About Crowdfunding

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is an innovative tool that engages communities to support outstanding projects. Here at UC Santa Cruz, we are committed to highlighting the incredible work being done by students, staff, and faculty every day. Do you have a project that falls into that category and needs funding? If so, we want to hear from you!

How do you get started?

Although most donations are small, crowdfunding projects generate a large number of donors and  typically raise between $1,000 and $10,000 – this means that $10 really does go a long way in supporting campus initiatives! Projects require a realistic and specific dollar goal, a clear use for funds, and a defined benefit for the UC Santa Cruz community. 

Crowdfunding projects rely on the project team and the people they connect with, so it is critical that your team is passionate and there is a network to share the project with.  All members of the team should be willing to commit 1-3 hours a week during the 30-day campaign to ensure success. Tasks include personal asks for support via phone calls and emails, thanking donors, sharing your project on social media, and consistently posting updates. The core team will be involved in developing content for the page and video, creating a strategy and timeline for communications, and motivating the rest of the team to tap into their networks. This group consists of a team leader, 3-5 key volunteers, and a faculty or staff adviser. Most project teams spend at least 20 hours preparing for their launch. Engaged and enthusiastic teams with a clear plan will succeed!

Sign me up!

Once you have rallied your team and are ready to start a project, please submit an application here. After submitting your project idea, you will meet with a member of the Annual Giving team to receive training and begin developing a strategy for your campaign.


If you have any questions please refer to the FAQ, or contact Marissa Fullum-Campbell, Director of Annual Giving, at mfc@ucsc.edu or (831)459-2031. 


UC Santa Cruz FAQ

How do I start a project?


Please fill out an application and you will be contacted within four weeks to discuss your project. 


How is the UC Santa Cruz crowdfunding page different than other sites?


Our crowdfunding platform has many advantages over other sites. Unlike outside sites, teams working with the official UC Santa Cruz crowdfunding platform will not be liable for any tax associated with the money that is raised. There are not any fees associated with using our platform, and the donations are not contingent on reaching the stated goal. Additionally, your team will be supported by University Relations staff that will provide training and guidance in order to help you reach your goal. 


Is my gift tax deductible?


Yes! The UC Santa Cruz Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 


What if the project doesn’t reach its goal?


This is one of the great things about our platform; all of the money raised during the campaign will go to the project, even if it does not fully fund. 


When will my group get the money we raised?


Funds are deposited into the university account at the end of the month after the donation is made. 


How much time does it take?


Successful campaigns take work! Team members should expect to spend at least 20 minutes per day during the 30-day campaign promoting the project. Prior to launch, teams typically spend at least 20 hours setting up the project page, making a video, creating a marketing plan, drafting emails, and preparing for the campaign. 


How much of my money is actually going to the project?


All of the funds raised during the campaign will go towards the project, less the gift fee. As with all donations to the university, there is a 6% gift processing fee. This fee is lower than outside platforms, and any money raised through a 3rd party site will still be subject to the 6% fee when put in a university account. 


I’m not a student or faculty member, but know of a cool project that would support UC Santa Cruz and people willing to donate. What do I do?


Great! We encourage alumni and community members to create projects that benefit UC Santa Cruz students and faculty. Please submit an application and we will be in touch shortly. 


How can I help with UC Santa Cruz crowdfunding projects?


We are always looking for volunteers! Check out our alumni volunteer description and send an email to Marissa Fullum-Campbell at mfc@ucsc.edu to learn how you can help.