5 Crowdfunding Insights for 2019

Eric BillingsAssociate Vice President, Digital Product ManagementDecember 10, 2019

Over half of higher education institutions are using crowdfunding to engage supporters and entice new donors. Crowdfunding lets you engage key stakeholders on campus from student groups, faculty and staff, alumni projects, and even within annual giving to provide a menu of time-sensitive campaigns that donors can share with their networks. Using matching campaigns, project champions, and impact updates with videos and social media help make crowdfunding a key 21st-century donor engagement tactic.

RNL recently reviewed 6,100 higher education crowdfunding campaigns totaling $105 million in donations. Here are some key insights from our 2019 Crowdfunding and Giving Day Index. These results are taken from institutions using RNL Crowdfunding and RNL Giving Day powered by the ScaleFunder platform.

Student campaigns remain strong, but advancement office-driven campaigns raise double.

Student group campaign or travel campaigns on average are the quickest in duration and raised about $5,500. Athletics, institutional campaigns, research, and scholarship campaigns raised more than double this amount. Alumni crowdfunding campaigns raised a whopping $84k on average, with much of that coming from major gifts.

Crowdfunding Performance by Type (click for larger size)

2019 Crowdfunding Index: Project Performance by Type

Most campaigns raise half their money offline.

While crowdfunding leads to a lot of online donations, the campaigns with the highest totals had donations that also came from other sources, such as direct mail, phone, and gift officer visits. A big part of this is early adopter giving before a campaign launches and leveraging matching challenges.

It’s not just about student and faculty micro-campaigns.

Institutional campaigns, including fun ways to brand scholarship funds and annual giving, took the largest leap this year. Crowdfunding-style engagement is growing, and we’re learning how to use it for more-and-more types of giving.

Schools are very interested in making donations easy.

This includes integrating smooth payment options like Apple Pay, a featured integration of RNL Digital Giving platforms powered by ScaleFunder.

The average institution raised $83k in their first year.

This means an excellent ROI on leveraging a powerful and complete crowdfunding platform.

Read the report, or see a demo of RNL Crowdfunding

2019 Crowdfunding Highlights
Request a demo of RNL Crowdfunding Powered by the ScaleFunder Plaform
2019 Crowdfunding and Giving Day Index

To get the full story on how this socially-engaged and personalized donation engine continues to change the face of fundraising, read the RNL Crowdfunding and Giving Day Index .

And if you’re ready to take your crowdfunding program to the next level with the solution being used by top programs, request a demo of RNL Crowdfunding Powered by ScaleFunder. You can see how you can excite your alumni and harness their interests and enthusiasm for your institutional philanthropy.

About the Author

Eric Billings

Eric Billings is a passionate fundraising professional with just over a decade of industry experience, including major gift fundraising, planned giving, and annual giving. He has focused a majority of his career exploring innovative and...

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