Crowdfunding to Carry Water for Loveland Living Planet Aquarium Capital Building Campaign

Organizers are overflowing with optimism that a multimillion dollar expansion to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah, will help spawn the next generation of scientists.

Their enthusiasm for generating a greater interest among kids in science comes with a cost: an estimated $25 million for the new 80,000-square foot Science Learning Center, $1 million of which has already been provided by the Loveland Foundation to fund initial planning. The new facility will include space for classrooms, summer-camp programs and labs where an additional 80,000 students per year — from kindergarten through college — can learn.

With the help of a crowdfunding campaign, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium hopes to begin construction of the new facility in the fall. By the time the expansion is completed in 2020, the Science Learning Center will feature as its centerpiece a 165-foot-tall, 190-ton stage component that the rock band U2 used on tour between 2009 and 2011. Considered the largest stage in music history, the “Claw” will rise to four times the height of the aquarium and serve as an attention-grabbing architectural element that officials hope will attract more visitors to the expanded offerings of the campus.

Rather than raise the price of admission to cover the cost of the ambitious expansion, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which relies on donations and grants for funding, launched the crowdfunding campaign to help pay for Phase 2 of the 9-acre Science Learning Center.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding platform, said crowdfunding is a great way for nonprofits to centralize fundraising efforts toward a specific project in a large capital building campaign. By raising small amounts of money from a larger donor pool, crowdfunding can garner support for capital building projects that might consist of land acquisition, construction, or the purchasing of supplies.

Plus, crowdfunding campaigns don’t cost much to operate. Hikind said that unlike some crowdfunding operations that charge a fee ranging from about 3 to 8 percent of each donation, YouHelp is free. Donors do have the option of adding a “tip” to their donation to help keep the platform running.

In the process of gaining new contributors, crowdfunding campaigns can also serve as a stage – not unlike the “Claw” — to foster a sense of community and, in this case, to support the promotion of science, technology, engineering and math subjects, often referred to as STEM, not only in Utah, but throughout the United States.

Home to more than 4,000 animals representing 625 species living and thriving within five unique habitats in the landlocked state of Utah, the aquarium educated some 830,000 visitors, in 2017, about biodiversity and conservation of ocean ecosystems.

Aquarium officials believe that building the Science Learning Campus will encourage even more guests to learn about the natural world and understand the need for conservation of the living planet. To strengthen those experiences, the new campus will include a five-story Asian Cloud Forest Habitat & Endangered Species Conservation Center, interactive science stations, new indoor and outdoor animal exhibits, and high-tech laboratories and classrooms., a free fundraising website, offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals seeking to generate revenue and awareness for capital building campaigns. The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add high resolution images and a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and the campaign is promoted properly, contributors will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp

Feel Good! Be Happy! When YouHelp on #GivingDay to Crowdfunding Campaigns

Do you want to feel good? Perhaps, raise your endorphins without a bite of chocolate or the sweat of exercise? Then YouHelp has the key to HAPPINESS for you today — April 25th — #Giving Day (and every day).

"Give a Little, Get a Lot."

When you make a difference in the life of another, you feel happy. For a few dollars, you can add bounce to your step and smile from cheek to cheek. Help the homeless. Support treatment for a child with cancer. Fund transportation for the elderly – and so many more happiness opportunities are available to you, when you donate to one of many individual campaigns on

But Wait!!!  Don’t take our word. Look at the article below, “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier,” (which appeared in TIME Magazine written by Amanda Macmillan, published on July 14, 2017).

Find an appeal that matches your interests — and pledge your support today – #Giving Day, or give a little, get a  lot on any other day you want to feel happier.

It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to know that doing nice things for people feels good. But now, researchers say they’ve discovered that even thinking about doing something generous has real mood-boosting benefits in the brain.

In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland told 50 people they’d be receiving about $100 over a few weeks. Half of the people were asked to commit to spending that money on themselves, and half were asked to spend it on someone they knew.

The researchers wanted to see whether simply pledging to being generous was enough to make people happier. So before doling out any money, they brought everyone into the lab and asked them to think about a friend they’d like to give a gift to and how much they would hypothetically spend. They then performed functional MRI scans to measure activity in three regions of the brain associated with social behavior, generosity, happiness and decision-making.

Their choices—and their brain activity—seemed to depend on how they had pledged to spend the money earlier. Those who had agreed to spend money on other people tended to make more generous decisions throughout the experiment, compared to those who had agreed to spend on themselves. They also had more interaction between the parts of the brain associated with altruism and happiness, and they reported higher levels of happiness after the experiment was over.

Another piece of good news was that it didn’t seem to matter how generous people were. Planning to give away just a little bit of money had the same effects on happiness as giving away a lot. “At least in our study, the amount spent did not matter,” said lead author Philippe Tobler, associate professor of neuroeconomics and social neuroscience, in an email. “It is worth keeping in mind that even little things have a beneficial effect—like bringing coffee to one’s office mates in the morning.”

It’s not yet clear how long these warm and fuzzy feelings last after being generous. But other research suggests that making generosity a regular habit may influence long-term wellbeing and happiness, the study authors say.

Studies have shown that older people who are generous tend to have better health, says Tobler, and other research has indicated that spending money on others can be as effective at lowering blood pressure as medication or exercise. “Moreover, there is a positive association between helping others and life expectancy,” he adds, “perhaps because helping others reduces stress.”

The researchers wonder, however, whether the feel-good effect of generosity could be dampened by deliberate attempts to take advantage of it—in other words, by expecting personal gains from performing selfless acts.

Still, the new study suggests that making a pledge to do generous things could be a useful way to reinforce altruistic behavior and even make people happier, says Tobler.

“It is known that actually helping others and being generous to them increases happiness,” he says. “I would still consider that the primary route to boost happiness; however, making a commitment to help others is a first step to follow through.”

Next time you think that the best way to make yourself feel better is to buy yourself a treat, consider that the opposite is likely true. “It is worth giving it a shot, even if you think it would not work,” Tobler says. “In order to reap health benefits, repeated practice is probably needed so that giving becomes second nature.”


About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp and “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier,” (which appeared in TIME Magazine written by Amanda Macmillan, published on July 14, 2017).