Office of Student Life

Student Philanthropy

Buckeye Funder

Buckeye Funder is The Ohio State University's crowdfunding platform for fundraising–it's like a Buckeye-style "Go Fund Me". Crowdfunding offers our donors a new way to provide support to our schools, programs and specifically projects at the university that mean something to them. 

Crowdfunding also assists our faculty, staff and students achieve their philanthropic goals. A few crowdfunding ideas? Innovative projects, service trips, events, research, and other Ohio State-specific ventures.

This semester, the Student Philanthropy Department will be promoting fundraising through BuckeyeFunder for 6 programs in Student Life, including Social Change, SPHINX Senior Class Honorary, Student-Alumni Council, Beanie Drake Student Leader Endowment, and BuckeyeThon with the Student Philanthropy Council. Consider supporting these groups as they work to provide an extraordinary student experience for their members and future generations of Buckeyes.

Don't see your student organization represented? Contact Elissa Kuharich (kuharich.3@osu.edu) to get involved in the next campaign.  

 

VIEW BUCKEYE FUNDER


Who can utilize the Buckeye Funder platform? Buckeye Funder project teams must be part of the Ohio State community via an academic department, student group or other official entity. Buckeye Funder assists Ohio State faculty, staff and students to raise awareness about causes and achieve their fundraising goals. Crowdfunding works best for projects and campaigns with clear and specific goals, rather than for general, unrestricted fundraising.

How much time will it take to create and manage a project through Buckeye Funder? Project campaigns run for 30 days, but plan on your project requiring 10-12 weeks of focused, intense work before and after the campaign. The project lead will need to provide updates and remain actively engaged (new videos, social media postings and email). It is recommended that the project lead commit 1 hour per day, and each team member commit 30-60 minutes per day, for the length of the active campaign.

Quiet Phase (campaign pre-launch) This phase should begin approximately 4-6 weeks before the project’s launch date. This time will be spent getting your campaign ready (writing content, creating videos, compiling your email list, developing strategies, etc.). Your project team will have several meetings with the Office of Annual Giving to help you develop and plan your project.

Active Phase (campaign launch) This phase will last 30 days and constitutes the live campaign. These weeks are crucial. During the campaign, team members are expected to send out at least six (6) email “asks” to their personal contact lists, make four (4) or more updates to their project page, push out asks via social media, and otherwise make themselves available to answer questions about and raise awareness around their project.

Thank You Phase (post-campaign) After the project, groups are responsible for sending out thank-you emails and final updates to donors. Remember—making your donors feel special now means that they will want to come back and support your next project.

What makes a project successful on this site? Successful projects are ones that integrate our best practice recommendations in outreach, include a 30 day social media and marketing plan, and build a strong crowdfunding team of people to contribute to their crowdfunding efforts. Every member of the team must be 100% committed to actively engaging their social communities and networks. 

What will I need to create and manage a project through Buckeye Funder? An effective way to engage donors to support your cause through crowdfunding is with an emotional and compelling fundraising page. When possible, create such a page with pictures and videos that tell a convincing and irresistible story, as well as explain how much money is needed and how funds will be utilized.

Where can I find the Buckeye Funder application? View application and apply here. (It is recommended that you apply a minimum of 6 months prior to your campaign launch.)

How are projects approved after they have submitted an application? The Office of Annual Giving and the development/fundraising staff in the college/unit will review the application. Upon approval, the Office of Annual Giving will work with the Project Lead to discuss next steps including timing.

Who sets the campaign timeline and goals? You! While projects must align to Ohio State's Buckeye Funder timing, much of how the projects are constructed, are determined by the project leads. The Office of Annual Giving will work with the Project Lead to ensure the project goal is relative to the community size.

Typically the length of the campaigns are 30 days and have an average funding goal between $3,000-$12,000. The final goal amount should be determined based on the strength of the project team's networks and partnerships.

What happens if the project doesn't reach its goal?  If the project does not reach its targeted fundraising goal (as sometimes occurs), the project manager is able to keep the amount raised but must use it based on the initial intent of the project. The project manager should explain to the donors how the money raised will be used if this occurs. 

How will people learn about my project on Buckeye Funder? Crowdfunding relies on personal networking—your best supporters love Ohio State, but they really love you and your project. Crowdfunding is a peer-to-peer solicitation rather than an institutional solicitation. Use your personal, group, department or team’s email lists, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn groups, etc. to promote your project. It’s best to bring your own “crowd.” If you and your team do not have a pre-existing audience (personal or otherwise), then crowdfunding might not be the best platform to raise money for your project.

How can I apply to use the Buckeye Funder platform? We require all potential faculty and student organization project managers to complete an info session with the Office of Annual Giving. This is to provide the greatest amount of knowledge and information in order to adequately prepare you for the rigors of crowdfunding.

Who manages the Buckeye Funder platform? The Ohio State University Alumni Association Office of Annual Giving The Longaberger Alumni House 2200 Olentangy River Rd. Columbus, OH 43210

Contact buckeyefunder@osu.edu for more information.