How do I apply for a Crowdfunding project?

Please fill our online application.

The Crowdfunding committee will review the application, and Jocelyn McDowell or Shelly Smith will be in touch to let you know if your application has been approved, and if you are approved, what the next steps will be.


Who do I talk to about participating in Crowdfunding?

Please email the Crowdfunding team at crowdfunding@bradley.edu to learn more about Crowdfunding and how it can benefit your department or project.


Who sets the fundraising goals?

You will work with the Crowdfunding team to set your goals, based on your individual project. It is recommended that projects aim to raise between $2,500 and $10,000.

When thinking of how much you want to raise, it is important to set your goal based on the amount of money you CAN raise, rather than how much you want to raise.  You can get an idea of how much you can raise by the amount of personal e-mails that will be sent out by your team members and ambassadors. Each personal e-mail has a value of about $4. Therefore, if you have 1,000 e-mails, you can generally estimate a return of $4,000 and should set your goal at that point. You can also use social media to help supplement the emails. Of course, you do not need to send out 10,0000 emails to raise $10,000. When posting your project on social media, encourage alumni and friends of the University specifically friends of the department to help spread the word.

If a higher goal is an absolute necessity, you should start thinking about larger gifts to make up approx. 70-80% of your overall goal and use the crowdfunding project to raise the additional 20-30%. Talk with your Crowdfunding team about the best approach for this scenario. Always remember; you will have the most success if you do not start day 1 at $0. You want to have around 30% raised before you go live.


Can my project be sent out to the whole campus?

Unfortunately, no. In order to be fair and respectful of the campus community, any wide spread communications about your project will be limited to your college and particular donor base. While we wish we could include the entire campus community with our correspondences, we do not want to inundate fellow members of campus with emails about fundraising.


Who should be on my planning committee?

It is recommended that you have a small team of colleagues from your department help plan for your Crowdfunding Initiative and help to send the emails and write the social media posts. These folks will work in partnership with the Crowdfunding Committee to ensure you have a successful campaign. For more information on these roles within the committee, please refer to the Guidelines section.  

  1. Campaign Team Leader (1 hour per day, a few times a week for a total of 3-4 hours a week)
    The Team Leader is the main project manager responsible for the campaign’s success.

  2. Campaign Collaborators (30 minutes - 1 hour per day)
    Each campaign should identify several Collaborators who can assist the team leader and share campaign leadership responsibilities.

  3. Campaign Ambassadors (15-30 minutes per day)
    Ambassadors help maximize the campaign’s impact by spreading the word among their personal networks.


Will I get any support from University Advancement?

Yes, you will have some support from University Advancement. Jocelyn McDowell will serve as your primary point of contact.


Do we have to raise money for a specific item or can it be for a program?

While it is not advised that Crowdfunding be used to fund an academic program, we encourage applications for all projects and programs be submitted for approval. This will be a terrific way for University Advancement to have the opportunity to partner with you and your department.


How long will this project take?

You can expect this to be a 3-5-month commitment – realizing that with the thank you portion, it could go longer than 3-5 months but the main time commitment is less than 6-9 months. A crowdfunding project requires consistent active commitment in three phases: quiet phase, active phase, and stewardship phase.

  1. Quiet Phase: put team together, put together e-mail lists, set goal, create content. You should be spending an hour every day on this project, or that amount of time combined/per week.
  2. Active Phase: personal e-mails to your networks, advertising via blogs, social media, and affinity organizations. You should be spending an hour every day on this project, or that amount of time combined/per week.
  3. Stewardship Phase: Thank You Update, impact updates immediately following and perhaps a couple of months following the closing of the project.

The best crowdfunding projects have a specific deadline that creates a sense of urgency to encourage donations during the 30 day period during which a project is active.