Five things you should know about crowdfunding at CU-Boulder

May 15, 2014

What is CU-Boulder Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a mechanism for funding a project or campaign by soliciting relatively small donations of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. The CU-Boulder Crowdfunding platform launched at the beginning of May with eight student, faculty and staff projects. Crowdfunding allows individuals and organizations to create and share fundraising campaigns by connecting to communities who are engaged in the subject or issue of the project through social media.

What are the projects in the pilot?

For our platform, eight project teams of CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff created crowdfunding project campaigns with specific goals and timelines. Projects include a digital Colorado history collection; establishing a scalable research and educational platform for swarm robotics; recycling CO2 into a fuel; partnering students with industry experts to evaluate promising new clean technologies and create go-to-market strategies; the creation of training resources for community leaders, teachers and administrators to support LGBTQ youth; two senior thesis film projects; and placing law students in high school classrooms to teach constitutional law.

Where can I learn more about the projects and how to support them?

Supporters can follow the progress of projects, share a project with their own community and social network and contribute by way of a charitable donation through the CU-Boulder Crowdfunding website (http://www.colorado.edu/crowdfunding/). Each project has a project video, a detailed description of the project and the team, along with its mission and goals, including a section on the use of funds raised. Supporters can contribute to the project financially during the 45-day funding period (ends June 15) and are also encouraged to share the project with their own community and social network.

Who can start a crowdfunded project?

CU-Boulder Crowdfunding is in its pilot launch phase and right now it is restricted to students, faculty and staff who are raising funds for not-for-profit projects. However, please stay tuned for additional information on how this new crowdfunding tool and platform may be available more broadly to our faculty, students and staff in the future!  If you are interested in doing a project, contact the crowdfunding project manager, Ray Johnson, at ray.johnson@colorado.edu.

If you have plans to use a third-party crowdfunding vendor or portal, please review the CU-Boulder Crowdfunding Policy (http://www.colorado.edu/policies/campus-wide-crowdfundingcrowdsourcing), which applies to crowdfunding campaigns or projects undertaken by any individual associated with the University of Colorado Boulder (“CU-Boulder”) (e.g. staff, faculty, students or administration).

Is this just another way to provide revenue for university operations?

No. The crowdfunding initiative is designed to connect and engage audiences directly with teams looking for supporters and project funding. This allows us all to help jumpstart promising projects developed by students, faculty and staff. This funding is only for these projects, and not for university operations.

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