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For twenty-four years, UT advertising students have traveled to New York City to get a firsthand look at ad agencies and the opportunities available in the advertising field. Students who went on this year’s trip got a helping hand from donors via the VOLstarter crowdsourcing site.

volstarterOn December 1, also known as Giving Tuesday, UT is encouraging alumni and other donors to support VOLstarter projects like the advertising trip.

Eric Haley, associate professor of advertising in the College of Communication and Information, said the annual advertising trip opens many doors for participating students.

“It allows students to see that they can go from studying at UT to working at the best advertising companies in the world and succeed,” he said. “But the costs of airfare and hotel rooms keep going up. To keep this tradition going, our students needed more help to cover their expenses.”

Last winter Haley posted the New York City trip on VOLstarter in hopes of raising raising $3,000.

“Crowdfunding is an interesting model,” said Haley. “It gives donors a chance to contribute smaller amounts of money that can make big differences for our students.”

The trip received gifts totaling $1,500 within the first week and was fully funded at $3,122 within two months. Ultimately, that money provided some support to every student who took part in this year’s trip. All of the donor contributions went toward the trip.

“As a direct result of that trip, four current UT advertising students secured paid internships,” said Haley. “Even better, all trip participants got to see firsthand the relevance and currency of what they are learning in their advertising classes.”

Here’s how to use VOLstarter to provide a Giving Tuesday gift to further UT projects:

  • Visit the VOLstarter website.
  • Pick a worthy project, like the 2016 advertising trip to New York, or a University of Tennessee fund.
  • Make a gift.
  • Spread the word about your VOLstarter contribution via social media using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.


Brooks Clark 865-974-5471,