General FAQs

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the practice of sourcing small contributions from a large number of people to provide funding for a particular project or campaign, usually via the Internet.

What is CU Boulder Crowdfunding?

CU Boulder Crowdfunding is an online fundraising tool created by the University of Colorado Boulder that allows individuals and organizations to create and share fundraising campaigns with an engaged community. The CU Boulder Crowdfunding platform can empower the entire CU community to come together and create lasting impact on projects they may be interested in or care about. 

How does CU Boulder Crowdfunding work?

CU Boulder students, faculty or staff may apply to begin a crowdfunding campaign for a particular project with a defined fundraising goal and set timeline. Applicants (the "campaign creator") work with the crowdfunding coordinator for their project to be approved and then go through the process of creating a campaign page. The campaign launches and lasts for a limited period of time, agreed upon by the campaign creator and crowdfunding coordinator prior to the launch of the campaign. Campaign creators work to share the crowdfunding page and donors to campaigns are encouraged to share the campaign with their network, too! 

Upon the campaign's completion, campaign creators work with the appropriate University staff to access the fundraised money for their particular project. 

Who can contribute to CU Boulder Crowdfunding?

Anyone! Contributions to projects can be made by any individual or organization inside or outside of the CU Boulder community. 

Project Team and Campaign Creator FAQs

Who can start a project on CU Boulder Crowdfunding?

All CU Boulder students, faculty, and staff can apply to create and launch a campaign on the CU Boulder Crowdfunding platform. For more information, visit the "Apply" tab in the main menu. The application can also be found here.  

How do campaign creators access funds raised?

The campaign creator works with the group's appropriate budget coordinator/finance manager to access all fundraised money. The money fundraised during a campaign will go into a specific gift fund account with a code attached, identifying the donations as part of the particular project/campaign. 

Is my campaign appropriate for the CU Boulder Crowdfunding platform?

Campaigns need to be created/organized by current CU Boulder student(s), faculty or staff.
Each campaign must have a specific goal/project, an itemized budget with a corresponding fundraising goal, a plan for outreach (social media & email/personal contact) and be directly related to the University's mission.
Additionally, it is important to take into account what a reasonable fundraising goal is -- think about the scope of your project and the list of people you will reach out to for donations -- if you need to fundraise several thousand dollars, think about ways you may set goals/strategies for different items in your itemized budget.

How long do campaigns typically last?

Campaigns typically last between 30 - 45 days.

How long does it take to set up a campaign?

Please allow at least one month for your campaign to be set up, from the time of submitting an application/making contact with the crowdfunding coordinator, to the time of the campaign launch.

CU Boulder Crowdfunding Contributor/Donor FAQs

How do I contribute to a project on the CU Boulder Crowdfunding site?

Find the project page for the project that you would like to contribute to and click "support this project." You will be asked for a contribution amount and credit card information. You can also contribute by telling your friends and family about a project that you are interested in, or by spreading the word across your social networks. 

What methods of payment does CU Boulder Crowdfunding accept?

CU Boulder Crowdfunding accepts credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). To donate via mailed check, please locate detailed instructions at the bottom of the campaign page of the project you wish to help fund.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount I can contribute?

Yes, there is a $1 minimum contribution amount required. There is no maximum amount and you can also make multiple contributions to multiple projects. 

If I contribute to a project, when is my credit card charged?

Immediately upon making the donation. 

Is my contribution tax deductible?

Yes, your contribution is a donation gift made to the CU Foundation and is tax deductible as allowed by law. You will receive a tax-deductible receipt for the entire amount of your donation. Funds contributed are then transferred from the CU Foundation to the University for use by the specified project.

Does CU Boulder Crowdfunding store my credit card payment information?

No, CU Boulder Crowdfunding does not store any payment or credit card information. 

Is my contribution amount publically displayed?

Unless you choose to give anonymously, your name will be displayed as part of the campaign's community of supporters.  However, your contribution amount will not be publically displayed.  

Can I request to make an anonymous contribution?

Yes, you will be able to indicate when making your contribution payment that you would like to remain anonymous. 

When will a project receive funds?

Projects will receive their funds once their campaign has ended (typical 30-45 days from the launch date of the campaign).

Can I share that I contributed to a project through my social media accounts?

Yes, please do!  You can share the campaign directly using the "Share This Campaign" feature at the top of the campaign page. 

What rewards, if any, can I receive for my contribution?

Currently, CU Boulder Crowdfunding is only allowing for non-tangible rewards to be given and only from certain selected projects. These non-tangible rewards are defined as rewards that don't have any monetary value except for the costs of the materials such as cards, blank CDs, poster boards, paper, etc.  Rewards offered vary for each project.

Can I get a refund for a contribution I have made?

Yes, a refund request will need to be made directly to the Processing Department in the Office of Advancement (not the Foundation) at (303) 541-1290 or via email at advancement.processing@cu.edu.

How do I know what percentage of the money goes to the project?

100% of the funds raised will be used by the project to which you have contributed for the project tasks and related expenses.  Each project has a detailed budget breakdown and a section on “use of funds” in their project description pages on the CU Boulder Crowdfunding website. 

How do contributors know that their contributions will be used for the project that they gave to?

100% of your contribution will go only to the project (or projects) you have designated. Each project has a separate account organized by University accounting which will be monitored by an assigned University staff and/or faculty sponsor for each project. 

How will I know if and when the project reaches its funding goal?

You can always check back on the project page to look at the funding progress. You can also sign up for updates or follow the project's social media pages for updates. You will receive an e-mail when the project fundraising time has expired regardless of the success of the project.

What happens if a project exceeds its specified funding goal?

Each of the project teams has identified a set of baseline project tasks and goals in addition to a set of “stretch goals”. Should a project be fortunate enough to exceed its funding goal, the additional funds will be utilized to help the team reach the project stretch goals as identified in their project description pages on the CU Boulder Crowdfunding website.  Designation of unspent funds is listed on each campaign page as well.

Are contributions returned if project does not reach its stated funding goal?

No, we believe that projects should be able to keep the funds that are raised even if the total funding goal may not have been reached. We expect each of the project teams will make some progress in achieving their project goals even if they may not have been fully funded.

Can I ask questions about projects?

Absolutely! You can submit questions and feedback through the CU Boulder Crowdfunding website using the "Contact" or "Feedback" forms.  

Can I sign up for email alerts to receive project updates?

Supporters who have contributed to a project will receive e-mails whenever the project creator creates an update and when the project funding period ends.