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Abroad101 backs crowd funding campaigns

Abroad101, one the largest study abroad review websites, has partnered with online crowd funding platform GoEnnounce, to sponsor and promote students’ fundraising campaigns for a study abroad goal.

"Our hope is that crowd funding's impact on education will be like what venture capital has done for emerging businesses"

Through the ‘Abroad101 Student of the Week’ sponsorship, students who create study abroad “missions” on GoEnnounce will be entered into a draw to win $25 towards their target from Abroad101, as well as will have their project promoted on Abroad101’s study abroad networks.

“Our endorsement should help build the student’s support circle, showing reluctant family and friends that someone outside believes in that student”

“Our hope is that crowd funding’s impact on education will be like what venture capital has done for emerging businesses and micro-lending has done for economic development overseas,” Abroad101’s CEO Mark Shay told The PIE News.

Winners will be chosen based on a “secret formula” assessing how likely a student is to study abroad including school enrolment and previous engagement with GoEnnounce.

Abroad101 hopes to increase the sponsorship as the programme gains momentum, but Shay explained that “more important than the dollar amount is bringing that student’s intentions to those in the field who might find that student an attractive candidate for scholarship.”

“Our endorsement should also help build the student’s support circle, showing reluctant family and friends that someone outside believes in that student,” he added.

Melissa Davis, co-founder of GoEnnouce, said that the project is a testament to “the power of an academically focused social media platform” and will help students achieve a “lifetime goal” of studying abroad.

“Partnering with a well-connected company like Abroad101 will not only help individual students, but we also expect it to motivate additional students to start their own fundraising ‘missions’ to study abroad,” she said.

The first student to be sponsored is Natalie Bahr from Concordia University Texas, who is raising money for an intensive study abroad programme in Shanghai, China.

GoEnnounce gives students a place to tell their educational stories with their family and friends as well as track and share their achievements, projects, and goals. A student’s followers can respond with likes, comments and even rewards into a college savings account.

At anytime, a student can launch a fundraiser, to collect donations for goals and expenses. So far students have launched fundraisers for over $4.5 million using the site.

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