From opportunities to study abroad to academic scholarships designed to diversify career fields and support students in need, Bronco Launchpad provides funding to help a range of projects on campus bear fruit.
The annual two-week crowdfunding campaign, which took place Oct. 17-28, raised $94,950 from 807 gifts for academic programs, scholarships, athletic programs, equipment needs and co-curricular activities.
The funds raised this year surpassed last year’s total, but more importantly, the number of donors involved increased, said Jorge Garduno, associate director of donor digital engagement.
“Crowdfunding has played a really important role in how we do fundraising,” Garduno said. “It’s an opportunity for our community to come together and have an impact. It is about the collective. Crowdfunding allows us to reach people we never reach because people are tapping into their personal networks. It’s like a web we continue to create.”
Bronco Launchpad was created four years ago to raise funds for student projects and new initiatives with pressing needs. The CPP Annual Fund provides training, consultation and support to various organizations, colleges and offices on campus needing assistance with setting up their pages on the Bronco Launchpad site. Those soliciting donations can add a video and track the number of times the site is visited and shared, as well as the gifts.
Maria Cerce, senior coordinator for student identity development and education for the Centers for Transformation, Retention, Equity and Empowerment (TREE), said she especially loved being able to track how the campaign was progressing on the site.
Cerce oversaw the crowdfunding campaign for the Womxn’s Resource Center Cares Scholarships, which raised $2,105.
Student ambassadors who are a part of the center’s community used their social media platforms and email to reach out to family and friends to garner support for the scholarships, Cerce said.
“What is really amazing about the process is the folks who did donate are integral members in our community,” she said. “One of our social justice leaders donated two scholarships and got her mom and grandmother to donate.”
A gift from a mentor involved with the Womxn’s Resource Center sparked the initial scholarship, said Cerce. A Giving Day campaign raised $700 to provide the two $350 scholarships awarded during fall semester. To continue awarding scholarships, Cerce said she got involved with Bronco Launchpad. The gifts raised during the campaign will enable six scholarships to be awarded next cycle and show how much the center cares, she added.
The campaign for the Department of Political Science’s International Diplomacy Trip raised $6, 885.
A total of 30 students will spend two days in Paris on a cultural excursion and eight days in Geneva Switzerland, learning about international relations, diplomacy and the role of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), with participants receiving course credit during spring semester 2023. They will tour the United Nations’ European headquarters, audit classes, participate in a symposium and spend three days shadowing IGOs.
The program is a collaboration between a professor and an alumnus, both passionate about global travel and experiences for students, said Marissa Garcia, director of development for the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Education and Integrative Studies.
Political Science Professor Renford Reese does annual study abroad trips and in April, he donated $100,000 to fund study abroad opportunities. Sean Yu (’99, political science, management and human resources), managing director and leader of The Sean Yu Group at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, recently created The Sean Yu Travel Fund, an endowment totaling $500,000 that provides students with $2,000 for a study abroad trip focused on learning more about world cultures and/or international diplomacy.
The total cost of the trip is $3,000, so the funds raised in the campaign and the two endowments can help pay for the bulk of the trip, Garcia said.
The Art Department’s Bronco Launchpad campaign raised $4,670 to fund the 2022 Art Department Scholarship for Diverse Voices.
Anthony Acock, department chair, credits former CPP students Jocelyn Chung, Katie Tju, and Dorothy Kim with setting up the scholarship two years after the department received a $20,000 endowment. It was the first scholarship the department had in more than 20 years, Acock said.
“The purpose is to increase diversity in the field, and to do so we need to increase diversity in the academe,” he said. “Academia and the field are historically Eurocentric. The hope of this campaign is that by reducing financial barriers, we can help diversify the cannon both in education and in industry.”
Besides increasing diversity in the visual communication and art fields, the scholarship also will help with the cost of the program, Acock said, adding that visual communication is the second most expensive major behind architecture because of the high cost of the computer equipment and software needed. A required laptop can cost as much as $3,000 and any given class can require more than $2,000 in supplies, he said.
A scholarship committee will decide how many awards to give out and in spring semester, the department will do a big push to make sure students are aware that the funding is available.
‘I just absolutely love our department and I take a lot of pride that we are a working-class institution, a minority-serving and Hispanic Serving Institution, and we rank really high in social mobility,” he said. “Any way to make it more attainable for students is what I want to do.”