Crowdfunding Arrives at Mines: A New Way to Fund Student Projects

by | Jan 3, 2017 | Inside Mines, Winter 2017

Crowdfunding is the fastest growing form of fundraising on a national basis, and Mines is on the cutting edge as one of a small number of universities who have launched platforms. On October 4 2016, the university launched its exclusive crowdfunding platform, the Gold Mine, to help students, faculty and staff bring the projects they’re passionate about to life.

Crowdfunding is online fundraising for a specific project through small gifts from a large number of contributors. “We are pleased to provide the campus community an opportunity to raise money for projects they may not have been able to get funded through more traditional means,” said Mines Foundation President and CEO Brian Winkelbauer. “By showcasing some innovative projects from our talented faculty and students, the Mines community can help them reach their goals.”

Last spring the Gold Mine piloted the platform featuring two student projects. Relying on outreach to their own personal networks and corporate connections, both teams exceeded their goals, raising over $10,000 and receiving gifts from 113 donors across the country.

“Crowdfunding was instrumental in getting our feet off the ground on fundraising,” said Ethan Palay, of the Mines Tiny House team pilot project. “It helped give our team credibility and was also the most effective means of communicating to my friends and family how I am spending my time, and getting them excited about my project.” The Gold Mine is available to help academic departments, student groups and other members of the Mines community raise money for research, service trips, projects, events and other Mines-specific ventures. Gold Mine projects have the credibility of the Mines brand and teams receive personal training and coaching to help them succeed.

To learn more about crowdfunding at Mines, to support any of the student and faculty projects or to apply to fundraise on the Gold Mine, head to