Have You Heard Of Crowdfunding?

June 12th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

change balanced on hand83313553Want to fund your studies overseas, but need help doing it? A recent trend has emerged – have you heard of crowdfunding? Crowdfunding allows individuals to raise money by asking people to invest in your trip or project. Over the last couple of years, websites have been popping up that are designed to gather small amounts of money from investors, and then pool a sufficient amount of money to finance a particular project.

Attention to crowdfunding has now made its way into the realm of international education. Colleges and universities, especially study abroad programs, are evaluating these fundraising websites as a means to help students fund their travels overseas.

The idea. Students create their own campaigns or websites that discusses the purpose of their trip and the total amount of money they are looking to raise.

Sharing. Next, students share their page through their social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs, etc.

Affording. Depending on the site, students may be able to keep all contributions even if they don’t meet their goal, other sites require a certain level of money raised in order to keep the funds, while still others will require you to meet the complete goal otherwise no funds are gathered.

If you are interested in checking this out as an alternative way of funding your education, check out these sites along with a short bio about them:

  • Fundmytravel.com – This crowdfunding site is designed for those studying or volunteering abroad. It is meant to give you a platform for your friends and relatives to help you fund your travel experience.
  • GoFundMe.com – This site allows you to fundraise online for a whole host of reasons, from traveling to honeymoons to everything in between. This site gives you a donation page where you can raise money by reaching out to friends, family, and personal contacts.
  • Indiegogo.com – This site allows you to raise money by creating a campaign and then helps you spread the word around the world. The site also includes social media tools to help encourage others to contribute.
  • Projecttravel.com – Want to raise money for domestic and international educational travel experiences? Then check out Projecttravel.com. Here you can raise money by creating a project and letting your network of friends and family know. This site is limited to only US citizens and permanent residents.
  • Kickstarter.com – This fundraising site is full of projects and has more than 4.2 million people pledge over $654 million. This site allows you to set up a funding goal and deadline, and if you meet the goal you’ll get the money. If not, then you won’t. This all-or-nothing model makes it unique from its competitors.

Be sure to do your research if you plan to get involved. Most of these crowdfunding sites do charge a fee so it’s important to compare and find the best crowdfunding platform for you!

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