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Coyote Crowdfunder Guidelines

CSUSB Crowdfunder

Thank you!

Thank you for your interest in launching a CSUSB Coyote CROWDfunder campaign. The Office of Annual Giving and the Coyote Ambassadors are ready to help you launch and run a successful campaign. To get started, please read these guidelines so that you can position your project for success. After reading, complete the application. If selected as an official Coyote CROWDfunder project, an Annual Giving staff member will contact you.  

Who can submit applications?

CSUSB faculty, staff, and students including organizations, clubs, and department-based projects, research, athletics, or emergency funds are possible crowdfunding initiatives. If you have a fundraising goal, you can apply. Up to eight (8) projects will be selected for campaigns running 6-8 weeks (depending on what the applicant decides). The same group/project may not fundraise in successive academic terms; however, the project may be considered again at a future date.

Projects must support CSUSB’s programs and initiatives. Funds cannot be redirected to a third party, external charity or other non-profit. CSUSB cannot act as a “pass-through” entity to provide funding to other charities or to assist individuals.

All monies must be used for the project’s stated purpose. Individuals are strictly prohibited from keeping any portion of the funds raised as a profit or compensation. All projects must be non-profit in nature. Please note that if a project is selected, the project lead will be required to sign a Crowdfunding Agreement before the campaign is activated.

CSUSB’s Crowdfunding Committee will evaluate applications on a competitive basis prior to each academic term. The Committee will notify the project whether or not they have been selected at least 14 days before the first day of the campaign. The CSUSB Crowdfunding Committee may discontinue an active project at any time if the project fails to comply with these guidelines and requirements.

Revenue from crowdfunding projects will be deposited into the campus unit’s gift account in the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation. Groups may use a gift fund associated with a sponsoring unit, such as a department, program, or center, with the approval of the gift processing team and sponsoring unit. If an appropriate sponsoring unit gift fund is not available, the CSUSB Division of University Advancement will determine whether the project qualifies for its own gift fund. Gift funds and accounts must be approved before the project can begin fundraising.

There is a 5% gift-processing fee per transaction through the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation. Funds deposited into project accounts will already have these fees removed from their totals; however, project totals on the Coyote CROWDfunder website will display the full amount raised.


The project’s lead will be designated as the “Crowdfunding Liaison.” The Crowdfunding Liaison is responsible for launching the campaign and promoting the cause. The Liaison leads other members of the team who act as “Crowdfunding Project Team Members.” Liaisons and Crowdfunding Project Team Members commit to the following responsibilities:

  • Clearly define and communicate the project’s goal. 
  • Provide the following materials for use on the CSUSB Coyote CROWDfunder website:
    • Project description and a case for support.
    • Video (it is the Crowdfunding Liaison’s responsibility to create, film, edit, and close-caption).
    • Images with descriptions for social sharing and the campaign home page.
    • Budget breakdown (how donations will be spent).
    • Signed Crowdfunding Agreement (must be signed before the project can begin fundraising).
  • Post project updates on the Coyote CROWDfunder website throughout the campaign.
  • Post social media updates throughout the campaign. The use of existing social media groups of the same interest that are managed by the group is recommended.
  • Ongoing outreach to promote the project after launch.
  • Personal thank you messages after the campaign concludes to thank donors and let them know of the progress of the project.
  • Updating donors on how funds will be used (for example, notifying donors through the crowdfunding platform that the group reached their goal and will be going on a trip).

Guidelines and Best Practices

  • Each project will be hosted on the crowdfunding platform for no more than one academic term. Shorter campaigns tend to drive urgency and perform strongly. 
  • Projects should have specific goals and be driven by tangible accomplishments – for example, purchasing new equipment, funding travel fees, or providing student workshop opportunities. Projects without a specific goal are generally less successful and may not qualify for their own project page. 
  • It is up to the Crowdfunding Project Team to market their campaign and provide outreach. The larger the Crowdfunding Project Team, the more likely it is that the project will succeed. Groups should consist of at least 3-5 people that will focus on marketing and outreach.
  • Groups that are able to achieve 30% of their goal within the first 48 hours of a campaign are more likely to achieve their total goal.
  • Project leads are responsible for promoting their campaigns via social media, email, phone calls, and on-campus, when appropriate; preparing personal thank-you messages to donors, and submitting regular updates on their project.
  • The Office of Annual Giving 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.
  • The Office of Annual Giving does not provide any contact data on alumni, parents, friends, or students. It is up to the Crowdfunding Project Team to contact their personal connections and contact lists. 
  • CSUSB email lists may not be used to promote campaigns.
  • While the Office of Annual Giving may promote the crowdfunding platform during campaigns, groups should not rely on this for fundraising success. An appointed Coyote Ambassador will work with each project group and be the primary point of contact.
  • The Office of Annual Giving will provide tax receipts issued to donors. Most gifts will be raised online through https:/ Some offline funds may be used toward the project’s goal. This includes, but is not limited to, cash, checks, gifts of stock, and other funds awarded or received during the crowdfunding campaign. Gifts-in-kind, non-monetary contributions such as food, clothing, books, equipment, or other items, if supporting the project or campaign, may count toward project totals and will be evaluated and considered on an individual basis. 
  • Crowdfunding projects cannot count gifts from pledges, bequests, gifts already allocated to another fund, matching gifts, or money raised through sales, such as bake-sales, car washes, or other “give-to-get” fundraising. All gifts must be collected prior to the project’s deadline.
  • All funds raised from outside of the CSUSB CROWDfunder platform must be delivered to the Office of Annual Giving in Chaparral Hall 114. This is to ensure that the donor receives proper credit and receipts. If this occurs, contact the Office of Annual Giving at (909)537-4555 for instructions.
  • There is a $5 minimal donation amount through the CROWDfunder platform.
  • In the event that full funding is necessary to achieve the project goal (for example, the purchase of a piece of equipment), the Dean of the College or unit director must approve the project and goal during the application process and commit to providing the remainder of funds needed if the project goal is not met.
    However, if the funds raised do not meet the fundraising goal of a project but can still be used to offset the costs of the project without requiring additional funding from the college (i.e., student travel expenses for a college-related trip), the project will receive the funds raised to be used as described in their application. Funds raised through crowdfunding should be used within the fiscal year the project closes. No funds should be held over for other uses or to accumulate additional funds.
  • All donated funds through crowdfunding projects are the property of the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation or the University. If the faculty, staff, or student leaves the University, the funds remain the property of the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation or the University.
  • Use of crowdfunding to raise funds at CSUSB and accompanying campus crowdfunding procedures is subject to all California State University, San Bernardino, and CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation rules, policies, compliance regulations, and state and federal law.
  • If the project involves research, the research proposal, and the associated crowdfunding activities must also comply with all laws, rules, regulations, and policies that apply to research, and all CSUSB policies. 
  • CSUSB’s name, branding, and/or logo may not be used without prior written approval by the appropriate approving official as set forth in accompanying campus crowdfunding procedures.
  • Projects cannot violate any laws. CSUSB reserves the right to decline any project based on content or discontinue an active campaign at any time due to changes in the group’s eligibility status.

The CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational institution with a mission to actively promote philanthropy and manage donated resources for the advancement of CSUSB. All projects must comply with the institution’s mission. 

For questions regarding these guidelines, please contact Susana Barbosa, Director of Annual Giving, at or (909) 537-7288.

Crowdfunding Project Application