Crowdfund Amplifies Donor Impact

26 Projects to Support Throughout October

Group of students
Student trustees from the UC Davis Student Foundation, or Aggies Helping Aggies, is seeking donations on Crowdfund UC Davis for Student Emergency Relief Aid. (UC Davis photo)

Quick Summary

  • The program is held in October and February
  • Project teams are responsible for their own marketing
  • Teams in February raised 904 gifts for 21 projects — a record

Crowdfund UC Davis, which has quickly become a permanent fundraising fixture on campus, returned on Sunday (Oct. 1). For the entire month, 26 projects from teams comprised of students, faculty and staff will seek donations of any size for programs and services that strengthen the UC Davis community and its impact on the world.

The October cohort offers funding opportunities representing a wide range of passions and interests, from broadening diversity, equity and inclusion across campus to addressing climate change, helping students and staff with emergency needs and more.

One project, which has already helped 320 UC Davis and UC Health staff and their families with generous donations to Crowdfunding campaigns since 2020, is looking to replenish its funds. The Staff Emergency Fund aids in times of unforeseen financial hardship, with grants of up to $1,000. Grants are typically provided to a staff member whose income cannot cover their needs, or when the employee has experienced a loss of wages through no fault of their own. As part of the university’s commitment to employees, the participating departments will contribute matching funds to this project, helping your support have an even greater impact.

Another project, STEM for Girls, invites 10- to 12-year-old girls and gender-expansive youth from the Woodland and Sacramento areas to the UC Davis campus for a free, full-day immersion into science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, facilitated through hands-on workshops and interactive lab tours led by UC Davis graduate students and faculty.

For those looking for a project that supports the environment, Window to Coast: The Bodega Marine Laboratory and Reserve Webcam is seeking funds to improve the existing webcam infrastructure at Horseshoe Cove on the Bodega Marine Reserve and to install a new webcam on the roof of the Bodega Marine Laboratory, proving an expansive view of the open ocean. These improvements will enhance public engagement, enable near real-time visual monitoring of the environmental conditions, and facilitate crucial research on the reserve. 

A project returning this October, Student Emergency Relief Aid, or SERA, provides a one-time award up to $2,000 to current students facing financial stressors, including unexpected medical bills, rent and more. Last year, SERA made a lasting on senior Patricia Garcia, when she had an important choice to make: Focus on her studies or pick up extra shifts at work to pay off a hefty hospital bill?

“The stress of paying the bill was lifted off my shoulders,” Patricia said. “With the Student Emergency Relief Aid award, I could focus on my assignments, and was accepted into The Washington Program with a congressional internship.”

Crowdfund UC Davis takes place in October and February each year, and since its debut in February 2020 has raised more than $1,843,381 from more than 9,988 gifts. In February 2023, its most recent outing, 10 projects met or exceeded their fundraising goals. This cohort also boasted a record number of donations, with 904 gifts for 21 projects.

The Annual and Special Gifts Program, in cooperation with Advancement Services, reviews applications and provides the Crowdfund UC Davis platform, training, guidance and some publicity — but it’s up to project teams to fuel the marketing and networking that lead to fundraising success.

The application period for the February 2024 cohort opens Nov. 1.

Media Resources

Bryan Anthony, senior writer for the Annual and Special Gifts Program in Development and Alumni Relations, can be reached by email or at 530-754-0482.

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