Donors get something back in the form of volunteer work for crowdfunding contributions.
Crowdfunding has become a popular tool to help college students pay for their tuition, by requesting donations from friends, families or interested onlookers while promising only regular updates on their college progress in return.
But a new crowdfunding site – ZeroBound – has discovered a way to get college students to pay back their donors in something other than dollars.
Zero Bound encourages students using the site to do volunteer work for sponsoring projects in return for college funding.
Students, including alumni who still have college loans to pay off, can sign up to ZeroBound and request donations to their college funds, then pledge to do a certain number of hours working in the community. They set a funding target, agree to an amount of hours to volunteer, then advertise their new plan on social media in order to find backers.
Funds do not get transferred to the student loan company until the volunteer task is completed.
ZeroBound has numerous volunteer listings, but will accept other volunteer projects suggested by students or their donors.
If the funding target is not reached, and thus the volunteer project does not get done, donors can withdraw their funds or choose a different student to support. They can also go ahead and provide the money to the original student if they choose to do so.
ZeroBound was started by a Northeastern University student who had more than $200,000 in college debt to pay, and got $13,000 of it covered in a crowdfunding effort for which there was no return for donors. She and three friends figured out that investors might be more interested in donating if there was some return.
“We hope to use the trend of crowdfunding to not only help a generation pay off their debt, but also increase volunteerism among an age bracket that actually volunteers the least,’’ said ZeroBound founder Kelli Space to LearnVest.com. “To that end, I believe that crowdfunding can be a largely beneficial way to raise the funds to make that happen.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.