The Hive FAQ

General Questions

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a time-sensitive project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, usually via the internet. Crowdfunding projects typically only run for 30 to 90 days.

How does crowdfunding work at Radford University?

The Hive is Radford University’s crowdfunding platform administered by the Office of University Advancement. The Hive allows the university's students, faculty and staff to create and share approved fundraising projects with their networks and an engaged community. Those interested may submit their project for review and approval in order to be featured on the platform. Read more on approval guidelines here. Once approved for a fundraising project, project leaders will meet with University Advancement staff to learn how to operate the platform and how to build the content for their page, along with best practices for effectively fundraising via The Hive. Learn more about project leader and University Advancement roles in project creation.

Once the project is posted and goes live, project leaders will manage it, with the support of the Office of University Advancement, and follow best practices for the completion of a successful project. 

The Hive empowers the entire Radford University community to “rally” together and create a lasting impact on meaningful projects!

Donor Questions

How do I contribute to a project on The Hive crowdfunding site?

Find the project that you would like to support and click "Make a Donation." You will be asked to enter your contribution amount and then you will proceed through the payment process, which includes entering your billing information. You can also support The Hive projects by telling your friends and family about them or sharing a project across your social networks.

Where does my gift go?

One hundred percent of all gifts to The Hive projects are directed to the Radford University Foundation fund that supports the project’s purpose. This fund is agreed upon by the project creators, Radford University Office of University Advancement and the Radford University Foundation. All funds are held by the Radford University Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is operated exclusively for raising, investing and administering private gift funds for the benefit of Radford University. Please consult your tax adviser to determine the tax-deductibility of your gift.

Are contributions returned if a project does not reach its stated fundraising goal?

No, all funds raised will be applied to the stated fundraising purpose. If a project becomes impractical or impossible to implement, funds will be used in the spirit of the original purpose of the fundraising project.

Is my contribution amount publicly displayed?

No, your contribution amount will not be displayed.

Can I make an anonymous contribution?

Yes, when entering your contribution information you can choose to remain anonymous.

Project Creator Questions

Who can start a project on The Hive crowdfunding platform?

Radford University students, faculty and staff can submit their idea for a fundraising project for consideration. Before submitting your idea, please review our The Hive Guidelines and Agreement.

Eligible Projects Need To:

1.    Be affiliated with Radford University programs, projects, teams, clubs or organizations. Examples include:

  • Experiential learning programs like educational trips coordinated with a university faculty representative (i.e. service learning in Belize, career development travel for the COBE Fellows program, academic conferences to present research, academic competitions, etc.).
  • Initiatives to provide financial support for students participating in academic programs, such as the Summer Bridge Program, the Wilderness Institute or the Radford Amazonian Research Expedition.
  • Research projects coordinated with a faculty member.
  • Specific initiatives for Radford University clubs, organizations or sports teams, such as creating a scholarship or garnering support for necessary equipment or travel.

2.    Have a clear, specific and time-sensitive funding need/purpose.

3.    Have a sponsoring Radford University faculty representative.

4.    Have a Radford University Foundation fund into which donations can be deposited.

5.    Consist of a project leader or leaders that are willing to devote time to create and market/promote their project before, during and after the project is live on RALLY.

6.    Gain approval by submitting an application prior to the next round’s deadline.

What is a sponsoring Radford University faculty representative?

Groups or organizations must be sponsored/supported by a faculty representative such as a coach, department chair or the organization’s faculty advisor. This individual will assist University Advancement and the project leader(s) as needed to verify the feasibility of proposed projects and adherence to departmental/organizational/program strategies and guidelines.

What is a Radford University Foundation held fund? How do I know if I have one? How do I get one?

A Radford University Foundation held fund is a fund that is managed by the Radford University Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is operated exclusively for raising, investing and administering private gift funds for the benefit of Radford University. If you would like to know if your organization has a fund set up with the foundation, please contact Crystal Hubbard in the Office of University Advancement at 540-831-5926 or cdhubbar@radford.edu. If your organization does not currently have a fund held by the Radford University Foundation but you would like to use the RALLY crowdfunding platform to raise funds, please contact the Office of University Advancement at the number and email address above. 

I have an idea for a crowdfunding project. How do I start?

Please read the tips below to help your submission gain approval, and then complete the project submission form and someone from the Office of University Advancement will be in touch with you within three business days.

My crowdfunding project has been approved. What's next?

Congratulations! Please login to develop and manage your campaign. Someone from the Office of University Advancement will be in touch with you soon to schedule a training session.

What will help my project’s chances of approval? (The Hive Best Practices)

There are several common best practices to consider in order to create a successful The Hive project.

1.    Video – In general, crowdfunding projects that have a video on their home page are 85 percent more likely to reach their goals. Videos allow your supporters to form a more personal connection with you and your cause. Here are some guidelines for creating impactful videos.

2.    Your supporters want to see you – You should absolutely have a project photo. Most successful project pages include a high-resolution photo of those who will directly benefit from the funds contributed because, after all, people give to support people.

3.    Put the “crowd” in crowdfunding – Crowdfunding projects are most successful when project leaders/teams possess a broad personal network or “crowd” that they personally reach out to.  This can include family members, friends, work associates or anyone who will rally behind your cause by making a gift and/or spreading the word about your project. University Advancement may request a list of potential donors prior to the project’s approval or launch date. This may be used to determine project eligibility and goal capacity. When making your submission, you should be prepared with your own list of contacts whom you plan to regularly reach out to during your project in order to garner support.

4.    What’s it all about? – Each The Hive project will have an “About” section that will inform visitors about you, your project and its specific needs. To prepare for creation of this section, your submission should include a brief, but compelling story that will communicate your reason for needing support (case for support), the urgency of that need and the impact donations will have.

5.    Your supporters want to hear from you – Projects are most successful when potential donors see and hear from those who will directly benefit from their contribution. You and your team have to be the biggest champions for your cause by spreading the word about your project through a variety of channels such as email, social media and personal contact. You/your team should plan to spend time every day (usually around 15 minutes) during your project to send/respond to communications. 

6.    What’s your goal? – Projects should have specific fundraising goals and be driven by tangible accomplishments – for example, purchasing new equipment, funding travel fees, or providing student workshop opportunities. Projects without a specific fundraising goal are generally less successful and may not qualify for their own project page.

7.    Got a team? – Along with a project leader, a project team is strongly recommended. It is the primary responsibility of project teams to market their project and provide outreach with support and guidance from the Office of University Advancement. The larger The Hive project team, the more likely they will succeed. It is recommended that teams consist of at least five (5) reliable and dedicated people that will focus on marketing and outreach. Groups that are able to achieve 30 percent of their fundraising goal within the first 48 hours of a project are more likely to achieve their total fundraising goal.

Roles/Responsibilities in creating a RALLY Project

  Project Leaders University Advancement
Provide training and best practices for a successful project.   X
Write compelling content for the project “Description” and “About” sections.* X Provide strategic guidance as content is developed and work with University Relations to review and edit as needed
Overview/description of how donations will be used to support the project (such as to support student costs for travel, to purchase gear/supplies, etc.). X Provide strategic guidance as content is developed and work with University Relations to review and edit as needed
Project images to be shared in emails, on The Hive page and via social media.* X  
Project leader photo/image* X Provide assistance as needed for cropping the image to a size/shape that fits the online template
Provide a project video
Please see video guidelines here
X

It is the project leader/team's responsibility to create, film and edit a video and provide the final YouTube or Vimeo link (using available campus resources)
Provide guidelines and tips in order to ensure video meets university standards, effectively communicates the project’s purpose and follows best practices. University Relations will have final approval.
Provide a contact list to be used for project communications X University Advancement may provide additional contacts pulled from its database on a project-by-project basis. However, due to confidentiality, these lists will not be made available to project leaders.
Send regular communications throughout the project via emails/updates and social media posts in order to promote and solicit for the project.* X Provide generic/suggested content samples. Provide support for more specific and effective content creation and scheduled dissemination as needed. 
Create personal thank you messages after the project concludes to thank donors and let them know of the project's progress.* X Provide generic/suggested content samples. Provide support for more specific and effective content creation and scheduled dissemination as needed. Provide supporter contact information.
Provide follow up after project is completed such as photo updates, content updates/emails and social posts (these can be up to 60 to 90 days after project completion).* X Provide generic/suggested content samples. Provide support for more specific and effective content creation and scheduled dissemination as needed.
     

*All content on project pages will be approved by University Relations, which has the right to edit, or require content edits, at any point in the project.

For more information, please email Crystal Hubbard at cdhubbar@radford.edu or call (540) 831-5926.