February 10, 2015 · IGG

“Let’s Send Kids to Harvard” Sets The Record For Biggest Indiegogo Fundraiser


We’re excited to announce that an inspiring Indiegogo Life fundraiser, Let’s Send Kids to Harvard: Vidal Scholarship Fundhas set a new record for the most contributors ever to a single campaign!

Over the last two weeks, more than 50,000 contributors from 108 different countries donated to the fundraiser started by the Humans of New York blogger, Brandon Stanton.  On its way to raising over $1.4 million for the children of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn, NY, the fundraiser appeared in some pretty remarkable places – appearing everywhere from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, to Good Morning America, The White House, and countless news and media outlets.

Let's Send Kids to Harvard
Students of Mott Hall Bridges Academy.

The previous record for biggest Indiegogo campaign was held by Solar Roadways, a solar panel roadway project that attracted 48,475 contributors and raised $2.2 million.

Why’d this story catch on? 

First, a bit of background – Brandon Stanton, the photographer and blogger behind Humans of New York (HONY), is known for sharing compelling stories of New Yorkers. His profile of a middle-schooler named Vidal Chastanet and students at Mott Hall Bridges Academy led to a meeting with the school’s principal, Ms. Nadia Lopez.

Principal Lopez wanted to provide students who go to school in the neighborhood with the highest crime rate in New York City an opportunity to see the campus of one of the top schools in the world. After meeting Principal Lopez, Brandon started a fundraiser to send 6th graders at Mott Hall Bridges Academy on annual trips to Harvard University.

Vidal Chastanet, Ellen DeGeneres, and Principal Lopez.

Brandon’s fundraiser initially set out to raise $100,000, enough for three (3) yearly trips. He soared past the goal raising over $1.4 million in 19 days.

One common thread among almost every successful fundraiser is a detailed, well-articulated story that emotionally resonates with people. With powerful images, and meaningful quotes from students, teachers, and other school administrators, Brandon wove together a powerful narrative about what life is actually like for students in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Providing these students an opportunity to visit one of the best universities in the world was a story that many wanted to make happen.

What does this mean for the children of Mott Hall Bridges Academy?

  • Students for the next 10+ years will take a trip to visit Harvard
  • Students for the next 8+ years will be able to participate in new safe summer programs
  • Students will get additional educational opportunities via the “The Vidal Scholarship Fund”
Robin Roberts and Principal Lopez. 

What’s next?

While hundreds of children over the next decade will directly benefit from exploring a world-renowned institution of higher learning, the true impact is much broader. Countless friends, family, teachers, and community members will all feel the community benefit from the generosity shown by Indiegogo Life contributors.

And Principal Lopez, who always wants her “scholars to know that there is not a single place they don’t belong”, has quite a way of backing up her statements with action.

President Obama, Vidal Chastanet, and Principal Lopez.

This fundraiser is just one inspiring example of how individuals can come together to support one another. We launched Indiegogo Life less than 2 months ago to make it easy for people to raise money for themselves or someone they love. We’re simply inspired, humbled, and optimistic about the future of people helping other people.

Want to continue to help others? Explore other fundraisers on Indiegogo life or start your own fundraiser to make a difference for someone in your community.

All images courtesy of Humans of New York.

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