You may not have heard of crowdfunding platform Beacon—the site is specific to journalism and is only a couple of years old—but it’s making a big splash in the world of higher ed crowdfunding with its first-ever partnership with a journalism school.
ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication recently kicked off a crowdfunding campaign that will help students better cover border and immigration issues.
The 30-day, $25,000 campaign is already past 25 percent of its goal, and Beacon is promising a dollar-for-dollar match (but only if the campaign reaches its goal). The site has found that matching gift challenges are extremely effective, and last year, it even promised matching funds for every project tagged with #Immigration site-wide—a total of $3 million.
What kind of swag do donors get? Thank-you letters and Twitter shoutouts are the only gifts until donors hit $95, when they’ll receive a Cronkite School t-shirt. After that, many of the rewards are for access—$400 gets you a video chat with Borderlands journalists, $500 an invite to a meet-and-greet reception with editors and students, and $10,000 donors ge a meeting with Vice Provost and Dean Christopher Callahan (who is also the CEO of Arizona PBS).
In addition to the immigration reporting project, the journalism school is using this campaign to study crowdfunding as a potential future revenue source. The Institute of Nonprofit News even provided a $10,000 grant in support of that goal.