Purdue expert: Crowdfunding could trump traditional fundraising


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – When 12-year-old West Lafayette resident Keegan Adams wanted to raise money to help pay his way to the National All American Soap Box Derby, crowdfunding seemed like a no-brainer.

“There are lots of people who just go out there on the internet and they could just stumble across it, and they could give us money,” said Adams. “That’d be great.”

This is the second time Adams has placed first in the Greater Lafayette Soapbox Derby-qualifying him for the national event in Akron, Ohio.

However, this year he brainstormed with his father Eric Adams to figure out how he could make some extra money for the trip, while raising money for the local derby.

“I sat down with Keegan and we put together a page and said, ‘Hey, let’s send this out and see what can happen here’,” said Adams.

Rather than selling items door to door to raise money, Adams set up a crowdfunding account and was able to raise $845 towards his $1,500 goal in just two weeks.

Purdue Communications Professor Bart Collins said it’s a scenario becoming common in society.

“The days of individuals sort of banking their whole strategy on door to door sales are being limited,” Collins said.

Collins said society is shifting away from fundraising techniques of the past. He said although it may seem like a simple way to raise money for a cause-it’s just as simple for other people too.

“Because it’s easy for you, it’s easy for the 700,000 other people to do it as well,” said Collins. “So the potential is there, but there’s more competition.”

Adams said after years of helping his other children with fundraisers, the competition was worth not having to pressure friends and family into buying something he felt they didn’t want.

“Almost 95 percent of the money is coming straight to the cause, and people can just give money if they want to,” said Adams. “It’s really low pressure.”

A low pressure way that Keegan Adams hopes will ensure other local derby winners get their chance to go to the national race.

“Akron is a great experience,” said Adams. “It’s a whole week-long and you get to do a bunch of stuff.”

Adams said most of the money raised by the crowdfunding account will go to theGreater Lafayette Soapbox Derby program.

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