The Sprint Medley of College Financing
Paying for college isn’t typically a solo act. It’s more like a relay race – there are scholarships, student loans, friends/family/community, and the student, all taking the baton at some point to help chip away at the total cost of education. Over the past several years, crowdfunding for school expenses has become popular as the cost of education rises and financial aid stalls. People typically think of crowdfunding as an easier way to let friends, family, and the community know about the student’s need and to collect the funds to meet that need. And it is. But what if it could be so much more?
Outside of the students’ immediate circle of first degree connections, there are so many others who want to help and have the resources to do so. And of course most students could use the help. But there are barriers to connecting students with these potential donors, and CauseEDU is working hard to eliminate them. We address the most common barriers to donor giving through crowdfunding platforms, many of which center around transparency, communication, and student accountability. Our team is comprised of two fundraisers, one of whom is also a philanthropist with a primary focus on education, among others. We have personally raised tens of thousands of dollars annually to help students stay in school, primarily through second degree connections (i.e. alumni associations, fraternities, and sororities). We have identified several key factors that limit donor giving and created this platform to address them. Our goal: To create an environment in which more donors are able to both connect with students and feel comfortable giving more to fund their education. We’ve seen it done on a smaller scale. With CauseEDU, we plan to magnify it.
CauseEDU provides a monthly newsletter to students with tips on how to improve their fundraising, stay connected with donors, and save money while they’re in school. We also require enrollment verification before students can begin raising money on our platform. We’ll soon add student budgeting tools to help students manage their money while in school (because it’s not just what you have; it’s also what you’re able to do with it). We strive to not just serve as yet another crowdfunding platform, but to really help students to bridge the gap in funding their education as well as reduce expenses and spend more wisely. We believe it’s what’s best for both the students and the donors who support them.