The University of California today launched Promise for Education, a six-week crowdfunding campaign that will bring together students, faculty, alumni, celebrities, influencers and supporters to raise money for UC student scholarships.
Promise for Education allows individuals to make a personal promise – run a marathon, adopt a pet, volunteer, grow a beard – set a crowdfunding goal ($50, $100, $1,000 or more), then they share their promise through Facebook, email and other social media channels. Their friends are directed to PromiseforEducation, where donations can be made to see the promise fulfilled. All donations go directly to scholarships and grants for UC undergraduates with financial need.
Finding creative new ways to increase private support for student scholarships has taken on increasing importance in recent years as state funding for UC has been dramatically cut. Promise for Education is the latest addition to the university’s Project You Can campaign, a systemwide effort to raise $1 billion for student support through 2014. To date, the campaign has raised more than $700 million.
“As stewards of one of the world’s premier public university systems, we have a duty to make an excellent education accessible to all eligible Californians,” Daniel M. Dooley, UC systemwide senior vice president for external relations, said today during a discussion of the program at a UC Board of Regents meeting. “We’ve established this program to ensure UC’s doors continue to remain open to the next generation’s leaders and to underscore the role we all play in helping young people achieve their aspirations and in advancing California’s culture of innovation and civic engagement.”
To encourage participation and engage the public in the effort, celebrities and notables including Jamie Foxx, Gov. Jerry Brown, David Spade, Matt Barnes, Wilmer Valderrama, Gabrielle Union, Sasha Alexander, filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke, rapper and spoken word poet Watsky, lead singer of the iconic California band the Beach Boys Mike Love, and UC Regent, legendary producer, studio executive and philanthropist Sherry Lansing, are appearing in a public service announcement and/or creating promises.
“Promise for Education is about championing a cause and committing to a goal, which is something the creative community values dearly,” said Jay Sures, a UCLA alumnus who is partner/board of directors at United Talent Agency and vice-chair of theEntertainment Industry Foundation, a charitable organization that collaborated on the campaign and helped rally theHollywood community in support of UC. “By making a simple promise, together we can help deserving Californians pursue their goal of a world-class UC education and support our future leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.”
Promise for Education was created in partnership with noise, a creative agency focused on engaging 18- to 34-year-olds. Numerous sponsors are supporting Promise for Education, including Facebook, Bank of America, Spotify, and muzik, the creators of the world’s first SmartHeadPhone.
“We are excited that Facebook can play a role in supporting an innovative program like Promise for Education,” said Libby Leffler, strategic partner manager, Facebook. “Millions of college students and alumni use Facebook every day. We’re thrilled that our platform provides the opportunity for supporters of Promise for Education to share their passion and commitment to theUniversity of California.”
“Helping low- and moderate-income students to become tomorrow’s leaders with a world-class UC education is a goal we all share,” said Janet Lamkin, Bank of America’s California president. “As an extension of our longstanding partnership with theUniversity of California on business, agricultural, environmental and other programs, we’re proud to partner with the university on the Promise for Education campaign.”
The dollars raised by Promise for Education will provide direct financial aid scholarships to undergraduate students fromCalifornia who have a demonstrated financial need and will be in addition to dollars students receive through UC’s traditional financial aid programs.
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