As the semester winds down, students continue to use HornRaiser, UT’s official crowdfunding platform, to raise funds for extracurricular activities in the spring and summer.
HornRaiser kicked off in the fall of 2014 as a way for students and faculty to fund projects mostly under $15,000. According to Kellie Sullivan, development specialist with the University Development Office’s annual giving department, donors have given more than $855,622 in tax-deductible gifts to HornRaiser campaigns since then, $428,234 of which was given in this semester alone.
Sullivan said the process to start a HornRaiser campaign includes various steps such as a thorough application on the HornRaiser website, an approval and training process, periods to build the platform, communication strategies and collect donations, and finally a period to complete the project with their funds and thank their donors.
“It is a pretty lengthy application,” Sullivan said. “You do have to provide information [on] who you are going to be fundraising from, what your project [is] and what all the money is going to be used for, your accounting information … as well as the different types of people that are going to be helping you fundraise.”
Texas Ballroom, an official RecSports club for ballroom dancing at UT, is soliciting donations to send their country and ballroom teams to compete and throw their own competition called the Austin Open.
Accounting graduate student Alexander King, fundraising coordinator for Texas Ballroom, said the entire process to get the HornRaiser campaign up and running was relatively easy.
“It wasn’t that long or hard of a process, in my opinion,” King said. “We applied some time in September and … it went live in November.”
Chemical engineering sophomore Gauri Bora is the fundraising manager for a study abroad program called Projects with Underserved Communities, which will send her team of social work and engineering students to a village in Guatemala to help a clinic serving malnourished children.
“I think [HornRaiser] makes it really, really easy for people to donate and become aware of what our project is,” Bora said. “As the person running it, I think it’s really easy to use. [The HornRaiser staff] sent us emails periodically and they gave us tips and stuff and that’s really helpful. Any questions we have, we can ask them. They’re very quick to respond and very eager to help.”