Fundraising can often be a difficult task for busy students, but a new crowdfunding platform can help members of the Mines community make their projects a reality. The Gold Mine, officially launched in early October, features campus projects and helps connect them with donors.
“The whole concept behind crowdfunding is reaching out to a large number of contacts,” explained Rachelle Trujillo, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Mines Foundation.
Crowdfunding platforms feature project information, often in the form of videos or photos, and then encourage viewers to make a small contribution to the cause. While public platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter have been in existence for years, the Gold Mine offers several special advantages.
“100% of the amount raised goes to the student group or the campaign creators,” stated Trujillo. The campaign creators also get to keep any money raised, regardless of whether or not they reach their fundraising goals.
“We want every campaign on the Gold Mine to succeed,” Trujillo expressed. Project leaders receive training on how to represent their projects and build a successful marketing campaign.
The Gold Mine currently features six campaigns, along with two permanent campaigns benefitting CASA and the student scholarship fund.
One project this semester raises funds for a team of 15 students and faculty traveling to Nepal to build the very first public restroom in the small village of Lukla. The campaign features information about the organizations involved (the McBride Honors Program, Hike for Help), photos of the community that will be impacted by the project, and detailed schematics of the toilets to be built.
“Without firsthand knowledge of the sanitation, education, and economic issues that persist in the world and in Nepal, all decisions I make are ill-informed ones,” said Matt Kowalsky, one of the students on the team.
Another campaign raises funds for the Design, Build, Fly (DBF) team—a group of engineering students building an airplane for a competition in Arizona this April.
Students and faculty members hoping to utilize the Gold Mine next semester should submit their idea through the Gold Mine website. If the project is a good fit for the platform, the Mines Foundation will work with project leaders to develop a successful marketing campaign.
“Whether they [campaigns] are a success or not, you are going to learn a lot about marketing, communications, and fundraising,” said Trujillo. “That is something that is very marketable as you enter the workforce.”
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