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University launches crowdfunding platform to expand fundraising needs

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Giving to a specific initiative at UL Lafayette has never been easier. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has recently launched GeauxForward. GeauxForward is a crowdfunding platform that allows anyone to give directly to a specific project at the University that they want to support. Students, faculty, and staff can submit project ideas for the platform to help them accomplish their fundraising needs.

Claire St. Romain, director of Annual Giving at UL Lafayette, is excited that crowdfunding is now a component of a multi-channel annual giving program that raises money to provide resources for student success, campus sustainability, and faculty retention — all of which create a stronger University. “GeauxForward is a storytelling platform that showcases a variety of ways people can help enhance the University experience for our students,” said St. Romain.

One of the benefits of using GeauxForward is that donors can see how much is being raised in real-time for any specific project. The platform also provides an excellent way for project managers to track how close they are to reaching their goals.

The current GeauxForward projects address needs across campus. One project is raising funds to replace the jerseys for the Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team. Another project is working to raise money to configure a 3-D printing robot for the UL Lafayette Mechanical Engineering Department. Through the crowdfunding site, anyone can become a champion for specific projects by easily sharing links to the project with their personal and professional networks.

As an incentive to projects that qualify, the Office of Sustainability offers seed funding from the Campus as a Living Lab initiative to projects that align with the Sustainability Strategic Plan. Campus as a Living Lab utilizes campus grounds, facilities, and operational systems for multidisciplinary project-based learning, applied research, and hands-on partnerships to prepare tomorrow’s leaders and develop innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.

As the platform continues to grow, St. Romain hopes that more campus departments will utilize GeauxForward. She encourages project managers to collaborate with community members both on and off-campus. “Expanded partnerships with alumni, businesses, and non-profit organizations to develop projects that strengthen the University in turn, strengthen our global community,” said St. Romain. The current projects on GeauxForward will be live until November 30, 2020. After that, those looking to apply for the Spring 2021 project cycle can expect an application to become available in December. GeauxForward is changing the way that fundraising is done at the University — one gift at a time.

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