This article takes a look at the variety of people who launch fundraising...Read more
The cost of attending college has risen exponentially, and many students can’t afford to pay their way with loans, scholarships, and savings alone. Crowdfunding can help fill the gap - learn how.
With the rising cost of college tuition, it’s becoming harder for students to pay for college on their own. Students at public universities in the US pay an average of $10,440 in tuition each year, while students in the UK pay up to £9,250 annually. After factoring in room and board, books, food, and transportation, it’s no wonder students are struggling to pull together enough money to attend college.
If you’re a student who still needs money for college even after securing loans, grants, and scholarships, crowdfunding may be the solution.
Setting up a crowdfunding campaign can help you pay for education-related expenses that your loans, grants, scholarships, and savings don’t cover, such as books or meal plans. On average, college students raise around $2,000 from their family and friends through their crowdfunding campaigns. So although the money you raise may not take care of your tuition, it will supplement your loans and scholarships and take some financial pressure off of you.
If you’ve never crowdfunded before, it may seem a little awkward to ask your friends and family for money. But remember that your entire support network cares about you and wants to see you succeed. Your loved ones will be more than happy to donate $25 or $50 to help you achieve your future goals and dreams.
Need more proof that crowdfunding works? Here are just a few of the successful campaigns that college students have launched here on GoGetFunding.
Catarina, a student from New Zealand, raised $3,520 to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing. In her campaign’s description, she clearly outlined why getting a master’s degree was so important to her and how it would help her achieve her dream of becoming a published author. She also discussed what she likes to write about and shared a link to some of her published work so potential donors could take a look.
Sharing details about her writing projects, goals, and dreams gave her campaign a personal touch and showed potential donors why they should support her. When you create your campaign’s description, you should definitely include details about your career aspirations to update your friends and family on your future plans and inspire them to donate.
Georgina, is a 19 year old Scout from Romania who has raised $7,220 to help pay for her expenses while she pursues her studies at UCL, The Bartlett School of Architecture, in London, which is rated one of the best architecture universities in the world. One reason why her campaign has been so successful is because she clearly explained why she needs the money and what she plans to use it for.
Donors are more likely to contribute to your campaign if you tell them your story and let them know why you need their help. Including some information about how you’ve tried to cover the costs on your own can help donors see that you have a genuine need for their support. You should also explain what you’ll use the money for so that donors know where their money is going and exactly how it’s helping you.
Now that you’ve gotten some inspiration for your campaign, it’s time to set it up.
Set a realistic goal. It’s tempting to set a high goal for your fundraiser. After all, you have to be optimistic about your campaign in order for it to succeed! But setting a fundraising objective that’s too high can actually be demotivating for your supporters. Donors want to feel like they’re making a real difference in your life. If you set a $15,000 target to cover tuition, your family members may not feel like their small contribution is helping you achieve your goals, making them less likely to donate.
When setting your target, think about your most immediate needs and how much money you need to cover them. Keep in mind that campaigns that ask for a few hundred or thousand dollars are more likely to be successful. If you want to raise more money than that, you can always allow overfunding so that donors can keep contributing to your campaign even after it’s fully funded.
Write a short, compelling description. Your description is your chance to prove why your support network should help you pay for college. You should try to include some information about your achievements in high school, the subject you want to major in, your future career aspirations, and what drew you to that career path. Did your desire to help others make you want to become a nurse? Did your love of kids inspire you to study education? Adding personal details will give your campaign some heart and inspire your family to donate.
Your description should also include practical details about your campaign, like why you need to raise money, how much you need, when you need it by, and what you’ll use it for. It can be awkward to talk about money, but the more transparent you are about your financial situation, the better.
Although you have lots of information to include in your description, you should try to keep it as short as you can—the sweet spot is between 300 to 600 words. Try to use headings to break up your description and make it easier to read too.
Add videos and photos. Did you know that campaigns with videos raise around 105% more than those without? Filming a short video discussing your fundraiser is definitely worth the time considering how much it increases your chances of success. You can even upload it to YouTube and other video sharing platforms to help your campaign get more exposure.
If you’re too shy to get in front of the camera, you can add a personal touch to your fundraising page by uploading some pictures of yourself. Try to include photos that are relevant to your campaign, like pictures from your high school graduation or a selfie you took while wearing your college’s apparel.
Add incentives. Our crowdfunding platform gives you the option to add incentives to your fundraiser to encourage people to donate. Incentives don’t have to be expensive. They can be as simple as a handwritten thank you note or a framed photo of you at college. You don’t have to give out incentives, but they’re a nice way to show your donors how much you appreciate their support.
Get your family and friends ready for launch day. Campaigns that reach 30% of their goal within the first week are more likely to be successful. If your campaign gets lots of donations within the first few days, that serves as a powerful form of social proof. When people see that others have donated, they’re more likely to join in and donate too.
Promote your campaign on social media. After you launch your fundraiser, you should start promoting it on social media. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are great places to reach family, friends, and acquaintances and ask for their support. You should make your first social media posts right after your campaign launches and continue to post updates to Instagram and Facebook about once a week. On Twitter, make sure that you tweet out updates a few times a week, because tweets tend to get buried quickly.
Whenever you make a post about your campaign, don’t just drop the link. Include a short summary of your fundraiser and a call to action that encourages people to donate.
Post regular updates and thank your donors. Posting to social media is important, but don’t forget to post regular, weekly updates to your campaign’s homepage. In your updates, you should thank your donors for their generosity. You should also let them know how excited you are for your next semester of college and how close you are to reaching your goal, which may motivate them to chip in a little extra cash.
Find creative ways to expand your campaign’s reach. When promoting your fundraiser, think outside the box. Don’t just post a few updates on social media and call it a day. If your campaign is losing momentum, find other ways to promote it, like putting up flyers in your local community and calling friends and relatives who don’t use the Internet to tell them about your fundraising efforts.
Some other ways to promote your campaign include:
Asking for help isn’t easy, and neither is running and promoting your own fundraiser. But if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful campaign and the money you need to pay for college.