The Crowdfunding Strategist
Actionable Insight for Higher Education’s Innovative Fundraisers

Recent Blog Posts

5 Creative Ways to Thank Your Donors


You’ve probably thought a lot about how to win donations – and donors – to your crowdfunding campaign. But what …

Charter School Case Study: First State Military Academy


Summary First State Military Academy (FSMA) needed $25,000 for an obstacle course but had no funds available in their operating …

Why Students Are Your School’s Ultimate Fundraisers


Have you ever considered empowering your student population to become fundraising ambassadors for your institution? If not, consider this: Your …

For The Ones Who Didn’t Reach Their Crowdfunding Goal


You’ve heard the famous tales of failure: Kansas City Star newspaper fired Walt Disney for a “lack of creativity.”  Michael Jordan …

The Story of Self, Us, and Now: A Storytelling Hack for Your Crowdfunding Campaign


“I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story,” President Barak Obama declared on stage at the …

5 Ways This Team Used Slack to Launch Their Crowdfunding Campaign


Meet this interdisciplinary robotics team from the University of Alberta. In late January, this Autonomous Robotic Vehicle Project (ARVP) Team launched …

How to Prepare a Large Team for Crowdfunding Success


Congratulations! You have many people in your life who want to participate in campaigning for your crowdfunding campaign. Perhaps you …

Why Crowdfunding Outreach Should Always Begin with Your Personal Network


Let’s first get something out of the way: Campaigners who share their crowdfunding campaign with their personal networks raise more …

Why Trained Crowdfunding Campaigners are More Successful and Raise More Money


We know that crowdfunding is hard work, especially for first-timers who have never done it, so one of USEED’s core …

If You Want a Response to Your Fundraising Emails, Sign Off with this Closing


Your campaign is about to launch and you’ve crafted the perfect email to send out to your personal network of …

5 Traits that Successful Crowdfunding Program Directors and Campaigners Have in Common


With 25 partner institutions, we get to witness some powerful Crowdfunding Programs in action. And when you witness powerful Crowdfunding Programs, …

Four Ways to Make Asking for Money Less Scary


Creating your crowdfunding campaign page, building your team, and putting together an outreach plan is easy compared to asking the people …

USEED’s Crowdfunding Program Timeline (and What to Expect)


Maybe you’re interested in applying to your school’s Crowdfunding Program, but you want to know more. What will it look …

5 Types of Campaign Updates You Can Publish Today


Campaign updates are your opportunities to “check in” with the visitors to your campaign page by providing additional content as …

Four-Part Email Series: Recruit Student Groups to Your Crowdfunding Program


If you have a list of student-led groups you’d like to recruit to your new Crowdfunding Program, then congratulations! You’ve tackled …

Introducing Program Pipeline Reports to Help You Meet Your Crowdfunding Goals


As the leader of your Crowdfunding Program, you almost certainly have goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you need …

The Biggest Mistake When Marketing a Crowdfunding Program (And How to Fix It!)


Marketing to Everyone So you’re leading a Crowdfunding Program, and now it’s up to you to market to your campus. …

What You Can Learn from This Post-Crowdfunding Letter to Donors


In January 2016, a team of student fundraisers at Rochester Institute of Technology launched their first crowdfunding campaign. They set out …

12 Charities Impacted by USEED’s ‘Philanthropic Secret Santa’


As we shared in December, this year, our team at USEED participated in our own version of Secret Santa: Instead …

6 Crowdfunding Teams on Santa’s Nice List This Year


Can you keep a secret? We just peeked at Santa’s nice list. And even better – we regonized some of …

4 Ideas for Marketing a Crowdfunding Program to College Students


One of the most daunting challenges in launching a Crowdfunding Program is marketing it to students. Many times, our Crowdfunding …

Set Weekly Funding Milestones for Your 30 Day Crowdfunding Campaign


Crowdfunding is all about setting attainable milestones and goals to move you and your team forward. As you prepare to …

Create Personas for Your Crowdfunding Program in 3 Easy Steps


Before you launch your institution’s Crowdfunding Program, we recommend first learning what makes a successful crowdfunding campaign. From there, you can …

Why Your Crowdfunding Campaign Needs a Team


Last year, Indiegogo released a key fundraising statistic that surprised absolutely nobody: Teams of crowdfunders raise over 3x as many funds …

Why We’re Doing “Philanthropic” Secret Santa this Year


For many of us, holiday traditions abound and gift-purchasing is in full swing this week. Last year, those of us …

How to Choose the Perfect Date to Launch Your Crowdfunding Campaign in College


Most first-time crowdfunders don’t realize how important timing is for the success of their crowdfunding campaign. Choose the right date, …

Partner Spotlight: Micro Crowdfunding and the Unrestricted Fund


How will crowdfunding affect the unrestricted fund? This is one of the first questions Advancement and Annual Giving leaders ask …

Your Crowdfunding Campaign as a Thanksgiving Meal


Thanksgiving is here, and it’s time to bring out the sweatpants! Have you ever considered what your crowdfunding campaign would …

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 …

Have an Attitude of Gratitude to Ramp Up Holiday Giving


According to research reported by Robert A. Emmons and Anjali Mishra, gratitude lowers stress, reduces negative emotions, sustains our relationships, …

3 Reasons Crowdfunders in College Need a Crowdfunding Advisor


Part of what we do here at USEED is train amateur fundraisers – typically students – how to effectively create, …

Why Crowdfunding in Higher Ed Appeals to Future Employers


We believe that every student should fundraise at least once during their time in college. Crowdfunding – the act of …

5 Challenges When Launching a Crowdfunding Program in Higher Ed – and How to Overcome Them


You might be considering building a Crowdfunding Program from the ground up without any external support. We commend your courage, …

“Be Boundless:” University of Washington Launches Their Most Ambitious Fundraising Campaign


Friday, October 21st marked the public launch of University of Washington’s most ambitious fundraising campaign ever. Six years into “Be …

How Our Crowdfunding Teams Use Trello to Prepare and Launch their Projects


After spending five years testing dozens of task management apps for our internal workflows, USEED has finally locked down our …

Six Generous Young Alumni: Where We Give and Why


We already know that millennials are generous. We know that they are impact-driven, influential, and connected in a way no …

The 7 day countdown before your crowdfunding campaign is live: What to do and how to do it


And so the countdown begins. You’re one week away from launching your crowdfunding campaign and accepting donations to your initiative. …

USEED Crowdfunding Campaigns We Love


One of the first things we recommend crowdfunders to do before they begin working on their project is to audit …

18 Factors that Impact How Much You’ll Raise through Crowdfunding


“We’d like to raise $20,000. Quick! Let’s set the goal on our crowdfunding campaign page at $20,000!” (Please don’t do …

5 Ways Crowdfunding Can Make Your Resume Stand Out


Whether you’re a student who needs to build a resume for the first time or a working professional who wants …

How to Employ Permission First Crowdfunding in Higher Education


The fear of rejection is real for many crowdfunders in higher education. It can feel like your reputation is on …

Service Learning Spotlight: Making Change and Gaining Perspective


I consider myself pretty cognizant of my privileges. I often think about how grateful I am to have a home, …

Scholarship Spotlight: “She was smart. She was kind. She was important.”


“She was Alexandra.” Alexandra passed away last August. She was just 27 years old. It was sudden and tragic news …

STEM Spotlight: Experiential Fundraising for Experiential Learning


Meet the University of Washington undergrads who are designing, building and racing a human powered submarine to bring what they learn in the classroom to life.

Equity Crowdfunding is Here: How Title III of the JOBS Act Works


Equity crowdfunding is here, and it’s more inclusive than ever. Here’s what Title III is, how it works, and what it means for the future of capital fundraising.

Research Spotlight: When Innovation is a Dealer in Hope


A research team at Simon-Fraser University is developing the most intuitive prosthesis – and they’re going to the world’s first “cyborg olympics” to prove it.

Athletics Spotlight: From “What If?” to “What’s Possible?”


What happens when funding limits dreams? University of Washington Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team faced this challenge head on. Here’s how it went.

5 Tips for Motivating Your Team During Your Crowdfunding Campaign


How do you keep a full team of crowdfunders engaged during your live crowdfunding campaign? Here are a few of our favorite tips and best practices!

Humans of New York’s Advice to Higher Education Crowdfunders


I sat among college students listening to Brandon Stanton’s (Humans of New York founder and photographer) advice for crowdfunding in higher education.

The Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunder’s Guide to Building a Contact List from Scratch


An in-depth look at why USEED loves peer-to-peer crowdfunding and how you can build your own contact list for your crowdfunding campaign from scratch.

How to Optimize Your Crowdfunding Campaign Page


Bring your crowdfunding campaign page’s “About Section” to life with our favorite hacks, tools, and tips!

The Power of Motivation & How it can Lead to 3 Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns


What is motivation? We share how a student team leveraged it to complete 3 successful crowdfunding campaigns for their unique service learning project.

Millennial Giving Trends: How to Inspire Young Alumni to Donate


We’ve set out to determine how your young alumni are giving back to the world and how higher education can embrace the shift through crowdfunding.

5 Advantages of Crowdfunding in Higher Ed You May Not Have Considered


Hey Annual Giving, here are the lesser known benefits of crowdfunding in higher education.

3 Storytelling Hacks for Your Crowdfunding Campaign


A few of our favorite storytelling hacks and how you can use them to optimize your Day of Giving crowdfunding campaign.

Warm Wishes This Holiday Season


We’re looking forward to the best year of innovation in higher education yet! 2016, we’re coming for you!

Increase Donor Happiness by Leveraging This Study


We recently stumbled upon a study that we had to share. Learn how Annual Giving can make their donors happier by leveraging the findings!

The 5 Biggest Mistakes First-Time Higher Ed Crowdfunders Make


A guide to the top mistakes first-time crowdfunders in higher education make and what they should do to combat them.

6 Types of Crowdfunding Campaigns Higher Education Can Empower


Crowdfunding in higher education promotes campus culture and brings stories to life. Here are six of our favorite types of crowdfunding campaigns that you can seek out at your insitution today.

Why You Shouldn’t Offer Rewards if You’re Crowdfunding in Higher Ed


The best way to incentivize giving isn’t through rewards. Here’s why they may hurt a higher education crowdfunding campaign and what you can do instead.

What It’s Actually Like to Crowdfund in Higher Education


I joined a group of students crowdfunding in higher education, just to see what it was like. Here’s why the experience was nothing like I expected.

Meet the 9 Higher Education Institutions Crowdfunding with Us on #GivingTuesday


This year, USEED partnered with nine higher education institutions nationwide to bring crowdfunding to their campuses. Here’s what they’re seeking funding for this #GivingTuesday and why we love how they’re doing it.

How Your #GivingTuesday Campaign Creates the Future of Philanthropy


For those in Annual Giving launching a crowdfunding campaign this #GivingTuesday: here’s why your effort matters for the future of philanthropy.

5 Reasons We’re Thankful for You, Our Crowdfunding Partners in Higher Education


Thanksgiving is upon us and we want to thank you for all you’re doing and will continue to do to advance crowdfunding in higher education.

Encourage #UNselfies to Promote Your #GivingTuesday Campaign


You’re going to see a lot of “UNselfies” on social media for #GivingTuesday this year. Here’s how you can ensure your campus is in on the fun.

How to Create the Perfect #GivingTuesday Hashtag for Higher Ed


Create your institution’s perfect hashtag for #GivingTuesday with these simple guidelines.

5 Tools Everybody Crowdfunding for #GivingTuesday Should Be Using


For every challenge in planning for your #GivingTuesday crowdfunding campaign, there is a tool to eradicate it. Here are our top 5 suggestions:

6 Reasons Higher Ed Should Participate in #GivingTuesday This Year


USEED is partnering with the founders of #GivingTuesday for a free higher education focused webinar. Here’s why you should join us.

How Crowdfunding for Student Projects Liberates the Annual Fund


Penn State University’s Crowdfunding Director uncovers a truth about the relationship between crowdfunding in higher education and the Annual Fund.

How to Motivate Annual Fund Donors Through Their Own Unique Values


When you celebrate the diversity of values that your donors hold, you open the door to an exponentially larger number of conversations and giving opportunities. Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding in Higher Education can be a tool to do just that.

Who Benefits From Crowdfunding in Higher Education?


Crowdfunding in Higher Education strengthens bonds, empowers innovators, and engages donors in unparalleled learning experiences.

Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding: Higher Education’s Brine Shrimp


What a single brine shrimp can teach us about the impact of Peer-to-Peer crowdfunding in Higher Education.

3 Critical Crowdfunding Factors to Uncover Higher Education’s Greatest Stories


There are hidden stories on your campus, and crowdfunding in higher education is the perfect tool to uncover them. Here are the three top crowdfunding components you’ll need in order to showcase these stories of passion, inspiration, and innovation.

Why Your Young Alumni Are More Generous Than You Think


Young alumni give at a surprising rate, so why aren’t they giving to their alma mater? We provide insight into the roles of cause based giving and peer influence and how this relates to the giving habits of your young alumni.

Why Crowdfunders Are More Likely to Give Back to Their Alma Mater


Why are crowdfunders more likely to donate to their alma mater? Learn more about these philanthropic pioneers and their connection to their college or university.

Excellence in Crowdfunding: 5 Key Traits of Successful Teams


5 important qualities for crowdfunding campaigns in higher education. Coachability, preparedness, team dynamics, urgency/necessity, and creative initiative are key characteristics for student fundraising projects that are built for success.

Annual Giving Meets #INBOUND15


We met Taylor Stayton last week at INBOUND 2015 – a weeklong inbound marketing conference hosted by our friends at …

5 Ideas from the Inbound Movement that Crowdfunders Need to Embrace


The inbound movement is quietly creating value by answering their customers’ questions in the digital places where they already spend their time. . .

Introducing The Crowdfunding Strategist


It’s here! It’s here! The debut of USEED’s blog – Crowdfunding Together – is finally here!

Interested in learning more? Let's talk