Is crowdfunding an option for smaller development teams?

By on June 17, 2016

What are the two most important questions we ask when considering a new fundraising strategy?

1) will it be effective? and 2) can we resource it?

I outline in this post a few reasons why crowdfunding initiatives are both effective & need minimal resource.


Crowdfunding builds a donor ethos in students

Smaller development offices often have younger alumni demographics, so a common goal is to create a donor ethos amongst students and alumni. This leads to increased participation, and in turn an engaged donor base that can support the institution’s larger projects (like a new students’ union or a statue of the vice-chancellor).

Crowdfunding is proving to be an unparalleled tool in acquiring young donors and developing a donor ethos in students. If our goal is to build a donor base, a crowdfunding program currently offers the most effective – and cost-effective – way of achieving this.

Development teams don’t promote projects – students do it themselves

A successful crowdfunding program should aim to publish at least 20 projects each year. Each of these projects will be led by the teams or individuals behind the projects – they will be making the ask.


Our job is simply to find great projects. We do this through effective internal communications, and by engaging key stakeholders, such as the students’ union, enterprise department and course leaders. Then we watch our donor numbers grow!

How much time does this take? The University of York spend a day and half of one person’s time on their crowdfunding program – which is a pretty efficient way of acquiring over 500 new donors…


Duncan Knox

Co-Founder, VP of Business Development at Hubbub
Duncan single-handedly built Hubbub's relationships with university Development Offices around the UK. He has become the first point of contact to turn to regarding crowdfunding in education and now continues to develop networks across the Higher Education space

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