Launch UMD is a crowdfunding platform to help Maryland community members raise money so that their ideas and passions can take flight. Launch UMD projects advance innovation, teaching and learning at the university – including those focused on student groups, student experience, athletics, library or faculty-specific initiatives – and allow us to showcase fearless ideas from across campus.
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences can help BSOS student groups or faculty/staff members apply for Launch UMD projects. When you partner with our office, we’ll walk you through the official application process, assist you in setting up a fund for donations (if one doesn’t already exist), work with you to develop a short video to advertise the project, and help coordinate your plan for solicitations.
If you have an idea for a Launch UMD project within BSOS, please fill out the BSOS Launch Project Request Form or contact schic [at] umd [dot] edu (Sarah C. Thompson), Assistant Director of External Relations for BSOS.
Check out past BSOS Launch Projects:
- Come Hear: A Summer Camp for Young Children with Hearing Loss
- Digging into History: Immigration Past and Present
- Help UMARC CLASS Support Families Impacted by Autism
- LEAP 25th Anniversary: Classroom Update
- Studying the Science of Protesting
- Support Terp DREAMers
General Launch FAQ
How do groups access the funds they raise?
All projects will keep any funds raised even if the goal isn’t achieved. Funds will only be deposited in University of Maryland College Park Foundation accounts. Launch UMD staff will work with project team leaders and, where appropriate, establish appropriate accounts and to make sure a proper University disbursement authority is in place.
Who is eligible to use Launch UMD?
Launch UMD is open to all students, faculty and staff at the University of Maryland, College Park who are raising money for University-based and affiliated initiatives and projects. Launch cannot be used to fund independent business or charity ventures, regardless of whether or not the people leading those ventures are members of the UMD community.
Who decides that a project will be added to UMD Launch?
A Launch UMD panel, comprised of University Relations marketing and fundraising staff, will review UMD Launch applications and approve them based on project essentials: team commitment, project appeal and goal achievement potential.
How much information do I need to provide on the application?
Provide as much as possible. It is easier to assess project potential if you answer each question specifically and explain why you possess the tools to run a successful crowdfunding project. Projects must be able to appeal to a broader audience and have the potential to become viral on social media. In your application, explain how your group is unique and what you would do with the funds that you raise.
What is an appropriate funding goal for projects?
Launch UMD recommends a fundraising goal of between $2,500 and $10,000. We will consider each project's goal on a case-by-case basis.
What kinds of projects can be submitted?
Anyone on campus can apply to Launch UMD, provided that they are either officially affiliated with an academic unit or recognized as a student group by Student Affairs. Launch welcomes applications from faculty, staff and student teams with at least six members. The best crowdfunding projects have a specific deadline that creates a sense of urgency to encourage donations during the 30 day period during which a project is live. If you are unsure about whether or not your project is suitable for Launch, please email launchumd [at] umd [dot] edu.
Is my payment secure?
Absolutely. LaunchUMD utilizes a technology called Cybersource that is PCI Level 1-compliant. When making a gift on Launch you will be redirected to cybersource.com with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts all of the information you inupt to securely process payments.
Will my LaunchUMD project gift be tax-deductible?
Contributions to Launch projects support specific areas of the University of Maryland and are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Can I send a gift by mail or phone?
No. All gifts to LaunchUMD projects should be submitted online, unless you are able to make arrangements with the project leaders.