A Look at UConn's Latest Campaign to Crowdfund Student Projects

The University of Connecticut’s Ignite initiative, operated by the University of Connecticut Foundation, launched in 2013 and has grown every yearraising $34,129 for 20 student groups from 1,644 donors last year.

In 2016, Ignite will include 33 student groups that will compete from February 8 through April 3 not only to raise money for their initiatives, but to beat other groups and become the top fundraiser at UConn.

Last year, the winning groupthe Asian-American Cultural Centeredged out the Community Outreach group to take home an additional $6,422 in prize money.

The University of Connecticut Foundation has built a complex set of rewards for participating groupscompetitors can earn points toward a $10,000 prize by reaching checkpoints over the next eight weeks. For example, groups who collect more than five donations on the first day receive extra points.

In addition, the foundation is using a strategy we’ve seen at other higher-ed institutions: segmenting donation periods by audience. UConn student donors, Uconn GOLD alumni donors, and “other donors” all have different weeks during which they’re supposed to donate to help their chosen groups win the big prize.

So far, the Alpha Kappa Lamdba fraternity, working with UConn’s Women’s Center, has raised the most cash— $550 toward the Women’s Center’s Violence Against Women Prevention Program. But with nearly two months left, there’s still plenty of time for other groups to catch up.