FAQ's for Charities

FAQ's for Supporters

What organisations can use WildCrowd?

To use WildCrowd your organisation must be registered with either The Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and your charitable objects must include the environment, conservation and/or animal welfare.

See Terms of use for more information.

My organisation is registered as a charity outside the UK can I still use WildCrowd?

At the moment we can only accept charities that are registered in the UK, but we hope to extend our service to charities and universities in some other countries in the future. If this is of interest please contact us and we'll keep you informed.

My university is based in the UK but it isn't registered as a charity, can I still use WildCrowd?

Unfortunately not, we only accept universities that are registered as charities in the UK.

Why can't I start my campaign immediately?

You must register with WildCrowd before you can start a campaign. When we receive your application to register we'll undertake some checks to make sure your organisation fits with Terms of use. We aim to get back to you within two working days and once your registration is confirmed you can start your campaign immediately.

Before you register you should also read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

What if I am running an emergency appeal, can I speed up registration?

Give us a call on 020 3289 2368  or email us at info@wildcrowd.org and we'll do our best to help. We can also highlight emergency appeals on the homepage if you let us know.

How much does it cost to use WildCrowd?

We charge a fee of 5% on any money you raise through WildCrowd and our payment provider, Paypal, also  charges a payment processing fee, which is currently 1.4% + 20p per transaction for registered charities (check their website for up-to-date information about their charges)

Overall we suggest that you make a provision of about 7.5% for fees when you set the fundraising target for your campaign.

There is no charge to use WildCrowd to find volunteers and citizen scientists or to request non- financial donations.

Why do I need to have a Paypal account?

Donations to your campaign will go directly into your Paypal account after fees are deducted. We have chosen to work with Paypal because we don't want to hold your money. It's easy to set up a Paypal account, if you don't have one already just check their website for details.

Do you charge VAT?

Yes, unfortunately we are obliged to charge VAT on our fees.

Can I reclaim Gift Aid on donations to my campaign?

Yes, where the donor agrees we'll collect the information you need to claim gift aid and make it available on your dashboard. This information can only be used to claim gift aid; you can't use it for marketing purposes or to contact a donor for any other reason.

You say you are a not-for-profit, what does that mean?

WildCrowd is registered as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee which means it has no shareholders.  Our aim is to generate enough income to cover our running costs and improve our service. If, at some point in the future, we make a profit we will use it to reduce our fees and support the charities that use the platform.

I'd like to contact the people who donated money to my campaign, can I do this?

Protecting the privacy of users is our priority, which is why we don't share any data without their permission.

If the donor agrees we'll supply you with the information you need to collect gift aid on their donation, we'll also provide the name and email address of anyone who volunteers or donates goods so that you can contact them to agree next steps. However, in both these instances, the information cannot be used for any other purpose.

If you have a membership scheme you might want to consider offering membership as a reward so that you can establish an ongoing relationship with the donor.

See our terms and conditions and privacy policy for more information.

If I can't contact donors how can I thank them?

We will automatically send a thank you message to everyone who donates to your campaign which you can personalise. We will also email supporters regular updates on its' progress including any updates you post on your campaign page and a copy of your closing report.

How can I get in touch with volunteers and people who donate goods?

When someone volunteers or donates goods we'll send you an email alert and their name and email address will appear in your dashboard. After receiving an alert you must contact them within 48hrs to thank them for their offer and agree next steps.

If you don't need to contact volunteers or citizen scientists directly you can provide a link that will take them to a website or landing page.

Do I have to accept volunteers and goods?

It's important to specify exactly what you need on your campaign page, for example what skills or experience volunteers should to have or where goods need to be delivered.

You don't have to accept volunteers or goods if they don't meet your requirements, but it's important to thank people for their offer and explain why you can't accept it.

Do I have to offer rewards for donors?

No you don't have to offer rewards unless you want to.

Everyone who donates money to your campaign will be eligible to participate in the WildCrowd reward scheme and can choose a reward from one of our partners. Donors will be sent a unique promotional code to redeem directly with the company.

If you don't offer rewards, you can set impact levels instead. For example if you are raising money for a vaccination programme you might want to set an impact level of £20 which would cover the cost of ten vaccinations.

How do you choose companies to be part of the reward scheme?

We choose the companies in the reward scheme based on their ethical values and their appeal to our audience. Rewards can include money off vouchers, free samples or even invitations to previews and other events.

Can I offer my own rewards?

Yes, you just need to fill in a simple form with details of the rewards you want to offer and we'll set it up on the system as soon as your campaign is live.

What do I need to do when someone claims a reward?

We'll send you a list of promotional codes and, when someone claims one of your rewards, we'll send them a code to redeem with you directly. It's your responsibility to organise delivery of the reward and to ensure that the donor receives it promptly and in good condition. You are also responsible for dealing with any problems or complaints.

You can limit the number of rewards you offer and set a minimum donation threshold. If a donor doesn't want one of the rewards you are offering they can choose something from the WildCrowd reward scheme instead.

Can I opt out of the WildCrowd reward scheme?

No, donors to all campaigns are eligible for the WildCrowd reward scheme.

What happens if I don't reach my target?

After fees are deducted, you'll receive all the money you raise on WildCrowd even if you don't meet your fundraising target. However, if there is a shortfall or excess of more than 10%, you must post an update on your campaign page to tell donors what you are going to do about it, so it's important to have a contingency plan ready before you start a campaign. Typically there are three options:

  • Scale back or expand the scope of your project
  • Add money from another source to make up any shortfall
  • Delay the project and run another fundraising campaign

It's obviously very important to use the money you raise for the project you specified otherwise you risk undermining the trust of supporters. 

If you have explored all the options and you can't go ahead with the project, you must contact us immediately to let us know and agree an alternative use for the money you did raise, which should be as close to the original plan as possible. As with other changes to the project you must then post an update on your campaign page to let supporters know.

Can I return money to donors if I don't raise enough to go ahead with my project?

We make it clear to donors in our terms and conditions that charities will receive all the money they raise whether or not they hit their target. Because donations go directly to the charity's Paypal account, we can't offer refunds to donors which is why we advise people to do their own research before making a donation.

Please see the previous question for information about what to do if you don't reach your fundraising  target.

Can I add money from a different source if I don't hit my target?

Yes, but you must post an update on your campaign page to let donors know how much additional funding you have, where it has come from and what it means for delivery of the project.

 At the moment we don't have a mechanism to enable you include money that isn't raised through WildCrowd in your campaign total, but it's a feature we hope to develop if there is enough demand.

Can I use another crowdfunding platform to promote my campaign at the same time?

We advise that you concentrate on one platform at a time or it could be very confusing for your supporters as well as adding significantly to your workload. It will also be more difficult to judge the effectiveness of either campaign.

Why do I need to fill in a closing report?

It's very important to tell supporters how their contributions have been used and what has been achieved, which is why we ask project owners to post a closing report on their campaign page when their project is complete. Sharing this information with your supporters builds trust and makes it more likely that they will support you again.

When you set up your campaign you will be asked to choose when you want to submit your closing report. Generally this should be no more than 18 months after the end of the campaign.

When do I need to complete a closing report?

After you have finished your fundraising campaign you can start to deliver your project. You should post regular updates during the delivery phase to keep supporters updated on your progress. You should also complete a closing report when the delivery of the project is complete to let supporters know what you achieved. If it takes longer than anticipated to implement your project please let us know and we can extend the deadline for your closing report.

Why do I need to promote my campaign?

Promotion is essential if you want your campaign to succeed - you need to reach out to your existing supporters and use social media, partners and local media to tell as many people as possible about what you're doing. You should start talking to existing supporters before your campaing is live and encourage them to make an early donation, once you reach 30% of your target the chances of reaching 100% increase significantly.

 Remember that a crowdfunding campaign is a marathon not a sprint you don't just want a big burst of activity when you launch, you need to keep reminding people that you need their support throughout the campaign.

For more advice on how to promote your campaign and make it a success have a look at our crowdfunding hints and tips.

Will WildCrowd promote my campaign too?

Yes, we'll be using our own promotional channels to raise awareness of the charities and campaigns featured on WildCrowd and to drive traffic to the website but this won't be enough on its own, which is why it's crucially important that you promote your campaign as well.

How much time do I need to spend managing my campaign?

We suggest you try and put aside half an hour a day to post updates, reply to comments and promote your campaign. At a minimum you should earmark some time at least twice a week to promote your campaign and post updates for supporters

What happens when my campaign ends?

The money you raise is transferred to your Paypal account as soon as it has been processed by our payment provider, so you won't have to wait until your campaign is finished to access it.

When your campaign ends you should post an update on your campaign page to thank your supporters and let them know what the next steps are. If you've raised 10% more or less than the fundraising target you must let supporters know what impact this will have. Also make sure that you respond to anyone who has volunteered or donated goods and dispatch any outstanding rewards as quickly as possible.

 The end of the campaign signals the start of the project which is the exciting bit, so make sure you keep supporters engaged with regular progress updates, using pictures and video footage to bring it to life.

How long can I run my campaign for?

You can choose to run your campaign for 30, 60 or 90 days. You should decide based on how much money you need to raise and how many supporters you already have who will contribute. Generally if you are raising a large sum or have fewer supporters it will take longer to reach your target. It’s also important that you have the resources available to actively manage your campaign for its duration.

Why do you only support charities registered in the UK?

We want to give our users the reassurance that the charities that use WildCrowd are regulated by either The Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

In future we hope to expand our service to include charities from other countries where there is a strong regulatory framework.

If you only support charities how can university researchers use WildCrowd?

We accept researchers who are working at a university that is registered with one of the UK charity regulators.

Do you undertake any checks on the charities using WildCrowd?

When a charity applies to use WildCrowd we verify that they are registered with a UK charity regulator. We do not review individual projects, but we do expect charities to adhere to Terms of use.

You should also do your own research before you contribute to a campaign. Donations made via WildCrowd go directly to the charity so we won't be able to offer a refund if you change your mind. See our section on making a donation for more information.

How can I donate to a campaign?

You can make a donation using a credit or debit card via Paypal or using your own Paypal account.

Can I make a donation if I live outside the UK?

Yes, provided you have a Paypal account or a credit or debit card accepted by Paypal.

When does the charity get its money?

The charity will receive the donation as soon as Paypal has processed your payment. We don't hold any money and donations go directly into the charities' own Paypal account once their fees and ours have been deducted.

Unlike some other crowdfunding websites charities don't have to wait until the end of the campaign to receive the money they've raised.

Can I cancel my donation?

Because the money goes directly to the charity we can't offer any refunds. We advise donors to do their own research before making a contribution. There is more information in our section on making a donation.

What happens to my money if a campaign doesn't reach its target?

If a campaign raises significantly more or less than target (+/- 10%) the charity must post an update on their campaign page to let supporters know what they are going to do, this could include scaling back or expanding the scope of the project, adding money from another source or extending the fundraising campaign.

Charities are asked to have a contingency plan when they start their campaign and only in exceptional circumstances would a project not go ahead. In this situation they must agree with us how they will use the money and post an update for supporters.

What fees do you charge?

We charge charities a fee of 5% on the money they raise. Paypal also charges a payment processing fee which is currently 1.4% + 20p per transaction for registered charities. WildCrowd a not-for -profit company limited by guarantee, we don't have shareholders and the income we generate is used to cover our costs and support the website.

There is no charge for charities that use the website to find volunteers and citizen scientists or to request donations of goods like pet food.

Why do you charge a fee if you are a not for profit?

We need to generate enough income to cover our running costs and improve the service we provide for charities, without this we wouldn't be able keep WildCrowd going.  Our aim is to keep our fees as low as possible if we do make a profit we will use it to reduce our fees and to support the charities that use the platform.

Can the charity claim gift aid on my donations?

Yes, if you're a UK taxpayer we'll ask if you want the charity to claim gift aid when you make a donation. If you do we'll need to collect some additional information which we'll share with the charity, they won't be able to use this to contact you or for any other purpose than claiming gift aid.  

How do I volunteer or donate goods?

When you click on the button to volunteer or donate goods you'll be asked to confirm that you are happy for us to share your name and email address with the charity so they can contact you directly. You can also include a message if you'd like to.

We'll send the charity an email to let them know what you have offered and they'll get in touch as soon as possible (usually within two working days) to discuss next steps.  

They won't be able to use your contact information for any other purpose unless you give them your permission.

What if a charity adds me to their mailing list without my permission?

Protecting the privacy of our users is a priority so please let us know if this happens and we will speak to the charity.

You should also get in touch them directly to let them know that you want to be removed from their mailing list.

How can I unsubscribe from WildCrowd Communications?

Login to WildCrowd and click on ‘Account' in the top navigation bar, a drop down will appear, click on ‘your account' and then on the tab for ‘subscriptions', you will see your current subscriptions, for anything you no longer want to receive just untick the box.

When you contribute to a campaign you will automatically receive progress updates, if you no longer want to receive these, or you want to unfollow a campaign, login and go to ‘account' as above, select ‘following' from the drop down menu and you will see all the campaigns you are currently following. To unfollow a campaign just click on the cross in the top right hand corner of the image.

If you have any problems contact us and we will do our best to help.

What is s citizen scientist?

Researchers in environmental and conservation science often rely on members of the public to help them collect and analyse data. As a citizen scientist you could find yourself recording wildlife sightings on an app, collecting samples or analysing images from a camera trap. Generally you don't need any specialist skills and you can even participate in some projects from home.

Will you share my data with other organisations?

There are two situations where we will need to share your information with a charity, but we will only do this with your permission.

  • If you are a UK taxpayer and you would like a charity to claim gift aid on your donation we will collect the information required by the tax office and share it with the charity so they can reclaim it.
  • If you volunteer or donate goods you must agree to share your name and email address with the charity so that they can get in touch to discuss next steps.

The charity concerned can only use the information for this purpose and we won't share your data with any other charities or organisations, including companies that are members of the WildCrowd Reward Scheme.

However please be aware that, because donations go to the charity Paypal account not to WildCrowd, they may receive some contact information  directly. This is not within our control and you should refer to the charities' privacy policy for more information.

Please see our privacy policy for more information or contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

How can I claim a reward?

When you make a financial donation to a campaign on WildCrowd you'll be offered the opportunity to choose a reward if there's one available, we'll then email you a promotional code and instructions about how to redeem it.  In most cases you'll contact the organisation offering the reward directly

We work hard to find nice things for our donors, but please be aware that some rewards may only be available for donations above a certain amount and reward numbers are limited. If you make a donation and there aren't any rewards available please contact us and we'll make sure you get one when we have some more.

Why don't you offer rewards to people who volunteer or donate goods?

The number of rewards is limited and, at the moment, we can't verify that someone has completed a volunteering assignment or donated goods. However, this is something we hope to be able to do in the future.

How do you choose the companies in the reward scheme?

We look for companies that share our values and whose products we think will appeal to the people who visit WildCrowd. We particularly like to support smaller, ethical companies that make great products but don't have big advertising budgets. If you know of any companies like this that might be interested in joining our reward scheme, or even work for one yourself, please get in touch and let us know.

What sort of rewards do you offer?

We know that when you donate to a charity you aren't expecting anything return, but we thought it would be nice to offer some little extras by way of a thank you.

The companies we work with often have small profit margins, so they are limited in what they can give away.  Sometimes rewards are just be money off vouchers, but also look out for free samples and other giveaways. If you want to know when a new reward is added you can sign up for our alert and we'll email you to let you know.

Why don't charities offer their own rewards?

Charities can offer rewards if they want to, but, for smaller charities in particular, this can be time consuming and expensive which is why we've developed our own reward scheme so that donors to charities who can't offer rewards don't miss out.

What if I have a problem claiming my reward?

The responsibility for supplying a reward rests with the company or charity that is offering it, so you should contact them first  if you have a problem. If you aren't getting a response let us know and we will do our best to help.

Will you share my data with the company offering the reward?

No. We will send you a promotional code to give to the company to claim your reward, but we won't share any of your information with them.

Questions we haven't answered?

Contact us at info@wildcrowd.org