Great idea: Marquette University uses crowd funding platform to raise money

This week’s great idea comes all the way from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where their social media measurement and analytics class has for the past year been using their social media skills for good by raising much needed cash to support some of the school’s technology and education initiatives through the crowdfunding platform; Indiegogo.

Crowdfunding was initially seen as a way to fund creative and philanthropic endeavors but now extends to funding entrepreneurial efforts.Crowdfunding has recently become a pretty standard way to finance everything from publishing a comic book series to getting a movie made or even opening a local cat café.

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder are perhaps the best known but Marquette University chose to house their campaigns over at Indiegogo perhaps due to the fact that unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo allows you to keep the all the funds you raise, even if you don’t hit your goal.

To date the students of Diederich Collge of Communication from Marquette University have raised $39,417 USD across 18 campaigns for some really worthy projects including their Humanoid Robots for healthier kids project which is aiming to stamp out childhood obesity by providing homes with a child-friendly robot fitness instructor and the Engineers without borders project where the university’s engineers are building a bridge for Guatemala’s indigenous community of Xepepen.

So what are the ingredients of a successful crowdfunding campaign? Aside from having an original, interesting or slightly crazy idea!

If you want to follow Marquette’s example, then you should ensure your crowdfunding campaign adheres to these golden rules:

  • Frame your pitch with a clear mission and financial goal-there’s nothing quite like confusion to turn someone off making a donation
  • Make your appeal personal and accompany it with a video to get your message across
  • Clearly outline what the benefits of contributing to your campaign are. What incentives are in place for them to contribute $100 or $500 dollars? 
  • Stay active and engaged throughout the campaign. Don’t be tempted to let the campaign run too long as it can easily run out of steam. Shorter campaigns tend to be more successful as you’re more likely to give it your all!

We love Marquette University’s innovative use of social media and crowdfunding platforms to proactively involve students in raising funds for vital projects.

Let us know in the comments below if your university or college has gotten on board with crowdfunding yet?