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Is crowdfunding & peer-to-peer fundraising the same thing?


“Crowdfunding” was first coined after the successes of Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Since then, the term has become overused, increasingly as a blanket term for any peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

However, crowdfunding projects and general peer-to-peer fundraising projects, are rather different…

What’s the difference between crowdfunding & general peer-to-peer fundraising?

General peer-to-peer fundraising (everydayhero)

General peer-to-peer fundraising involves projects that are fundraising events, like a running a marathon, skydiving etc. A charity then receives the funds raised.

This is a model used by both JustGiving & everydayhero. everydayhero is an online service that allows individuals to fundraise for charities. It also allows charities to showcase in one place all the fundraising events that people are running for their charity.


Crowdfunding is more about raising funds for a specific project. It’s all about where the funds for projects land: it’s about WHO is being funded. In the image below we see that for Kickstarter and Hubbub, the end result is that an individual (or group) receives funds to carry out their ‘project’, e.g. a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe. In models like everydayhero, charities receive funds directly.


The different funding models for Kickstarter, everydayhero & Hubbub

How can universities support students’ crowdfunding projects?

You’ll probably be aware of students running crowdfunding  projects on external sites (such as Kickstarter & IndieGoGo). Universities are now using their own centralized crowdfunding platforms for their students & staff to run their projects on.

To bring student and staff projects under one roof, it’s important to offer them technology comparable to (or better than!) 3rd party alternatives such as Kickstarter, otherwise this is where they will continue to run their projects!


All or nothing crowdfunding model

Can I hack everydayhero to act like a crowdfunding platform?

Technologically it’s possible but limitations remain around the method of fundraising…

Features such as “all-or-nothing” funding (which creates urgency) and “rewards” (which makes students feel they’re not begging!) are critical to crowdfunding success.


Crowdfunding rewards

What does a university crowdfunding program look like?

Students and staff submit their projects to university administrators (see examples below), who agree to publish the projects should they meet agreed requirements.

The project creators then fundraise for their own projects. The university registers the donations (handles tax relief) and passes the funds onto the projects.

The donors are then stewarded for future gifts – 14% of donors to University of Essex’s crowdfunding platform (Click) opt to be contacted about a regular gift.


Projects from the Univeristy of Essex’s crowdfunding platform (Click)

What should I do next?

Decide on what types of project you want to support.

If it’s charity projects – like marathon runs or growing your moustache – then either everydayhero or JustGiving will work for you. If you want to support a variety of different projects created by students and staff, you should explore “crowdfunding”.

Duncan Knox

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