Did you know…
250,000 students in the UK alone are missing out on postsecondary education each year due to lack of funds.
What does this mean?
The increasing demand for loans and grants far exceeds the ever shrinking supply of funds and students are being forced to come up with some more inventive ways of paying for their studies. One of these solutions is CROWDFUNDING.
And that is where Student Funder comes in:
The company came about from the personal experience of the CEO, Juan Guerra, who crowdfunded his way into university, and offers an online crowdfunding platform where by running campaigns on the website, students can raise funds for their tuition or living costs in exchange for rewards or repayments.
Crowdfunding itself is not a new concept- there are many platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo where people are selling products and services and raising millions of dollars- but using applying the process to funding education is a recent development.
Allowing students to raise not just donations but also social loans is even more novel. Given that most of our students are pursuing Masters Courses, their employability after graduating is high, and this idea is proving popular. The money is refunded to the investors if the student fails to reach their target.
How StudentFunder works:
The most obvious sources of donations are friends and family, and students are encouraged to raise at least 30% of their total target from them, showing that they have the personal determination and perseverance to raise their funds and succeed then Student Funder will then help them to progress to the next stages.
We are in the process of forming partnerships with higher education institutions in the UK so that once a student has reached their 30% target partner universities showcase the students’ campaigns to alumni in an attempt to gain support. We also ask the institution to provide match-funding, which is where the university matches the amount of money that the student has raised.
Funds for tuition fees are paid directly to the institution and we are working hard to build these solid links with universities so as to increase support for and awareness of the financial difficulties faced by so many students today. To the student we give support and advice throughout the entire process, from providing information sheets on creating their initial campaign to approaching organisations and institutions we believe would take an interest in the student. As a crowdfunder using Student Funder, you not only gain important credibility but also create networks which will last beyond your campaign. We have students who have been offered jobs from people who have invested in them, like StudentFunder’s founder was himself.
Student Funder’s launch in November 2012 we have seen two students, Charles and Rehan, successfully reach total targets of over £10,000 and another, Guelord, raised over £6,000, allowing him to accept a place at Coventry University. Our current campaigners range from Cathy, who wants to study Dance and Movement Psychotherapy following her work with adults and children with severe disabilities, to Jenny, whose ambition is to study Cancer Therapeutics at Barts Cancer Institute. There are currently five students live on our site and another 20 or so in the pipeline, preparing their campaigns.
Do you want to be another one?!
We believe that your personal means should not be a barrier to education. Each successful student on StudentFunder is encouraged to pay donations forward into another student’s campaign as soon as they are able. They also act as mentors for other students currently going through the crowdfunding process. With this system the funding and the help are recycled and perpetuated amongst the people that need them most. Crowdfunding is definitely the way forward!
Check us out at www.studentfunder.com
by Sarah Musgrave and Sophie-Louise Hyde
Loughborough Students Rag raised over £1.4million pounds during 2011-12 whilst still ensuring that volunteer satisfaction was of key importance to the section.
As Student Fundraising Organisations or Rags (as they are most commonly known), increasingly raise millions of pounds for their chosen charities all across the country each year, it is not surprising that the organisation, their Rag Chair or Manager, and the students involved within the sections, are having to become more business-minded. However, it is with this moment of change in mind that one must ask the question that all Rag Chairs and Committee Members of university charity sections have come to fear: ‘What is more important – the amount of money you raise or the satisfaction of your volunteers?’ Of course the answer might be obvious to you, but in the world of fundraising where competition is fierce and to be best in the field, a keen eye on the finances of your organisation is needed, it can and has been, a tricky question for some.
At Hubbub, we meet a lot of people and talk to a lot of people about crowdfunding. We pitch to investors, education departments, student unions. And we have been explaining crowdfunding to the UK market now for over a year.
The UK’s top universities have warned they will need more public funding if they are to continue to compete with institutions around the world.
The Russell Group, which represents 24 of the UK’s leading universities including Oxford and Cambridge, said other nations are pumping millions of pounds into research and higher education.
I grew curious after coming across some articles discussing the decrease in alumni participation rates among colleges and universities. I wanted to figure out what was behind this decline – not only because quite a few of our clients utilize our fundraising services and have seen the antithesis of this, but also because I am able to draw from my own experience as I graduated in 2009. So I dug a little deeper, did some research, and applied my own insight to figure out some contributing factors as to why alumni are not more engaged with their alma mater. Four of the main reasons that I’ve come across and identify with are listed below.
Charitable contributions to colleges and universities in the United States increased 8.2 percent in 2011, reaching $30.30 billion, according to results of the annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey. The findings were released today by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE). Adjusted for inflation, giving increased 4.8 percent.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford has announced an extended fundraising goal of £3bn.
Professor Andrew Hamilton’s announcement follows the Oxford Thinking Campaign successfully surpassing its initial target of £1.25bn last March. The Vice-Chancellor was speaking at his annual Oration delivered in Convocation House.