Frequently Asked Questions

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding transforms small contributions from a large number of people, usually via the internet, into funding that can launch a particular project or campaign.

How does crowdfunding work at the University of Chicago?

The University of Chicago is proud to present a University-supported crowdfunding platform available to members of the UChicago community to raise funds for programs and projects initiated and led by students, faculty, and others affiliated with the University, including staff and alumni. Managed by the Office of Alumni Relations & Development, this tool collects donations, builds awareness, and fosters social sharing of the many initiatives that the University community has to offer.

Who can raise funds on the University’s crowdfunding platform?

Only current University of Chicago students, faculty, staff, and alumni are eligible to apply for fundraising through the crowdfunding platform. All projects must have a University sponsor (faculty member, staff member, or Recognized Student Organization) to facilitate the distribution of funds raised.

Who can contribute to campaigns?

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

How do I contribute to a campaign?

Find the campaign page for the initiative you would like to contribute to and click "Make a donation." You will be asked for a contribution amount and credit card information. You can provide additional support by telling your friends and family about a campaign you are interested in, or by spreading the word across your social networks.

What methods of payment does the University of Chicago accept?

For crowdfunding campaigns, credit card payments through a specific campaign page are preferred.

Is there a minimum or a maximum I can contribute?

No. Every gift counts.

If I contribute, when is my credit card charged?

Immediately upon donation.

Is my contribution tax deductible?

Yes, your contribution is a gift to the University of Chicago and is tax deductible as allowed by law. You will receive a tax deductible receipt for the entire amount of your donation. Funds contributed are then transferred for use by the specified project.

Does the University of Chicago store my credit card information?

No, the University’s crowdfunding arm does not store any payment or credit card information.

Is my contribution amount publicly displayed?

Yes, both your name and contribution amount will be displayed unless you choose “keep my pledge anonymous” when making your contribution.

Can I request to make an anonymous donation?

Yes, when completing the checkout process you can indicate that you would like to remain anonymous. Simply check the box next to “Keep my pledge anonymous.”

How does a campaign receive its funding?

The campaign teams will be able to access funds through a designated funding account set up once the funding period has ended.

When will a campaign receive funds?

Campaigns will receive their funds once the funding period has ended (typically 30 to 45 days after the start of the funding period).

Can I share that I contributed to a campaign through my social media accounts?

Yes. After you make a contribution, you will be taken to a thank-you page with a button that will allow you to share your contribution with your social networks right from the page.

You can also share a campaign’s URL directly on social media, or use the share button on each campaign page.

What rewards can I receive for my contribution?

No rewards are available on our platform at this time.

Can I get a refund for a contribution I made?

Refunds must be requested in writing to crowdfunding@uchicago.edu within 7 days of donating to a fund. In emergencies or extraordinary circumstances, refunds may be granted after 7 days post-donation by writing to crowdfunding@uchicago.edu as soon as possible. Telephone requests will not be honored.

How do I know what percentage of my contribution actually goes to the campaign?

Simple: 100 percent of the funds raised will be used by the campaign to which you have contributed. Each campaign has a detailed budget breakdown and a section on “use of funds” in their campaign description pages on the crowdfunding website.

How do contributors know that their contributions will be used for the campaign that they gave to?

Also simple: 100 percent of your contribution will go only to the campaign(s) you have chosen to support. Each campaign has a designated fund set up by the organization’s accounting department, which is monitored by an assigned staff and/or faculty sponsor for each campaign.

How will I know if and when the campaign I contribute to reaches its goal?

You can always check back on the campaign page to watch funding progress. You can also sign up for updates or follow the campaign on social media. You will receive an email when the campaign's 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.” If a campaign is fortunate enough to exceed its funding goal, the additional funds will be used to help the team reach the campaign stretch goals as identified in their campaign pages on the University’s crowdfunding website.

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.

Can I ask questions about campaigns?

Absolutely! Just click the "Ask a Question" button at the bottom of the Campaign Owner box. Your question will be sent to the campaign creator.

Can I sign up for email alerts to receive campaign updates?

Supporters of a campaign will receive emails whenever the campaign creator posts an update, or when the campaign funding period ends.