UC Davis Policy Regarding the Use of External Crowdfunding Sites to Solicit Gifts
UC Davis has determined to test a pilot program using crowdfunding for one year. This is not a method to be used for standard UC Davis annualized giving, donor outreach, or other typical University Development related operations. This is an option that is solely to be used for specific academic research projects needing one-time funding.
UC Davis faculty and staff researchers that wish to use crowdfunding as a means of soliciting private support for their projects that further the mission of UC Davis and support its Principles of Community are encouraged to use the university vendor(s) that have been retained for crowdfunding. This compliance will ensure the project is branded appropriately for UC Davis and that the donor’s gifts are tax deductible under the UC Davis Foundation tax exempt status or the pass-through charity used by the vendor (FirstGiving). This will also assure that no tax liability accrues to the initiator as a result of receiving the funds personally.
Determination of vendors, both the retained vendor and any requested alternatives, is made by Development and Alumni Relations - Advancement Services which is also the office of record for private support to UC Davis.
Crowdfunding sites provide a means to raise money for a specific goal in a limited time frame.
UC Davis researchers (primarily faculty, post-docs, and graduate students) may have small projects in need of funding that will not attract the attention of or meet the criteria required by large funders such as foundations, corporations, or individuals of high net worth.
In general, charitable gifts for the benefit of any UC entity are, by UC policy, to be given directly to the campus (via the Regents) or the campus foundation, without a middle man. That said, crowdfunding sites offer an economical means for researchers to effectively market information about their innovative projects, and to communicate them broadly via social media in a cost-effective and streamlined manner that is currently not available to them within the University.
Crowdfunding sites charge fees to facilitate the receipt of monetary donations. Unless an institutionally sponsored crowdfunding platform is used, funds raised would be received directly by the requestor, creating personal income and the related tax liability, and not providing the donors with the tax deductible benefit of a gift to a bona fide 501(c)3 charity.
Simplified 5% Platform Fee
- Starting on July 15, Indiegogo will be rolling out a flat 5% platform fee.
Flat Transaction Fees
- Starting on July 15, every contribution process via credit card will have a flat transaction fee of 3% plus 30 cents for payment processing.
- For additional information, please see Indiegogo's FAQ.