- Cornell University has raised more than $900,000 since 2013 from mostly small gifts donated by young alumni, thanks it part to its growing utilization of online crowdfunding platforms, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
- According to the Chronicle, 46% of alumni to have contributed to the university through crowdfunding sources had graduated from Cornell in the last 10 years. Officials say the manageable giving levels along with detailed explanations about how gifts assist the university are critical in engaging millennial donor development.
- The new approach to fundraising has contributed support to more than 70 campus life initiatives, and is part of a new culture of engaging young alumni as a primary focus in philanthropic strategy building.
Crowdfunding is the digital version of donor cultivation, in that it harnesses key elements of convincing people to contribute: the ease with which they can give, a story which resonates and a roadmap to how their gift will make a difference. College development officers should leverage this tool for campaigning and targeted support for specific initiatives, but should also pay keen attention to which projects students will embrace and share.
Cornell's campaigns have revolved around improving student life, but other schools may wish to target specific graduates in solicitations for scholarships of capital funding measures. The notion of giving is best built through stakeholders believing they can make a difference in areas which speak to their passions.