University of Maryland (Crowdfunding for the Department of Entomology)


The University of Maryland's department of entomology is home to significant research related to the health of honey bees. During the course of their active research, the opportunity arose to launch a pilot program that could monitor in real-time the health of honey bee colonies through what are known as Sentinel Hives. The researchers' goal was to build at least eight of these Sentinel Hives near campus as well as throughout the state.


UMD began utilizing the RNL Crowdfunding platform in the spring 2014, recognizing that adding the ability to match the funding needs of its campus with a new crowdfunding vehicle would be a perfect marriage of interests. The campaign also benefited from tremendous partnership, collaboration, and support from area beekeeping associations and research collaboratives. The project leaders' direct knowledge about bee aficionados and their past giving patterns was extremely beneficial in this campaign.


After initially setting a goal of $8,000 to fund eight Sentinel Hives, the campaign tripled that number with a final count of $24,105 from 156 donors. Not only did the campaign generate success with grassroots and corporate gifts, but one alumnus who heard about the campaign after its launch generously volunteered to do a matching gift challenge! The suggested giving levels for the campaign clearly had an impact as 90% of gifts exactly matched those levels.

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