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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Hubbub - crowdfunding university student and alumni projects

Christina Pashialis is digital marketing manager at Hubbub, where she manages the organisation's online strategy to help non-profits transition into digital fundraising.

We caught up with Christina to learn a bit more about Hubbub and its work with universities on crowdfunding for student and alumni projects.

Why should charities, community groups and social entrepreneurs be excited about crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is an excellent opportunity for people to raise funds for targeted causes within a fixed timeframe. If you’re someone with a specific idea you want to make a reality (such as funding a school library), it’s often difficult to receive the external funding to make that happen. Crowdfunding allows you to share your vision online with your networks and communally raise the funds to make your idea happen. It’s an ideal model to raise funds for specific good causes.

Crowdfunding is also an exciting way for students to develop an array of entrepreneurial skills. From creating their crowdfunding pitch, to promoting the project and thinking outside the box when under pressure to reach the target as the deadline approaches, the whole process is an excellent lesson in marketing.

Why was your platform set up and what are you hoping to achieve?

Hubbub’s aims are two-fold. We aim to be the leading provider of digital fundraising solutions for the education and non-profit sectors, helping organisations deliver mass engagement, participation and fundraising campaigns through mobile, web and social media.

Secondly, we aim to educate individuals who want to create crowdfunding campaigns for good causes, on our free platform hubbub.org.

How can your platform help people or organisations interested in fundraising for a good cause?

For organisations, Hubbub's platforms are built with the aim of helping with donor acquisition, donor retention and stewardship. Around 10% of people who donate to a crowdfunding project on our platforms opt-in to be contacted about regular donations for the organisation. We work with organisations to ensure crowdfunding integrates with their fundraising goals. We have resources for organisations looking into crowdfunding on our website. 

For individuals fundraising for good causes, our free platform hubbub.org is run by a super support team who educate and support individuals looking to start a crowdfunding project.

Could you give an example of what a typical Hubbub project looks like?

There are a wonderful array of crowdfunding projects across Hubbub’s platforms! A recent project creator crowdfunded over £4,000 to develop and deliver a Social Enterprise Academy in Kigali Rwanda.

Another recently funded over £9,000 to support paid internships in the NGO sector.

Are there any unique features of your platform we should know about?

The most unique thing about Hubbub is that we don’t charge project creators anything to run a project on hubbub.org, unlike almost all other crowdfunding platforms. This means more of the money raised can go towards projects that matter! Hubbub's expertise is specifically in social-good crowdfunding so we can offer lots of support along the way for project creators looking to crowdfund.

Secondly, for non-profits and education organisations, we create branded white-label crowdfunding platforms customised with the non-profit’s own brand, logo and site copy (see FundEd and University of Exeter’s platforms as examples).

If you could give three tips to someone using crowdfunding for a good cause what would they be?

1) Don't be afraid to ask people directly for a donation. Asking people on a one-to-one basis (as opposed to one public message on social media) is most effective.

2) Plan. Plan. Plan. Set a realistic target and map out exactly who you are going to ask for a donation and exactly where you plan to get every penny of your target from.

3) Don't be afraid to remind people to donate. People often have the best intentions but can easily forget!

See the links below for some Hubbub resources on digital fundraising:

Hubbub’s website - to learn more about what Hubbub does

The Hubbub Blog: weekly pieces on genuine digital fundraising advice for non-profit professionals

CrowdFundList: a mailing list where experts on digital giving, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising share best practices

Resource centre: lots of resources about digital fundraising

Read the other interviews with crowdfunding platforms.

Photo Credit: Ben Duchac, Creative Commons 2.0 license

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Jonathan Bone

Jonathan Bone

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