3 Surprising Benefits Crowdfunding has for College Students
Crowdfunding is giving college students around the world a newfound ability to fund their projects and organizations – a gift of the 21st century.
But crowdfunding does more than provide access to funds. It brings together community, prepares students for their careers, and gives them opportunities to engage in self-discovery, which directly impacts their futures and the way they will participate in our society.
Here’s a breakdown of how crowdfunding affects students beyond the finances:
Find your tribe
Finding your tribe – your people – in college isn’t always easy.
It is worth it, though, because friendships in college can boost student success and improve emotional health. Unfortunately, many students never get to experience what it’s like to rally alongside a team of like-minded people who care about the same things they do.
But crowdfunding opens that door.
From the enthusiastic fundraisers to the generous donors, crowdfunding can only function as a community effort. You’d have to work pretty hard to walk away from a crowdfunding campaign and not experience new or deeper relationships from it.
Crowdfunding can be a validating experience. It can draw people together under the umbrella of shared passion and interest. Few students get an experience like this, but thanks to crowdfunding, the numbers are growing every day.
Land the job
When it’s time to graduate and move on to the wonderful world of finding a job, students often scramble to set themselves apart from their peers.
We know that crowdfunding appeals to employers, primarily because it gives students opportunities to grow their leadership capabilities and learn how to work in a team environment (about 80% of employers look for these skills on a resume).
Crowdfunding also lays the groundwork for a great narrative. Not many students are able to walk into an interview and tell a story about a time where they set out to achieve a significant goal (like crowdfunding over $20,000 for an international engineering challenge or make a sport financially accessible for all students) and worked with a team to accomplish it.
But a student who develops and implements a crowdfunding campaign can tell such a story, which will set them apart from the masses of job-seekers and make them a more interesting and desirable candidate.
Engage in self-discovery
Here’s the reality: Only 27% of college grads end up working in a field related to their major. Go ahead and add the growing student debt crisis to the mix, and you get disenfranchised graduates everywhere questioning why they chose their major – or worse, went to college – in the first place.
It’s entirely possible – even entirely likely – that students don’t get enough opportunities in college to discover their strengths and interests in any meaningful or substantive way.
Crowdfunding not only provides a funding option for students to proactively learn more about a career in their field of study (like this group of students crowdfunding a trip to NYC to experience what a career in art could look like), but it allows them to explore and practice a host of skills that could bring about a new sense of self-awareness. We know that the art of crowdfunding gives students opportunities to exercise leadership, communication, technical skills, teamwork, storytelling, and creative ideation. When students engage with these skills, they learn more about themselves and, naturally, how they enjoy contributing to the world.
We believe every student in the world should have access to crowdfunding. Project-based learning can change the course of students’ lives by facilitating personal development – something they likely won’t obtain behind a desk.
These understated benefits are partly why we love what we do so much. When students have access to crowdfunding, they will be better for it; the world will be better for it.