Colorado State University taps crowdfunding for donations

A screenshot of CSU’s Charge Crowdfunding platform

FORT COLLINS – Colorado State University has become the first university in the state to open a web-based crowdfunding platform to potential donors

“The overall goal of Charge, the CSU crowdfunding platform, has been to build a more technologically advanced way of giving while creating a more intimate experience for the supporters of CSU,” explained Meg Weber, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Donor Relations. “It allows donors to directly support specific projects at CSU, so their dollars can have an immediate impact in areas where they feel a deep connection with CSU.”

For the beta test, 10 projects developed by students in the Venture Accelerator program in the CSU College of Business’ Institute for Entrepreneurship have been packaged with videos and detailed project information and posted on the Charge website. From an innovative system for carbon sequestration through algae farming to a new approach to outdoor fitness equipment, high-quality longboards for urban transportation to temporary renters’ paint — and the ultimate solution for the perfect s’mores – these projects define the creativity and passion that donors to Charge can encourage and support with gifts beginning at $10.

“Unlike similar crowdfunding programs in the private sector that only fund projects if a certain goal is met, Charge directs 100 percent of gifts to the project designated by the donor, whether the goal is reached, or not,” Weber added. “All gifts will be processed immediately and deposited into the project account in the CSU Student Business Advancement Fund. Some projects will have specific goals and timelines, others may be ongoing, but all the projects funded through Charge will further the land-grant mission of Colorado State.”

This initial 30-day beta test phase of Charge will be followed by the roll-out of additional projects from the College of Engineering’s interdisciplinary School of Biomedical Engineering. The ultimate goal is to be able to roll out the Charge crowdfunding platform to other colleges, departments and units across campus in the fall. Charge will be administered through CSU’s annual giving office.

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