ANU students have a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence, but our students are also committed to other ways of having a positive impact in the world. Whether they are employed by Annual Giving to work as callers to engage Alumni, volunteering their time to support university fundraising events, or organising crowdfunding websites, ANU students are embracing a culture of philanthropy.
Student crowdfunding at ANU is emerging as an exciting and innovative way for students to raise money for projects requiring support. Alumni and other donors can make philanthropic donations directly to these student-led fundraising websites, with even small donations quickly adding up. Recently, ANU students have had great success with two crowdfunding projects in particular: Engage and Techlauncher.
Engage is an ANU student-run organisation that gives primary and secondary students in regional areas the opportunity to meet university students and be inspired about career paths opened up by a university education. The most recent crowdfunding campaign by ANU Engage: University Outreach successfully raised $7,000 in 2015. As a result, 16 volunteers connected with 11 schools and 856 rural students. Engage has continued to connect with educational outreach providers and facilitate workshops in regional schools. This helps students participate in educational workshops, while university students get to share their passions and learn leadership skills that will set them up for their career.
The most recent student philanthropy enterprise is TechLauncher, an ANU initiative that encourages engineering students to work on real-life projects that have a positive impact on society and provides useful skills in preparation for joining the workforce. The latest TechLauncher project is the design and manufacture of a leg enclosure for paraplegic sit-skier Sam Tait. Students successfully engaged 100 supporters through the ANU crowdfunding platform, raising their goal of $5,000. As a result, they were able to improve their prototype and complete a functional sit-ski for Sam to compete as a paraplegic athlete.
ANU hopes to broaden student philanthropy initiatives to include more programs such as these, which not only help students with their studies and careers, but also help the wider community.
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