Why Crowdfunders Are More Likely to Give Back to Their Alma Mater
Crowdfunding is a philanthropic artform.
When implemented correctly, it can teach, it can connect, and it can optimize perspectives.
At USEED, we are big believers in your students’ power to increase alumni engagement through a shared vision by using crowdfunding as their outreach tool. Many leaders in Annual Giving know this to be true as well, and maybe you’ve seen the positive effects of student-led fundraising strategies yourself.
Something that many haven’t considered, though, is this:
Students who crowdfund are practicing the art of philanthropy while forming a powerful bond with their alumni. Between this and the fact that volunteers donate at a higher rate than non-volunteers, you are then up for a long-term relationship between your crowdfunders and your institution.
Crowdfunders find belonging when connecting with alumni
A student who feels deeply invested in their school and connected with its network is one who is more likely to donate after they graduate.
While it’s true that students are powerful allies in engaging young alumni and inspiring them to give, it is equally true that when students connect with alumni, the students themselves discover a sense of belonging within that network. They establish deeper relationships with those who have graduated from your institution, and when they in turn graduate, they will be rooted to your institution because of the connections they made as crowdfunders.
Anywhere from 30-60% of donors to a USEED crowdfunding campaign are alumni, so it is evident that crowdfunders are purposefully building a bridge between themselves and those alumni.
Peer-to-peer crowdfunding allows future donors to own their place inside of your institution’s network before they even graduate. Therefore, crowdfunding increases the likelihood that your students will play a meaningful part of your universities network after they graduate.
Volunteers donate at a high rate
A successful crowdfunder thoughtfully and strategically determines who in their community is most likely to give financial support to their crowdfunding campaign. As we train students leading up to the launch of their campaign, we encourage them to identify everybody in their personal network who volunteers. Why?
A volunteer is twice as likely to donate funds as a non-volunteer.
And who are your crowdfunders on campus?
By giving students the opportunity to crowdfund, you are able to identify and promote the students who will be most likely to give back to the university once they graduate.
If crowdfunding for education is a student’s first fundraising experience, they have an opportunity to gain a valuable and unparalleled lesson in reciprocity.
Student crowdfunders understand the effects of budget restraints, and they are quick to uncover the hustle and vulnerability required in order for donors to take notice and give to their initiative. Pioneering and building philanthropy in higher education is a unique way for students to own it even after they graduate. It is an intrinsic art that provides a deep sense of belonging and purpose.
Without a personal fundraising experience, a student may never understand the impact of a donor. They may never have the opportunity to be supported and encouraged through the financial sacrifice of those in their own network and community.
By providing students with the opportunity to crowdfund, you are providing them with the opportunity to understand the real impact of donors. You are providing them the opportunity to have an amazing volunteer experience. You are providing them the opportunity to connect with your institution’s network of alumni.
And best of all, you are providing them the opportunity to give back to their alma mater for the next generation of students to do the same.