Crowdfunding Raises Money for Fordham Projects


The football team is leading in their crowdfunding efforts. (Courtesy of Pia Fischetti/The Fordham Ram)

Fordham’s crowdfunding platform enables students, faculty, staff and alumni to receive direct financial support for Fordham-related programs and projects. The university’s crowdfunding program made its debut in 2016 and is aimed towards clubs and organizations looking to make a difference in the community.

The Office of Development and University Relations partners with GiveCampus, a fundraising platform for education. As long as the project fulfills Fordham’s crowdfunding requirements, anyone in the community can fill out an application through GiveCampus. The application is a short form where applicants submit their name and email. After the application is submitted, someone within the department will reach out to review the application. Once the project is approved, project leaders are required to provide a short video describing the project, a text summary of the project, a thank you video to future donors and one to three campaign photos.

Fordham’s crowdfunding program may be of particular interest to undergraduate students seeking funds for clubs they’re involved in.

“Crowdfunding is available to student clubs — we work closely with our colleagues in the office of student involvement to see if crowdfunding is a good fit for the project,” said Michelle Nista, FCRH ’18, assistant director of the Fordham Fund.

Projects must be eligible for funding in order to apply for support from the university community. There are various requirements a project must fulfill: the program must be affiliated with Fordham, be an approved Fordham club (or have a sponsoring Fordham center, department or program with a fund to receive donations), be non-profit in nature, have committed leaders, a sponsoring Fordham center, department or program and have specific goals which are attainable within a period of several weeks.

Fordham’s crowdfunding site varies from other similar websites. For example, 100% of all donations made through GiveCampus are directed towards the project.

On the other hand, similar websites charge a fee which deducts funds from the project the donor intends to support.
Fordham’s crowdfunding site issues full gift support. Additionally, donations are tax deductible and, by using the university’s platform, Fordham ensures that donors are recognized.

“Crowdfunding is great for supporting short term projects that have long term impacts on benefiting the Fordham community. A good example of this is the Fordham Experimental Theater (FET) lightboard campaign from 2019. The blackbox needed an updated lightboard to help enhance their performances. The office of student involvement was able to cover the cost for about half of this project and donations from alumni, parents, friends and current students helped cover the remaining,” said Nista.

Crowdfunding initiatives have also been launched by various organizations in the Fordham community, not just student-run organizations.

“[Projects] include things like Global Outreach projects, the Bronx African American History Program, Bronx Italian American History Initiative, Military Ball, Gaelic Society, Alvin Ailey, Rose Hill Solar panels, Satin Dolls and more,” Nista said.

There have been numerous successful crowdfunding projects at Fordham.

Currently, there are five campaigns running and 807 active users on Fordham’s GiveCampus page.

Given the past success of Fordham’s projects on the crowdfunding platform, the program is likely to continue benefiting the greater Fordham community.