What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding has boomed in popularity recently as an easy, exciting way for donors to help bring the ideas you care about – big and small – to life. Crowdfunding makes more projects possible by enabling lots of people to make small contributions online.
How much can each project raise?
We will be launching all sorts of projects. There isn’t a really limit on too small, or too big but many projects aim to raise a maximum of £10,000. It is important to be realistic about what you can raise, don't set your targets too high.
What is all-or-nothing funding?
All-or-nothing funding means that unless a project has achieved its minimum fundraising target by its fundraising deadline, no donations or rewards change hands. If a project reaches the minimum target by your fundraising deadline we will process the pledge.
Do all projects have a minimum target?
No, some projects will choose not to have a minimum target as they will be able to use any money donated to further the project.
Who puts the project up?
The projects are put on the website by The Open University Development Office.
Who decides which projects are on the site?
The Open University Development Office, in most cases, will decide which projects will be promoted on the platform.
What is a sponsor?
A sponsor is anyone who wishes to make a financial pledge to support a project.
Can I be a sponsor?
Yes. Anybody can be a sponsor; you will need a debit or credit card. You will be asked for your details when you pledge to a project.
How much of my donation goes towards the project?
100% of your donation goes towards the project you choose to sponsor.
How do I make a pledge?
Simply find a project you would like to support and hit the ‘Sponsor This Project’ button at the right-hand side of the page and follow the on screen instructions.
When will I be charged?
Your card will be charged after the project fundraising deadline but only if the project you pledge to achieves its minimum needed by this date. If the project is unsuccessful no money changes hands, so your card will not be charged.
What happens if a project does not achieve its minimum needed?
Nothing! No money changes hands. This is all-or-nothing funding.
Can I pledge anonymously?
Yes. When you make a pledge you will be given the option of displaying: - Your name and the value of your pledge - Just your name - Remaining completely anonymous
Please note that you will not be anonymous to the University – only to the public.
How long will projects be on the OU Crowd?
A project will usually be on the platform for 4-8weeks depending on the project.
Is the value of my pledge made public?
Not automatically. We leave it entirely up to you to decide whether your name and contribution should be displayed as described above.
What information do The Open University receive about me?
We will receive your full name, the size of your donation, and any reward you’ve selected. If you have chosen to Gift Aid your donation we will receive your address in order to be able to claim Gift Aid on your donation. If the project is successful, we will also receive your e-mail address and delivery address so we can contact you regarding rewards.
Will you notify me if a project I’m sponsoring is successful?
Yes. You will receive an e-mail regardless of whether the project is successful or not.
Can I change my pledge?
No – but you can add another one!
How do I change my credit card details before funding ends?
Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I cancel my pledge?
When you make a pledge you make a commitment to the project. We would really appreciate if you don’t cancel your pledge. If you must please contact us at email@example.com.
What happens if my credit card is declined?
Don’t worry, if this happens you will be sent a re-pledge link so you can re-donate.
What is matchfunding?
Matchfunding is when an individual or organisation agrees to match the overall donation amount raised e.g. If a project raises £1500 a company will agree to also donate £1500.
Can I Gift Aid my donation?
Yes. The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England and Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC038302).
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is an income tax relief designed to benefit charities. If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by 25% because we can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift at no extra cost to you. For example, for every £1.00 you donate we will be able to claim an additional 25p at no extra cost to you.
What are rewards?
Rewards are an opportunity for the projects to give something back to you for donating. They can be anything from a t-shirt to an invite to an event.
Do I have to choose a reward?
No, you can opt to not choose a reward when you make your pledge.
Are rewards limited?
It depends on the project. If there are only a certain number of rewards available it will say so when you come to choose a reward.
Can I choose more than reward?
No, you can only choose one reward per pledge. You could make another pledge if you would like more than one!
Can I change my reward selection?
Sorry, no. You can make another pledge if there is a reward you particularly want.
Can I get a reward if I live in a different country?
Yes. But you are encouraged to select a higher donation level to counter the potential postage and packaging cost incurred in sending it out.
Why doesn't the number of Sponsors match the number of rewards?
Sponsors have the option of selecting a reward beneath their donation level or to select no reward at all.
When will my reward be delivered?
If a project is successful, your reward will be delivered as soon as possible. If you would like more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I do if my rewards haven’t been delivered?
Please be patient – the delivery of rewards may take a little time. If you wish to enquire please contact us at email@example.com.
Can I promote a project through social media?
Yes! Please share the projects and platform through your social media accounts. We would love you to encourage people to share the project themselves and donate.
What do The Open University do?
The Open University is the UK’s largest university. The Open University is the leading expert in flexible, distance-learning higher education underpinned by our world-leading research.
Who are Hubbub?
Hubbub are crowdfunding specialists and provide the platform that we put all our projects on. To find out more about hubbub please visit https://www.hubbub.net/
Can I trust the creators?
How can I get more information about a project?
Will projects be completed as described?
It is the responsibility of the project lead to deliver the project as they describe. The Open University will endeavour to ensure that the project is delivered.
Can I crowdfund for my project?
Do you have a good network?
A good network, both online and personal, is crucial for a successful crowdfunding project. People are most likely to support people they know or have a connection with. This is why having a good social media presence will really help with project promotion and awareness, and most importantly with bringing in the donations!
Social media is not only important for people you know but also for connecting with other people. People generally give to people that they can see and interact with. The OU can provide support through official channels, which is great for legitimising a project but having a personal account where you can promote your project is key to the success of a project.
A good network doesn’t just mean a big network, often with networks it is about quality not quantity! If your network is of people who have an interest in the area you are crowdfunding for then the project has a good chance of success.
I don't have any social media...
Try setting up an online presence and following people who are clearly interested in the area that you are crowdfunding for. Make sure you vary your tweets so you aren’t just talking about your project, this way people will remain interested in what you have to say.
Networks don’t have to be just social media, but it is the easiest way of ensuring that a lot of people get the message.
Another useful form of promotion is asking people you know who may have a big or relevant network to share and promote as a way of, not only increasing your own following, but promoting your project and reaching more prospective donors.
What is your target?
Although it would be great to be optimistic and say you want to raise tens of thousands of pounds through crowdfunding this is unlikely to be the case. It is important to be realistic about your networks, your project and the amount they can achieve. Remember, you can set a goal to ensure that you reach the minimum you need and then have a stretch goal so you have the potential to raise more. It is better to be realistic about your minimum target, and ensure that you receive some money to carry out your project, than set your sights too high and lose out altogether. You can have an extremely compelling project but if you have no way of promoting it you won't be able to fund it.