Why Students Need a Real College Crowdfunding Solution

Mike Dziedziak

Senior Consultant

October 15, 2020

RNL StudentFunder: Thank you!
College crowdfunding is a great way for students to raise funds they need…but it needs to be done securely and transparently.

You may remember this heartwarming story of crowdfunding that made national news. After a woman in the Philadelphia area had run out of gas, a homeless veteran gave her his last $20 to buy the gas she needed to get home. In an effort to pay his kindness forward, she started an internet fundraising campaign to raise awareness of his generosity and was able to raise over $400k in donations on his behalf.

It was a great story. Until it wasn’t.

You may also remember the fallout that came a few months later. The entire idea was a fraud, hatched from the minds of the two players involved, as well as the woman’s boyfriend. While donations were eventually returned to the donors, there was no escaping the fact that hundreds of donors were duped.

This story shows the two sides of online crowdfunding. On the one hand, it can be a powerful tool to tap into the philanthropic spirit of donors worldwide and meet real financial needs of deserving recipients. But it also needs to have transparency and security so that the funds are used for their intended purpose.

The reason I bring this story up is that college crowdfunding for tuition, fees, and expenses has become more important, which also means that students need a secure way to raise those funds. It’s time to put that power to use to help students and families afford their college of choice in a way that gives donors the peace of mind they need to give enthusiastically.

RNL StudentFunder: College crowdfunding that applies funds directly to a student’s account.

Crowdfunding has long been in use by colleges and universities to engage their donors—this year alone our crowdfunding clients raised $22M during the pandemic. It’s this kind of success that gave rise to RNL StudentFunder. It makes it easy for students to raise the funds they need to cover the gap between their aid packages and the additional expenses they have to attend college.

The key with RNL StudentFunder is that it’s specifically engineered for college expenses. It gives the student, donors, and your institution the peace of mind that general crowdfunding platforms cannot. It’s easy for students to set up, branded for the institution, and the funds go directly to cover the balance owed on the student account. It is fully integrated into an institution’s payment processor for seamless routing into student accounts.

Here’s a quick overview of how RNL StudentFunder works:

A tool the creative students of Gen Z will love

Gen Z is creative and drawn to new ideas. Gen Z is financially prudent and debt adverse. Gen Z grew up online playing video games, chatting and texting with friends, and sharing cute videos of grandma dancing. Now RNL StudentFunder provides a unique pathway to college affordability for them that taps into those Gen Z characteristics. It also relieves students of the burden of transferring funds from one platform to another account. And, perhaps most importantly, the donors in the student’s network can feel confident that their generous gifts are going to support a meaningful cause, and their contributions will be used for the exact purpose for which they were given.

Intrigued? See how you can give students a valuable college crowdfunding tool that is secure, easy, and branded for your campus. Contact us for walkthrough and a conversation about college crowdfunding strategies for your students.

RNL StudentFunder

About the Author

Mike Dziedziak

Mike Dziedziak has 18 years of experience in higher education and enrollment management, with extensive experience in admissions, financial aid, strategic planning, and implementation. Previous Campus Experience Mike most recently served as executive director for enrollment at...

Read more about Mike's experience and expertise

Reach Mike by e-mail at Mike.Dziedziak@ruffalonl.com.

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