The University Crowdfunding Revolution
University crowdfunding is a modern phenomenon that enlists students, alumnae and other philanthropic individuals and organizations to pony up and give some money to the university for special projects and events. This is becoming an art form.
This method of fundraising is quickly becoming a more serious method of raising money than ever thought a few years ago. Word of mouth becomes viral when it is committed to the inner workings of social media.
Movie and musical projects have gotten off the ground when crowdfunding has been used in the past for raising money by fans and interested parties. In some cases this money source has been instrumental in getting the project off the ground and running.
The University of Utah has a Technology Commercialization Office, the purpose of which is to help to launch business startups. In the past seven years the program has been instrumental in helping to start over 150 new companies.
The utilization of university crowdfunding has turned out to be an ideal method of developing funding to help in starting these new companies. This is now becoming the norm in many universities because it is becoming easier to be able to raise enough money to get a small business launched to the point that it can become self-sustaining.
The major key to the crowdfunding success is an active, intelligent exploitation of social media sites. It all begins with a push to friends and family, and then it goes viral from there. As soon as any kind of a dialoge is in place on a few social media sites, it’s all over.
There seems to be a point that the crowdfunding effort just takes off by itself. It seems to get a life of its own. Once enough people get the message then more people join the bandwagon and the rest is history.
Once universities really catch on to this process of viral marketing on steroids, they will be able to create tremendous value for them, their students and society at large. Universities are positioned in a unique place which will allow them to capitalize greatly on this turn of events in fundrasing.
One concept that is quite interesting proposes to make available to each student in the university a platform where he or she could start a business. There would be no deadlines for classwork, no tests, no scheduled activities. The total focus would be to get their business off the ground. This is where crowdfunding comes in, so that there won’t be any hitches.
Calling this a nonlinear approach, it would certainly teach a real life situation, and would probably make a few students rich as well as bringing a fantastically high degree of value to society. Even the students who fail to start a business would learn a great deal, and would have more appreciation of what it takes to be in business.
Crownfunding, in this case, would provide initial funding, and may also provide capital for mergers and partnerships to develop. People will give to causes they are deeply passionate about, and projects that they perceive to be worthwhile.