Crowdfunding $106,000 for Campus Projects

Young girls paint mural on the side of a building.
Community members create a mural about agriculture as a solution to climate change — part of “Art in Action: Building a Climate Art Trail” — on almond farmer Mike Russell’s barn. His farm is located between Davis and Woodland. (Courtesy Steve Shaffer)

Quick Summary

  • 26 teams participated in the October event, raising $106,720
  • Staff emergency funds bring in $22,625, more than 2x their goal
  • Look for Crowdfund UC Davis for 3 days around Giving Tuesday

Twenty-six teams of students, faculty and staff across UC Davis and UC Davis Health raised $106,720 for their projects of passion in October’s Crowdfund UC Davis campaign, nearly matching the program’s record $107,556 yield in February 2021.

The biggest winners include “Art in Action: Building a Climate Art Trail,” in which K-12 students help create colorful murals in rural California landscapes to share information about climate change; “Formula Racing,” in which UC Davis students build an electric race car from scratch; and a research project studying whether fidgeting can reduce attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in children. Another big success: replenishing the Staff Emergency Funds at UC Davis and UC Davis Health, a source of cash grants for employees with unforeseen financial hardships. All these projects exceeded their goals.

Jullianne Ballou
Jullianne Ballou

“We are thrilled!” said Jullianne Ballou, project leader for Art in Action and associate director of strategic initiatives with the Institute for the Environment. “Beyond our gratitude for the financial support, it’s encouraging to have a new network of people who believe in the value of the project.”

Ballou’s “Art in Action” team raised more than $3,000, exceeding its original goal of $2,500. The project, Ballou said, feeds a desire for more public art and taps into widespread concern about the environment. “Many people understand the challenges that young people are going to inherit and want to both leave the world better for them and give them tools allowing them to be resilient, effective stewards of the Earth,” she said.

Meanwhile, staff emergency funds — one for the Davis campus, one for UC Davis Health — found widespread support, surpassing their original goal of $10,000 to raise a whopping $22,625 ($14,170 for the Davis campus, $8,455 for UC Davis Health). Donors included Chancellor Gary S. May and other campus leaders.

Graphic reads: Staff Emergency Fund, Crowdfund UC Davis

“We are delighted and touched by our UC Davis and UC Davis Health colleagues and leaders who contributed,” said Joanne Touhey, project manager for the staff emergency funds and a project lead in UC Davis Human Resources. “I know firsthand how grateful our employees are to receive a cash grant when facing unforeseen personal hardships.”

Both Touhey and Ballou attributed their projects’ success to their teams’ energy and dedication in getting the word out. Emails, Ballou said, were the most effective tool for her team,  “perhaps because we used them to say more about our project’s impact.”

Crowdfund UC Davis takes place in October and February each year, and since its debut in February 2020 has raised more than $534,100 for 126 teams.

The Annual and Special Gifts Program in Development and Alumni Relations works with Advancement Services to review 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.


Later this month, Crowdfund UC Davis will pilot a three-day campaign — from Monday, Nov. 28, until midnight Wednesday, Nov. 30 — around Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29.

The Arboretum and Public Garden, Bodega Marine Laboratory, Institute of the Environment and UC Davis Student Foundation will participate in this new effort. These groups have been sending Giving Tuesday email solicitations through the Annual and Special Gifts Program for years. Using the Crowdfund UC Davis platform will allow them to engage their teams and audiences more actively in their fundraising efforts.

“They’re excited to see how their fundraising goes using crowdfunding tools and strategies for Giving Tuesday — and so are we,” said Michelle Poesy, managing executive director of the Annual and Special Gifts Program. “If it’s successful, we’ll see about adding more teams next year.”

The Giving Tuesday campaign will appear on the Crowdfund UC Davis website.


Media Resources

Joan Fischer, 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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