Social Backing - FAQ
- Is a funding goal and a deadline required?
Yes. Every Project must have an amount they need to successfully complete the project and be able to fulfill all of the rewards offered. The time to do this in is 1- 28 days. At the end of this period there can only be 2 results:
- Project Successful - If a project has met or surpassed its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are instantly charged and funds go directly to the project creator. Project creators are then responsible for completing the project and delivering rewards as promised.
- Project Unsuccessful - If a project has NOT met its funding goal, all amounts are canceled. No charges are made and no rewards are provided.
- Are rewards required?
Yes, this is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform, which means you need to offer a reward in exchange for funds. These should be rewards that are created by the act of completing your project.
- Is there a maximum for how much a project can raise? What if I exceed my funding goal?
Yes, there is a maximum of $50,000.
- Can I change my funding goal after I launch?
No. Once a project launches, the funding goal cannot be changed.
- Can I change my deadline after I launch?
No. Once a project launches, the end date cannot be changed.
- Can a project be edited after launching?
Yes, you can edit the following content after launching:
- Project description
- Video and image
- Rewards (add new ones or edit those not yet backed)
- Your profile
- Project FAQs
The only things that cannot be edited after launch are:
- The funding goal.
- The project deadline.
- Rewards that have already been selected by a backer.
No. Every project is preserved as it ended. Creators are encouraged to use Project Updates and Project FAQs to add new information to the project’s development.
- Can funding be canceled?
Yes. A project creator has the option to cancel funding. When funding is canceled, all pledges are immediately voided. The project is still accessible though.
- Can a project be deleted?
Not once it has been launched to the public. Projects remain accessible on Social Backing, even if funding is unsuccessful or canceled.
- If I delete my Social Backing account, will my project be deleted?
No, for record keeping, stats and transparency all projects will remain on our server
- Can I run more than one project at once?
Yes you can, however the consequences of doing so are that a) your time is divided and therefore each project has a diminished chance of success and b) your networks you approach for funding are also divided which can weaken funding amounts for each project.
- If my project is unsuccessful can I retry?
Yes, absolutely - make sure you’ve learned from any mistakes from the first time around where it wasn’t successful though, and feel free to contact the Social Backing team for advice if we haven’t already provided it.
- Can I split up funding for the same project into several projects for each stage?
Yes, so long as you meet our guidelines. It would be worth providing new rewards for each stage.
- I’m collaborating on my project with others. Can we all be listed as the project creator?
Each project is linked to only one Social Backing account, but you can add members of your team to the bio, which will show on your project page.
- What happens if a backer’s credit card is declined?
If a credit card is declined, an email is sent to the backer every 48 hours with a link to fix the issue. The backer has seven days to correct the problem. If they do not correct the payment during that seven day period, they are dropped as backers from the project and are no longer eligible to receive rewards.
- How do I know someone won’t steal my idea?
You don’t, the normal rules around protection apply. If you can patent a product then it’s worth doing so. Otherwise you can rely on first mover advantage, due to the success of your project, to be established as a market leader.
- Can I pledge funds to my own project?
Not with a credit card. Any such action is viewed by credit card companies as an attempt to get an illegal cash advance which is strictly prohibited.
- Who is eligible to start a Social Backing project?
To be eligible to start a Social Backing project, you need to satisfy the requirements of PayPal Payments:
- You are 18 years of age or older.
- Have a major credit card.
Projects must also follow the Social Backing Guidelines.
- Is a PayPal Payments account required to launch a project?
Yes, any funds backed will be paid directly to your PayPal account ready for us to ’capture’ and make available to you once your project is successful.
- Can I offer tax deductions to people who pledge to my project?
If you are in the US and are a 501(c)(3) organization you may have the ability to offer full or partial tax deductions to backers.
If you are working with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor on the project and would like it to offer tax deductions, you must be sure that the PayPal Payments account (used to receive Social Backing funds) is set up by the 501(c)(3). You must also include details about the organization on the project.
- How long does it take for a project to launch?
As long as you take to create it. The most important part is creating a video to sell your idea to potential backers and providing a great list of desirable rewards. Unique and limited edition items as well as name recognition are popular reward choices.
- Can a project be edited after it’s been submitted for review?
Ideally any project submitted for review should be final, however we will do our best to accommodate any last minute changes. Once it’s approved though the funding goal and project duration can’t be altered
- My project was declined but it meets the Project Guidelines. What do I do?
If you feel that your project does meet the Project Guidelines, you can submit an appeal for reconsideration by emailing ushere.
- Are projects required to offer rewards?
Yes, projects are essential - be creative, look at other projects to see what rewards are popular in your category. The more unique and limited, the more popular they can be. Once the JOBS Act has been enacted some projects based in the US will be able to offer equity instead of rewards.
- Who creates the rewards for each project?
You do, but we’re happy to help if you need it!
- What items are prohibited as rewards?
- Financial incentives, returns, and repayment
- Raffles, lotteries, and sweepstakes
- Coupons, discounts, and gift certificates
- Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- What can be offered as a reward?
Rewards are usually items that are produced by the act of the project being created - signed scripts or dvd’s of a movie, albums by an artist, technical products offered at a discount from the expected retail to vip experiences. The limit is your own creativity, as is the potential success of your project.
- How can I get my backers’ information (mailing address, T-shirt size, etc.) to fulfill rewards?
Once your project is successfully funded, you can create surveys (from your Backer Report) to request any info you need to deliver backers’ rewards, such as their mailing address or other details.
Responses will be listed next to each backer’s name on your Backer Report pages, and you’ll also be able to download Excel-compatible (csv) spreadsheets.
Don’t worry about gathering your backers’ info before then! If backers are curious, please let them know that you’ll follow up when you’re ready to deliver their rewards.
- Can I change the estimated delivery date for my reward?
If no backers have selected the reward tier, you can change the estimated delivery date on your Edit Project page. If the reward has already been selected the date cannot be changed, so you should notify those backers of the new delivery date via the "Message All" button in that reward tier’s Backer Report.
- What if I’m not sure what my estimated delivery date is for a reward?
Think the process through to be as confident as possible for a delivery date. People will understand if that needs to change due unforeseen circumstances - they are backing your project because they support you and your idea.
- What fees does Social Backing charge?
Social Backing will apply a 5% fee +GSTto the total funds raised. If funding isn’t successful, there are no charges.
- Does PayPal charge any fees?
Yes. When a project is successful, PayPal will apply credit card processing fees.
- Does it cost money to list a project on Social Backing?
Not at all.
- Who is responsible for fulfilling the promises of a project?
It ’s the full responsibility of the project creator to fulfill their promises to provide the rewards. Social Backing does review all projects to make sure they are within guidelines, which does include providing evidence of their ability to create their project but no further research is involved.
The onus is on the project creators to provide enough information to allow backers to be confident of the project’s success - working prototypes, great experience etc Creators should under-promise and over-deliver. Transparency and communication are vital, especially after funding has ended. Creators who provide a good experience for backers will find more success in the future.
- What information should I share on my project page?
After visiting your project page backers need to know:
- What it is you are trying to do
- How you will do it
- How the funds will be used
- Your ability to complete this project
- How far along your project is
The more information you share, the more you will earn your backers’ trust.
- If I am unable to complete my project as promised, what should I do?
If you realize that you will be unable to follow through on your project before funding has ended, you are expected to cancel it. If you realize that you will be unable to follow through on your project after it has been successfully funded, you are expected to offer refunds to all your backers.
To avoid problems, don’t over-promise when creating your project. If issues arise, communicate immediately, openly, and honestly with your backers.
- What happens if I miss my Estimated Delivery Date?
Stay transparent and keep everyone up to date - remember that they want your project and they want to support you..they’ll understand if unforeseen circumstances have delayed delivery dates
- What if a project is suspended?
Funding for the project stops and all pledges are canceled. Both the project’s creator and backers are notified via email.
- What’s the allowed file size for video?
Videos must be 500MB or less and one of the following file types: MOV, MPEG, AVI, MP4, 3GP, WMV, FLV
- Is a video required to launch?
No, but it is the main ingredient for success - we highly recommend it! Look in our professionals section to find someone to help you create a suitable video.
- Any tips for shooting great videos?
Videos make projects infinitely more compelling, and you don’t have to be a video expert to make a good one. Simply be personal and talk about your project. Put yourself in front of the camera for at least a moment so that people know who you are; making that personal connection is key. Show people examples of your work and use any fun visuals you can think of.
No matter how bare-bones or creative you want to get, don’t forget the basics:
- Introduce yourself
- Tell your story
- Ask for people’s support (i.e., their money...)
- Tell people what they’ll get for their money (i.e., your rewards)
- Say thank you!
There are a million different ways to tell your story. Have fun with it! You can spend days shooting and editing, or you can just knock one out with a couple friends on a Saturday. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be you.
For more tips on making your video, visit Social Backing School.
- What’s the allowed file size for images?
Images must be 10MB or less, and one of the following file types: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
- What’s the ideal video encoding?
On Windows, use WMV format. On Mac, use H.264. In both cases, the key variable is the "bit rate," so look for that box. If it’s measured in kilobits per second (kbps), try 1500 to start. If it’s measured in megabits per second (Mbps), try 1.5. If the file is too big: Make that number smaller. If the quality seems bad: Make it bigger.
- Can I embed media?
Yes, you can embed videos, images, and audio in your project description and updates (e.g., from Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Flickr, etc). However, you cannot embed your main project video; you must upload the original video file.
- Can I upload my video after I launch?
- Can I delete my project image?
No, but you can replace it. Before you launch or while your project is live, just re-upload a new image over the one you have.
- Can I use copyrighted material as part of my project?
Nooo! :) Please don’t use music, images, video, or other content that you don’t have the rights to. Using copyrighted material is almost always against the law and can lead to expensive lawsuits down the road. The easiest way to avoid copyright troubles? Either create all the content yourself or use content that is free for public use. For example, you may be able to use some Creative-Commons-licensed music — per the terms of their licenses — that’s available on SoundCloud. Other resources you can explore: Vimeo Music Store, Free Music Archive, and ccMixter.