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A Crowdfunding Class Project! Lessons for Offline and Online Students

10 April 2015 No Comment

Info For Other Educators Who Might Want to Do the Same.

By Kristen Palana
-Aura’s House Founder and Associate Professor of Digital Media at The American University of Rome


Hi there.



Yasini hard at work

This April and May I’ll be leading 10 amazing American University of Rome students in my COM408 Media, Art, and Social Activism class to do a class crowdfunding project as part of our course work this semester. My AUR students have been using an online course I created in January, How to Successfully Raise Money Online For You and Your Cause as part of their research on how to fund projects using the power of crowdfunding and social media.

First every student proposed a specific project/ beneficiary and fundraising goal. The class then voted (but couldn’t vote for their own project.)

In the end they chose to raise $1,500 for 25 year-old Tanzanian law student (AND a top student in my online courses) Yasini Biggo. Funds will pay for his third year of school, books, a laptop, housing, food, etc. This would be on the heels of the Emergency Project Aura’s House did for Yasini’s second year of school in December. (*I swear I didn’t vote or sway my students to do anything related to Aura’s House. But the student who chose and proposed this project did an AMAZING job of persuading the rest of the class to support this cause.)

It took me a while to wrap my head around how to split all the various tasks so 10 people could contribute equally. In the end I made four teams of pairs or trios.

I informally had them vote on what kinds of jobs they felt they enjoyed most or were best at (writing, images/film making, organizing, editing, social media, etc) and chose them for their teams based on their preferences.

COM408: Media, Art, and Social Activism class in the HOUSE.

COM408: Media, Art, and Social Activism class in the HOUSE.

I then created the four teams and divided up the work so everyone would be working together.

Team 1: Will set up all aspects of the Indiegogo page and oversee the contributions and be responsible for a unified voice and cohesive project.
Team 2: Will be in charge of words. Not just any words, but using effective language to convert browsers into donors.
Team 3: Is responsible for the look and the feel. Images, colors, layout, spacing, video, etc
Team 4: Will set up the “perks” and begin the initial planning of the social media campaign or any special events the class may (or may not) want to hold.

If any educators would like to try this with students in high school, college, or any other groups, I’d be happy to share my rubrics and help you get set up.


PS. Please stay tuned. There is a project page set up at Aura’s House that will be directly connected to the class Indiegogo campaign. We expect to launch in mid April.





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