LAS 6291: Fundraising for TCD Professionals – Spring 2020

Crowdfunding is emerging as one of the most innovative ways for people and organizations to fund their projects. To explore the potential for crowdfunding to help finance research, every student in the class will develop and implement a crowdfunding campaign. The project for which you raise funds is up to you, though we expect most of you will focus on your thesis project, summer research, or a project you are working on with in-country collaborators or partner institutions.  The projects will be posted on February 24, 2020 and run for 4 weeks.

AMOUNT: The project request should be $1000-$2000.

GRADING: Your grade on this assignment will not be based on if you get funded, but rather on how well you complete the different elements of a successful campaign. The assignment is worth 1500 points and is made up of the following components:


  1. Prepare your internet and social media presence (100 points)
    1. If you don’t have a Twitter account, or if you prefer to use a different account for “work” and to promote your individual project register for a twitter account here.
    2. Same for Instagram: if you don’t have one, or want a “work one” set up an Instagram account here.
    3. If you are interested in an academic career or are a PhD student, make sure you have a Google Scholar profile. If your professional interests are to join the  private sector or the NGO world, then create a Linkedin profile.
    4. If you don’t have a work/professional-related web site, launch one using the platform of your choice.
      1. It doesn’t have to be complicated – at this point just a simple “splash page” that has your name, contact info, and research interests is fine, You can expand later.
      2. You do NOT have to buy a domain name or pay for hosting! If you are just starting you can set up free sites with WordPressGoogle SitesWeebly, and Wix, among others. Emilio recommends; for which there are lots of “getting started” resources (example 1 and example 2).
      3. If you are comfortable with R and Github, you can also create a free website with those tools. Here is a tutorial.
      4.  HOMEWORK SUBMISSION: On the Canvas website for the course, navigate to Assignment 1.  In the textbox, copy/paste: (1) your twitter account, (2) your instagram account, (3) the website url for your google scholar profile or linkedin, and (4) the url for your website.


  1. Review different projects on different online platforms to get ideas and familiarize yourself with the sites, complete the readings
  2. Project Overview (150 points) to include:
    1. The project title
    2. a 2-3 sentence summary of the project for which you seek support
    3. The total amount required for the project
    4. A brief explanation of how you will make up the difference between the amount required for the project and the amount of your campaign

DUE February 3rd:  

  1. Plan the price points and rewards offered to donors. (150 points)
  2. Prepare the Project Description (300 points)
    1.  2-3 paragraphs of text
    2. Images and Audio (if appropriate)
    3. “About” page


  1. The 1st version of your 2-3 min. campaign video (200 points)
  2. Final Campaign Plan (300 points)
    1. potential funders, including networks such LATAM, UFL, partner institutions, alumni association, etc., and plan for interacting with them
    2. Plan for outreach, including social media, press, etc.
    3. Plans for dealing with ‘the dip’
    4. Plan for following-up if funded.


  1. Final Campaign Video
  2. Launch project!

DUE FEBRUARY 24th-March 23th

  1. Implementation of outreach plan and promotion of campaign (100 points)

 DUE March 30th   

  1. Report & Evaluation Crowdfunding Project (1000-1500 words) (200 points)