Of Interest: Crowdfunding Goes to School With Alumnifunder, Pave

Just into beta this week is Alumnifunder, which applies a crowdfunding model to collegiate capital-raising. From the site:

AlumniFunder exists to bolster a deeper relationship between students, alumni, and other alumni, by providing a platform to fund creative, innovative, and idealistically disruptive projects within the established university community. Whether it be a project to enhance the student experience on campus, raising capital to build a new science lab, or funding consumer development of a bleeding-edge robotics product, AlumniFunder seeks to facilitate access to crowdfunded capital for worthy endeavors.

There’s not much to see there quite yet, but Alumnifunder is something for all of higher ed to keep an eye on.

Like Alumnifunder, Pave (http://www.pave.com/) is another innovative alternative to educational financing. Their Support Center has all the details.

The Prospects are Excellent: The Third Age Team Reports Phase 1 Findings

third-age-graphic, long windowsLast time, we reviewed the Changemakers’ and Youth Education Project Teams’ Phase 1 Reports. Today’s focus is on the Third Age Team’s findings.

“Third Age?”

Pearson Education identifies “Third Age” as “a period of life often free from parenting and paid work when a more active, independent life is achieved.” A demographic between ages 50 and 75, Third Age is also “sometimes described as the Silent Generation.” The Third Age Project Team has focused on “next steps” for Third Agers, who have raised their kids, are late in their careers, and are yet have retained interest in intellectual and spiritual growth, as well as engaging social change. As the Team found, many Third Agers “seek to engage in social issues do so from a faith foundation.”

The Third Age Programs Team is lead by Trustee Stan Barkey and coached by CI consultant Erika Gregory. Informed by new patterns of retirement and aging, the Team’s research also included interviews with current PSR students who fit this demographic.

Opportunities for developing Third Age programs include areas and fields of:

  • Fundraising (stewardship)
  • Leadership skill development
  • Strategic planning
  • Gift discernment, and
  • Creative worship

Educational models include the membership-based, multi-campus Osher Lifelong Learning programs, as well as Continuing Studies and Extension programs such as Stanford’s, and University of San Francisco’s Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Notably, many PSR Alumni of this age group already participate in the Field Education Program as mentors. MDiv and MA students also come to PSR to prepare for second careers. Short-term, flexible programs in attracting and retaining such students. The Third Age Programs Team recommends strengthening the programming and support for these students. The Team found that in the Osher example, no spiritual or religious education was offered. Through PSR, course offerings to those “who do not attend any local church, but might attend a lecture or participate in an online class or series that addresses a compelling issue” could fill this gap.

Next Steps

The Third Age Team is exploring programming specific to development of “engaged 3rd Age spiritual leaders”, including their potential participation and interest levels. They see PSR as an untapped resource for local ministries, and a place where people come to prepare for second careers.

Focusing on the general public and in-person/offline lectures, the Team is confident that Third Age interest in such programs exists, and that it is possible for PSR to create programs to fill the educational needs of this demographic.

Next up: New Technologies and Organizational Business Model Team reports. Stay tuned…

Salon Season Begins With the Global Partnerships Team

The Global Partnerships Project Team (.pdf) kicks off Salon season, beginning tomorrow and continuing throughout the semester on Wednesdays.

We’re looking forward to their Phase 1 research recommendations to the Commission regarding PSR’s global partnerships, and will report back as we receive that report.

You can read what other Project Teams have reported during Phase 1 by following this link.