Courtesy of Carmen Gilbert

Courtesy of Carmen Gilbert

 

UNLV launched Rebel Raiser this semester, an online crowdfunding platform for student and faculty projects. This is similar to websites like GoFundMe, but is designed specifically for UNLV.

 

Carmen Gilbert, who oversees the site, feels that one of the biggest advantages of Rebel Raiser is that it’s more cost efficient for users.

 

“If you use the Rebel Raiser platform, 1 percent comes out to go to the Foundation and then 1 percent potentially comes out of the unit if it goes through a certain college,” Gilbert said.

 

In contrast, GoFundMe deducts 5 percent from each individual contribution.

 

UNLV Foundation collaborated with Ruffalo Noel Levitz, a technology-based enrollment and fundraising service provider who also provided similar crowdfunding platforms to various universities, including the University of Southern California and Pitzer College.

 

Rebel Raiser users and donors bring attention to fundraising by sharing projects via Facebook or Twitter.

 

Another advantage Rebel Raiser has over other platforms is that it provides transparency to donors.

 

“This alleviates donor confusion,” said Anne Hodge, director of development for the College of Fine Arts. “With the Rebel Raiser, it’s all UNLV.”

 

She said that donors often give to outside platforms like GoFundMe without realizing that they will not receive tax deductible receipts.

 

Recently, Rebel Raiser  played a significant role helping Hodge in overseeing efforts for UNLV Dance and the wind orchestra.

 

“With the wind orchestra, we used this in conjunction with a concert to kick off the fundraising portion [for their trip to France],” Hodge said.

 

The wind orchestra received $6,670 in donations toward their initial $8,000 goal.

 

UNLV Dance exceeded their $5,500 goal, raising $6,275.

 

There are some general guidelines that users need to consider when designing projects.

 

For example, target funds should be set between $2,500 to $10,000.

 

“That’s a really good chunk of money to go to conferences, to go on trips, for athletics or other departments if they have a piece of technology or equipment they want to buy,” Gilbert said.

 

While Gilbert finalizes projects for the site, owners are also responsible for setting up their initiative’s information, updates and video content.

 

Projects should generally last around 30 days and be affiliated with an officially recognized academic or student group.

 

Although the site has only featured three projects since its inception, Gilbert acknowledges that Rebel Raiser is likely to attract more attention.

 

“I think there’s a lot of potential, and we have people who are…getting ready to start [using Rebel Raiser],” Gilbert said.

 

If anyone is interested in using the Rebel Raiser site, they are encouraged to contact Gilbert at her email at carmen.gilbert@unlv.edu.


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