Begin Your Race to Excellence with IMPACT BSU....
IMPACT BSU is a crowdfunding initiative that aims to fund Bowie State University’s (BSU) award-winning faculty and students, staff and alumni. The goal is to raise funds for projects and passions that benefit the Bulldog Nation and its community.
IMPACT BSU also offers donors a new way to provide direct support to the people and programs that are most meaningful to them. Projects are successfully funded by the active engagement of donors and supporters through social media, direct communications and peer to peer fundraising. While popular sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo are great, it is important to build our own BSU-specific community fundraising platform.
Our staff works closely with each project team to provide strategic crowdfunding management and consulting in communications, design, video production and fundraising opportunities.
Who can use crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding users must be part of the Bowie State University community via an academic department, student group, or other official entity.
Is crowdfunding through the IMPACT BSU platform right for you?
The crowdfunding model of fundraising is based on a large network of individuals supporting a shared project. If you are trying to decide whether or not this is a good way to fund your project, consider how you would answer the questions below.
Do you have a specific project that tells a compelling story?
Rather than simply raising money for your organization, unit or department, hone in on a specific project that would benefit from funding. Consider how you would explain your project to a stranger at a party in a way that would compel them to give.
Do you know how much you need?
Don’t choose a dollar goal haphazardly. Why are you choosing that dollar goal? What would these funds allow you to accomplish? Increasingly, donors, especially younger donors, want to know the impact their gift will have.
Do you have an obvious audience?
Successful crowdfunding projects have large, supportive personal or professional networks in place well before the project launches. As a project champion, it is incumbent upon you to plan out and execute your communications to this audience. Consider your social media presence and whether you have personal or professional partners who can help you to spread the word. If you and your team do not have a preexisting audience, then crowdfunding might not be the best platform to raise money for your project.
Additionally, crowdfunding projects need to be supported by an active and engaged project team. That team will work with a BSU crowdfunding mentor to create content (project descriptions, videos, emails, posts, pics, etc.) for the group’s project. You will need a project leader and project champions/ambassadors.
Are you willing to invest the time and effort?
The Division of Institutional Advancement provides a free platform for your use, as well as advice and feedback throughout the process. However, crowdfunding is a lot of work. The development of content to launch the page is just the first step. Most of the work comes in the form of promoting your project via email and social media during the duration of your campaign. Please make sure you are choosing a campaign timeline that will allow you to be actively engaged in raising awareness for your project.
How do I get my project on BSU's crowdfunding site?
Once our pilot phase has concluded, all proposed crowdfunding projects will have to complete an application on our crowdfunding site. All applications will be reviewed for approval by a formed committee of university affiliated individuals in the Division of Institutional Advancement.
How do I promote my project?
Crowdfunding relies on personal networking. Your best supporters love BSU, but they REALLY love you and your project. You can use your personal, group, department or team email lists, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn groups, etc. to promote your project.
Who gets the money we raise?
The money you raise—whether or not you reached your goal—goes directly into your group’s BSU-designated fund.
What if a project is over-funded?
If a project raises more than its stated funding goal, the University will work with the project team to determine how the surplus can be used to expand or enhance the project.