Whether you are a Jayhawk with an idea, or a Jayhawk interested in funding an idea, LaunchKU can help your project take flight.
LaunchKU is a crowdfunding initiative by KU Endowment that aims to help students, faculty, and staff at the University of Kansas raise funds for projects and passions that benefit the KU community. LaunchKU also offers donors a new way to provide direct support to the people, schools and programs that are most meaningful to them. To learn more about KU Endowment’s mission, visit www.kuendowment.org.
To apply, visit our online application. Applications for faculty and staff projects are reviewed on an ongoing basis and are selected at the discretion of KU Endowment.
Application deadlines for student organization projects are as follows:
Apply by September 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to crowdfund October 16 - November 17, 2023.
Apply by February 23, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. to crowdfund April 1-May 3, 2024
If you have questions, please contact Brenna Leahy, Multichannel Digital Campaign Coordinator, at email@example.com or 785-832-7338.
Is crowdfunding through the LaunchKU platform right for you?
The crowdfunding model of fundraising is based on a large network of individuals supporting a shared project. If you are trying to decide whether or not this is a good way to fund your project, consider how you would answer the following questions:
Do you have a specific project that tells a compelling story?
Rather than simply raising money for your organization, unit or department, hone in on a specific project that would benefit from funding. Consider how you would explain your project to a stranger at a party in a way that would compel them to give.
Do you know how much you need?
LaunchKU projects typically aim to raise $2,000-10,000. But don’t choose a dollar goal haphazardly—why are you choosing that dollar goal? What would these funds allow you to accomplish? Increasingly, donors, especially younger donors, want to know the impact their gift will have.
Do you have an obvious audience?
Successful crowdfunding projects have large, supportive personal or professional networks in place well before the project launches. As a project leader, it is incumbent upon you to plan out and execute your communications to this audience. Consider your social media presence and whether you have personal or professional partners who can help you to spread the word. If you and your team do not have a pre-existing audience, then crowdfunding might not be the best platform to raise money for your project.
Are you willing to invest the time and effort?
KU Endowment provides a free platform for your use, as well as advice and feedback throughout the process. However, crowdfunding is a lot of work. The development of content to launch the page is just the first step. Most of the work comes in the form of promoting your project via email and social media during the 30 days of your campaign. Please make sure you are choosing a campaign timeline during which you can be actively engaged in raising awareness for your project.
Faculty and staff, do you have the support of your dean and an existing KU Endowment account into which funds raised can be deposited?
These are two requirements for faculty and staff interested in using the LaunchKU platform.
Students, do you have an existing KU Endowment account into which funds can be deposited or a SOFAS account into which funds can be transferred?
We encourage you to let your advisor know about your application, but require you to have an account (or the ability to attain one) in order to use the LaunchKU platform.
If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions, we encourage you to apply to participate in LaunchKU using our online application. We will be in touch with you soon!
KU Endowment is a 501(c)(3) organization and gifts are tax-deductible within the limitations of U.S. federal income tax laws. The IRS accepts the email receipt that you will receive upon completion of your gift as documentation of deductibility. If needed for your records, KU Endowment’s tax identification number is 48-0547734.
Checks should be made payable to KU Endowment with LaunchKU and the name of the project you are supporting in the check memo line.
Please mail checks to:
C/O Annual Giving LaunchKU
PO BOX 928
Lawrence, KS 66044
Credit card processing is provided by PayPal. Your statement will reflect a charge from KU Endowment. Please visit www.kuendowment.org for more information on donations made to the University of Kansas.
If you have questions about the project you are supporting, please contact the Annual Giving department at (785) 832-7501 or Brenna Leahy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about your credit card transaction, please contact Gift Processing at (785) 830-7576.