Guidelines for Submitting a Project via the OPERAS Crowdfunding Channel
This document is a quick guide to help you easily submit your Social Sciences and Humanities project to the OPERAS’s channel on wemakeit. While wemakeit shares general guidelines on starting a crowdfunding project, this guide explicitly lists the steps that need to be taken by an OPERAS-supported project. If you have any questions, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prepare your campaign and decide on a realistic financial goal. Do you have an idea ready? Or are you currently developing one? Start by visiting the channel and check what information you’ll need to provide. Some important things to think about should be: How much money you need to start/finish your project? With how much money can different kind of backers (=people who donate) realistically support your campaign? Individual backers have different ressources than organisations or institutions. Which rewards can you offer to your audience?
The process of submitting a project usually takes between 2 weeks and 1 month. While preparing, you will be supported by the Wemakeit team to know how to present your project the best way. Some general advice: Show yourself and use a personal approach – that allows people to know who you are and why you decided to crowdfund your project. Simple, but effective and honest communication is key to a successful crowdfunding campaign!
Along with the basic information for the project that will appear on the website of wemakeit you need to send two reference letters to OPERAS or wemakeit by email. The letters must be written by researchers who are not from the same institution as you. It is not possible to submit the letters via the wemakeit platform since they are a requirement specific to the OPERAS channel. They have to be sent via mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Validation process. Two experts from the TRIPLE Advisory Board need to review the proposal before it goes live. The process is quite simple and usually does not take more than a week. The validation process has three potential results: a) the project is considered ‘eligible’; b) ‘ineligible’, but with the option to resubmit after changes based on the OPERAS team’s comments; c) ‘ineligible’ (final decision). In this last case, the campaign can still be run outside of OPERA’s channel, if wanted.
Running the campaign with the support of OPERAS/TRIPLE communities. One of the main distinctions of the OPERAS channel is to offer the support of its community to the researchers who run their campaigns in the channel. Starting and running the campaign, it is also time to start notifying your backers on the campaign’s progress.
Depending on whether the campaign is successful or not:
- Either get the money and start the project or try a different approach with the added awareness that was raised by your crowdfunding campaign. Wemakeit works with the principle of “all or nothing”. That means: You either raise at least the amount you wanted to raise or you don’t receive any money collected and the donations will flow back to the people/institutions who donated.
- If the campaign is successful, keep in mind you’ll need to pay taxes/fees: You won’t receive all of the money you raised. From the amount raised, 4% of the sum are used to cover payment fees and 6% cover the wemakeit fee. These fees only apply in case of a successful campaign. In case your campaign fails, you will not have to pay any of the fees. If and what taxes you have to pay depends on several things: If you received the money as an institution, society or an individual person, if it is considered a donation or revenue, if you are developing a product to sell via the campaign, the amount of money, the country you live/work in, etc. Unfortunately, this also means there is no singular answer to the question regarding taxes, but something that needs to be checked individually.
Launch your project and start working on the results! Don’t forget to communicate with the people who supported your project through their donations: you’ll benefit from creating a community around your project and engage people continuously with your work. Raising awareness for your research is an added advantage for future projects – people will already know you’re capable of gathering the funds and realising your project. Don’t lose the opportunity to keep in touch with those who supported you.
Keeping in mind that OPERAS is an Open Science infrastructure, of course, we ask you to publish the results of your research in Open Access. Besides that, the researcher/leader of the research group must submit a short report to (email@example.com).