Crowdfunding FAQ

Who is eligible to launch a Crowdzu crowdfunding campaign? Do you accept projects just from North America?

Anyone residing in a country that Stripe Connect currently operates in is capable of launching a Crowdzu campaign, as long as the country's laws do not prohibit crowdfunding. The countries that are currently supported by Crowdzu are:

 Australia

 Austria

 Belgium

 Canada

 Denmark

 Finland

 France

 Germany

 Ireland

 Italy

 Luxembourg

 Netherlands

 Norway

 Spain

 Sweden

 Switzerland

 United Kingdom

 United States

 

What is Stripe Connect? What information do I have to provide to create my account?

Stripe Connect is a simple and straightforward way for Crowdzu to set up payments for our users without being directly involved in the flow of funds. Stripe Connect is currently available in the US, Canada and countries of the European Union. When you create your crowdfunding campaign with us, you will be prompted to either sign in or create a new account with Stripe that will be connected to your campaign. If you are creating a new account with Stripe, you will be asked certain questions that help confirm your identity. Stripe is required to verify businesses and one of the ways they do this is through a business’ website. Stripe can also accept a third-party website that shows relevant information for a business like a LinkedIn Business Profile or any site that displays your verified business name, address, phone number, and contact person in case of support. As an example, for a restaurant that does not have its own website Stripe would accept a Yelp or OpenTable profile page.

Additional information required is your full name, date of birth, nature of your business, and for US-based crowdfunders, your social security number. This information is collected securely and directly by Stripe. You will also have to provide Stripe with your bank account and routing numbers.

If you have an existing Stripe account you should use that instead of creating a new one for your crowdfunding project.

How do I launch my campaign on Crowdzu?

Pitch us your idea in a few sentences and we will let you know if your project will be a good fit for our platform. If your pitch is accepted, you will be given the necessary access to build your campaign. There is no cost to launch your rewards-based crowdfunding project with us. You can submit as many pitches as you like but currently you may only have two active campaigns on Crowdzu at any given time.

What are the basics I need to know before I launch my crowdfunding campaign at Crowdzu?

Following are some basic pointers to help you create and execute a successful crowdfunding campaign on our platform -

  1. Your crowdfunding efforts do not begin with us, rather they end with us. This means that you already need to have done some legwork for your project and you need to have a following who will be interested in supporting your project. Crowdzu provides a platform where all of your followers can come together and pledge their support for your campaign.
  2. You should inform your followers that you are about to launch a crowdfunding campaign.
  3. Your campaign needs a video. You can get professional help to create one or you can record one using your webcam. The most important factor in creating a successful video is that you make a personal appearance and connect with your potential supporters. Make a personal appeal. Explain why this is a project that deserves to be funded. A video with no personal appeal has very little impact, if any.
  4. Create a visually interesting campaign and make sure you proofread it for mistakes. If you need help, reach out to a friend who is more computer savvy.
  5. You should know that your sphere of influence matters. Studies have shown that the more Facebook friends you have the more likely your campaign is to be successful. So make sure that you link your campaign to Facebook using the tools we offer.
  6. You should do all your fundraising, even if it is from family or your closest friends, only through Crowdzu. This will help you reach your funding goal and also attract more support as everyone loves a winner.
  7. You should view fundraising as a job (No, there is no free money) and devote time to it everyday. Potential supporters want to see that you are actively pursuing your funding goal.
  8. You should offer rewards that are connected to your campaign. Think creatively and make them as unique as possible especially for the larger dollar amounts.

What are the basic requirements of a Crowdzu campaign?

At Crowdzu we like creative, entrepreneurial and socially conscious projects. Every Crowdzu campaign must offer rewards to their supporters. Even if you are an entrepreneur trying to raise money to get your idea off the ground, at this time you cannot offer your supporters equity in your business. Instead, you can offer the cool new product you are planning to produce as a reward to your supporters. Always be creative and offer interesting rewards.

Is there a cost to start a campaign?

Both pitching a project and launching a campaign are completely free.

What, if any, fees do I have to pay if my campaign is successful?

Crowdzu collects a 4% platform fee from all successfully funded campaigns. Credit card and bank transfer fees are charged at actual costs. You can track these costs in real time in your campaign's dashboard. All applicable fees are deducted from the total amount collected for each successful campaign and the net amount is transferred to the Campaign Owner's bank account by Stripe Connect.

How long will it take to receive the funds collected on my campaign?

Every Campaign Owner needs to sign up for a Stripe Connect account before their campaign can be launched and start accepting pledges. After a successful campaign is completed, all funds minus appplicable fees are transferred to the Campaign Owner's bank account by Stripe Connect within fourteen days. We recommend that you maintain some funds in your bank account in case of credit card chargebacks.

Why was my pitch rejected?

We reserve the right to reject campaigns that we feel do not fit our platform. In general, we will not accept campaigns with a personal or single person focus. This means that we will not, for instance, accept campaigns to raise money for an individual's adventure of a lifetime, medical costs, schooling or dream wedding. You get the idea. While certain general criteria apply, all decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

You will always receive a message that explains why your pitch was rejected. Common reasons for rejection include the fact that your project does not fall into the entrepreneurial, creative or socially conscious campaign categories that we accept, that you did not set a realistic funding goal or that you are attempting to run simultaneous funding campaigns on multiple platforms. If you choose to appeal a rejection and make the necessary changes to your campaign, we will gladly reconsider your pitch.

Are there any circumstances under which Crowdzu may cancel an active campaign?

Circumstances under which a campaign on Crowdzu may be canceled include but are not limited to:

  1. Copyright or Intellectual Property infringement
  2. The addition of inappropriate rewards
  3. Changing the text of an accepted campaign to later include language that is offensive or unacceptable for other reasons

If appropriate, we will make a good faith attempt to work with the Campaign Owner to resolve any issues that may result in the cancellation of a particular campaign. However, in the end, all decisions will be made by Crowdzu and are binding.

What happens if my campaign is canceled by Crowdzu?

If your campaign is canceled, your supporters' credit cards will not be charged and no money will change hands.

Can I cancel my campaign while it is active?

Yes, you can submit a request to Crowdzu via our internal messaging system or by sending an email to [email protected] if you wish to cancel your campaign. In this situation, your supporters' credit cards will not be charged and no money will change hands.

How does fundraising work on Crowdzu?

We expect you, our Campaign Owners, to set a realistic Funding Threshold, which is the least amount you have to raise for your campaign to conclude successfully. Please take into account that you are responsible for fulfilling all rewards claimed by your contributors if your campaign is successful and plan your funding goals accordingly. You can also set an optional Primary Funding Goal Funding.

You can set one or more Stretch Goals at any time during the life of your campaign.

Your supporters' credit cards are charged at the end of your campaign if, and only if, your Funding Threshold has been met.

How does the Funding Threshold model work?

The Funding Threshold is the least amount that has to be pledged to a campaign for it to be successful. This amount has to be chosen with care as the Campaign Owner will be obliged to fulfill all rewards that are claimed once this goal has been met. Your Funding Threshold should be at least $250.

What are Stretch Goals?

Your Stretch Goals lie beyond your Funding Threshold and your Primary Funding Goal. If your campaign is headed towards success, you may want to consider setting one or more Stretch Goals. For instance depending on your project, your Stretch Goal could be introducing new colors of your product or licensing the music of well known artists for your film's soundtrack. You can also add special rewards that encourage your supporters to help you reach these goals. Please note that you do not have to meet any of your Stretch Goals for your campaign to be successful.

Are there any restrictions on the rewards I can offer?

  1. You cannot offer any reward that would be considered illegal in the United States or anything that would be considered in particular bad taste. Disallowed items include but are not limited to firearms, explosives, alcohol, drugs or drug paraphernalia, pornography, racist materials, lottery tickets, a share in future profits or an equity stake in your business or project. Crowdzu reserves the right to disallow a particular reward.
  2. There should be a co-relation in worth between a particular reward level and the value of the reward being offered.
  3. The maximum reward level you can offer is $25,000.

Does Crowdzu keep or receive any money for a campaign that doesn't meet its funding goal?

No. If a project does not succeed in meeting its Funding Threshold by the campaign's deadline, both Crowdzu and the Campaign Owner receive nothing.

You have launched your campaign, now what?

  1. You should inform family, personal friends and your social circle as soon as your campaign is launched and request their support.
  2. You should use the social media tools provided by Crowdzu to promote your campaign and you should ask your supporters and well-wishers to do the same.
  3. Try to get media coverage even at the local level. Contact bloggers who write about topics similar to your project. Do whatever it takes to get the word out!
  4. Never be passive... actively seek out special interest groups who may have a reason to support your campaign.
  5. Post regular updates on your Crowdzu campaign page.
  6. Consider pledging your support to another campaign. People like to give to people who give.
  7. Contact us with any questions you may have along the way.

Who can support my campaign?

Anyone anywhere in the world over the age of 18 with a credit or debit card can pledge funds to your campaign, provided there is no legal restriction in their country of residence. When structuring your rewards, please remember that you may need to request an additional payment from supporters outside of your country of residence to cover additional shipping costs. It is highly recommended that you post frequent updates so your supporters continue to be engaged with your project even after your campaign has ended.

As a Campaign Owner, how long do I have to meet my funding goal?

By default, all crowdfunding campaigns on the Crowdzu platform remain active for 30 days. If you feel that you require more (or less) time, you can request a different end date either by using our internal messaging system or by emailing [email protected] While 30 days is the ideal recommended timeframe for campaigns, upon your request, a Crowdzu administrator will be able to change the duration of your campaign to be no less than 7 days and no more than 60 days.

Why should someone contribute funds to a campaign?

There are a number of reasons to contribute to a project:

  1. To get a unique reward for yourself or a unique gift for a friend
  2. To support a project that you believe in
  3. To help a friend or family member meet their crowdfunding goal

Contributors know that their credit cards will not be charged until the campaign ends and the project's Funding Threshold has been met.

How much can a supporter contribute to my campaign?

Crowdzu accepts, on your behalf, pledges in whole numbers between (and including) $1 and $10,000. All pledges have to be made in U.S. dollars.

Are campaign pledges tax deductible?

Unless otherwise stated, pledges are not tax deductible. However, you will get some awesome rewards, and the even more awesome feeling of helping someone bring a good idea to life!

Are there tax implications from raising money through crowdfunding?

Depending on your project, there very well might be both sales tax and income tax consequences from crowdfunding. Since each campaign is unique and an answer is dependent on each project's specifics, our best advice is to consult with your tax advisor before launching any crowdfunding campaign. This way, you can understand your tax liability, if any, and adjust your funding goal and reward levels accordingly.

Do either my supporters or Crowdzu claim any rights to my project's intellectual property?

Neither Crowdzu nor any of your supporters who use our platform have any ownership interest in your Intellectual Property or business. Your only obligation to your supporters is to deliver the rewards promised and to use the money you raised for its stated purpose. Please read our Terms of Use and Terms of Use - Funding Vertical for more information.

How much money can I try to raise?

There is no limit to the amount of money you can try to raise on our platform. However, it is important that you set realistic funding goals (Threshold Amount, Primary Funding Goal and, if you so choose, Stretch Goals). You should also explain what you will be able to achieve when each goal is met within its separate section.

What happens if the Funding Threshold is not reached?

If the Funding Threshold is not reached by the time the campaign ends, your supporters' credit cards will not be charged. Campaign supporters will not receive rewards. In short, no one wins! So when creating your budget to get your project up and running, set realistic funding goals for your campaign that you will be able to raise successfully using your social network, media contacts, and so on.

Is it possible to raise more than the funding goal?

It sure is. Your campaign will remain live until the end of the funding period, usually 30 days, and within this period, it is possible to exceed all your funding goals. There is no upper limit to the amount of money you can raise.

As a supporter, what can I do if people who receive funds for a project do not keep their commitments?

Campaign Owners are required to set an estimated delivery date for each reward. If there is a delay in delivering these rewards, it is the Campaign Owner's responsibility to inform their supporters. As a supporter, you will have the Campaign Owner's contact information and if there is any issue, you should follow up with them to resolve the matter. Crowdzu also offers both a private messaging system for you to contact a Campaign Owner as well as a public messaging system for campaigns you have supported.


If you don't find the answer to your questions on crowdfunding in this FAQ section, please email us at [email protected].
 

Updated November 2015

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