Published on 12/18/14

Georgia 4-H performing arts group seeks donations through GeorgiaFunder website

By Sharon Dowdy

Georgia 4-H’s performing arts group, Clovers and Company, is using the University of Georgia’s new crowdfunding platform, GeorgiaFunder, to collect funds to buy new equipment.

Clovers and Company—the group responsible for launching the careers of many successful artists, including Grammy-winning recording artist Jennifer Nettles, of the country group Sugarland, and Grammy-winning songwriter Hillary Lindsey, who wrote Carrie Underwood’s No. 1 hit “Jesus Take the Wheel” and other songs for the likes of Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw—is in desperate need of new microphones, a soundboard and generally more reliable equipment to help its young musicians perform.

A 35-year-old auditioned performing arts group, Clovers and Company is made up of Georgia 4-H students from across the state. Cast members are singers, dancers, instrumentalists and stage production crew ranging in ages from 9 to 19.

At UGA, GeorgiaFunder—modeled after Web-based funding services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo—helps university-affiliated groups collect donations through the UGA Foundation. All gifts through the website are tax-deductible, and 100 percent of the gift benefits the designated program.

Using GeorgiaFunder to raise funds for Clovers and Company was David Jones’ idea. Jones is the executive director of annual giving and constituent development at UGA. When he was a 10-year-old Georgia 4-H’er, Jones was a charter member of Clovers and Company. He first performed as a ventriloquist and a clogger before settling into his niche – piano and vocal performance. Today, he volunteers as Clovers and Company’s co-director with Bo Ryles, retired Georgia 4-H leader.

“It's nice when my job as a UGA fundraiser and my connection as a 4-H alumnus and volunteer can come together,” he said. “GeorgiaFunder is an interactive way to unite the university that really makes a difference, not just financially, but by instilling a sense of community and pride.”

Clovers and Company needs $10,000 to replace its existing sound system. The group raised half of that amount before setting up their account on the GeorgiaFunder website. To date, they have received $2,885 in donations through GeorgiaFunder. The Clovers and Company GeorgiaFunder account will close on Jan. 15, 2015.

To make a donation, go to the GeorgiaFunder website at and click on the “Make Our Voices Heard—Georgia 4-H Clovers and Company” link.

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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