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Ruffalo Noel Levitz Releases Benchmarks From 4,200 Crowdfunding Projects Totaling $22.5M

Analysis finds average alumni crowdfunding projects yield over $85,000 per campaign

September 21, 2017: Ruffalo Noel Levitz, leading provider of higher education enrollment management, student success, and fundraising solutions, released today the RNL Crowdfunding Index 2017. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of fundraising via this increasingly popular channel and benchmarks the outcomes of 4,200 crowdfunding projects conducted through the RNL Crowdfunding platform.

The analysis indicated crowdfunding projects raised over $14,000 on average. Alumni projects yielded the highest dollars raised ($85,000 on average), while scholarship projects averaged $16,000 per campaign.

With many colleges and universities turning to crowdfunding to connect with potential donors and boost their fundraising results, the need for information on proven-practices is in high demand.

“With 1.5 million charitable organizations in the U.S., there is significant competition for philanthropic giving, and to rise above the noise, we believe it’s important to reinvent fundraising in higher education,” said Caryn Stein, vice president of marketing at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. “Crowdfunding is a key piece of a modern advancement strategy as it speaks to a donor’s desire for choice, transparency, and impact with their giving. Fundraisers must continue to seek out innovative, donor-driven engagement technologies and apply research-backed insights.”

Key benchmarks and best practices presented in the study include:

  • Crowdfunding was utilized to support a wide array of initiatives, including campaigns sponsored by the institution (1,505 campaigns), student clubs and organizations (1,138 campaigns), athletics (350 campaigns), scholarships (313), travel (311), alumni (250), and research (123).
  • The average campaign duration was 41 days and ranged from a high of 67 days for student class gift projects to a low of 6 days for giving days.
  • Crowdfunding campaigns that employed registered giving ambassadors/volunteers raised more dollars than projects without ambassadors.
  • Successful crowdfunding projects utilized campaign titles that named the organization, used active language, and mentioned a challenge.
  • Crowdfunding and giving days are the highest ranked strategies used by organizations to help attract new, first-time donors.

 

“A crowdfunding platform is an incredible way to bring together the work of students, faculty, volunteers, and major gift officers,” said Brian Gawor, CFRE and vice president for research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. “The campaign benchmarks and best practices presented in this report provide valuable baselines for planning and program improvement as organizations continue to use this powerful, donor-centric technology.”

Over 200 colleges, universities, and other nonprofit organizations use RNL Crowdfunding powered by ScaleFunder to connect with donors, create compelling giving opportunities, launch robust crowdfunding campaigns, and empower supporters to easily follow, share, and donate to the projects that resonate with them.

For a copy of the 12-page research report, visit www.RuffaloNL.com/CrowdfundingIndex

A podcast discussing the research report is available at http://FundraisingVoices.com/RNL-2017-Crowdfunding-Index

To learn more about RNL Crowdfunding, visit: www.RuffaloNL.com/RequestDemo

About Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Ruffalo Noel Levitz is the leading provider of higher education enrollment, student success, and fundraising solutions. Each year, more than 1,900 colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations rely on RNL best-in-class analytics, engagement technology, and industry-leading insights to achieve their mission. The firm is distinguished by its powerful portfolio of solutions focused on the entire lifecycle of enrollment and fundraising, assuring students find the right college or university, graduate on time, secure their first job in their desired field, and give back to support the next generation. In addition, Ruffalo Noel Levitz conferences, research reports, papers, and articles help clients stay on top of current trends. Visit www.RuffaloNL.com.

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