Newsletter  

Small Gifts, Big Impact
Crowdfunding at UTSA Makes a Difference for Students, Community

UTSA Cheer raised almost $14,000 through crowdfunding.

Seeking ways to fund smaller university projects while also giving alumni and friends more choice about what their gifts support, the UTSA Annual Giving team launched a crowdfunding platform, named LaunchUTSA, in April 2014.

The crowdfunding site allows donors to support projects at all levels and still make a big impact at UTSA. The first six months of LaunchUTSA have been a huge hit for the UTSA community.

“We had a really good feeling about Launch UTSA when we started, but we didn’t realize just how successful it would be in the first few months,” says Megan Miller, Annual Giving Coordinator. “Donors particularly like knowing that 100 percent of their gifts go directly to the projects they have selected for support.”

Since last April, Launch UTSA has raised almost $70,000 for faculty, student and alumni-driven projects. Gifts have helped to send students to Korea, purchased new study tables for the sciences building and funded student scholarships. Innovative crowdfunding campaigns included the Alumni City Race, which challenged alumni from several Texas regions to raise money for Alumni Association scholarships. More recently, the UTSA cheerleaders used the crowdfunding platform to launch a campaign to purchase new uniforms, battle flags and props, exceeding their goal and raising more than $13,900 in total from 198 donors.

“It’s been about four years since the cheerleaders received new uniforms, so we are all very excited that so many people were willing to contribute,” says Jason Gregory, head coach of UTSA Cheer. “Our cheerleaders bring spirit to UTSA and community events, so it’s nice to see them receive this kind of support.”

The impact of LaunchUTSA is also being felt in the local community. Transform Your Health SA is a project designed by a graduate social work class that finished a successful 15-day crowdfunding campaign to raise money to purchase playground equipment that will inspire children to be active at the Madonna Center in the Edgewood neighborhood of San Antonio. “Because of the generous donations we received through LaunchUTSA, children will learn what it means to live a healthy life and we will continue to work to find ways to prevent and overcome childhood obesity,” says class member Mary Youngkrantz.

Meanwhile, another group of graduate students raised money to buy equipment to harvest fruit trees growing in downtown neighborhoods. The fruit will be donated to San Antonio’s food banks to fight hunger in our community.

“What we’ve seen this year from our student participants and our donors is inspiring, to say the least,” says Megan Miller. "Donors are really the heroes who are making amazing opportunities possible. I think we can expect that 2015 will bring many more new and exciting things for us and our crowdfunding site.”

Visit fund.utsa.edu for upcoming projects..


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