This Is a ‘Crowd’ Worth Joining

Class gathers around brewing equipment (two giant tanks).
UC Davis’ Master Brewers Certificate Program seeks crowdfunding for a scholarship to expand student diversity in the brewing industry.

Quick Summary

  • Crowdfund UC Davis returns in October
  • Students, faculty, staff put forth 20 projects
  • Causes are local, regional and international

Twenty homegrown projects are asking for support for local, regional and global causes in the latest round of Crowdfund UC Davis, starting this Friday (Oct. 1).


Crowdfund UC Davis began in February 2020, with campaigns held every February and October for projects put forth by teams of students, faculty and staff. The three previous rounds generated $227,915 in funding.

In this October’s campaign, projects focusing on student success include Avenue B, which assists transfer students before and during their transition to the College of Biological Sciences; and student-curated Bohart Museum Traveling Exhibits in honor of the entomology museum’s 75th anniversary.

Two other projects seek to help students with dependents: Student Parent Support, run by the Women’s Resources and Research Center; and a Campus Rec Youth Programs initiative to pay for children to attend camp, thus giving their parents time to focus on their studies and work

Funding is also sought by student organizations and clubs: ASUCD Community Garden, to renovate its tool shed; Mock Trial, for travel to competitions; and ECLIPSE Rocketry, to participate in NASA's University Student Launch Initiative.

Continuing and Professional Education’s Master Brewers Certificate Program has mounted the “Pour It Forward” project to fund a scholarship to expand student diversity in the brewing industry. Donors will have access to a digital sticker (shown below) for their emails and websites.

"Pour It Forward" digital brew program sticket

Changing an industry takes time, but education and the lifetime of opportunities it represents is the first step. — Glen Fox, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences, and academic director, Master Brewers Certificate Program

A number of projects aim to help students and faculty solve some of the world’s most pressing issues through research and education. This category includes Global Fellowship in Agriculture Development (for graduate students addressing challenges in food systems abroad), Center for Neuroengineering and Medicine (scholarships that enable students to pursue interdisciplinary training and projects in neuroengineering) and UC Davis Transit Research Center (supporting the center and its research).

Two projects target climate change: Climate Justice in the Central Valley (supporting community education efforts and action on environmental issues) and Unpacking a Sustainability Grand Challenge (educational kits to teach high school students about sustainable energy).

Global Affairs is seeking donations to its newly established Global Community Emergency Fund, to support UC Davis community members with financial need related to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and other extenuating circumstances.

Joanna Regulska headshot
Joanna Regulska

“The launch of our Global Community Emergency Fund is a historic moment for UC Davis as we commit ourselves to taking action by directly supporting members of our global UC Davis community affected by recent disasters and crises around the world,” said Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of Global Affairs. “This important fund provides financial assistance to those facing impossible challenges. Now, especially for our current, most urgent effort to support students and bring visiting scholars from Afghanistan to join the UC Davis community, we need the support of our Aggie community around the world.”

Growing popularity

Crowdfund UC Davis broke the $100,000 fundraising mark for the first time in February 2021, bringing in $107,556 from 1,165 donors, up from $73,141 from 789 donors in October 2020.

“Witnessing Crowdfund UC Davis’ growth has been staggering,” said Michelle Poesy, senior director of Annual and Special Gifts Program, the group that manages Crowdfund UC Davis. “Already, we’ve helped many projects fund scholarships, research and programs that continue to make a positive impact not just on campus, but in the rest of the world, too.”

For many campus groups, the support garnered through Crowdfund UC Davis has made a tremendous difference for their programs — with donations often exceeding goals. Engineers Without Borders, for example, a student organization that helps provide clean drinking water and improve sanitation systems for communities abroad, sought $9,000 for its humanitarian efforts in a previous Crowdfund UC Davis campaign — and raised $9,527.

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

The application period for the February 2021 session will open Nov. 1.

Media Resources

Chelsea Clouser is a communications and external relations specialist for the Annual and Special Gifts Program in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, and can be reached by email or at 530-752-2661.

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