About Crowdfunding

Overview

DePaul University’s crowdfunding site (“Inspire DePaul”) is designed to help raise charitable funds for university-related projects. DePaul faculty, registered student groups, and staff are eligible to apply for a crowdfunding campaign. All funds donated through each campaign are charitable donations to DePaul University, and are governed by DePaul’s Gift Acceptance & Processing policy, and Fundraising Events and Activities policy.

DePaul University's Office of Advancement (“Advancement”), in its sole discretion, will approve the participating campaigns for the Inspire DePaul site. Advancement reserves the right to discontinue an active fundraiser at any time for any reason, without notice, including, and without limitation, because of changes in a group's eligibility status or a group's failure to comply with DePaul University's policies.

 

How it works

All applications must be submitted online. Applicants will receive a response within two business days. The first step for every approved campaign is a meeting, in person or by phone, between the applicant(s) and a representative from Advancement. At this meeting, all project steps and best practices will be discussed, and a timeline will be developed.

A Project Lead must be appointed for every campaign (two co-leads may also be named). Project Leads are the primary individuals responsible for coordinating with Advancement on all aspects of the campaign. Project Leads may also appoint Project Champions to whom they may delegate the tasks related to creating content/copy, marketing the campaign, and assisting with follow-up messages thanking the donors when the campaign is complete. Together, the Leads and the Champions will work to promote their cause in the following ways:

Provide photo(s) that represent their group or project;

Create a video (no longer than 2 minutes) to support the cause;

Clearly write the campaign’s goal;

Submit a list of e-mail addresses for target donors (which may be used by the Office of Advancement to determine the eligibility of a campaign);

Commit to enlisting volunteer ambassadors – additional supporters who will help spread the word;

Prepare personal thank-you messages to donors, and submit updates on how they will be spending the funds (for example, notifying donors that the group reached their goal and will now be purchasing new equipment, etc.);

Project Leads and Champions must send out at least one e-mail to friends and family soliciting for their cause, at least three updates, via the Inspire DePaul site, while the campaign is active, one e-mail thanking all donors, and an update 1-3 months ( or longer as appropriate) after completion of the campaign to demonstrate the impact and final outcome.

 

Each campaign will be hosted on Inspire DePaul for 30 days, though limited exceptions may apply. If the project is not funded within the allotted timeframe, the funds raised will still be allocated to the project; however, the campaign will be closed. Any monies raised, regardless of whether the goal is met, must be spent to offset the cost of the promoted project.

 

Additional information

Each campaign should have a specific goal and be driven by tangible accomplishments – for example, buying new club equipment, funding a faculty research project, or providing student workshop opportunities. Campaigns without a specific goal may not be approved for crowdfunding.

All content on campaign pages will be approved by Advancement. Advancement has the right to edit, or require edits by the Project Leads, at any point in the campaign.

Each campaign must be approved by the leadership of the academic area, as appropriate. Additionally, the area budget manager must approve the allocation for all funds raised. There will be only one fund allocation per campaign.

 

What else?

All monies raised must be used for the stated intention.

Advancement will provide official tax receipts to donors.

Faculty, staff, students, or other individuals are strictly prohibited from keeping any portion of the funds raised as a profit or compensation.

Premiums and services are not to be used to induce gifts. Incentives and sales, such as, and without limitation, bake sales, t-shirt giveaways, car washes, or similar events or activities, are not permissible, as they affect a donor's right to a full tax deduction for his/her gift.

Advancement will not provide any contact data on alumni, parents, friends or students. It is the responsibility of the Project Leads, Champions, and volunteer ambassadors to utilize their own networks, preferably via e-mail communications as they are most effective, though social media should also be used.

The same individual or group may not crowdfund more than twice per academic year.

 

DePaul University is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution with a mission to provide academic excellence, educational access, and public service. In order for crowdfunding Project Leads to ask for a gift of any amount to the University, all gifts must comply with the institution's gift acceptance policies. Projects must align with DePaul’s mission. Projects cannot violate any laws. All gifts must be spent on the project's expenses as stipulated on the project's crowdfunding platform and in the anticipated timeframe per campaign. Projects must support DePaul University’s programs and initiatives. Funds cannot be redirected to a third-party, external charity such as the ALS Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, etc. Funds cannot be raised as a “pass through" to other charities.

DePaul University FAQ

What is Inspire DePaul?

Inspire DePaul is the DePaul University crowdfunding platform. Individual fundraising campaigns are posted by members of the university community, and funding helps support DePaul’s mission of academic excellence, access, and social justice.

Who is eligible to use Inspire DePaul?

All registered student groups, faculty, and staff are eligible to apply for a campaign,

What causes are eligible for a fundraising campaign?

Any cause that benefits DePaul is eligible! However, not all causes are ideal for this type of fundraising. Campaigns that are short, focused, and have reasonable goals ($2,500-$10,000) are most likely to be successful. If you have a passion project but you’re not sure whether to apply, just reach out anytime to inspire@depaul.edu. We’ll help you think through your options.

How do I apply for a campaign?

First, get approval from your area leadership (Dean, Department Chair, Vice President, Advisor, etc.) for your project. Then simply click "Apply" in the upper right corner of this page to submit an application.

Who can donate to my campaign?

Anyone! The success of your campaign relies on personal networking. The more people you reach, the better your chances of reaching your goal.

How many campaigns can I post?

Each individual or group may only have one active campaign at any given time, and no more than two campaigns in total each academic year.

Are contributions tax deductible?

Yes! All philanthropic contributions to DePaul University are tax deductible as prescribed by law.

Will donors receive a receipt?

Yes! All donors to a campaign will receive a receipt for their contribution.

Other questions?

Contact us at inspire@depaul.edu. You can expect a response within two business days.

Our Crowdfunding Groups