What is Reading Fundspace?
Crowdfunding is a way to fund projects. Creators set up projects that are looking for support. Supporters help fund projects by donating. Each supporter makes a one-off gift (it can be small, or it can be large) and collectively these donors help a project reach its funding target. To help incentivise donors, Project Creators can offer rewards in return for donations.
Who Runs Reading Fundspace?
Reading Fundspace is managed by the University of Reading Fundraising Team who are responsible for coordinating all charitable giving to the University of Reading.
The University of Reading is an exempt charity, with reference X 8145 and the Fundraising Team are based in the heart of the Whiteknights campus, in Whiteknights House.
University donors are changing lives – helping to support students, empowering world-changing research and enhancing our campuses. In addition to crowdfunding, The Fundraising Team work in lots of different ways with people and organisations to deliver projects which make a real difference.
For more info, contact us using our contact form
Who Can Use Reading Fundspace?
Reading FundSpace has been created exclusively for members of the University of Reading community, so if you are a current registered student or a member of staff, you can become a Project Creator.
How Much Money Can Projects Raise?
Reading FundSpace supports a wide range of projects, from big to small. Project Creators can raise funds for projects of any size they wish. There really isn't any upper limit – but the minimum fundraising target should be at least £150.
The platform works best for projects aiming to raise no more than £10,000. If you need to raise more than £10,000 please email email@example.com to discuss your funding needs with a member of the Fundraising Team.
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?
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.
Starting your project
Can I be a Project Creator?
If you are a current student or a member of staff working at the University of Reading, it’s a YES!
What types of project can the site be used for?
All projects must be designed to raise funds for a one-off project that aims to deliver something specific, rather than to cover general administration or running costs.
RSU Clubs, Societies and volunteering groups can use the platform to fundraise for equipment, hosting an event or participating in a sporting or academic competition. Sorry but fundraising for RAG Challenges and any projects linked to RAG’s chosen charities cannot be done via this site. Please consult RSU and ensure that they are aware of your plans to run a project and raise money for a specific purpose they approve of.
Students with bright ideas! Not part of a club or a group? No problem! Individual students can also use the platform if they have an innovative idea. Students must have their project ideas endorsed by a member of academic staff to ensure they are viable.
University academics, departmental or professional services staff can also use the platform and are asked to ensure that their Head of Department/Function endorses the project and it aligns with departmental strategies or priorities..
Please log in and view the Hubbub Guidelines. for details of the types of project you can post.
I'm raising money for charity. Can I use Reading Fundspace?
Sorry, no. The University of Reading is a charity and funds raised on this platform must be used by the university. Funds cannot be passed on to other organisations such as local or national charities.
How do I create a project?
Head to the 'Create' page and enter some key details: a description of what you want to do, a funding target and completion date, and some rewards for donors.
For Film, Theatre and TV students there is a special template to use, which asks for more info about your project. Find it by typing template into the search bar at the top of the page and cloning the template.
The Fundspace team offer advice and feedback all along the way. For tips on how to create an awesome project visit Hubbub Academy.
Are a fundraising target and completion date required?
Yes! Every project needs a minimum funding target and a completion date for the fundraising activity period. If you have achieved your minimum needed by your completion date you then become responsible for carrying out your project and delivering rewards to your donors.
You can also set a higher Stretch Target, for the sum you ideally wish to raise once you have reached your minimum. For help with setting your funding target and completion date, please visit Hubbub Academy.
Donors can be rewarded for supporting a project with something worth up to 25% of the donation. For example if a donor gives £20 the reward can be worth a maximum of £5.
Are rewards required?
You don’t have to offer rewards, but it’s been found that offering a reward for a donation helps supporters to engage with your project and encourages generosity.
The better your rewards, the more likely you are to reach your funding target. But remember, you only need to deliver your rewards if your project reaches its minimum needed and after you have received your funding. This means that the funds you receive will cover the cost of providing the rewards.
For advice on choosing rewards, check out the Rewards Guide.
Who creates the rewards?
You, the Project Creator, create the rewards. The better they are; the more likely you are to get donations. However, the cost and number of the rewards is also controlled by you, so do consider this when choosing them.
What can be offered as rewards?
We leave this largely up to you to decide, but rewards are typically items connected to the project itself. The best rewards aren’t necessarily the most expensive. Your supporters are most likely to respond to something that offers exclusivity and is personal to the project. This might include a recording of a film, a limited edition print of a work of art, or a signed programme for a show. Many Project Creators also wish to offer experiences – tickets to a show, a concert or a screening. Then there are various forms of accreditation reward ranging from a mention on your website or in your magazine to naming something after a supporter. Anything that seeks to build a relationship with a supporter is a great approach.
For advice on choosing rewards, check out Hubbub's Rewards Guide.
What cannot be offered?
No alcohol, drugs or pornography please! To comply with charity law, you cannot offer your donors investment opportunities, loan solicitations, or coupons or discounts on future goods. That's forbidden - as is offering raffle tickets, or running lotteries and sweepstakes.
Can I limit the quantity of a reward?
Yes. When you add a reward to your proposal, you will be asked to specify whether it is in limited supply and, if so, how many you are able to provide.
How can I get Donors' information to give them their rewards?
Reading Fundspace will collect all of the information you need and then make it available to you after your completion date.
What happens after I submit my project?
The Reading Fundspace team will review your project after you submit it. We aim to respond with within 5 working days, but please be patient with us at busy times!
If your project meets our guidelines and passes its review then we'll publish it on the website. (We’re great at spotting typos and ensuring you use the best ways to describe your project).
Then it’s time to start promoting your project. Finding supporters is vital if you are to achieve your funding target. For advice on how to promote you project, you can visit the promotions section in the Hubbub Academy.
They also have some great advice and checklists in their Promotions Guide.
Can I edit my project text, change my minimum funding goal or alter the completion date after submitting it?
Drop us a message if you want to make any small amendments before your project has been published. But be quick, because it is not permitted to edit your project after it has been published. Once it’s gone live, you cannot make any changes. However, you can use the Updates feature to publish all your latest developments as your project develops.
Can I edit my project after it is completed and funded?
No. It would not be fair to your supporters if you made changes after they had donated, so it’s really important to get things right before you go live.
How many projects can I post at the same time?
We recommend you post only one project at a time. This prevents you exhausting your networks of potential donors. Supporters are unlikely to donate several times to the same person or society in a short space of time.
Can I share my project with friends before I submit?
You should definitely tell people that you plan to launch a crowdfunding project. Creating awareness of your project and your funding needs is how you’ll gain supporters. But you can’t share any links to your project until it’s gone live.
Can I cancel my project?
If for some unexpected reason you need to cancel your project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible and the Fundraising Team will notify your supporters.
Can I retry if unsuccessful?
If your project didn't reach the minimum needed you can try again. However, we recommend that you think carefully about why weren't you successful last time. Would a different funding target or completion date help? How did you promote the project?
You can view advice on setting these in Hubbub Academy.
What happens if I reach my stretch funding target before the completion date?
You celebrate! Post an Update to thank your supporters for helping you reach this milestone and then start planning the delivery of your project! There isn't an option to end a project early though. Your project will stay live until the end date. It’s possible you could get more donations, so keep the promotional messages flowing right until the end.
Can I raise more than my minimum needed?
Yes. You should be aiming to raise more than the minimum, as that is the very lowest funding needed for you to carry out your project.
How many Project Creators can I have on my project?
There can only be one Project 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. Ask them to click the “Become a helper” button on your project page - they will receive weekly project stats if they do!
Where can I find Donors?
The Fundraising Team cover the costs of the platform and payment processing fees, so that Project Creators always get 100% of the funds donated to the project.
Does it cost anything to post on Reading Fundspace?
No. Not a penny.
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 it’s been published and videos cannot be included in project Updates, so if you want to include a video plan ahead and get it ready before you go live.
Any advice on what makes a great video?
What types of video can I use?
How large can my video's file size be?
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.
What are Updates?
The best way to keep in touch with your supporters is through the Updates function on your Reading Fundspace page. An update is a bit like a post on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter. It’s a quick way of letting everyone who’s made a gift or is following your project know about developments and how you're getting on.
When you post an update, it adds a section to the project, but also emails your supporters too. Regular updates show anyone viewing your project that you are committed to it and that there is someone with a personality behind it. If they like what they see they are more likely to tell their friends about you.
What media can I use in Updates?
You can add images, but not videos.
Will Donors know if I've posted an Update?
Yes. They will be notified automatically.
If my project is successful when will I receive the funds?
We aim to deliver your funds to you as soon as possible after the end date, but please be aware that it can sometimes take up to 8 weeks.
How will I access the funding I raise?
You cannot access any funds until after your project completion date. How your funds are delivered will depend on the nature of your project:
• If your project is related to an academic department, school or faculty of the University, funds will be internally transferred to your department. You will need to supply a project code - please ask your departmental administrator for this.
• If your project is run by or for a society or club affiliated with the Reading Students’ Union, the funds will be transferred to your society’s account.
• If you are a student working independently you will have to supply the relevant banking details when prompted to do so.
What is my responsibility for answering questions from Donors?
Donors will ask you questions about your project. They may want more information on your rewards or 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 something unexpected means you can’t complete your project, you must notify the Reading Fundspace administrators immediately. However, please be aware that cancelling could damage your reputation and that of the university, so please do not do it lightly.
You can cancel a project by informing us using our contact form. We will notify your Donors, but you should reach out to them too. It’s important to thank those that pledged their support.
What if I can't deliver a reward?
Get in touch with your Supporter(s) immediately. Creators who are honest and open will find Supporters to be far more forgiving. You may be asked to provide a different reward. In very rare instances, a Supporter may request a refund.
Sponsoring a Project
Can I be a Donor?
Yes. Anybody can be a Supporter of a project.
How can I get more info about a project?
You can contact the Project Creator directly through their profile or project page. If you have already supported 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.
How do I make a donation?
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.
When will I be charged?
The site uses Paypal Instant Payments to process payments and is available in more than 200 countries/regions. You don’t need to be registered with PayPal to make a transaction. The site accepts all major payment cards.
Payment is taken by PayPal on the day you make your transaction.
How can I add Gift Aid to my donation?
Gift Aid is a scheme that is only applicable to UK taxpayers. When you make a donation to a project, we will ask you if you are eligible and for you to provide all the details required. The University of Reading will then claim back the Gift Aid tax relief.
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a tax relief available to UK registered and exempt charities, like us. To qualify, donations must come from a UK taxpayer. The amount of Gift Aid that can be reclaimed on a donation depends on the value of the reward being provided by the Project Creator.
What happens if a project does not achieve its minimum needed?
If a project does not meet it’s minimum, the Project Creator must then think carefully about the next steps and keep you closely informed. In some circumstances it might be possible for the Project Creator to still carry out their project but on a smaller scale. Supporters who made donations will be given the choice to either support the revised project, or to receive a refund if things can’t go ahead.
Can I donate anonymously?
Yes. When you make a donation you will be given the option of displaying:
- your name and the value of your gift;
- just your name; or
- remaining completely anonymous 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 information about me do you give to the Project Creator?
Project Creators see your username, the size of your donation, and the reward you've selected. If the project is successful and reaches it's minimum target, we'll also give the Project Creator your email address so that they can contact you regarding your rewards.
Will you notify me if a project I'm sponsoring is successful?
Yes. You will receive a status update email when the project reaches its end date.
Can I change my donation?
You will not be allowed to amend an existing donation but you can add another one if you'd like to donate more.
Can I cancel my donation?
When you make a donation you make a commitment to that Project Creator and your payment is processed immediately.
Please use the Contact Form if you wish to discuss cancelling your donation.
Can I change the reward I selected?
Sorry, no. Creators need to be able to manage the quantity of their rewards so changes could cause problems for them. You can make another donation if there is a reward you particularly want.
Can I get a reward if I live in a different country?
Yes. But Donors are encouraged to select a higher donation level to counter the postage and packaging cost incurred to the Project Creators in the process of sending out rewards.
When will my reward be delivered?
If a project achieves its minimum needed, your reward will be delivered at the approximate delivery date stated on the Creator's project page. If you would like more information, you can contact the Creator directly through their profile or project page.
What do I do if the rewards haven't yet been delivered?
The delivery of rewards is a tough part of the process for Creators, especially where there are large numbers of rewards to be send out. Project Creators will communicate with you to provide updates on when rewards can be expected. We ask for your understanding here. However, if you wish to inquire further, you can contact the Creator directly through their profile or project page.