Students from the UCI School of Medicine have traveled across the globe to provide much-needed medical education to the people of Kenya, Panama, Indonesia, Tanzania and more. Instead of being fully funded through government or foundation grants, however, part of this work is being supported by fellow UCI students, faculty, friends and community members.
Crowdfunding, a fast-growing online tool, allows individuals to donate small amounts of money to specific projects.
Since its launch in early 2017, UCI’s crowdfunding website, ZotFunder, has offered the campus community a platform to create, share and fund unique passion projects. To date, 1,557 donors have raised more than $265,000 and funded over 33 projects through ZotFunder.
Many projects, like the medical education trip to Kenya last summer, have exceeded their goals. Originally looking to raise $10,000 to cover medical supplies, an ultrasound machine and travel expenses for its team of students, the project hovered at $17,749 when it closed last August.
Whether it is helping students provide medical education to underserved populations, making 3-D printing more sustainable or building more competitive racing cars, UCI’s crowdfunding platform allows donors to give directly to projects they care about.