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University Debuts Crowdfunding Platform: Launch UMD

April 21, 2014

Alana Carchedi 3031-405-0235

Campus Groups Tap Social Networks to Fund Unique Projects

Launch UMDCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland recently introduced a first-of-its-kind crowdfunding initiative called LAUNCH UMD.  The platform provides an opportunity for faculty and students to tap into social networks to raise money for small yet impactful projects.

LAUNCH UMD debuted with five projects that gave students the opportunity to innovate outside-the classroom, inspire social change and foster Terp pride. The pilot projects include:

Crowdfunding is one of the fastest growing areas of philanthropy.  According to Forbes magazine, crowdfunding raised over $5 billion in 2013.  Crowdfunding relies on peer-to-peer connections to raise relatively small amounts of money from a large number of supporters.

"For the University of Maryland, LAUNCH UMD is a terrific way for alumni and friends to connect intimately with causes that are important to them," said Brian Logue, director of alumni participation.  "These projects are excellent examples of how small gifts can make a huge difference."

The Division of University Relations provides support, training and the fundraising platform at no charge to campus groups.  Participating groups are required to report out on how they used social media and other promotional tools to work toward their fundraising goals.  Additional student and faculty causes are expected to launch in full in Fall 2014.

For more information, please visit www.launch.umd.edu.