Empower is the Texas Tech University System’s crowdfunding platform for fundraising. Crowdfunding offers a new opportunity for donors to support the endeavors of Texas Tech schools, programs, and projects that resonate with them.
Empower also gives student, faculty, and staff of TTU, TTUHSC, and TTUHSC El Paso a platform to showcase and raise funds for their student organizations, passion projects, research, program support and other system-led initiatives.
Who can use Empower?
All registered TTU, TTUHSC, and TTUHSC El Paso student organizations, competitive sports and academic teams, full-time faculty, certain TTUS staff members, schools, colleges, institutes, and departments that have a passion project can use Empower.
How can I apply for funding of my project on Empower?
If the above applies to you, you can fill out and submit an application here. Projects are accepted on a rolling basis. If your group is selected, each project must have a full-time faculty or staff member on the project who can ensure deadlines are met and successful completion of the campaign.
What type of projects will be considered on Empower?
Crowdfunding projects and campaigns work best when there is a clear and specific goal such as:
Costs associated with specific student competitions
The following are projects that will not be considered:
Money for Tuition/ Personal Use
The average funding goal for projects is between $1,000-$5,000. The goal amount should be determined by the strength of the project’s network and partnerships. All funds must be deposited into a Texas Tech Foundation Inc. account. Check with your fund manager for restrictions on your account.
How does Empower and crowdfunding work?
You are given access to the platform, trained to set up the page and then you raise funds from your own network. It is important to understand that you and your team/organization will be soliciting your peers, friends, etc. TTUS Annual Giving will not be activity soliciting for your project. Our team is here to offer support and guidance through the process.
How long does it take to prepare for a campaign? How long do campaigns last?
Crowdfunding projects take an average of 10-12 weeks to complete, including planning, activation, and follow up. A good rule of thumb is to apply 90 days before you need your funding in the bank. That gives you time to apply, be approved, plan and implement campaigns. Project leaders will communicate and provide updates to the Annual Giving staff and team must remain actively engaged with social media posted, emails and updates to donors.
These campaigns take a focused team effort in order to be successful. Projects are divided into three phases; quiet, active, and post-campaign.
4-6 weeks before campaign’s launch date.
This time is spent planning your campaign strategy and developing a plan on how you will reach your goal.
This is the time to create a video, gather images, create a social content calendar, compile an email directory, and more.
During this time, you will meet with the Annual Giving team to assist in the planning process and development.
30-45 days of active campaigning.
This is where TEAM EFFORT is critical. This is the time of active solicitation via social media and email.
This is also the time to be actively updating donors on the progress of your project on the crowdfunding website through text, images, and videos.
You will meet with the Annual Giving team half way through to evaluate your progress and make any adjustments, if needed.
After your campaign has ended, your team will be responsible for following up with donors via Thank You emails, perk distribution, and any other updates.
This part of the campaign is crucial because it creates an established relationship with your donors for future projects.
Some best practices for a successful project include:
Creating a social media and marketing plan for reaching out to your network and spreading your message
Building a crowdfunding team that will assist in the creation of the page, soliciting donors, and following up on stewardship efforts
Create a compelling message that showcases your project and tells donors your WHY
Create multiple videos, images and graphics to use on the page, social media posts and emails
Are gifts tax deductible?
Absolutely! All gifts to Empower campaigns are tax-deductible. Please note, sometimes if you receive a perk (such as a super awesome T-shirt for giving to a campaign, for example) that has a fair market price and, following TTUS Operating Policy guidelines, the cost of that shirt is deducted from your total tax-deductible amount. Please visit the Texas Tech Foundation Inc. financial information page for more details.
If you have questions, please reach out to our Financial Services team and mention the Crowdfunding Campaign you gave to and they’ll be sure to help. You may direct questions via email to email@example.com or by calling 806-742-0502
What are my options when making anonymous donations?
We are happy to respect your privacy and you are free to hide your name, the amount you donate, or all information regarding your donation from a project's donor wall. However, selecting these options does not mean that your donation is anonymous to the Texas Tech Foundation Inc., and you will receive donor credit and all applicable tax benefits.
If you're interested in making a truly anonymous donation to any crowdfunding project, please contact our team at 806-742-0502
Where can I learn about my rights as a donor to the Texas Tech Foundation Inc.?
Who can I contact for additional questions?
Feel free to reach out to our Annual Giving team anytime, we’d love to talk about your crowdfunding project ideas.