Peter Hazlehurst, former CEO of Google Payments Corp., announced on Tuesday the beta launch of his new education crowdfunding platform, AngelScholars.
According to its description, AngelScholars offers up a crowdfunding solution to the scholarship system providing a new and unconventional way of giving back.
“Located in San Carlos, CA, AngelScholars PBC is a crowdfunding platform launched in 2016 to connect a new generation of donors seeking a more impactful engagement with students who need funding. Starting with as little as $50, anyone can easily create or fund a scholarship that they personally believe in. Alternatively, scholars can find and apply for unique opportunities or run their own campaigns based on their unique needs.”
Sharing details about the new funding portal, Hazlehurst stated:
“For as little as $50 dollars AngelScholars makes it possible for people to get involved, have a personalized impact and have control over their donations much like that Phil Knight got when he donated $400 million to Stanford.With AngelScholars, all it takes is a little money, an idea of who you want to support and the willingness to ask for help from your friends on Facebook and Twitter. We do the hard work and verify the Scholars, while also facilitating a connection with them. We’ll make sure the money is spent wisely, and we let you see the impact you are having.”
The platform’s team revealed that scholarships may also be as specific as a coding camp for African-American high school students based in Oakland with a 3.0 GPA who are studying STEM, or as general as school uniforms for kids whose parents make less than $25,000 and live in Atlanta.
Hazlehurst went on to add:
“I benefited first hand from the power of a targeted scholarship, and I wanted a way to make my experience more of the norm than an outlier. We’re using technology and social networks to remove typical barriers to funding education. All that’s left is the desire for an Angel to help kids in a way they believe in, and students who share these same dreams.”
MobileCause, a mobile, social and online fundraising platform, announced on Wednesday that it has teamed up with nonprofit education organization, Step Up For Students, to launch a series of digital fundraising and communication campaigns for scholarships and wraparound services.
According to MobileCause, the new partnership will enable Step Up For Students to expand its giving strategy using its digital fundraising solutions, including personalized online giving, dynamic event fundraising, and crowdfunding campaigns.
Alissa Randall, Step Up For Students CMO, commented:
“We are excited that we’ve been able to leverage MobileCause’s technology in helping us reach new donors, which allows us to offer additional services to the children we serve. There is still much work to be done. But we’re certainly making strides and will continue to do so with the help of our donors.”
MobileCause CEO, Sean MacNeill, added:
“We are thrilled to provide our online fundraising software solutions to empower Step Up For Students to fundraise with no limits to their reach. We are confident that this partnership will connect people everywhere to this amazing organization. Our mobile-friendly fundraising and communication platform fosters a personal connection between these families and extraordinary scholarships, all from the convenience of any device.”
Earlier this week, University of Connecticut (UConn) employees launched new crowdfunding pages as part of the university’s “Close to Home” campaign.
The project’s description reads:
“The Close to Home Campaign provides UConn’s faculty and staff with an opportunity to make a gift to UConn in a meaningful way. We encourage faculty and staff to make a contribution to support UConn in an area they choose, whether that’s a specific school, college, student support fund, performing arts venue, museum, or athletics program. As part of the campaign we have launched a Crowdfunding page where faculty and staff can create a fundraising page to promote the cause they feel the most passionate about here on campus.”
According to UConn Today, faculty, staff, and retirees may now donate directly to research and programs at the university through special crowdfunding pages that their colleagues have set up. Lauren Ellis Grabowski ’09 (CLAS), assistant director of annual giving at the UConn Foundation, stated:
“Crowdfunding really lets people promote causes they personally feel passionate about.”
Mary Ann Phaneuf, program administrator in the School of Pharmacy’s Office of Experiential Education, also set up a crowdfunding page for scholarships:
“I know when I went to school, scholarships helped me to achieve my personal success, and this fund is my way of giving back and making an impact. I love seeing the energy and excitement of students around campus once they receive a scholarship, and know that these contributions are a catalyst for their academic success.”
Employees who want to give to the Close to Home Campaign have until December 31st to make their contributions.
AuditionTrail, a crowdfunding platform, recently launched as a new site that will allow musician backers to fund their upcoming audition travels.
The platform was created by musician Miguel Sonnak, who was inspired to create the site following a visit to the Aspen Music Festival. Sonnak revealed he hopes that Audition Trail can support young performers who otherwise might not be able to attend auditions:
“They’re going from Boca Raton to San Francisco to New York — all over the country — and these plane tickets are expensive. Factor in that people sometimes don’t know anyone in that city and they need a hotel room for two nights.”
Also noting the support he and the platform has received, Sonnak explained:
“I talked to my viola section, they loved it. I went to the cellos and the violins, they loved it. I said, ‘OK, there’s interest. Let’s see how we can do it.’”
There will be four rounds of funding each year, each of which will award four players (one from each instrument) a scholarship of up to $500 for audition travel expenses. All funds will go directly towards scholarships, and Sonnak will cover operational expenses out of his own pocket. The website reportedly does not have nonprofit legal status yet.
Sonnak added that he hopes that the AuditionTrail will continue to grow and become a resource for aspiring professional musicians:
“I want us here at the Aspen Music Festival to be the next generation playing concerts, and the next generation needs help. Culture is needed in society.”
AuditionTrail is currently only open to musicians who play violin, viola, cello and bass.