Professional Development
Education / Philanthropy

Fundraising startup EdFundr banks first university partnership

The 1776-based EdFundr, which helps simplify the process of alumni donations, is now working with Penn State.

EdFundr's two cofounders are Penn State alums. (Photo by Flickr user Ben Stanfield, used under a Creative Commons license)

Jason Morris and Ahmed Awadelkarim have some big news for their higher education donation platform, EdFundr. Big Ten big.
Their first “partner” is Pennsylvania State University, where the cofounders both obtained degrees in electrical engineering while learning the ropes of higher ed fundraising.


EdFundr’s Jason Morris and Ahmed Awadelkarim. (Courtesy photo)

Awadelkarim, the COO, was a fundraiser for the National Society of Black Engineers while Morris, the CEO, reached out to corporate donors and alumni for the school’s Office of Engineering Diversity.
“People truly want to help remove the financial hurdles that exist in higher ed, but it was often times difficult to help,” said Morris in an email. “We decided to change that.”
Here’s how it works:

On the institution side, we do this by streamlining the various complexities that exist in today’s higher education fundraising process, so the universities can be laser focused on their alumni. How do we do this? We don’t charge setup fees, we don’t require backend integration, and we don’t charge institutions for the basic use of fundraising on our platform. We also empower everyone in the university pipeline to be able to manage pages.

After launching in May 2014, EdFundr competed in the education division of 1776’s D.C. Challenge Cup in October. The team of eight (including Morris and Awadelkarim, who are the only full-time employees) is based in the downtown incubator.
“Other universities have begun to reach out to us without a single push for university outreach (yet) on our end,” said Morris.
EdFundr is planning to expand and has already set its sights on New York. Opening an office in NYC would be an occasion to reach more “available talent, university networks, and startup capital with an interest in EdTech/FinTech,” Morris said.

Companies: EdFundr / Penn State

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