Before completing the Einstein Crowdfunding Application, you must review the Einstein Crowdfunding Guidelines.
Applications will be reviewed for approval. We are looking for compelling stories, 5 or more dedicated champions who aren’t afraid to ask for money. There are a limited number of spots available per cycle and we want projects that show the most potential for success.
It is the project lead’s responsibility to review and understand the following Einstein Crowdfunding guidelines. Einstein reserves the right to revise these guidelines at any time.
Einstein’s Crowdfunding Committee, in its sole discretion, will determine the eligibility of participating projects. The Crowdfunding Committee may discontinue an active fundraiser at any time because of a project’s failure to comply with these guidelines.
To ensure compliance with Einstein guidelines, all projects must have an approved philanthropic gift fund set up, to which donations can be accepted and then distributed to the respective department. Groups may use a gift fund associated with a sponsoring unit, such as a department, program or center, with the approval of the finance officer in that area.
All monies must be used for the project’s stated purpose. Individuals are strictly prohibited from keeping any portion of the funds raised as a profit or compensation. All projects must be non-profit in nature. A Crowdfunding Contract, which outlines how the money will be spent, is a required agreement to be signed by the project lead before the page will be activated.
Projects must support Einstein’s programs and initiatives. Funds cannot be redirected to a third-party, external charity or other non-profit. Einstein cannot act as a “pass-through” entity to provide funding to other charities.
When applying for Einstein Crowdfunding, project leads agree to provide the following:
- Project description and case for support
- Video, if available
- Images for description, social sharing and crowdfunding home page
- Budget breakdown (how donations will be spent)
- Signed Crowdfunding Contract (must be signed before the project can begin fundraising)
- Project updates throughout the campaign
- Ongoing outreach to promote the project after launch
- Personal thank you messages after the campaign concludes to thank donors and let them know of their project progress
- All content on project pages will be approved by the Crowdfunding Committee, which has the right to edit, or require project content edits, at any point in the campaign.
- Projects should have specific goals and be driven by tangible accomplishments – for example, purchasing new equipment, funding travel fees, or providing student workshop opportunities. Projects without a specific goal are generally less successful and may not qualify for their own project page.
- It is up to the project teams to market their campaign and provide outreach and maintain Einstein’s Code of Conduct while promoting their campaign in digital spaces.
- The majority of donors will come from your family, friends, and other personal networks. Do you know enough people that will donate to your project to reach your goal? The larger the team and the larger the networks, the more money you will be able to raise.
- Remember, it is important to set a realistic goal so that your campaign is successful. Start with the lowest goal possible – you can always add in stretch goals later. The larger the crowdfunding project group, the more likely they will succeed. Groups should consist of at least 5 people that will focus on marketing and outreach. Groups that are able to achieve 30% of their goal within the first 48 hours of a campaign are more likely to achieve their total goal.
- Project leads are responsible for promoting their campaigns via social media, email, phone calls; preparing personal thank-you messages to donors; and submitting regular updates on their project.
- The Office of Development does not provide any contact data on employees, alumni or donors. It is up to the crowdfunding groups to contact their personal affinities and contact lists. The Crowdfunding Committee will work with groups to generate ideas for marketing and outreach.
- There is a $5 minimal donation amount. Most gifts will be raised online. Some offline funds may be used toward the project’s goal. This includes, but is not limited to, cash, checks, gifts of stock and other funds awarded or received during the crowdfunding campaign. Gifts-in-kind, non-monetary contributions such as food, clothing, books, equipment or other items, may count toward project totals and will be evaluated and considered on an individual basis. Crowdfunding projects cannot count gifts from pledges, bequests, gifts already allocated to another fund, matching gifts, or money raised through sales, such as bake-sales, car washes, or other “give-to-get” fundraising. All gifts must be collected prior to the project’s deadline.
- All funds raised from outside of the Einstein Crowdfunding platform must be delivered to the Office of Development for deposit. This is to ensure that the donor receives proper credit and receipts. If this occurs, contact the Crowdfunding Committee for instructions.
- Monetary premiums and perks are not to be used to incentivize gifts. Such items as t-shirt giveaways or other promotional items are not permissible, as they affect a donor’s right to a tax deduction.
- Projects will be hosted on the crowdfunding platform for a pre-determined amount of time, typically a month-long period. Some exceptions may apply. Shorter campaigns tend to drive urgency and perform strongly. The same group may not fundraise in consecutive campaigns, but may be eligible for future Crowdfunding efforts.
- If the project is not fully funded within the allotted timeframe, any monies raised will still be allocated to the project. All funds, even without meeting the goal, should be spent to offset the cost of the promoted project or utilized to the group’s best ability. Projects should notify their donors and inform them how their donations will be spent.
- All projects must comply with the institution’s mission, policies and code of conduct. Einstein reserves the right to decline any project based on content or discontinue an active campaign at any time due to changes in the group’s eligibility status.
- You may reapply in 12 months, though it is atypical a repeated cause will have as much success as it did in the initial campaign.
For questions regarding these guidelines, please contact email@example.com.