Funding For College – Can You Crowdsource Higher Education?

Can IndieGoGo funding provide money for college students?

My daughter chose the IndieGoGo platform in attempt to fund her Educational Summer Abroad Program to South America.

If you are unfamiliar with IndieGoGo, the company website permits you to list a funding campaign, publicize, and collect donations from strangers world wide. If you would like specifics on “how to use IndieGoGo,” see my IndieGoGo Crowdsourcing Review.

My daughter is only 16 years old, but her fundraising for education venture made me wonder:

  • If you need funding for college, could crowdsourcing work for you?
  • Can crowdsourcing work for summer abroad programs for High School students?

First ask yourself, “Am I comfortable with going public?” Are you ready to place your story on the internet, displayed across the world-wide-web? If the answer is, “No,” then it doesn’t really matter if crowdsourcing is a successful platform or not; it’s not going to be the right fundraising path for you.

Take time to ponder the question. My daughter had reservations. She was uneasy about using social media and publicly asking for donations from strangers. However, once she went live, the first thing she asked me that evening when she came home was, “Did anyone contribute?”

Crowdsourcing can be exciting. The IndieGoGo site is full of crowdsourcing examples, full of requests for the public to fund creative dreams, donate to noble causes, and support unique business ventures, AND full of success stories that may inspire you to try a campaign too.

Examples of Crowdsource Funding for College or Graduate School

Here are some examples of crowdsource funding attempts to generate money for college students. You can browse the IndieGoGo site to see final donations of closed campaigns, but I chose campaigns currently in progress because this will give them the much needed additional exposure.

Examples of Crowdsourcing Educational Travel or Educational Study Abroad Programs

Teenage student travel funding campaigns will be a challenge. Student travel is a unique educational experience, many may view it as a personal cause. However, we should keep in mind that IndieGoGo has helped fund numerous personal cause campaigns, and the public often surprises us with their generosity. When we rewarding students who study, work hard, and graduate on time, The CAUSE is the development of the future leaders of our country.

We all have to choose who we will donate to. I usually choose to contribute to people who are making an effort to help themselves. I prefer to donate to the street or subway performer, versus the homeless person holding a cup. My books on a Roth IRA and Student Aid offer students options to help themselves.

This family philosophy inspired my daughter’s actions to begin an IndieGoGo campaign. I answered her, “Mom, Can I go to Bolivia for $9,000?” with, “Well, what steps are you taking to assist with this bill?” (MOM does not translate to Made of Money.)

My daughter decided to go with a slide show and played her flute as background music:

Is Crowdsourcing Worth the Time or Return on Investment (ROI)?

I wonder if campaigns are lacking donations because people are unaware IndieGoGo exists or if perhaps IndieGoGo is relatively unsuccessful in generating money for students and thus, a wasted effort?

It’s easy to get excited about using IndieGoGo crowdsourcing. I think there are people, strangers worldwide, who are willing to donate money toward educational student fundraisers, but locating and communicating with them is the challenge. You may need to dedicate a significant amount of time to actually promote your campaign, share it through social media, etc.

If every dollar makes a significant difference, then since starting a fundraising campaign is free, I would encourage you to try.

In a few months, we’ll know if my daughter’s Summer Broad Program fundraiser is a success. Please consider donating or sharing her link.

Her fundraising venture is turning out to be a teenage educational experience in and of itself. She’s certainly had a lesson in internet marketing and philanthropy.

Do you know of other student attempts to use IndieGoGo for educational funding? Tell us in the comments below. Let’s help our future leaders.

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