Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

Cashing In: Fundraising Tips from a Pro

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Auburn chapter.

If you are, or have been, involved with an organization on campus then you know how difficult it can be to raise money for your group or your group’s cause. Auburn students live on tight budgets and keep busy schedules. So how do you make your organization get noticed on campus, impact your target audience, and make some money? 


Crowdfunding sites like Deposit a Gift might be exactly what you have been missing. I sat down with Deposit a Gift’s Chief Gifting Officer, Dana Ostomel to learn more.


Intro to Crowdfunding


Crowdfunding is a more modern approach to fundraising that is done entirely online. Deposit a Gift is a hub for crowdfunding that is easy to use and customizable. A huge benefit to crowdfunding  in addition to, or even in place of, traditional fundraising is the much larger audience it gives you access to. 


Instead of relying on students to attend your in-person events, you can now reach them wherever they are. Crowdfunding even lets you reach out to people who aren’t in Auburn. Your “friends/family back home, your friends at other schools, other students who cannot attend or who did not walk by your table, and especially alumni” may care a great deal about what you’re raising money for, but, until now, were unable to show it. 


When to Crowdfund

Crowdfunding can be a great tool for practically any fundraising endeavor. Some of Ostomel’s favorite reasons to crowdfund are listed below.

  • Club and sorority/fraternity fundraisers
  • To raise money to study abroad
  • To raise money for field trips
  • Group gifts for friends
  • To raise money for a friend in crisis (maybe they get injured, a parent gets sick or they need help with tuition)
  • To raise money for things like computers.




More Than Just Fundraising

Deposit a Gift makes the process of collecting funds easy and fun for everyone involved. “When you crowdfund with Deposit a Gift, you create a personal donation micro-site with pictures, video, your story — all tools that make your fundraising site compelling to give to and motivating to share,” Ostomel explains. These features give each page some personality and fun to look at. While the site’s main function is to raise funds, it also raises awareness, helps organizations market their cause, and acts a a “‘home’ for your campaign.” 


A More Relaxed Approach

Many collegietes may find they need to raise funds but don’t want to seem gratuitous or annoying. Deposit a Gift can help us avoid that problem, too. “Fundraising is all about making a case for your cause,” Ostomel says. She finds the best way to do this is by updating your network. Your relationship with those who donate does not have to end once they submit their gift. Ostomel suggests posting about “[…] progress you are making towards your goal, the impact their funds are already making, [and] doing shoutouts to supporters […]” This way, people stay connected to your cause and feel they made the right decision in supporting you once they see all the things their funds are helping you do. This also helps potential givers stay aware and could even give them that extra push to join in on the “herd mentality.”


Starting Out

Fundraising can be difficult and confusing for organizations who have never done it before or have only fundraised on a small scale, but once you launch your crowdfunding site, the ball really gets rolling. Ostomel says its important to have “[…] a plan and a rationale for why you are fundraising so that there is a goal for your campaign.” Ostomel also mentions how it can be beneficial to start small by reaching out to just a few “key influencers” on campus and ask them to make donations before you even publicize your site. This way, you start off with a positive balance and make everyone aware that people are already donating. 


Join Deposit a Gift Today

If this sounds like the fundraising approach your organization has been missing, visit Deposit a Gift’s website to learn more or get started! 

Kerry is a recent graduate of Auburn University where she served as President and Co-Campus Correspondent for Auburn's Her Campus branch. She earned a degree in communication from Auburn's School of Communication and Journalism. Kerry recently operated the blog for Ellie Clothing, and has experience as a representative for Cosmopolitan magazine. A Massachusetts native, Kerry is a former Miss Teen Massachusetts United States and has worked as an intern in the national Her Campus office. In her (limited) spare time, Kerry enjoys exploring new places, discovering new music and obsessing over her latest Netflix show. You can reach her by e-mail at kerryanncoppinger@gmail.com. If you are interested in joining Her Campus Auburn, please reach out to the new CC's by emailing auburn@hercampus.com.