme “Project Serve,” with the funds enabling student teams to embark on community service projects across the world. The first fully-funded project of the pack raised over 13k and will send a team to Costa Rica to aid the Abraham Project! Pepperdine University Waves of Impact
  13. 13. – Cynthia Ware, Director of the Pepperdine Fund “ via Wikimedia Commons
  14. 14. Temple has framed its crowdfunding initiative, launched in August 2013 under the moniker OwlCrowd, around a commitment to supporting grassroots projects that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to see funding. With four campaigns complete and a fifth on its way, the team at Temple has already found OwlCrowd to be useful for prospect research and for uncovering new donors. In fact, according to the team, about 40% of OwlCrowd donors are new to the university! Temple University OwlCrowd
  15. 15. – Alysea McDonald, Associate Director of Annual Campaigns at Temple University “ via Temple University
  16. 16. Realizing that their giving office was not structured in a way that could help student groups and faculty raise money for university-affiliated projects, the Haas School decided to create an internal platform, linked to the Haas foundation, to make this possible. (The team has also launched an external platform on Indiegogo for students, faculty, and alumni who are looking to fund their private ventures.) So far, professors and students have succeeded in pooling thousands of dollars for their projects through leveraging their social networks. This has attracted several first-time donors who are interested in supporting specific initiatives! University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business Crowdfunding
  17. 17. – Laurent “Lo” de Janvry, Director of Annual Giving at Berkeley-Haas “ via Wikimedia Commons
  18. 18. Striving to “fuel ideas that change the world,” UCLA Spark has been a wildly successful platform on which students, faculty, and other university entities can solicit funds for their ambitious undertakings—from social initiatives, to research on diversity in the entertainment industry. For example, in a project called “Beethoven Spectacular!”, the UCLA Chorale was able to raise over $25k (168% of their original goal) to hold two concerts in honor of conductor and professor Donald Neuen. University of California, Los Angeles UCLA Spark via Wikimedia Commonsvia Wikimedia Commonsvia Antioch College
  19. 19. Instead of hosting just any type of project, the UCSF crowdfunding platform is unique in that it focuses solely on advancing the fields of science and health care. Every initiative on the page is dedicated to furthering scientific innovation—no doubt helping to enhance the university’s reputation as a leader in the discipline. The top-funded project currently on view is titled “Let’s Race With Jennifer,” having raised $282k from 1,110 donors to support research on pancreatic cancer. Truly an incredible achievement! University of California, San Francisco UCSF Crowdfunding
  20. 20. There’s nothing like a little competition to inspire giving; at UConn, their widely acclaimed crowdfunding competition, known as Ignite, has proven no less. The annual event, which runs for eight weeks, allows student groups to compete for a challenge grant—this year, a $20k sum—plus the amount of money they raise during the course of the competition. The student groups are encouraged to be creative with how they reach out to their networks and market their campaigns, which has been integral in building a culture of philanthropy among UConn students and young alumni! University of Connecticut Ignite via UConn
  21. 21. – Karen LaMalva, Director of Annual Giving at the University of Connecticut “ via Wikimedia Commons
  22. 22. The main idea behind the founding of LAUNCH UMD was to give alumni new ways to engage with the university philanthropically. The program aims to connect alumni with projects on campus while tapping into their affinities and relationships with university departments. So, have they been successful in meeting these goals? All sources point to ‘yes.’ The UMD team has seen that 30% of donors who give through the platform are alumni, including a high percentage of new and lapsed donors. On top of that, they’ve raised nearly $200k total in less than a year! University of Maryland LAUNCH UMD
  23. 23. – Nora Pittman, Manager of New Donor Strategies in the UMD Office of Annual Giving “ via Wikimedia Commons
  24. 24. After an inaugural crowdfunding campaign in which Ole Miss fans chipped in to fund the damages of a destroyed football field (described as “a perfect storm” by the team), the university’s crowdfunding platform has taken off; it now features a variety of new campaigns. While most of the projects currently on the site are athletics- focused, the team is looking to get more student-driven projects on the platform in the near future. Already, though, Ignite Ole Miss has proven to be a valuable donor acquisition tool, with several cases of people giving to the university for the first time. University of Mississippi Ignite Ole Miss
  25. 25. – Suzanne Thigpen, Director of Annual Giving at the University of Mississippi “ via Ken Lund, Flickr Creative Commons
  26. 26. Launched in 2014, Ignite USC was created to foster the initiatives of faculty, staff, and students—anything from establishing a scholarship fund to raising money for an exciting campus- wide event. The program has run smoothly alongside the school’s $6 billion capital campaign, which is set to conclude in 2018. In just a few months, Ignite USC has already acted as a vehicle for change and innovation. One of the first projects, for example, raised over $5k to replace water fountains on campus with water bottle filling “hydration” stations. Keep it up, USC! University of Southern California Ignite USC
  27. 27. With an excellently branded homepage— complete with a fun, informative video explaining the platform—VOLstarter should be a model to any school looking to dive into crowdfunding. How it works: UT students, staff, and faculty can apply to have their projects featured, and once accepted, they have 30-45 days to reach their fundraising goal. The VOLstarter page is brimming with neat projects, giving UT alumni and friends ample opportunity to support the initiatives they’re most interested in. Another nice touch on the site is a “Testimonials” page, where past project leaders have written letters expressing their gratitude. It’s a great way to follow up with donors who helped make these projects possible! University of Tennessee, Knoxville VOLstarter
  28. 28. UTSA has done a phenomenal job with its crowdfunding program, turning the platform into a fantastic resource for not just the giving office, but also for the entirety of the Roadrunner community. As the website header states, the mission behind Launch UTSA is to “fuel top-tier progress”; they’ve done just that by helping fund research, service-oriented, and social justice projects. The team even held an Alumni City Race on the platform, pitting a handful of cities against each other in a quest to increase the alumni participation rate by raising $30k in 31 days. It was a resounding success thanks to the ease of donating on the platform! University of Texas at San Antonio Launch UTSA
  29. 29. The University of Virginia’s crowdfunding program is unique in that it operates exclusively to facilitate research and development projects. Overseen by U.Va. Innovation, USEED@U.Va. allows alumni and friends to support university-led research by making targeted donations towards early-stage projects. The three projects currently on the page— each with a goal of raising $10k or higher— are important, high-impact initiatives that, when funded, will doubtlessly contribute to the public good and put the university on the frontline of research innovation. Best of luck to the UVA team! University of Virginia USEED at U.Va.
  30. 30. The history of crowdfunding at UW began back in 2011, making UW one of the earliest schools to experiment with peer-to-peer fundraising. However, it wasn’t until May 2014 that the team launched USEED@UW, a central platform on which students could promote their unique projects and causes. Since its inception, the program has helped fund six projects, raising over $100k from 900 donors—and there are five more projects on the horizon. The UW program is a shining example of micro-stewardship. Donors are able to see the immediate impact that their gifts are making, encouraging many members of the UW community to give for the first time! University of Washington USEED@UW
  31. 31. – Ben Morris, Manager of Gift Acceptance in the Office of University Advancement at UW “ via Wikimedia Commons
  32. 32. The story behind WPI’s crowdfunding effort is a little different from the rest of the schools on this list. Working with the vendor AlumniFund, the WPI team built their platform for the specific purpose of raising money to construct an Innovation Studio on campus. They’ve netted over $215k so far, bringing them closer to building a hub of collaboration for engineering, business, and entrepreneurship. A unique feature of the platform is that it allows donors to indicate what campus groups they’re affiliated with, such as Greek organizations or sports teams. This information feeds into a “Top Donors” ranking on the homepage that shows which campus groups and class years have risen to the challenge! Worcester Polytechnic Institute The Robert A. Foisie ‘56 Innovation Studio
  33. 33. – Scott Hadley, Manager of Integrated Media in the WPI Office of University Advancement “ via Wikimedia Commons
  34. 34. About EverTrue Since 2010, EverTrue has been empowering fundraising teams with intuitive web and mobile software. Today, 300+ nonprofit institutions, with a combined $17 billion of giving data (and counting!), rely on EverTrue to identify, prioritize, and manage their prospects. With EverTrue, fundraisers spend less time and effort getting the answers they need. We surface insights from your database as well as from our powerful integrations with Google Maps, LinkedIn, Facebook, Zillow, and more. And instead of waiting days for information and reports, fundraisers equipped with EverTrue can find prospects in milliseconds, whether for portfolio-building, moves management, trips, campaigns, or events—all in one intuitive platform. EverTrue is headquartered in Boston, MA and is a Bain Capital Ventures-backed company.
  35. 35. About EverTrue Since 2010, EverTrue has been empowering fundraising teams with intuitive web and mobile software. Today, 300+ nonprofit institutions, with a combined $17 billion of giving data (and counting!), rely on EverTrue to identify, prioritize, and manage their prospects. With EverTrue, fundraisers spend less time and effort getting the answers they need. We surface insights from your database as well as from our powerful integrations with Google Maps, LinkedIn, Facebook, Zillow, and more. And instead of waiting days for information and reports, fundraisers equipped with EverTrue can find prospects in milliseconds, whether for portfolio-building, moves management, trips, campaigns, or events—all in one intuitive platform. EverTrue is headquartered in Boston, MA and is a Bain Capital Ventures-backed company.