What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is an innovative approach to fundraising. This method allows individuals to raise money through the collective efforts of friends and family. ACT is the official crowdfunding platform of the University of North Dakota Foundation.

How does crowdfunding work?

To be successful with this tool, students and members of the faculty and staff need to utilize their social networks to solicit donations toward their project. Before you decide to crowdfund, it’s important to make a 100 percent daily commitment to your project throughout its promotion and beyond its completion. Regardless of whether you meet your goal or not, you will keep the funds that you raise.

Who can use the crowdfunding platform?

Any student club/organization, faculty member, or staff member associated with the University of North Dakota may use ACT to raise funds for a university-related project or activity. You must be a current student, faculty member, or staff member from initiation through completion of a crowdfunding project.

Should I crowdfund?

Make sure you understand the basics of crowdfunding before undertaking a project. Be sure to understand the timeline and the amount of work required for a project to be successful. Crowdfunding is a deceivingly time intensive process.

What projects are eligible for crowdfunding?

The crowdfunding initiative must be charitable in nature. A crowdfunding initiative can be about anything, but it is crucial in your application to clearly demonstrate how your initiative will improve teaching, learning, or the student experience at the University of North Dakota and in the surrounding community. The goal of crowdfunding is to exhibit the quality of work done by students, the faculty and staff at UND.

What projects do NOT qualify for ACT eligibility?

Projects funding individual needs—for example, tuition, textbooks, or rent—are not eligible for ACT. Projects seeking to use UND intellectual property or to support a university business spinoff are not eligible. Projects that promote a specific religion, ideological viewpoint, or political bias are not eligible.

What is the process for getting a project live on ACT?

  1. To participate, you must have a well-defined idea, a clear plan, a good team – be sure to include students. Participants can be alumni, parents, family, or friends. The plan must also designate the fundraising goal and include a timeline, a good story, and some graphics/videos. If you are able to clearly identify all of these components, then it’s time to fill out an application!
  2. Contact the UND Alumni Association & Foundation at to request a project review meeting and application.
  3. Once the meeting is complete and the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation team for final approval.
  4. Once final approval is complete, if approved, project team leaders will have 30 days to prepare the needed story, graphics and videos.
  5. Once everything on the checklist has been completed and all collateral materials and communication and marketing strategies are ready, the campaign will prepare to go live. Keep in mind that approval of a project does not mean that the project will immediately go live. Projects take a minimum of 30 days of prep and build work before reaching their go live date.

Are there any fees?

Funds raised through ACT are subject to standard fees by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation. Keep this in mind when calculating your goals. It is best to plan for a buffer of 8-10% in fees and other expenses. You can review the fee policy here.

How do I promote a live project on ACT?

Promotion is critical to a crowdfunding project’s success. Crowdfunding is most effective when a project is marketed with photos, videos, and social networking. Once your project is live on the site, it’s time for your digital marketing strategy to kick in. You need to promote your networks both online and off to solicit donations. It is your responsibility to follow through with your marketing plan. This will make a big difference for your project and will attract your potential donors! Promotion of your project can be as simple as asking your group to go to the project page and share using the links provided or ask them to send the project out via email to family and friends. The more promotion and interaction with your project, the greater the chances are of success.

What happens when the project reaches it completion date?

Once your project reaches completion, a follow-up meeting will be set within 7-14 days to review the project's results. You will also be able to start using the funds collected or the contingency plan will kick-in if you did not reach your goal.

Do we have to keep our donors updated after the project has ended?

Yes! Once you have reached your completion date, you are still required to talk to your donors. This is the thank-you phase—AKA “stewardship.” Keeping your donors regularly informed fosters better relations and more successful projects. The team leaders are responsible for thanking individual donors and keeping donors up-to-date. Please be sure to contact your donors every time you buy something with their funds! They want to know how their money is being used. Donors should be thanked immediately after making a gift.

Donors may also ask you questions about your crowdfunding initiative. Please be sure to designate a team member as the point of contact for questions. All questions should be answered in a prompt and timely manner. They may ask about your rewards, updates, use of funds, and so forth. In case you see the same question asked repeatedly, think about sending a group update to tackle an ongoing issue. 

These donors will be your biggest supporters going forward. Please treat them with respect and be sure to nurture these relationships—you never know when you will need them for future funding needs! Be sure they receive the rewards you pledged on time and are kept informed of your team’s progress.

When do we get our funds?

It may take as long as two weeks to receive your funds after your project deadline has been reached. For fund disbursement procedures, please reference the UND Alumni Association & Foundation Fund Policy and the Request for Payment Form. If you have further questions, your department head or Dean should also be able to assist or you can call and talk with our finance department at 701-777-2611.