The Expansion Of Opportunities For Crowdfunding University Projects
Crowdfunding is one of the hottest new trends in fundraising. Essentially, this process involves soliciting donations directly from people via dedicated websites, rather than through more traditional fundraising techniques. These donations can be in any amount, from a few dollars to many thousands.
Popular crowdfunding sites include Indiegogo and Kickstarter. While these sites are commonly used to raise funds for a independent film or a band’s new album, they are becoming increasingly popular as a means of crowdfunding university projects. Some major universities are setting up crowdfunding portals that let alumni and donors fund research projects.
Many scientists and professors spend much of their time fighting for a limited pool of research funding. Writing grant applications can take a lot of time away from research, and the uncertainty associated with the process makes it hard to focus on a single project. Researchers are reluctant to dedicate a lot of time to a project that may never be funded.
By crowdfunding university projects, a lot of this uncertainty can be removed. Researchers can bypass the traditional grant process and take their appeal for funds directly to the online community. The funds can be raised much more quickly, so researchers do not have to waste as much time waiting to hear if they have been granted funding or not.
This method of raising funds may be a boon for researchers who are interested in smaller scale projects that only need a few thousand dollars of funding. Such small projects often become lost in the shuffle, or are passed over in favor of bigger, flashier, and more expensive projects.
Crowdfunding can also help out universities by alleviating some of the strain on their research budgets. By raising outside funds for their research, professors do not have to use as many funds from the university’s budget. This will let universities focus their spending on other needs.
Of course, there need to be some controls over the crowdfunding process. It is important for universities to ensure that the process of raising funding is done in a controlled fashion so that researchers do not raise funds for frivolous or illegitimate research. The same standards of ethics must be followed in crowdfunded research.
It is also important for the university to be able to track the spending so that the funds raised are not used for inappropriate purposes. This is one reason why universities are creating their own crowdfunding sites, rather than just using preexisting ones. By having their own dedicated sites, a university can exercise more control over the fundraising.
Crowdfunding has changed many things about how money is raised for projects, and universities are naturally interested in making use of these new tools. If done properly, crowdfunding university projects can have many benefits. Researchers will have an easier time raising the funds that they need to support their research. A wider range of projects can be funded, and donors can ensure that research in which they particularly interested will actually take place.