Crowdfunding is one of the fastest growing methods of fundraising for business, charities and individuals. One year ago, we set up a platform to allow our staff and students the opportunity to take advantage of this growing market.Crowdfunding platforms raised $34.4 billion in 2015. Find out how we’re getting involved Click To Tweet Our crowdfunding platform connects students and staff with alumni and other potential supporters Click To Tweet In the first year, students raised over £18,000 for projects on and off campus using crowdfunding Click To Tweet
In 2010, $880 million was raised globally through crowdfunding platforms. Five years later in 2015, that had grown to $34.4 billion. By 2025, the industry is expected to grow to over $300 billion.
It’s a form of funding which allows individuals to directly fund causes and projects that they really care about and is thought to have added $65 billion to the global economy, and created over 270,000 jobs.
In recognition of the growing crowdfunding market, we launched our own crowdfunding platform in May 2016, to help our students and researchers raise funds for projects they’re passionate about.
Our platform helps connect projects in need with friends, family and alumni from the University who may have an interest in the project.
It has a number of benefits when compared to other crowdfunding platforms, including having no fees for users, along with assistance being offered when setting up your campaign.
The first year
In its first year, twelve student led projects have raised £18,914 in online donations, while also using their crowdfunding efforts to leverage matching gifts and grants.
One of the first projects to successfully reach its target was Madex, a student-led expedition to rural Madagascar, investigating the impact of the parasitic disease, schistosomiasis.
After receiving funds from several grant-making bodies including the Royal Geographic Society, donations to the crowdfunding page allowed them to complete their budget.
Thanks to the donations, the Madex team travelled to Marolambo in Madagascar and investigated the extent of schistosomiasis infection and treated the community.
Schistosomiasis infection can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and in the long term even kidney failure or bladder cancer. In children, it often causes poor growth and learning disabilities.
The parasite is present in the river water in Marolambo, as it is across much of Africa and Asia, and infects around 97% of the community.
Despite its debilitating effects, the infection is relatively cheap and simple to treat. On their trip, the Madex team were able to provide much needed treatment, as well as set up education programmes to help prevent future infections.
The team have recently raised a further £2,800 through crowdfunding for another trip to the region.
The University’s crowdfunding platform has also aided projects on campus. At the start of the academic year, the Men’s Lacrosse Club used the site to raise money for a stock of helmets, essential equipment for taking part in their sport. Seb Jones, Captain of the club explained:
“The club owns a limited amount of kit and, in particular, a very small number of helmets. This means that new players who come to try out the game for the first time are often unable to properly experience it. These helmets are expensive and this cost, combined with the membership fees and the price of sticks and other kit, can put a lot of new players off.”
The University of Manchester has a high proportion of students from low income backgrounds, and the Lacrosse Club wanted to make sure taking part in sport was still accessible for new students. Having already secured some funding, the £625 the Club raised on the crowdfunding platform allowed them to purchase twenty new helmets and increase access to the sport to students from all backgrounds.
Visit the crowdfunding site to find out more about getting involved, and browse through the projects currently seeking funding.