niversity departments and organizations have an opportunity to fundraise to offset costs through Falcon Funded, the University’s new crowdfunding platform.
The Falcon Funded program is under the umbrella of University Advancement, which includes the office of Advancement Services, the BGSU Alumni Association and BGSU Foundation, Inc.
According to information provided by University Advancement, the platform utilizes crowdfunding, a fund-raising tool designed to fund a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people, typically through the internet.
Assistant Director of Annual Giving Jordan Cravens said in an email that “any of BGSU’s colleges, departments, divisions, student groups and faculty/staff are eligible to have their project ‘Falcon Funded.’”
So far, four student organizations have been involved with Falcon Funded, as well as multiple alumni organizations.
The platform’s website informs readers that Falcon Funded has funded organizations and projects such as BG alternative breaks, supporting student athletes, BGSU Respiratory Care Students and the BGSU Falcon Flight Team. Many alumni organizations are also working in correlation with the program through the Battle of the Decades fundraising project. In Battle of the Decades, past classes from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010 to the present all compete to achieve the highest amount of donations.
Currently, only the Falcon Flight Team has successfully funded their project.
Current President of the Falcon Flight Team Brian Helscel said, “We needed money to pay for practice flight time and various other supplies that we needed in order to be able to compete in the NIFA Regional Competition this past week.”
“We were lucky enough to be chosen by the University last spring to be a guinea pig for the Falcon Funded program,” Helscel said. “We were seen as a shovel ready organization and it benefited us tremendously.”
The campaign will continue to benefit the Flight Team even though it has finished, he said.
“Falcon Funded helped get the ball rolling because we still have some money left over from the Falcon Funded campaign to jump start our practices for next year,” he said.
All projects submitted are considered by the Falcon Funded Review Committee and must align with the University’s priorities.
Cravens said, “Money raised through a Falcon Funded crowdfunding project is held within a BGSU Foundation account. With appropriate documentation and by following established procedures, student groups are able to have these funds released in a timely manner. Funds must be used in a charitable way to benefit BGSU.”
When asked what future plans the Falcon Flight Team has with the money raised, Helscel responded with, “The Falcon Flight Team would like to make it to the national competition next year. It is not cheap as we have to pay for flight time and various other costs such as hotel and travel to and from the events.”
Even campaigns that are not as successful as the Falcon Flight Team’s can still benefit.
Cravens said, “Unlike some other crowdfunding sites, BGSU’s Falcon Funded platform allows student groups to retain all funds raised, even if the group falls short of its goal.”
The program is administered by University Advancement using the ScaleFunder platform.
“University Advancement sends proper tax receipts to donors and ensures donors feel great about their donation to BGSU that directly benefits our students,” said Cravens.
Cravens concluded, “Through a collaborative partnership with University Advancement and Student Affairs, we hope that Falcon Funded can provide another funding tool for student organizations to use as they continue to thrive on campus and create opportunities for students to enhance their BGSU experience.”