Alternative options to consider
Crowdfunding can be adopted by academic researchers to gain supplementary funding, to promote research or to support start-up projects. There are a range of crowdfunding platforms available including:
- The University of Sydney integrated crowdfunding platform. Currently this is the only crowdfunding platform approved to allow donors to receive tax deductible receipts from the University of Sydney.
- Experiment, a research-specific platform for funding scientific discoveries across a range of disciplines from mathematics to art and design. View an example of a successful campaign by a University of Sydney researcher.
- Pozible, a broad platform open to all. View an example of a successful campaign.
How much work does it require?
Crowdfunding can require a significant investment of time and effort and not every project is right for crowdfunding. Consider:
- Does the project have a specific, measurable target that is interesting to a broad audience and has a sense of urgency?
- Can the project be explained clearly and succinctly to a general audience?
- Are you able to commit to activities such as drafting copy, creating videos, writing updates and thanking donors?
- How much money are you seeking to raise? For some platforms, such as Experiment, funds are only paid if the set target is reached.
- Are there existing networks that you can exploit to promote the campaign, such as a large social media following? Promotion is key to a successful campaign.
(Source: Sydney Development Fund)
Murray, J., (2016, October 25). Crowdfunding: The new buzzword for academics needing research money. The Guardian.
Vachelard, J., Gambarra-Soares, T., Augustini, G., Riul, P., & Maracaja-Coutinho, V. (2016). A guide to scientific crowdfunding. PLoS Biology, 14(2).