Crowdfunding TU/e ‘gaat niet alléén om binnenhalen van geld’

Crowdfunding at TU/e ‘isn't only about the money’

30 March 2017

Student teams Blue Jay and TU/ecomotive are the first projects for which TU/e hopes to attract funding with its new online crowdfunding platform. The platform, which aims to secure small and medium-sized amounts, was launched Thursday afternoon during the Where Science Meets Business conference held by the TU/e Innovation Lab.

Giving visibility to appealing projects in a very doable way, motivating people to fund them, and building loyalty to the university (and vice versa): that's crowdfunding in a nutshell, says Karen Ali, director of Fundraising Development. She has been engaged in fundraising for a little over six months. “It isn't only about bringing in money.”

Communication advisor Edith Snelders describes “a community of givers, of people who feel fondly towards TU/e. People whom we want to help stay abreast of developments and help stay involved via this platform”. “That is not the same as sending people a static email saying ‘Would you like to give to this appealing story?’” says Ali.

Relevance to society, a concrete goal in the not too distant future (with interim results available soon) and the time and readiness to invest in running a crowdfunding campaign - these are a few of the conditions for projects keen to present themselves on the platform. Snelders is keen to stress that it is not a question of “dashing off a posting and watching the money roll in.”

While no limit has been set on the number of projects that can be showcased on the platform at any one time, “Campaigns must not get in each other's way - so we do want to manage the numbers,” says Snelders. “Simply by doing this, we are going to explore what it has to offer us, and we are on a learning curve of our own,” says Ali.

If the two women have their say, the platform won't be reserved for the student teams. They are keen to see, say, study and student associations submit a proposal - provided it is socially relevant and in keeping with the university's ambitions. “The platform is not intended to fund drinking festivities,” says Ali, choosing her words carefully.

Donations via the new online platform are received at TU/e's University Fund, a longer-running facility. From there, the money is paid out to the projects in question.

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