A CROWDFUNDING campaign to raise $25,000 for a University of Ballarat computer program which helps people with stutters has been successful.
The Scenari-Aid campaign, run on website Pozible, reached the target just hours before its deadline on Friday night.
Pozible works by allowing people to pledge money to a campaign, but only transfers the funds when the full target has been reached. University of Ballarat academic Grant Meredith said it was a struggle, but the project got there in the final hours.
Earlier in the week the total was sitting on around half the amount required.
“It was an interesting final day, things started to build up speed in the morning,” Mr Meredith said.
“It looked like we had a show, then other people started to give maybe $5 or $10 here and there. We were watching it practically every minute, pressing refresh.”
The money raised will allow the online program to start developing a mobile-friendly version, as well as being able to remain free for at least five years.
Scenari-Aid currently has more than 100 videos for people with stutters to work through as a way of making themselves more comfortable with different social situations.
Mr Meredith said using unique methods of funding such as Pozible could become an alternative model for regional institutions like University of Ballarat.
“It is definitely an option because, to be honest, it is getting harder and harder to compete for national funding,” he said.
University of Ballarat principal research fellow Brad Mitchell said crowdfunding could work for some types of university research.
“The key advantage of crowdsourcing is not so much the money – as useful and welcome as it is – but the opportunity it provides to engage with an audience and to raise profile, awareness and supporters for our research.”