USCROWDFUNDING Basics: USCROWDFUNDING 101
What is USCROWDFUNDING?
Every project on USCROWDFUNDING must be creating something new to share with others. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.
USCROWDFUNDING does not allow projects to fundraise for charity or offer financial incentives. Check our rules for more details.
What are the basics?
A project is a finite work with a clear goal that you’d like to bring to life. Think albums, books, or films. The funding goal is the amount of money that a creator needs to complete their project.
Funding on USCROWDFUNDING is all-or-nothing. No one will be charged for a pledge towards a project unless it reaches its funding goal. This way, creators always have the budget they scoped out before moving forward.
A creator is the person or team behind the project idea, working to bring it to life.
Backers are folks who pledge money to join creators in bringing projects to life.
Rewards are a creator’s chance to share a piece of their project with their backer community. Typically, these are one-of-a-kind experiences, limited editions, or copies of the creative work being produced.
If you want to know more about how it works, try browsing around and looking at some of the projects on the site — you can start right here. If you’re curious about starting a project, our Creator Handbook can give you a great overview.
What is USCROWDFUNDING for?
Everything on USCROWDFUNDING must be a project. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.
USCROWDFUNDING does not allow projects to fundraise for charity or offer financial incentives. Check out our rules for details.
Why is funding all-or-nothing?
All-or-nothing funding is a core part of USCROWDFUNDING and it has a number of advantages:
It’s less risk for everyone. If you need $5,000, it’s tough having $1,000 and a bunch of people expecting you to complete a $5,000 project.
It motivates. If people want to see a project come to life, they’re going to spread the word.
It works. Of the projects that have reached 20% of their funding goal, 81% were successfully funded. Of the projects that have reached 60% of their funding goal, 98% were successfully funded. Projects either make their goal or find little support. There’s little in-between.
Why do people back projects?
Many backers are rallying around their friends’ projects. Some are supporting a new effort from someone they’ve long admired. Some are just inspired by a new idea, while others are motivated to pledge by a project’s rewards — a copy of what’s being produced, a limited edition, or a custom experience related to the project.
Backing a project is more than just pledging funds to a creator. It’s pledging your support to a creative idea that you want to see exist in the world.
Where do backers come from?
The majority of initial funding usually comes from the fans and friends of each project. If they like it, they’ll spread the word to their friends, and so on. Press, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and USCROWDFUNDING itself are also big sources of traffic and pledges. Altogether, millions of people visit USCROWDFUNDING every week.
What do backers get in return?
Backers that support a project on USCROWDFUNDING get an inside look at the creative process, and help that project come to life. They also get to choose from a variety of unique rewards offered by the project creator. Rewards vary from project to project, but often include a copy of what is being produced (CD, DVD, book, etc.) or an experience unique to the project.
Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work, and USCROWDFUNDING cannot be used to offer equity, financial returns, or to solicit loans.
What are the fees?
If a project is successfully funded, USCROWDFUNDING applies a 5% fee to the funds collected for creators. Our payments processor will also apply payment processing fees (roughly 3-5%). The complete fee breakdowns are available here.
If funding isn’t successful, there are no fees.
Who is USCROWDFUNDING?
We are an independent company based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We spend our time improving the site, answering questions from backers and creators, and finding great new projects to share with you. Every day is an adventure — we get to experience projects as they happen! Say hello or come work with us!
USCROWDFUNDING Basics: Accountability
Who is responsible for completing a project as promised?
It’s the project creator’s responsibility to complete their project. USCROWDFUNDING is not involved in the development of the projects themselves.
USCROWDFUNDING does not guarantee projects or investigate a creator’s ability to complete their project. On USCROWDFUNDING, backers (you!) ultimately decide the validity and worthiness of a project by whether they decide to fund it.
How do backers know if a project will follow through?
Launching a USCROWDFUNDING is a very public act, and creators put their reputations at risk when they do.
Backers should look for creators who share a clear plan for how their project will be completed, and who have a history of bringing their creative ventures and other projects to fruition. Creators are encouraged to share links and as much background information as possible so backers can make informed decisions about the projects they support.
If a creator has no demonstrable experience in doing something like their project or doesn’t share key information, backers should take that into consideration. Does the creator include links to any websites that show work related to the project, or past projects? Does the creator appear in the video? Have they connected via Facebook?
Don’t hesitate to request information from a creator. You can always reach out before pledging via the “Contact me” button on the project page.
How do I know a project creator is who they claim they are?
Perhaps you are friends with the creator, or you heard about the project from a trusted source.
Looking for more information? Read through the description and watch the video to get a better sense of the person or team behind the project.
In the creator bio section of each project, you can find additional resources, like links to websites, relevant background information, and in some cases, a connected Facebook account. For projects that have launched since May 19, 2014, you’ll also find a verified name with a check mark next to it. This person is the creator of the project or a part of the company or team behind it, and they verified their identity through an automated process.
If you have more questions, you can send the creator a message to ask them.
What should creators do if they’re having problems completing their project?
If problems come up, creators are expected to post a project update explaining the situation. Sharing the story, speed bumps and all, is crucial. Most backers support projects because they want to see something happen and they’d like to be a part of it. Creators who are honest and transparent will usually find backers to be understanding. It’s not uncommon for things to take longer than expected. Sometimes the execution of the project proves more difficult than the creator had anticipated. If a creator is making a good faith effort to complete their project and is transparent about it, backers should do their best to be patient and understanding while demanding continued accountability from the creator.
What is a creator obligated to do once their project is funded?
When a project is successfully funded, the creator is responsible for completing the project and fulfilling each reward. Their fundamental obligation to backers is to finish all the work that was promised. Once a creator has done so, they’ve fulfilled their obligation to their backers.
Can USCROWDFUNDING refund the money if a project is unable to fulfill?
No, USCROWDFUNDING doesn’t issue refunds. Transactions are between backers and creators directly. Creators receive all funds (less fees) soon after their campaign ends.
Why can’t USCROWDFUNDING guarantee projects?
We started USCROWDFUNDING as a new way for creators and audiences to work together to make things. Many traditional funding systems are risk-averse and profit-focused, and tons of great ideas never get a chance. USCROWDFUNDING opens the door to a world full of creative possibilities, one where anyone can help decide which bright idea will become tomorrow’s reality. USCROWDFUNDING is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative ideas. Many of the projects you see on USCROWDFUNDING are in earlier stages of development and are looking for a community to bring them to life. That USCROWDFUNDING allows creators to take risks and attempt to create new things is a feature, not a bug.
What does USCROWDFUNDING do to protect its community?
We have a dedicated Integrity team that monitors the system for suspicious activity. This team screens reports that are sent to us by our community and they take action if they find something that does not align with our rules.
It’s important to remember that USCROWDFUNDING is built on an all-or-nothing funding system. No one is charged until a project meets its funding goal and the funding period ends. This gives backers time to fully evaluate a project, and it also gives our Integrity team some time to look into any concerns raised by backers.
For more information about how USCROWDFUNDING works, visit our Trust & Safety page.
USCROWDFUNDING Basics: Getting involved
How do I start a project?
Anyone that meets our creator requirements is eligible to launch a project on USCROWDFUNDING.
Just head to our start page to begin building your project. You can find tips on structuring and running your project in our Creator Handbook and Resources Compendium, and refer to our rules to make sure your project idea is a good fit. Meanwhile, feel free to save your project as a draft and return to finish it up or submit it for review at a later date.
Is there a place I can download the USCROWDFUNDING logo?
Yes! The USCROWDFUNDING Brand Assets page has hi-resolution versions of the USCROWDFUNDING logo and other assets for creators, backers, and members of the press to download.
If I have more questions, what should I do?
Have questions that weren’t answered here? More answers to Frequently Asked Questions are available for both creators and backers. If you’re a member of the press looking to reach USCROWDFUNDING, you can visit the Pressroom for lots of great resources. If you’d like support for a specific issue, you can also reach out to our Community Support team here. Thanks!
I’m interested in partnering with USCROWDFUNDING. How can I get in touch?
On occasion, USCROWDFUNDING will partner with organizations, cultural institutions, or other entities that are aligned with our creative interests. If you’d like to explore that sort of partnership, you can reach us at partnerships@USCROWDFUNDING.com. We’ll follow up if it feels like a good fit!
Please note that USCROWDFUNDING is not undertaking any sponsorship opportunities at this time.
Does USCROWDFUNDING have a responsible security disclosure procedure?
We sure do. If you’ve discovered a potential bug or vulnerability with USCROWDFUNDING.com, please contact us here and we’ll help make sure the information gets shared with our engineering team.
USCROWDFUNDING Basics: Reporting a project
How can I report something to USCROWDFUNDING?
If you receive any messages that appear to be spam or outside of our guidelines, please mark them as spam to flag them for our team. Creators can also mark comments as spam.
While we’re not able to respond to each individual report, we do have a dedicated team that investigates every report that we receive. We appreciate you bringing anything out of the ordinary to our attention!
How do I report a copyright violation?
If you’re not sure whether material on USCROWDFUNDING infringes your copyright, please talk with a lawyer before filing a complaint with us. Misrepresenting that material infringes your copyright may subject you to liability for damages, including attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by project creators or other parties. If you’ve spoken with a lawyer and think your material is being infringed, try contacting the project creator directly using the “Contact me” button on the project page. If that doesn’t work, you can submit a complaint using this form.
For more information, please take a look at our Copyright and DMCA Policy.
How do I report a trademark violation?
If you believe a USCROWDFUNDING project is infringing on a trademark you hold, you can report a trademark violation by emailing copyright@USCROWDFUNDING.com. We’ll evaluate and respond to every report we receive.
Please review our Trademark Policy for more information about what details to include in your report.
USCROWDFUNDING Basics: The USCROWDFUNDING App
What are the OS/device requirements for the USCROWDFUNDING app?
The USCROWDFUNDING iOS app requires OS 9.0 or later. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The USCROWDFUNDING app for Android requires Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or higher.
Where can I download the USCROWDFUNDING app?
You can get the USCROWDFUNDING iOS app through Apple’s App Store.
If you’re an Android user, you can head to the Play Store.
How can I manage my mobile notifications?
To manage your mobile notifications, select the “Me” icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the app and tap “Settings.” From this page, you’ll be able to manage your mobile and email notification preferences. If the mail or mobile icon for a certain category is green, that means that you have notifications turned on.
Can I start a project from the app?
Sorry, but it’s currently not possible to start or edit a project from our mobile app. Please get started from your computer whenever you have the chance.
Once your project is live, creators and project collaborators using the iOS app will be able to post updates, access the project dashboard, and message backers.
How can I update my profile in the app?
It’s not currently possible to edit your profile from the USCROWDFUNDING app.
If you wish to make any changes to your profile, including your profile name, email address, profile picture, biography, location, and website, you can do so from any compatible web browser. Just head to your profile settings.
Still need help? Contact us here.