We fund student imagination
Sponsorcraft provides a platform for ideas. It is somewhere students, societies, university groups and staff can seek funding. They do this by creating (“crafting”) and posting proposals for their projects, events and ideas. These proposals are then viewed by sponsors. Sponsors donate to the proposals of their choice. In return, they receive small and often personalised rewards from the project’s creators (“crafters”) based on the level of their donation. Projects offer different tiers of funding, from £1 to £1000s, with different rewards for each level. The goal of all of this is to obtain more funding for students, to encourage creativity and to forge stronger links between students, alumni and the outside world.
At the moment, when students and societies need money, they have to compete for central university or student union budgets or pitch to multinational corporations to help sponsor their projects. They pitch to a small, targeted group of people, which takes a huge amount of effort and can be a thankless (and too often fruitless!) task. Even those that do succeed often become dependent on a single source (or a very small number of sources). The financial burden for these sources is greater and therefore there can be huge problems if they need to pull out.
This can have catastrophic consequences on creative, innovative projects that are going on every day in our schools and universities. Many corporate sponsors are pulling their funding for student groups and more and more societies are having to waste time and energy scrapping it out for what few bursaries remain. University budgets are also being squeezed to the point where funding for student creativity is being cut. The fact is that many societies, through no real fault of their own, will fail to find funding this year.
Crowdfunding, on the other hand, encourages us to do something quite different – it literally means means funding by the crowd. Projects are posted onto a website – Sponsorcraft – meaning that everyone can see them, read about them and donate to them. Using crowdfunding means no more chasing around to persuade a corporate giant to cough up £2000 in its entirety. Instead, a series of smaller donations from a host of different sponsors will get you to where you need to be. Crowdfunding for arts-based projects is already popular in America and Australia with sites such as Kickstarter and Pozible. Sponsorcraft is bringing a similar approach to the academic sector.
Why do we think this will be successful? Crowdfunding is a growing global trend, and universities are the ideal arena in which to apply the crowdfunding approach. Creativity levels are high. Students have time to come up with exciting ideas and, just as importantly, to follow them through. And, what’s more, generations of alumni have passed through student clubs and societies and feel a personal connection to their stories, activities and future developments. These people are ideally suited to sponsoring their old societies.
If you want to get in touch or get involved, please contact us!