What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a practice of sourcing small contributions from a large number of people to provide funding for a particular project or campaign, usually via the Internet.
We are one community, with many dreams about what might make Goshen a more ‘uncommonly great’ place to live, work, play, create, build, and prosper. Some of us have needs or amazing skills and vision to do things that others can hardly imagine. Others have financial resources that they want to put to work right here in our local community. Local crowdfunding brings these two vital parts of our community together to make dreams real.
What is the Goshen Funded Crowdfunding Platform?
Goshen Funded is a unique tool that enables groups, businesses, and individuals to seek community support. It combines online giving, social media, and e-commerce technologies to make the process of fundraising easier and more effective. Goshen Funded runs on the CommunityFunded platform operated by The Local Crowd, who received a Small Business Innovation Research grant to pay for the platform licensing fees and to provide associated training to communities like ours.
Goshen Funded aspires to be a catalyst for expanding philanthropy, service, and entrepreneurism into dynamic campaigns that inspire new initiatives and provide new mechanisms for supporting what already exists in our community.
What features differentiate Goshen Funded from other crowdfunding platforms?
The platform is designed specifically to target a local audience, making it easier to reach out to the people most likely to support a local cause. It also enables supporters to offer in-kind rewards, encourages offline fundraising, supports ‘matching’, and can be customized to serve a variety of fundraising needs. And its free!
How does the Goshen Funded crowdfunding platform work?
An individual, group, or business creates a fundraising campaign that contains a specific funding goal and timeline to fund their project. Supporters of the project can contribute to the campaign financially and are encouraged to share the campaign with their own community and social circles.
Who can create a Goshen Funded campaign?
The following criteria must be met in order for a project to be posted on the Goshen Funded crowdfunding platform:
- The project is located in Goshen, Indiana.
- The project proposes a tangible benefit to the local economy and/or improvement to the quality of life in Goshen.
- The project does not propose any illegal activities and would not be considered malicious or hateful toward any individual or group.
If your project meets these criteria, you are ready to submit a campaign idea to the platform!
Who can contribute to help fund a campaign?
Anyone! Contributions to project’s fundraising campaign can be made by any individual or organization – whether inside or outside of Goshen.
How do I contribute to a specific campaign?
- Each campaign has a “Make a donation” button. Simply visit the Campaigns page and find campaign that you would like to contribute to. You will be asked for a contribution amount and credit card information.
- You can also contribute in other ways by telling your friends and family about a campaign that you are interested in and by spreading the word across your social networks.
- There is also the option to ‘Sponsor a Reward,’ which allows you to place your or your business’s service or product on the campaign’s Marketplace as a reward for others that contribute to the campaign.
What methods of payment are accepted?
All major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) can be used online. Online payments are subject to typical payment processing fees. Offline donations are also welcome and can be added to the campaign total. Please contact the campaign creator if you would like to contribute by check or other means.
Is there a minimum or a maximum I can contribute?
There is a minimum contribution of $3. Otherwise, all donations will be accepted regardless of amount.
If I contribute, when is my credit card charged?
Immediately upon donation.
Is my contribution tax deductible?
It depends. It is recommended that you consult with your tax professional to answer this question.
Does the crowdfunding platform store my credit card information?
No, the crowdfunding processor does not store any payment or credit card information.
Is my contribution publicly displayed?
Yes, your name (not an amount) will be displayed unless you choose “Keep my pledge anonymous.”
Can I request to make an anonymous donation?
Yes, you will be able to indicate when completing the checkout process that you would like to remain anonymous. Simply check the box next to “Keep my pledge anonymous.”
How does a campaign receive its funding?
Funds will be transferred to the campaign creator’s account as the contributions are processed. The campaign teams will be able to access these funds at any point through a special account set up when they create the campaign.
When will a campaign receive funds?
Campaigns will receive their funds as soon as the contributions have been processed unless otherwise noted.
What portion of my contribution goes to the project I’ve supported?
100% of the funds received by the campaign will be used for the project to which you have contributed. Each campaign has a detailed budget breakdown and a section on “use of funds” in their campaign description pages. Credit card processing fees apply to all credit card donations and the administrative fee applies to all donations: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction is assessed by the credit card company at the time of donation. Beyond credit card fees, there is no cost to use Goshen Funded.
Crowdfunding platforms typically charge an administrative fee of 5%, which is an industry average. Thanks to a grant obtained by The Local Crowd, who hosts our platform, we are able to wave administrative fees for 2016-2017!
Can I share that I contributed to a campaign through my social media accounts?
Yes! There is a button on the donation page that you will see after a contribution is given that allows donors to share their contribution with their own social networks right from the page.
How do contributors know that their contributions will be used for the campaign that they gave to?
Your contribution will go only to the campaign(s) you have designated. Each campaign has a separate account.
How will I know if and when the campaign I contribute to reaches its goal?
You can check back on the campaign page to watch funding progress. You can also sign up for updates or follow the campaign’s social media pages for updates. You will receive an email when the campaign fundraising time has expired regardless of the campaign’s success.
What happens if a campaign exceeds its specified campaign fundraising goal?
Each of the campaign teams has identified a set of baseline tasks and goals in addition to a set of “stretch goals.” Should a campaign be fortunate enough to exceed its funding goal, the additional funds will be utilized to help the team reach the campaign stretch goals as identified in their campaign pages.
Are contributions returned if the campaign does not reach its stated fundraising goal?
No. We believe that campaigns should be able to keep the funds that are raised, even if the total funding goal may not have been reached. We expect each campaign team to make some progress in achieving their goals even if they are not fully funded. Campaigns are required to report to their supporters on the exact use of funds received.
Where to get more help…
Got more questions?
Please post them in the comments section below.