Crowdfunding app sees spike in popularity on campus

Jakob Herr

More than 5,000 UT students have raised over $500,000 using an app called Tilt, which allows users to host a crowdfunding campaign for anything, from paying rent to hosting lavish parties. 

The app allows any host to see who has and has not contributed to a particular project’s fund, and connects through Facebook to create a network of people with whom users can share their crowd fundraiser.

According to Natassia Costa, public relations manager at Tilt, the app is different from using cash or similar apps such as Venmo because it provides more of a group experience.

“Everybody chips in so that they can meet the Tilt, and, once the goal is met, their cards are charged,” Costa said.

Tilt works with several brand ambassadors, including UT students, to promote the app. Marketing senior Emily Beckham, a Tilt ambassador, said she first started using the app to organize and fund large events.

“Say my friends and I wanted to plan a barge on Lake Austin or something really fun,” Beckham said. “It would be such a pain to go collect everyone’s cash and make sure everyone paid and keep up with it — almost to a point where people didn’t want to plan things like that because people wouldn’t pay you back. But now that we’ve been using Tilt, it’s so easy to collect money in an efficient way that it takes two seconds if you already have an account and your credit card uploaded, and it’s so reliable. You know exactly who’s paying, how much and can text them if they haven’t.”

Sports management junior Joe Galati, another Tilt ambassador at the University, said the app allowed his fraternity to raise money more efficiently than through traditional means.

“The fraternity I’m involved in — we had a big philanthropic event that was selling T-shirts, so I set up a couple Tilts that you could easily purchase off the website and app, and, when I got all the money, I handed them out, and we made over $3,500 using the app,” Galati said.

Economics junior Scott Ellerman said he used Tilt to fund a New Year’s party. Over the course of 45 minutes, Ellerman said he saw an increase in funding from $9,000 to $20,000.

“There were a lot of people who contributed that I didn’t even know, that didn’t even go to this school,” Ellerman said. “There were people from Georgia, people from TCU and Tech, and we had mutual friends, which is why they showed up.”