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Launching a Project Questions

What is PonyUp?

 Boise State University’s PonyUp crowdfunding platform combines the university’s focus on creativity and innovation with a technology that inspires the future. At PonyUp you can support university projects with a variety of need and focus. Your donation, small or large, empowers Bronco success, learning, community engagement, innovation and creativity. PonyUp today with a project that inspires you and empower the Bronco community!

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding takes advantage of a web-connected community. By channeling the power of the crowd, projects are able to launch from the generosity of a large group of people. A gift of $25 can have a real impact, because “the crowd” is ponying up too!

How long does a campaign last?

PonyUp campaigns typically last between 30 and 45 days. However, the campaigns require a commitment of approximately three months on the part of project leaders from start to finish for development, implementation, and fulfillment.

What are you looking for in a PonyUp project?

PonyUp provides the opportunity to make passions come alive. The projects that we are looking for are those that have a profound narrative to tell – projects with a variety of need and focus. As a result, our projects include everything from human health, to international development, to new learning opportunities and beyond.

What is required to launch a campaign?

We recommend that projects have pre-identified leaders with a strong network of support to reach out to. Project leaders should be prepared to create website content that will describe their project and inspire giving. From experience, we suggest between 3-5 project leaders who can lead the design, launch, and fulfillment of your project. Of course, the Annual Giving office will help you every step of the way! 

How can we access the funds we raise?

The Boise State University Foundation will hold all funds that your campaign raises. Before your project launches, University Advancement staff will walk you through how to access these funds and all associated policies.

Is there a fee on the funds we raise?

There are no fees taken from funds raised by projects except the standard gift fee applied to all charitable gifts to the University. After this fee, your project will keep all funds raised regardless of whether you meet your goal or not. 

How does crowdfunding work? Is it somehow different than announcing via email and social media what our project is?

Crowdfunding is a unique tool that capitalizes on several channels of communication. The most effective, however, is through personal, direct emails. Social media provides some traffic but does more to raise awareness than actual funds. We’ve had strong results from department and college newsletters as well. Where crowdfunding may differ from your traditional campaigns is that it is also a platform designed to emphasize storytelling. The PonyUp site provides space for video, text, and images. Your email may offer a glimpse into the story, sharing why it is relevant to you, and then direct the reader to the website to learn more and, hopefully, to donate.

I didn't hear about the observatory campaign until it was already 67% funded. How did the campaign put the word out?

Our crowdfunding campaigns are largely built around the personal connections of the project leaders involved. For the observatory, Dr. Brian Jackson spent a few weeks leading up to the launch and in the first week raising awareness among his base of support and encouraging them to donate. This strategy is what will drive the majority of donations. From there, supplemental tools such as social media, local media, and college/department newsletters increased traffic and provide a smaller rate of donations than personal connections.

Does University Advancement promote crowdfunding or is that a department responsibility?

University Advancement has some channels that we can use to support projects depending on their nature, their target audience, etc. Beyond that, the project leaders are expected to handle the bulk of the promotion for their project through their personal outreach and connections. Our data shows that people are more likely to donate when they have been personally asked by someone connected with the project.

Is there a suggested limit on the revenue goal or the time allowed to collect it?

While every project is considered on a case-by-case basis, we do generally recommend a time-frame of 30 days and a goal of between $2,000 and $10,000.