Submit a Project Idea!

Spirit Crowdfunding Application

Thank you for your interest in Spirit, Duquesne University’s crowdfunding platform that helps to financially support student, faculty and staff projects. Below is a list of frequently asked questions about Spirit. For additional questions, please contact David Jakielo, A’05, GA’10, assistant director of annual giving, at We will be in touch with you shortly after you submit this application.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a 30-day online fundraising campaign in which a passionate group of project advocates, with assistance from the Office of Annual Giving, tell their story through word and video and then solicit online donations from a large group of their own personal contacts and alumni via email and social media.

Who can apply?

Projects featured on Spirit must be University-centered initiatives that directly enhance the Duquesne University experience for our students, faculty and staff. Projects are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Spirit committee, which is comprised of individuals from various departments across the University. Our committee is here to make sure your project supports Duquesne University’s mission and that crowdfunding is the best platform to raise funds for your project. Completing our application does not guarantee that your project will be featured on Spirit. 

Does crowdfunding require much effort?

Crowdfunding may seem like a quick and easy way to raise large sums of money, but successful projects require a great deal of time (10-12 weeks) and intense work (planning, soliciting donations from family/friends, writing copy, producing videos, creating social media content, thanking donors) from a core team of 5-10 individuals who are passionate about the project, are willing to take ownership of the project and have a large network of potential supporters to engage.

What are the requirements for a successful campaign?

  • A passionate team. As mentioned, a passionate team of 5-10 project advocates is needed to run the many aspects of the campaign. Daily work is required over this 10-12 week period.
  • A large crowd of supporters. The project team must be willing to personally reach out to family, friends, colleagues, alumni for support. It is recommended that each project advocate has at least 100 relevant personal e-mail solicitation targets. Generally, a group can expect to raise about $4 per email address that is solicited.
  • A project that is inspired in the Spirit of Duquesne. A project that connects with the Mission of Duquesne University and is supported by project advocates who are 100 percent invested in the cause are essential for a successful campaign.
  • Here to help every step of the way. When projects are approved to be featured on Spirit, our Office of Annual Giving provides training and guidance throughout every step of the campaign.

How do I/we get the money?

All donations made to Spirit are considered a tax-deductible donation to Duquesne University. All funds are deposited directly into the gift account of the department/organization in charge of the campaign. If your department/organization does not have a gift account created, we can assist with that process.

Tell us about yourself


Tell us about your project

Your University Affiliation*

Department/Student Organization Name*

Your role in the department/organization*

If applicable, please list your organization's advisor Optional

How did you hear about Spirit? Optional

Who/what will your project benefit? Reminder: all crowdfunding funds MUST be used to benefit Duquesne University students, faculty or staff.*

What realistic goal do you have in mind to raise for this project? (Our campaigns typically raise between $1,000 to $4,000)*

When would you like to begin fundraising? (Campaigns typically run for 30 days) Optional

Does your department/organization have any of the following social media accounts (check all that apply)*

Do you have the ability to create a 1-2 minute crowdfunding campaign video? (Our office can provide assistance if you do not)*

Does your department/organization have photos or images that can be used to promote the campaign on social media?*

What ideas do you have on how you will promote this campaign to potential donors? Who is/are your target audience(s)?*

How many individuals in your department/organization will work throughout the 30 days to help achieve the campaign goal?*

Have questions? Send us an email at
Our Crowdfunding Groups