- What is FundaGeek?
- How does FundaGeek work?
- Why do people support projects?
- Why does FundaGeek exist?
- Can projects use FundaGeek for equity investments or as a borrowing source?
- Where is FundaGeek located?
- What is the key to a successful campaign?
- Who owns the rights to my project or idea?
- What is the vision of FundaGeek?
Backing a Project
- How do I back a project?
- How does pledging a project work?
- If I make a pledge, what information does the project owner receive?
- Is my pledge amount displayed on the site?
- How can I find out about updates to a project I'm backing?
- Why do I need to have a PayPal account?
- Can I pledge a project with a personal check or cash?
- Can I cancel a pledge I made?
- Are pledges tax-deductible?
- How do I know if a project owner is who they claim to be?
- Can people outside the U.S. back projects?
- Do I get notified once the project I'm backing succeeds?
- What do I receive for backing a project?
- How do I claim my reward if I haven't received it?
- How much information do I share when making a pledge?
- Are pledges refundable after the project is funded?
- What happens after I contribute to a project?
Creating a Project
- What do I need to create a project?
- What do I include in my pitch?
- Can I create a project if I'm not in the U.S.?
- Is there an age requirement to create a project?
- Are goal amount and deadline required?
- What should be included in my project's Goal Amount?
- Can I change my project's Goal Amount or deadline?
- Can I change my pledges and rewards?
- Can a project profile be changed after approval?
- Can I divide my project into separately funded phases?
- Can I have more than one project simultaneously?
- Is there a maximum Goal Amount?
- Is there a time limit for funding?
- What is the difference between Standard and Premium Marketing Resources?
- Is there a different fee for Premium Marketing Services?
- Can I cancel a project after approval?
- How do I know someone won't steal my ideas?
- How do I promote my project to potential backers?
- How do I contact my backers to fulfill the rewards?
- What is the optimal size for project thumbnail images?
- How do I get feedback from backers or fans about my project?
- Which projects are featured in the slider on the homepage?
- What's the difference between Public and Private projects?
- If I'm a non-profit, how can backer contributions be tax-deductible?
- Do you have any tips for shooting compelling project videos?
- Can I use copyrighted material as part of my project profile?
- Is it required to offer rewards?
- What kind of rewards can I offer?
- Who is responsible for making sure project owners deliver what they promise?
- As a backer, how does a project owner get my info (shipping address, size, color, etc.) to fulfill rewards?
- As a backer, how can I check on the status of my reward?
- Is there a minimum or maximum value of a reward?
- Is there a way to limit the quantity of a particular reward?
Managing a Project
- What happens if I reach my Goal Amount before the deadline?
- Can a project raise more funding than the Goal Amount?
- Is there a maximum amount of funding that a project can raise?
- How does a project get approved?
- What if I'm unable to complete my project?
- Can I change my Display Name?
- Can I change my e-mail address?
- What if I forgot my password?
- How do I delete my account?
- Can I opt out of FundaGeek notifications?
- Do I have to have a PayPal account to create a project?
- Do the funds go through FundaGeek?
- How do I collect the funding for my project?
- When will I receive the funding for my project?
- What fees does FundaGeek charge?
- Does PayPal charge any fees?
- Does it cost anything to create a project on FundaGeek?
What is FundaGeek?
FundaGeek offers a comprehensive marketplace designed to match potential supporters
with compelling projects in need of funding. Projects may come from a diverse set of
areas including commercial technology, scientific research, inventions, community
support and education. FundaGeek can help you secure funding for your project without
giving away an equity interest or incurring debt. Funding is secured from a large
number of pledges entered by backers found through the use of social media.
How does FundaGeek work?
FundaGeek helps you tap into the power of the crowd, small contributions from a
large number of people. Crowdsourcing has become popular in many areas of business,
so it is a natural progression to make its way into funding.
Why do people support projects?
We believe people support projects they truly believe in. If you are committed to a
vision and can share your enthusiasm with them, they will want to be a part of your
campaign. They also respond to the smart, fun, and tangible rewards you offer in return
for their support.
Why does FundaGeek exist?
In this depressed global economy of tight credit, cut budgets, reduced grant availability,
and skittish venture capitalists – a new funding paradigm is needed. A good idea can go
viral through social networks and the funding you need can come from small amounts
contributed by many different people instead of a few large sources.
Can projects use FundaGeek for equity investments or as a borrowing source?
Not yet but the new JOBS Act that was signed into law in April of 2012, could make it
possible. How this law will be implemented is yet to be realized. Currently, all projects
on FundaGeek are based on the pledge-reward crowdfunding model.
JOBS stands for Jumpstart Our Business Startups. The legislation is intended to help
entrepreneurs and fast-growing companies sidestep some securities regulations that
prevent entrepreneurs from selling shares in privately held companies to the general
public. Details associated with the implementation of this legislation are currently being
written by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Where is FundaGeek located?
FundaGeek is based in Southern California, U.S.A., but you can create a project or back
a project from any PayPal supported country. You can verify PayPal’s status in your
What is the key to a successful campaign?
First and foremost, you need to come up with a compelling “pitch” to potential backers. Your
project profile must convince people that your project is worthy of their pledges. Tell them how
they or others will personally benefit from your project. Over 75% of all pledges made on all
crowdfunding sites are pledges for rewards that are under $75, with the most popular in the $25-$30
range. Over 90% of successful projects contain a video that brings the project alive to a backer.
Who owns the rights to my project or idea?
You do. Project owners keep 100% ownership of their work.
What is the vision of FundaGeek?
Our vision is broad. We want to enable innovative technical ideas to flourish. We want to help
fill the gap between research and results. We want to aid communities support useful projects
to help their residents. We want students at all levels of education to have every opportunity to
achieve their potential.
Traditional forms of funding continue to constrict and are increasingly difficult to obtain.
At the same time, many people would like to lend support if even in a small way. With FundaGeek,
any individual can contribute at whatever level they are able, add their bit to the larger pot,
and make a difference.
How do I back a project?
To pledge a project, just click the “Pledge” button on any project detail page. You will be asked
to select your pledge amount and corresponding reward. From there, you will step through the PayPal
checkout process. You must complete the PayPal checkout process in order for your pledge to be
How does pledging a project work?
When you pledge money to a project on FundaGeek, you acknowledge that your pledge is not an
investment, nor are you to gain any financial reward by supporting a project. You do so out
of a desire to support the project, the project owner, or the “greater good” brought by a
project’s success or implementation, as well as for any reward offered to you for making the pledge.
A pledge you make to back a project will always be processed at the end of the project’s
campaign period whether or not the project reaches its Goal Amount (unless the project is canceled
by the project owner).
If I make a pledge, what information does the project owner receive?
Project owners receive your contact information (name and e-mail address), along with any
fulfillment instructions you provided when you entered your pledge.
Is my pledge amount displayed on the site?
No. This information is held confidential between you and the project owner.
How can I find out about updates to a project I'm backing?
Project owners can post updates about their project as often as they deem necessary. Each time an
update is posted for a project you've pledged, you will receive an e-mail notification so you can
check the Updates tab on the project detail page to get the latest scoop. You can also use the “Send Message”
option on the Project page to send a message to the project owner whenever you have a question or want an
update from them.
Why do I need to have a PayPal account?
FundaGeek uses PayPal to manage all transactions and ensure they're secure. It's simple to use, safe,
and an internationally recognized payment processing service. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can
create one for free. It takes only a few seconds and can be done during the pledge process. Alternately,
you can go to www.paypal.com (the Sign Up button is in the upper right corner).
Funds are transferred
directly from the PayPal account of the backer to that of the project owner at the end of the campaign period.
Can I pledge a project with a personal check or cash?
No. FundaGeek only supports payments through PayPal.
Can I cancel a pledge I made?
Yes. You may retract a pledge you made for a project by selecting the Manage Pledges tool in your My Account
menu and then clicking on the Cancel button for the specific pledge. You may only cancel a pledge if the project
has not yet been funded.
Are pledges tax-deductible?
If the project owner has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, then all or part of the contribution may be tax-deductible.
We advise project owners to tout their tax-exempt status, if they have it, on their project detail page. In order
to inquire further, please contact the project owner directly for instructions on getting a receipt for tax purposes,
and then consult your tax advisers about how to deduct.
How do I know if a project owner is who they claim to be?
During our project approval process we make every attempt to vet the project owner. However, we encourage you to
undergo your own due diligence to get to your own level of comfort. Use all of the information, files, and links
provided by the project owner to do your own investigation. You can always contact the project owner with your
own set of questions using the Send Message button on the project page.
Can people outside the U.S. back projects?
Yes! Anyone living in a PayPal supported country can make pledges for projects. You can
check PayPal’s availability in your country here.
Am I notified once the project I'm backing is funded?
Once the project you backed reaches the end of its campaign period, your pledge will be processed and PayPal will
send you an e-mail confirmation.
What do I receive for backing a project?
At the time you offer a pledge for a project you will select a corresponding reward. This reward promise should be
fulfilled by the project owner at some point after the project receives funding. Some backers may choose to pledge
without requiring a reward payment.
How do I claim my reward if I haven't received it?
Only the project owner can answer that. FundaGeek is a marketplace that connects people with a project in need of
funding and people who wish to back the project. FundaGeek, however, is not involved with the actual projects
themselves. As with sites like eBay, if there's a problem receiving your reward, you can contact the project owner
directly by using the “Send Message” link on the project page.
How much information do I share when making a pledge?
You are only identified by the “Display Name” you provided in your member profile. You may choose to use a
pseudonym to remain anonymous. If you do not provide a "Display Name" in your member profile, then you will be
identified by your "Contact Name."
Are pledges refundable after the project is funded?
No, refunds are not possible after the project is funded because pledges are disbursed immediately after a
project reaches the deadline.
What happens after I contribute to a project?
The project owner may publish updates to the project which you can check periodically on the project detail page.
You will also receive notification e-mails about updates to the project. The project owner may choose to contact
you after the project is funded in order to coordinate the fulfillment of your reward. You will also receive a
confirmation e-mail from FundaGeek.
What do I need to create a project?
You need a thumbnail image (a small picture or graphic image) that represents your project, a complete
description or “pitch” that promotes your project to potential backers, a well thought out funding goal,
web addresses that backers can use to learn more about what you and your project are all about, and anything
else that might convince someone to back your project: executive summary, revenue projection, PowerPoint
presentation, etc. We strongly suggest that you produce a short and simple video of you or your team talking
about why your project is worth backing. You must also think carefully about what pledge denominations you wish
to offer and what rewards you will be fulfilling in return.
What do I include in my pitch?
You should cover the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of your project. Be thorough, straightforward,
and authentic. Speak to a stranger in terms of what you're raising money for.
Can I create a project if I'm not in the U.S.?
Yes. A project owner can be in any PayPal supported country and can attract backers in any PayPal supported
country. We encourage a global audience for both project owners and backers. You can verify the PayPal
status in your country here.
Is there an age requirement to create a project?
Project owners must be at least 18 years of age.
Are goal amount and deadline required?
Yes. Every project must have a funding goal amount and a deadline (7 – 90 days) as defined by the project owner.
What should be included in my project's Goal Amount?
You need to carefully consider ALL of your costs when calculating your Goal Amount. Remember, your costs are
not just those specific costs for running your project as planned, but you need to factor into your Goal Amount:
- The cost you will incur in fulfilling the rewards you'll owe backers for their pledges.
- The PayPal fee that will be deducted from the pledges processed by PayPal (2-3%).
- The standard FundaGeek fee of 5%. If you choose to use our Premium Marketing Resources, then
factor in 9% instead of 5%.
Can I change my project's Goal Amount or deadline?
No. Once the project is approved and appears on the site, you may not alter the Goal Amount or the deadline.
Can I change my pledges and rewards?
No. Once the project is approved and appears on the site, you may not alter the pledges or rewards since they
represent a form of a contract with backers.
Can a project profile be changed after approval?
Yes. You may change certain project profile elements (thumbnail image, description, project files, etc.)
after it has been approved and is available for backing. All backers will be notified by e-mail whenever
you post an update to your project.
Can I divide my project into separately funded phases?
This is quite appropriate for ongoing research projects, large community projects, or any project that is
best approached in stages, and it could work for commercial technical projects as well. Project phases do
have potential issues with backer exhaustion (asking the same audience multiple times for support).
Can I have more than one project simultaneously?
No, you cannot have more than one active project. We feel that you owe your backers your full attention
on one project at a time in order to assure its success and assure your ability to satisfy all rewards due.
On the other hand, you can create as many project profiles as you wish and use FundaGeek as a project note pad.
You can use these project profiles as the basis for future projects after your current project is completed.
Is there a maximum Goal Amount?
No, but choosing your Goal Amount must be done carefully. You shouldn't choose an amount so high that
it could make reaching the amount unlikely. At the same time, you should raise an amount commensurate with
the nature of your project and how much you feel you can attract from your social network.
Is there a time limit for funding?
Yes, but you set your own time limit from a range between 7 and 90 days.
What is the difference between Standard and Premium Marketing Resources?
At FundaGeek, we will help your project meet its funding goal with Standard Marketing Resources. If you wish to
have us take a more active role in helping you, then Premium Marketing Resources is the way to go. The additional
help you receive can be viewed here.
Is there a different fee for Premium Marketing Resources?
Yes. Our normal fee which includes Standard Marketing Resources is 5% of all pledge dollars collected for your
project. If you select Premium Marketing Resources the fee is 9% instead. Please review our marketing resources
page for a complete list of additional services provided.
Can I cancel a project after approval?
You may cancel an approved project that has already attracted pledges, but you must contact us first and provide
an explanation why you're no longer committed to the project. We will delete the project for you and all
outstanding pledges will be voided. Canceling a project in funding is highly discouraged because it sheds negative
light on you and our site.
How do I know someone won't steal my ideas?
This is an important question for commercial technology projects. First, we use special Non-Disclosure
language in our Sign-Up page that asks members to agree to honoring intellectual property. We also publish a
whitepaper written by a prominent intellectual
property attorney that will help you protect your ideas. Still, FundaGeek is all about open collaboration on
technical innovation, so an awareness of this philosophy will measure your expectations.
How do I promote my project to potential backers?
This is the key to funding success. Be creative in promoting your project to your social network. They
presumably are people who know of you and your abilities so it stands to reason they're the most likely to
back your project. Then work to further expand your network by asking people in your network for their help
to spread the word about your project. Effective project promotion is achieved by taking advantage of this
new age in social media connectivity.
The day your project is launched you will start receiving our project promotion “Coaching Emails” that
provide you with tips, examples and insights in ways to promote your project through social media and
networks. You should plan, or have an associate plan, to spend at least an hour a day in promoting your
How do I contact my backers to fulfill the rewards?
Once your project is funded, you may view a Backer Report for each pledge amount. This tool is available
in the My Account menu, Manage Project Profile tool. This report provides a complete list of all pledges
received grouped by pledge amount. If you “download” the report from that page, it will then include backer
What is the optimal size for project thumbnail images?
The optimal dimensions are 200 x 150 although smaller images are acceptable. It is important that your
image fits inside of the project capsules that appear on our homepage and project search results display.
How do I get feedback from backers or fans about my project?
The project detail page for each project contains a Comments tab which contains all comments posted by
FundaGeek members about the project. This area is moderated by FundaGeek staff.
Which projects are featured in the slider on the homepage?
Any project opting for Premium Marketing Resources is featured in the slider area on our homepage. In order
to achieve fairness, we use a randomization algorithm to choose which projects are displayed when a user hits
What's the difference between Public and Private projects?
When creating a new project on FundaGeek you must classify the project as either Public or Private.
Public projects can be seen by any user even if they have not signed up as a member. Private projects, in
contrast, can only be seen by registered members who have agreed to the Non-Disclosure language in our Terms &
If I'm a non-profit, how can backer contributions be tax-deductible?
If you are a project owner with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, then all or part of your backer contributions
may be tax-deductible. You should include a statement such as “Contributions are tax-deductible in the U.S.
You will receive a receipt for U.S. income tax purposes” on your project detail page. You should also invite
backers to contact you directly for instructions on getting a receipt for tax purposes. If you offer “material”
rewards, you must assess the value of each reward and deduct it from the tax deductible contribution.
Do you have any tips for shooting compelling project videos?
Videos make projects infinitely more compelling. We highly recommend making a video for your project. You don't
need to be an expert to make one that works. Simply be personable and sincere and talk plainly about the passion
you hold for your project. Put yourself in front of the camera (you can use a web cam or smartphone) for at least
a moment so that potential backers know who you are. Making a personal connection is key. Show people examples of
your work and use any fun visuals you can think of.
Here are some video basics to follow no matter how bare-bones you want to be:
- Introduce yourself.
- Tell your story.
- Ask for people's support by backing your project.
- Tell people what they'll get for their pledges (i.e. rewards).
- Say thank you!
There are many different ways to tell your story. Have fun with it. Be creative. You can spend days
shooting and editing, or you can spend a weekend afternoon knocking it out with a couple of friends. If
doesn't have to be perfect or polished, it just has to be you.
Can I use copyrighted material as part of my project profile?
Using unauthorized copyrighted material is usually unlawful and can lead to expensive lawsuits down the
road. Don't use content you don't have the rights to. The easiest way to avoid copyright troubles is to
create all the content yourself.
Is it required to offer rewards?
Yes. A number of creative and attractive backer rewards is essential for a successful
project. It's up to the project owner to define, price and fulfill rewards. Historically
in crowdfunding the most successful rewards which have accounted for over 75% of all
pledges made, are in the range of $25 - $30. You can have higher priced pledge/rewards,
but make sure you have low pledge/rewards also if you want your project to succeed.
What kind of rewards can I offer?
Rewards in return for pledges should be chosen carefully in order to maximize their
attractiveness to potential backers. If you are developing a product or service, then
a small priced reward could be an autographed photo or sketch of the planned product, a
higher priced reward could be the pre-selling of your product or service at a special
price, and for a higher reward amount maybe you provide some simple personal customization
of the product if appropriate, like their name engraved.
Rewards could be anything from an invitation to a special launch party for a high value
pledge to a promotional product like a bumper sticker for a lower value pledge. You must
use your creativity to pick just the right reward to associate with a specific pledge
amount. It is generally a good idea to choose rewards to energize your backers and make
them feel special they have chosen to support your project.
Remember that FundaGeek always includes the option for a backer to contribute any
dollar denomination in return for no reward at all.
Who is responsible for making sure project owners deliver what they promise?
Every project owner is solely responsible for fulfilling the promises of their project.
Because projects are primarily funded by friends, family, and communities around the
project owner, there are powerful social forces that keep project owners accountable.
Project owners are encouraged to post regular updates about their project after
getting the funding. Your backers typically want to be kept in the loop.
As a backer, how does a project owner get my info (shipping address, size,
color, etc.) to fulfill rewards?
When the backer makes a pledge there is a special all-purpose field for entering the
information necessary for the project owner to deliver rewards. Project owners access
this info after a project has been funded.
As a backer, how can I check on the status of my reward?
The best way is to check the project Updates tab in the project detail page for any
project updates posted by the project owner. This is where the project owner may post
news on the status of rewards. You can also contact the project owner directly using
the Send Message link on the project page.
Is there a minimum or maximum value of a reward?
Rewards can be associated with pledge amounts of $5 to $10,000.
Is there a way to limit the quantity of a particular reward?
Yes. When the project owner defines the pledges and rewards for the project, if
there is a maximum number for a reward you want to offer, that number can be
What happens if I reach my Goal Amount before the deadline?
Good for you! You will find that the most compelling projects tend to attract
more pledges than the Goal Amount. It simply means that people deeply believe
in your idea. There is no limit to the amount you can raise, since the project's
funding won't stop until the end of your funding period.
Can a project raise more funding than the Goal Amount?
Yes. If you do then you have a very compelling project.
Is there a maximum amount of funding that a project can raise?
No, there is no limit.
How does a project get approved?
The FundaGeek staff takes a hands-on approach with the approval of each project
submitted to us. We take the job very seriously as we wish to approve projects
we feel represent the essence of the FundaGeek crowdfunding platform. A successful
project will exhibit creativity, uniqueness, and a good chance to reach a wide base
of backers. We also look at your creativity in choosing rewards. In many cases, we
will reach out to the project owner for clarification and discussion about the merit
of the project.
What if I'm unable to complete my project?
If you are unable to fulfill the promises you made to your backers by completing
your project, or decide to abandon your project for any reason, you are expected
to cancel funding. A failure to do so could result in damage to your reputation, or
even legal action by your backers. If your project has received funding and you find
that you’re unable to deliver a particular reward for which you received pledges,
then you should contact the backer and explain the problem – offering to switch to
another reward or refund their pledge.
Can I change my Display Name?
Yes, you can change your Display Name by logging into your account and selecting
the Manage Member Profile tool from the My Account menu.
Can I change my e-mail address?
No. Since your e-mail address is also your login account name, this cannot be
changed. When signing up you must use the e-mail address associated with your
existing “verified” PayPal account (if you have one) or the email address you plan
to associate with your PayPal account.
What if I forgot my password?
You can use the “Forgot Password” link on the Login/Sign-up page. We'll send
you a new, temporary password that you can use to login to the site.
How do I delete my account?
Please send an e-mail to our administrative staff and we'll handle this for you:
firstname.lastname@example.org. If your
project has funded, you cannot delete the account.
Can I opt out of FundaGeek notifications?
Some but not all. If you do not wish to receive our Newsletter or Announcements
just uncheck the Notifications checkbox in your Member Profile. As a backer, you
will still receive e-mail alerts about any projects you pledged. As a project owner,
you will still receive feedback about your project.
Do I have to have a PayPal account to create a project?
Yes, it is compulsory since all transactions are managed by PayPal. A PayPal
account is easy to get and you must have one prior to creating your project and
submitting it for approval. If you intend to become a project owner, please be
sure that the e-mail address you enter in our Sign Up page is associated with a
“verified” PayPal account or that it is the email address that you intend to use
when setting up your verified PayPal account.
Do the funds go through FundaGeek?
No. The funds are transferred directly from the PayPal accounts of the backers
to the account of the project owner.
How do I collect the funding for my project?
All the money you raise will be transferred to the PayPal account associated
with your e-mail address.
When will I receive the funding for my project?
The money will be transferred to your PayPal account in a few business days
after the end of the campaign period.
What fees does FundaGeek charge?
When the project is funded, FundaGeek will apply its standard 5% fee to the
funds raised unless you chose Premium Marketing Resources in which case a
9% fee will be applied instead.
Does PayPal charge any fees?
Yes. When a project reaches the end of its campaign period and the project is funded,
PayPal will apply credit card processing fees to each pledge amount. For details on
how PayPal calculates fees, please visit the PayPal website.
Does it cost anything to create a project on FundaGeek?
There is no charge for creating a project on FundaGeek.