Weekly News Round-Up: Another Big-Name University Takes to Crowdfunding

As the summer starts to heat up, so does the crowdfunding news. While you were enjoying the Fourth of July weekend, we were monitoring the headlines and scouring the blogosphere for the latest crowdfunding developments. Here are a few highlights:

“Super PAC to End All Super PACs” Reaches $5M Crowdfunding Goal

MayDayJust last month we reported on MayDay.us, a campaign finance movement launched by Harvard professor Larry Lessig to combat the growing role of Super PACs in American political finance. MayDay.us kicked off two rounds of crowdfunding this summer, raising their initial $1 million goal in less than two weeks back in June.

Now, less than four weeks later, they have soared past their larger $5 million goal — which they raised from over 50,000 individual donors — to arrive at the final sum which Lessig intends to use as funding for five candidates in the 2014 election cycle who have demonstrated commitment to campaign finance reform.

The success of MayDay.us is showing that crowdfunding is a viable alternative to less transparent financing models, and proves that larger-scale crowdfunding campaigns are not only possible, but effective.

UC Berkeley Announces Crowdfunding Platform

The University of California, Berkeley announced earlier this week that it is in the process of creating a self-hosted crowdfunding platform. The platform — which will be the fourth of its kind in the UC system — will provide a venue for students to seek funding for their research and other projects directly from donors.

With the announcement, UC Berkeley becomes just the latest university to embrace the self-hosted crowdfunding model in order both to increase the flow of funds to campus and to publicize student work. These platforms range from voting systems for student pitch competitions to alumni fundraising campaigns, and can be used to fund students directly — as UC Berkeley has chosen to do — or indirectly through the administration.

To learn more about bringing crowdfunding to your campus, check out college and university crowdfunding solutions from Launcht.

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