My name is Chinelo Onyilofor and I am the current treasurer for HAMS. My role as treasurer involves securing funds to use for matters like a speaker, catalog, and hopefully a field trip in the spring. Earlier this semester, the society experienced a setback when we were not awarded funding from the Student Assembly Finance Commission (SAFC) for a possible field trip to the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, New York. This was due to a misunderstanding regarding the documentation we had to provide in the application. Although we were disappointed about this outcome, we are working to find other funding alternatives.
This past Thursday, Alana, Maggie and I met with a representative from Cornell’s branch of USeed.org, a platform for online crowd funding. The model we thought was the most applicable for HAMS was the “donation model,” where anyone can donate money directly to HAMS, even specifying what they would like it to be used for. The timeline of the campaign is set to eight weeks: four weeks of planning, setting up the website and contacting personal supporters, while the final four is the active campaign when we actually raise funds.
The main thing that appealed to me about USeed’s model was the personal aspect. Team members reach out to their own contacts for support for our HAMS exhibit needs. Each team member sends weekly updates to each contact, as well as thank you emails to those who donated. Furthermore, the group puts forth a weekly blog with updates about the campaign’s progress. We hope these “personal touches” will be effective in order to secure exhibition support and engagement from the larger Cornell community and even the art world in general.
I have a really good feeling about this and think it’s something that we as a society should definitely choose to do.
By Chinelo Onyilofor, Class of 2015