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24th October 2016

Crowdfunding success at Manchester

In May this year the University set up its own crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunding at Manchester
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Crowdfunding has become a common part of internet life in the last few years, with sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Patreon regularly funding projects, charity work and art. Where though, would you turn if your society wanted to buy expensive equipment or if you needed help funding a research expedition?

In May this year the University set up its own crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunding at Manchester, and the platform has already been used to fund five student-led projects. The platform, hosted by Hubbub—a company that specialises in crowdfunding for universities and non-profits—operates in a similar way to Kickstarter: Money put forward by backers is only actually taken if the project’s minimum target is reached.

Successfully funded projects include Madex2016: A medical expedition to Madagascar during which the team was researching Schistosomiasis—a parasitic tropical disease—whilst also administering treatment to children suffering from the disease. Money raised through the crowdfunding platform allowed the team to cover the costs of their expedition not included in grants and led to the completion of the team’s research, as well as treatment of nearly 2000 children.

Closer to home, the University of Manchester’s Men’s Lacrosse team raised £625 to purchase new helmets for the club. One of the problems the team highlighted in their campaign is that getting into a new sport such as lacrosse can be very expensive (with helmets alone costing  around £75) and therefore off-putting to newcomers. With the University of Manchester serving a large proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the club believed it was important that a good stock of kit was available for members to train and play with. The campaign allowed 8 new helmets to be purchased (supplementing 12 purchased with other funding), providing enough to kit-out two teams and significantly reducing the cost to participate in the society.

Part of what the crowdfunding platform provides is support from the University’s Development team in setting up and raising funds for a project. Elizabeth Ogilvie, a medical student who was part of team raising funds for medical outreach in Uganda said “without the support of the Development team we would’ve really struggled to make it to our target—they really carried us through when we were dealing with all the other stresses of setting up our project.”

If you want to find out more about how to fund a project you’re interested in, a crowdfunding information session is being hosted on Thursday 27th October at 5 PM in University Place 3.209.

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