How Crowdfunding Works

Donors help fund projects. When a gift is made this is immediately transferred over to the project.

For more information on the donation process for both Donors and Creators, please visit our About section.

Who can be a Creator?

University of Maryland Baltimore County has been created for our community, so a Creator must be a member of the university.

How much can Creators raise for projects?

University of Maryland Baltimore County supports all sorts of projects, from big to small. Creators can raise funds for projects of any size they wish. There really isn't a limit on too small or too big - whether that's $100 or $100,000 University of Maryland Baltimore County can help!

Account Settings

Can I change my profile name?

Make sure you're logged in, go to 'account', and click on the 'edit profile' button.

I forgot my password. How can I log in?

D'oh! You can reset your password by clicking the 'reset your password' link on the login page. You will be sent an mail which contains a link to gain access to your account.

How do I delete my account?

Contact us using our contact form! We'll miss you!

Can I change my email notification settings?

You will only receive emails about projects which you are following. To stop receiving these, go to the project page and click 'Follow' - when the pink heart is absent you won't receive email updates. If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter, click on 'Unsubscribe' at the bottom of any newsletter.

Starting your project

What types of project can I post?

Are you running a sports club in dire need of some new equipment? Are you part of a drama society hunting for some costumes or a proper location for a production? Or are you a biologist in need of an incubator to grow some baby terrapins?

Projects can be pretty much anything! It doesn't matter what you are raising funds for - whether it's for a personal project or for your club or society.

A few rules do apply and you can see these in the Guidelines.

I just need general sponsorship to cover my society's costs for the year. Can I post on Gritstarter?

Just seeking "sponsorship" doesn't really constitute a project. However, that doesn't mean you can't turn it into one. Think about how you could break this down for potential Donors. How will you spend the funds? What will they allow you to do? Over what period will the funds be used?

For advice on how to create an awesome project visit our Academy.

Are a funding target and completion date required?

Yes! A funding target and completion date are all required. For advice on selecting your funding target and completion date, please visit our Academy.

If you are a student and your project fundraising campaign is successful, we will contact you to arrange the secure transfer of funds. If you are a member of staff we will be in touch to arrange allocation of funds to your project.

After Submission

What happens after I submit my project?

For advice on how to promote you project, you can visit the Promotion section of our Academy.

They also have some great advice and checklists in their Promotions Guide.

Can I edit my project after submitting?

Sorry! Apart from us needing to keep reviewing amended proposals, we feel this allows too much room for Creators to change the deal after Donors have made gifts.

However, you can add updates to your project once published so that Donors can keep track of the latest developments.

Can I change my funding goal or completion date after submitting?

No. It is not permitted to edit your project after submission.

Can I edit my project after funding is completed?

No, otherwise Creators would be able to raise money donated for one purpose and then spend it on something different. This isn't fair on your Donors.

How many projects can I post at the same time?

As many as you want. We impose no limit though it might be in your interest to keep the number of live projects low. This prevents you exhausting your networks of potential Donors. Donors are unlikely to donate several times to the same person or society in a short space of time. Even if they do, their gifts will be far smaller when shared between multiple projects, meaning that maybe none of your projects get funded!

Can I split funding for one project into several projects?

Yes. The advantage of doing this is that people might be more interested in one aspect of your plans than another and, in doing so, you're giving them the freedom to choose where to put their money. The disadvantages are outlined above. You must also remember that if you earn funding for one aspect of the project, but not the others, you are still obliged to complete the successfully funded project.

Can I share my project with friends before I submit?

Yes. In the sense that you will be able to discuss what you're doing with people online and via word of mouth. However, you will not be able to send people a link to your project in draft mode (though screenshots are possible). In order for other people to view your projects prior to it going live, you will need to log in to your account and demo the project in preview mode.

Can I cancel my project?

You can cancel a project by informing us using our contact form. We will notify your Donors.

Can I retry if unsuccessful?

Yes. If you didn't reach your minimum you can re-submit your project as many times as you like. However, we recommend that you make some alterations. Why weren't you successful last time? Would a different funding target or completion date help?

You can view advice on setting these in our Academy.

What happens if funding is completed before the completion date?

Nothing! There isn't an option to end a project early. We allow Donors to continue donating even after your target has been reached so you could even generate more.

How many Creators can I have on my project?

There can only be one Creator account per project, but you should definitely get help from your friends and other society, club, group or department members to help create and promote it.

Where can I find Donors?

Finding Donors is vital if you are to achieve your funding target. For advice on how to promote you project, please visit the Promotion section of our Academy.

Project Media

Do I have to make a video?

No, but a video is highly recommended as it greatly improves your chances of achieving your funding target.

Can I add a video later?

No. You can't edit a project after submitting it.

Any advice on what makes a great video?

Hop on over to the Video section of our Academy for advice on how to put a great video together.

What types of video can I use?

You can use Vimeo and YouTube videos.

How large can my video's file size be?

GritStarter accepts Vimeo and YouTube videos. Vimeo's basic account has a limit of 500mb per file and 5GB for premium accounts. Youtube has a limit of 2GB.

How many images can I have?

One video, but as many images as you like! You just need to enter the web address of the image in your project description.

Can I use music on my video?

Yes, but only if you have permission to do so from its owner! Alternatively you can use any music from http://freemusicarchive.org/

Can I embed media?

You can add images to the description section of your project, but not videos.

Updates

What are Updates?

An Update is a bit like a status update on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter. It lets donors know about developments in your project and how you're getting on. They breathe life into your project and are essential to the donor process. For advice on how to use them visit the Updates section of our Academy.

What media can I use in Updates?

You can add images, but not videos.

Will Donors know if I've posted an Update?

Yes. We will notify them automatically. For advice on how to use them visit the Updates section of our Academy.

Responsibilities

What is my responsibility for answering questions from Donors?

Donors may want to ask for more details about how you will carry out your project, or even for more information on you! Donors should be answered promptly. In cases where many Donors ask the same question, you should answer with an Update to your project so that anyone viewing it can see this information.

What if I can't complete my project as listed?

If this is the case you must contact us immediately. However, please be aware that this could damage your reputation, so please do not do it lightly.

You can cancel a project by informing us using our contact form. We will notify your Donors.

Gifts

Can I be a Donor?

Yes. Anybody can be a donor. You will need a credit card.

How do I make a gift?

Simply find a project you like and hit the 'Donate' button at the right-hand side of the page and follow the on-screen instructions.

Can I donate anonymously?

Yes. When you make a gift you will be given the option of displaying:

  • your name and the value of you donate;
  • just your name; or
  • remaining completely anonymous.

Please note that you will not be anonymous to the Creator - only to the public.

Is the value of my gift made public?

Not automatically. We leave it entirely up to you to decide whether your name and contribution should be displayed as described above.

What info about me do you give to the Creator?

Creators see your username and the size of your donation.

Will you notify me if a project I've given to is successful?

Yes. You will receive an email regardless of whether the project is successful or not. .

What happens if my credit card is declined?

Don’t worry, if this happens you will be sent a re-gift link so you can make sure you have the necessary funds available and re-donate.

Responsibilities

Can I trust Creators?

In terms of a Creator's ability to deliver, it's up to them to make the case that they can successfully bring their project to life. A creator will find it very difficult to raise funds for a project without enlisting the support of individuals in their network, as well as related organisations, and their institution.

In many cases, you will know the project creator, or you heard about the project from a trusted source. Obviously, in these cases, you will have fewer problems of trust. The advantage of our focus on registered students is that it's very difficult for these to avoid detection and institutional redress.

Creators are encouraged to share links to their personal websites, Facebook groups and Twitter feeds as well as any pages that show work related to the project, or past projects. Still not sure? Ask the Creator a question via their profile or project page. At the end of the day, we leave it to your judgement. If you spot anything you think looks suspicious, there is a button on every project page where you can report suspicious projects.

How can I get more info about a project?

Most people will be happy with the information provided in the proposal and video. Short of visiting the Creator's website, you can ask them directly! You can contact the Creator directly through their profile or project page. If you have already sponsored a project and you would like to make your question public, you can post a comment on the project. The Creator will be notified by email when you do.

Will projects be completed as described?

In terms of a Creator's ability to deliver, it's up to them to make the case that they can successfully bring their project to life. Part of the Creator's job is earning the trust of Donors, especially those who don't personally know them.