Crowdfunding Guidelines

Before a crowdfunding campaign begins, it is the Project Leader’s responsibility to review and understand the following UA Crowdfunding guidelines. The University of Alabama reserves the right to revise these guidelines at any time.

To ensure compliance with UA Crowdfunding guidelines, all projects must have an approved philanthropic gift fund set up to which donations can be accepted and then distributed to the respective campus unit’s account. 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. Gift funds and accounts must be approved by the finance officer, dean, director, and development office before the project can begin fundraising.

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.

Projects must support UA’s programs and initiatives. Funds cannot redirect to a third party, external charity or other nonprofit.

All content on the project’s webpage must be approved by the UA Office of Annual Giving, 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 a crowdfunding campaign.

Project Teams are responsible for marketing their campaign and providing outreach. Teams should consist of at least five people. The larger the Project Team, the more likely they are to succeed. Project Teams are responsible for promoting their campaigns via social media, email, phone calls and on-campus. Project Teams should also prepare personal thank-you messages to donors and submit regular updates on their project to be used on the crowdfunding platform.

Successful Project Teams have a Project Leader who will spearhead project initiatives and work directly with the Office of Annual Giving throughout the entire project duration.

UA may request a list of potential donors prior to the project’s approval or launch date. This may be used to determine project eligibility and fundraising capacity.

UA does not provide any contact data on alumni, parents, friends or students. It is up to the Project Team members to share with their contacts. While UA may promote the crowdfunding platform during campaigns, Project Teams should not rely on this for fundraising success.

Monetary premiums or perks must not be used to incentivize gifts. Items such 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 online crowdfunding platform for a pre-determined amount of time, typically a month-long period. Some exceptions may apply. 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/organization’s best ability.

The University of Alabama is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational institution. All projects must comply with the institution’s mission.

Projects cannot violate any laws. UA reserves the right to decline any project based on content or discontinue an active campaign at any time due to changes in the project’s eligibility status.

For questions regarding these guidelines, please contact the Office of Annual Giving at 205-348-7701 or advancement@ua.edu.

The University of Alabama FAQ

What is crowdfunding? 

Crowdfunding is a means of raising money by reaching out to personal networks and inviting them to get involved with a project by making a contribution. Through crowdfunding, you can generate small contributions from a large number of people to provide funding for your project or campaign via the Internet.

How do I know if crowdfunding is a good fit for my project? 

Applicants for UA Crowdfunding must have, at a minimum:

Approval from your unit director and development contact

A faculty or staff advisor if you are a student group

An established University gift fund to which gifts can be directed

A dedicated Project Leader who will spearhead project initiatives and work directly with the Office of Annual Giving throughout the entire project duration

A Project Team of at least five people that is responsible for promoting their campaigns via social media, email, phone calls and on-campus

A realistic and attainable fundraising goal (national average is $2,000-$15,000)

A solicitation list of at least 20 individuals who would be willing to support your cause

A solid stewardship plan for thanking donors and communicating with them after the close of the campaign

Passion for your project and willingness to gather other supporters

What is required to launch a campaign? 

To get started you will need to submit the online application. Once your application has been reviewed, you will be contacted by the Office of Annual Giving to let you know if your project has been approved.

How do I set my campaign goal?

The Office of Annual Giving will work with you to help determine your goal and plan for success. Campaign goals will vary and correlate to the number of participating individuals in your group. Some questions to consider:

     Who are your donors? Consider family, friends, mentors/advisers, professors, classmates,           colleagues, co-workers and other who might be naturally drawn to your cause.

     How will you promote this campaign? The majority of your gifts will come from emails,                    which will be sent out using the crowdfunding platform.

How long does a campaign last? 

The average campaign lasts 30 days. However, there might be special circumstances that require shorter or longer periods of time. The entire process, however, requires about three months of commitment from start to finish.

Where will donations to the campaign go?

Donations will be deposited by The University of Alabama into a predetermined gift fund.

What happens if the project is not fully funded within the campaign period? 

The project will receive all funding made to the project, even if the goal is not achieved.

Who can contribute to UA crowdfunding projects? 

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

How do I contribute to a crowdfunding project?

Go to crowdfunding.ua.edu and select the project of your choice. 

What methods of payment are accepted? 

All major credit cards are accepted (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover).

When will my credit card be charged?

Your credit card will be charged immediately upon finalizing your gift on the website.

Does UA crowdfunding store my credit card information? 

No, we will not store any payment or credit card information.

Will I receive a receipt for my contribution? 

Yes, The University of Alabama will send you a gift receipt via email.

Is my gift eligible for employer/corporate matching?

Yes. However, it can take several weeks for employers’ matching funds to be received. In the event the match does not arrive before the project deadline, it will be applied to the respective organization’s account for future projects.

For other inquiries, contact the Office of Annual Giving at 205-348-7701 or advancement@ua.edu.

Thank you for your interest in UA Crowdfunding.