crowdfunding

Need Money for College? Try Crowdfunding!

A little over a year ago, I stumbled across some interesting articles about students seeking college money from complete strangers, otherwise known as crowdfunding. I did a little research and published a short post about this phenomenon, but wasn’t completely sold on the idea. In fact, I even suggested that students focus their efforts elsewhere. Now, fifteen months later, I think I may have been a bit too hasty in my critique. Although I was right on the money about ScholarshipProz.com not living up to its promises (to date the site has brought in a meager $726), many students have found success on other websites.  GoFundMe.com (highlighted in my original post) continues to help people raise amazing amounts of money in short periods of time, as does Microgiving.com (also featured). Here are some other fundraising sites that may be worth a look, too.

Gradefund

Gradefund.com

If you’re not heading off to college in the next year (or already there), you might want to look into Gradefund.com. It takes a common practice, rewarding students for good grades, and steps it up a notch. Instead getting paid by your parents, you now have the opportunity to recruit other family and friends, as well as business sponsors. Simply submit your transcript at the end of each semester, Gradefund.com will collect the payment, and you can log into your account to have it directly transferred to your PayPal account. FYI – the site is able to function free of charge thanks to angel funding, which is another form of, you guessed it, crowdfunding!

Fundraise

Fundraise.com

I really like Fundraise.com; the website is easy to navigate and you can do multiple things with it. You can even run multiple fundraisers at the same time. Best of all, there’s no cost to you for using it. The only fee associated with the site is a 4.5% fee and credit card processing costs that are charged to each donation processed through your page. If you dislike the idea of posting your picture and begging for money, this site will actually help you with creating fundraising events to help fund your college education. They have apps that cover everything from check-in to ticketing to collecting on-site donations. You are only limited by your creativity.

Youcaring

YouCaring.com

If you want to keep more of your money, you might want to check out YouCaring.com. The service does not charge you to use the site and does not collect any fees from donors. They also differ from several other services by transferring donations directly to you when they are received, not at the end of your campaign or when you have reached your goal. To date, they have helped over 39,000 people raise over $31 million.

Angeldorm

Angeldorm.com

Unlike other crowdfunding services that simply give you the platform to ask others for money, Angeldorm is also putting up their own funding to help students. Once you create a profile, you will be automatically eligible for an Angeldorm Scholarship, which is awarded based on your ability to achieve your academic goals, overcome adversity, and your willingness to give back to others through volunteer service. Another difference is that the funds you receive through donations will be sent directly to your college or university, even if you don’t reach your goal amount. Whatever donations you receive, you keep. If you haven’t enrolled in college, the funds can be deposited into a 529 plan, instead.

Although these services give you plenty of tools to create dynamic donation pages and share your story across several social media platforms, posting your picture and few short words probably won’t be enough to generate a significant amount of money. If you really want a shot at securing enough funding to help finance your college expenses, consider following these steps for creating a successful campaign.

Set a Clear Goal

Create a Theme

Showcase Your Talents

Recruit Others

Stay Engaged

Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that you will raise a single dollar using any of these resources, but you definitely won’t earn any money sitting around whining about your problems. It won’t hurt to give it a shot, and in the meantime, keep plugging away at your scholarship applications. With a little luck and a lot of determination, you’re bound to raise some money along the way.

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About

Tamara is the Social Media Coordinator and a regular writer for ScholarshipExperts.com, eStudentLoan.com and CampusDiscovery.com. She enjoys helping students prepare for college. As a mother of four, Tamara has first-hand experience with many areas of education, including special needs (autism), the International Baccalaureate program and post-secondary education. She enjoys speaking at schools and mentoring others online. In her free time, Tamara enjoys volunteering and supporting her favorite football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
6 Responses to “Need Money for College? Try Crowdfunding!”
  1. Kira says:

    Hi Tamara,

    Thanks for this blog. It’s very useful for students. It’s seem like the new era of scholarship. Just to add to your resource you may want to check out forbes.com/sites/alextaub/2013/10/31/nakoo-is-kiva-meets-kickstarter-for-crowd-granting-higher-education/.

    Thanks,
    Kira

  2. Kurt says:

    Hi Tamara,

    I’m a high school teacher, and I just did a presentation at my school for our annual College Day. My presentation focused on avoiding the “Student Loan Monster” and I introduced the concept of crowdfunding. I think that in order for this concept to be more successful, students need to understand that they should have a compelling story and literally be out there “selling” themselves (so to speak). What I mean by that is students need to give the general public a reason WHY someone should invest in their future. Crowdfunding will not work for someone that says “hi, I want to go to college so please give me money”.

    Anyway, thank you for getting the word out about crowdfunding for college, and hopefully more people will begin to understand that this may be a way to help reduce the overall amount of $1 Trillion+ student loan debt that exists. Oh… and please don’t forget about other upcoming sites like FinancialAidFoundation.org and ZeroBound.com.

  3. John says:

    RallyHero is on online fundraising website for just about anything.
    Our platform allows you to create beautiful fundraisers in a matter of minutes.
    You can raise money for causes, ideas, music, art, tragedy, vacation, personal
    needs, medical needs, wedding, and much more
    http://www.rallyhero.com

  4. Dale Smithey says:

    StudentFundr.com is another great resource for students to raise money for college expenses.

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