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Annual Giving Launches Pilot Crowdfunding Campaign

April 17, 2014

The University's annual giving campaign is testing a new approach to fundraising with the launch of its first crowdfunding effort.

A form of crowdsourcing, which solicits participatory contributions from many people to reach a goal, crowdfunding seeks modest contributions from many people to finance a particular project or venture — in this case, a wide range of student-centered services and programs.

Todd Frandsen, director of annual campaigns, is leading the pilot program being shepherded by University Advancement. Utilizing compelling videos, testimonials and social networks, the pilot project has been launched in partnership with WeDidIt, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that provides the technical tools and consulting services needed to launch an online campaign.

Increasingly popular over the last six years, crowdfunding campaigns have helped launch independent movies and social justice endeavors and are being used by colleges and universities throughout the nation to collect donations from alumni, friends and supporters. Casting a wider net means that smaller donations can go even further to help a cause succeed.

“We are excited to be launching this pilot crowdfunding effort," Frandsen said. "It is inspiring to gather stakeholders together both here on campus and across the country as we spread the word about the important work being done in these four project areas. Our champions include students, alumni, donors, faculty, staff and community members, who are all deeply committed to the work we do at Cal State Fullerton.”       

The inaugural effort features four campaigns:

Titans Soar starts April 17 and is seeking $5,000 to fund a 13-member team of engineering students from the College of Engineering and Computer Science to participate in a national competition of unmanned aerial vehicles. Go online to donate. 

Guardian Scholars Summer Support Fund starts May 1 and is seeking $9,896 to help former foster care students within the Guardian Scholars program with expenses during the summer, when funding is not available. Go online to donate. 

Bridge to Success, a scholarship to help veterans complete their college degrees, starts May 27 and seeks $9,800 to help CSUF veterans pay tuition fees and other day-to-day expenses to continue their education. Go online to donate.

D.C. Scholars starts May 29 and seeks $10,000 to fund scholarships for 10 students participating in the Cal State D.C. internship program. Go online to donate. 
The campaigns will be staggered throughout the months of April and May, and web links for each project will be updated once the campaign is underway.

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