Crowdfunding Guide for Community Supporters

Thanks for your interest in fundraising for UCSF!

Crowdfunding is a wonderful way to honor a loved one or mentor, support disease research, or help fund a promising breakthrough. The money you raise will have a profound impact on today’s lives and tomorrow’s health care.

Before you get started, please review our crowdfunding guidelines to ensure that your project is eligible.

You may also want to ask yourself a few simple questions designed to help you understand if crowdfunding is right for you.

Crowdfunding Guidelines and Resources

Project Eligibility

Projects must:

  • Support UCSF’s programs and initiatives.
  • Be nonprofit and legal in nature.
  • Comply with UCSF’s mission.
  • Not be redirected to a third-party, external charity or other nonprofit. (UCSF cannot act as a “pass-through” entity to provide funding to other charities.)

UCSF’s crowdfunding committee has sole discretion to determine the eligibility of participating projects on the crowdfunding platform. The crowdfunding committee may discontinue an active fundraiser at any time if a project fails to comply with these guidelines.

Projects should have specific goals and be driven by tangible accomplishments – for example, honoring a loved one or caregiver, supporting disease research, or funding a promising breakthrough. Projects without a specific goal are generally less successful and may not qualify for their own project page.

Required Collateral

When applying for UCSF crowdfunding, project owners agree to complete a crowdfunding campaign application and provide the following:

  • A project description and case for support
  • High-resolution images and/or video, including images suitable for social sharing and the crowdfunding home page
  • Bios and photos of project leaders
  • Project updates during and after the campaign
  • Ongoing outreach to promote the project
  • Personal thank-you messages after the campaign 

All content on project pages will be approved by the UCSF Foundation, which has the right to edit or request edits at any point in the campaign.

Marketing a Campaign

It is the project owner or team’s responsibility to market their campaign and provide outreach. The larger the crowdfunding project group, the more likely it is to succeed. Groups that achieve 30 percent of their goal within the first 48 hours of a campaign are more likely to reachtheir total goal. Project leads are responsible for promoting their campaigns via social media, email, phone calls, and/or on-campus events. They also must prepare personal thank-you messages to donors and submit regular updates on their projects. Crowdfunders are solely responsible for identifying and reaching out to prospects. The UCSF Foundation does not provide contact data on patients, alumni, faculty members, or students. We may request a list of potential donors before the project’s approval or launch date to determine HIPAA compliance, project eligibility, and goal capacity.

Tax Receipts

We will issue official tax receipts to donors through the ScaleFunder crowdfunding platform.

Offline Gifts

Most gifts will be raised online, but some offline funds may be used toward the project’s goal. Such funds must be delivered to the UCSF Foundation for deposit to ensure that the donor receives proper credit and receipts.

Eligible offline gifts include, but are not limited to:

  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Gifts of stock
  • Other funds awarded or received during the crowdfunding campaign 

Ineligible gifts include:

  • Pledges
  • Bequests
  • Gifts already allocated to another fund
  • Matching gifts, or money raised through bake-sales, car washes, or other “give-to-get” fundraising

All gifts must be collected before the project's deadline. 

Donation Minimums

There is a $25 minimum donation through the crowdfunding platform.

Campaign Length

Most projects are hosted on the crowdfunding platform for one month. However, shorter campaigns tend to drive urgency and perform strongly. The same group may not fundraise in consecutive campaigns, but may be eligible for future crowdfunding efforts.

Fundraising Goals

If the project is not fully funded by its closing date, any money raised still will be allocated to the project. Project managers should notify their donors and let them know how their donations will be spent.

Contact Us

Karolina Zatz
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