PowHERful, which aims to raise money during Women’s History Month, is one of five campaigns currently listed on the Buckeye Funder website, an online crowdfunding tool Ohio State launched last month.
With only a couple days left to donate, the campaign PowHERful is working to increase the amount of programming Women Student Initiatives can coordinate to impact more women on campus. Donation collection will end on April 1 at midnight.
Buckeye Funder, the website the campaign is using, is based on crowdfunding, the idea of raising money in small amounts from many different people to reach a larger goal.
“There is something about crowdfunding that just has a really great energy to it,” said Jennifer Keyes, senior director of Annual Giving. “I think it’s just a really genuine way of getting project ideas out there.”
The official launch date for Buckeye Funder was Feb. 1, and it is managed by the Office of Annual Giving at OSU. To use the tool, project team members have to be a part of the OSU community as a faculty member, staff member or student.
Taylor Cornelius, a fourth-year in public affairs, serves as the project champion for PowHERful, responsible for monitoring the project for Women’s History Month. Cornelius said she feels crowdfunding is the most effective way to connect the Buckeye community and support the women on OSU’s campus.
“With the crowdfunding campaign, people don’t have to give a lot of money,” Cornelius said. “If a lot of people just give $5, it can still raise a lot of money.”
The fundraiser has almost reached its halfway mark of its $10,000 goal, raising $4,950 from 53 donors as of Monday evening, according to Buckeye Funder’s website.
While Cornelius said anything WSI is involved in is inclusive to everyone and encouraged all people of any identity to participate in events through WSI, she stressed the importance of creating a safe space to value and empower women.
“By uplifting Buckeye women, we are uplifting everyone on Ohio State’s campus,” Cornelius said.
Megan Murphy, digital fundraising specialist of the Alumni Association, explained what she feels makes projects most successful in the campaigning process to raise funds.
“The number one ingredient is passion,” Murphy said of the planning and launching of the crowdsourcing projects. “People put so much effort in these projects. It’s amazing.”
Murphy also hosts a strategy session to prepare the project members for the intensive campaigning phases, for drafting a marketing plan and for making sure the project reaches its full potential.
“I think what gets me excited about this platform is that there are so many amazing things here at Ohio State,” Murphy said. “This tool gives the voice and opportunity to tell the story of the students doing these service projects.”
While project ideas should be compelling, collaborative and philanthropic and members should be committed to the project, Murphy said she likes to give all applicants the opportunity to submit an application and be considered for approval.
“We will entertain any ideas,” Murphy said. “The sky’s the limit.”
Campaigning typically lasts for 30 days with the average goal landing between $3,000 and $12,000, according to the Buckeye Funder website.
The site also added that one of the ways crowdfunding works best is if people are personally networking with peers on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, using their own connections and creativity as a way to increase awareness and support for the project.
Murphy said she believes Buckeye Funder will continue to be a success because of the devotion of those working on the projects, which includes both faculty and students.
Donations can be made online at Buckeye Funder’s website or mailed to the Office of Annual Giving at OSU.
“Anyone can donate,” Keyes said. “The exciting part is you don’t have to be contributing a huge amount of money to make a difference here, and this tool is bringing that to light. That’s what I really love about it.”