Frequently Asked Questions
We think this covers the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ that the Thundafund Team have been asked by project creators and interested backers alike. However, if you’ve got any more, feel free to Contact Us.
What is Thundafund?
Thundafund is South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform for creative and innovative ventures.
Thundafund Backers back initiatives they are attracted to by pledging money, time, or both in return for rewards. Backers also share the various project messages to their own communities and social networks. (And voilà, an initial market is created.)
What does Thundafund do?
We are an online crowdfunding platform showcasing the best of South African creativity, innovation and enterprise. We allow inspired Backers be a part of their entrepreneurial success. Thundafund will help you do something great with your time, money or both. This is not a ‘hand-out’ it’s a ‘hand-up’. This is about change.
What is crowdfunding? Crowdfunding is raising a sum of money for a specific project or idea through contributions from a crowd of people who ’back’ that idea. There is a set time frame in which to raise the money and all the people who give money receive a reward in return for their support. If the fundraising target isn’t achieved within the given time frame then any money already raised is returned to the backers. That way, backers know for sure where their money is going, and that they are making a real difference.
Crowdfunding allows you to…
Build a crowd: Crowdfunding can be an excellent way of increasing and engaging your base of supporters which can have all sorts of benefits for your project and organisation.
Time and expertise: Crowdfunding is about much more than just money – it’s about your crowd helping you, your idea or project, and organisation to grow. Do you need help with something? Ideas for a marketing campaign? A web expert? Reach out to your crowd!
Future fundraising: Crowdfunding means a pool of people all give a varied amount of money via purchasing your project related rewards to make your project a reality. All of these people therefore become contributors to your project – and it is likely for people who have given once to give again (as long as they’ve been properly acknowledged for their contribution and receive their reward!). This crowd may prove to be a valuable resource (both financially and socially) for your future projects and organisation.
How is crowdfunding different to ‘traditional’ fundraising?
Whilst many elements of ‘traditional’ fundraising still apply, crowdfunding is a bit different…
Trade not Aid: A basic principle of crowdfunding is that backers get a reward in return for their contribution as they are not giving something for nothing, it does not involve donations.
Small not large sums: Crowdfunding asks people to give a little to make a big difference.
Online not offline: Crowdfunding happens online. People give online and the Internet is an incredible place to spread information easily and quickly.
More than just money: Ideally, the crowd of backers that give to your project will give more than just money. They should feel part of a unique crowd of like-minded people that will champion your project by inspiring others to support and/or help your project out through volunteering their time or skills.
How does Thundafund provide business and mentorship support?
Apart from having a ‘hands-on’ team, Thundafund does this through partnering with business development organisations. Click here to view our Partners.
Thundafund is developing mobile and online mentorship tools in order to support projects across South Africa, regardless of where the great idea is based.
What projects get selected for Thundafund?
Creative and innovative projects that fit into our 13 categories and are able to offer rewards to backers.
Are you fit for crowdfunding? Check out our ‘Thundafund Checklist’ to see if your project is fit for crowdfunding with Thundafund.
How does Thundafund work?
Click here for the full details…
Step 1: The Thundafund team works with each individual to understand the idea/project; its funding needs and crowdfunding targets; what the money will be used for, and how results will be measured in terms of social and economic impact.
Step 2: Each project devises a variety of backer levels, and rewards in return for Backers’ support. These rewards can be items such as unique events; goods and services; money-can’t-buy experiences and objects. The type of reward that a backer receives corresponds with the amount of money they give.
Step 3: The project goes live on Thundafund and Crowdfunding can commence! The project defines a target time period and 2 milestones (Tipping Point and Dream Goal) within which to raise funds. If the financial target is not met within the tipping point, funds pledged by Backers are returned.
Why do projects only get the funding after they reach their Tipping Point?
This ensures that Backers only commit their funds towards projects that have sufficient financial backing from the crowd to actually happen.
Why would entrepreneurs use Thundafund?
You get to keep ownership of your idea. (And don’t need to sell your soul to the bank.)
You get to test the feasibility of an idea before scaling it up. When people commit to an idea or project by putting their money on the table, then you know you have a solid idea. It is very easy to say – yes I like it – commitment is key.
You want a marketing campaign – integral to the money raising process.
Crowdfunding fits with your brand and/or idea.
Your crowdfunding success is great future communications content.
Do projects have a specific goal amount and end date?
Yes, all projects have 2 milestones, each with their own specific goal amount, and an overall funding window period of 30-90 days for which the project is open to pledging. Once the project is live, all goal amounts and the project duration cannot be changed.
What does ‘All-Or-Nothing’ funding mean?
It protects both the Backer and the Thundapreneur.
Specifically for the Thundapreneur: you will receive a lump sum, all at once, making it easier to follow and stick to your original budget, and helps you to complete the project and keep your reward promises.
It also helps with reporting back to your Backers’ – it gives you a point to let them know when you have begun the work.
Protecting the Backer: You know that the Project Creator receives the money in a lump sum, meaning it Is easier for them to keep to their planned budget. (Receiving the money pledge by pledge opens them to the risk of spending the pledge money on small items and it ‘bleeding away’.)
What is an ‘In-Kind’ reward?
An ‘in-kind’ reward is a project-related item the project creator pre-sells to backers in exchange for pledging in their specific project.
Rewards are relevant to the project and each pledge level offers its own unique reward, therefore rewards differ according to the individual investment amount made.
Thundafund operates as a marketplace, so it’s imperative that rewards have an affordable ‘retail’ factor to them, but can also include recognition and experience
What type of Rewards can you give in return?
You’ve got it, they want it. Ok, so they might not know they want it yet but, once you’ve presented it to them, they’ll want it…. and then you’ve got to make it. This is the centre point. Will the crowd invest in you because they like what you have to offer them in return?
Number 1 Rule: Give fair value.
If people feel that they’re over-paying for a reward, it’s unlikely they’re going to back you. Would you back yourself?
You can offer:
· Retail | Products
· Experience | Access … What you can’t offer: Crowdfunding101: Part 2.
Each backer investment level is given a name. Why names? Because people want to be a name instead of a number. Who doesn’t want to be a ‘Ground-Breaker’ or ‘World-Changer’?
While you can introduce your own backer names, our go-to names are:
Cheerleader | Mover | Player | Shaker | Go-Getter | Ground-Breaker |
Heavy-Hitter | World-Changer.
One set-price ‘Reward’ titled “International Delivery” is included to cover overseas delivery if required. Backers outside of South Africa purchase this reward alongside their other reward choice.
Give as much information that describes the reward. If there are certain Terms and Conditions for the reward, let it be known here. Eg. To e-mail you with the t-shirts sizes. / Must be able to travel to Cape Town City Centre for the performance.
Can Thundafund be used to fund anything?
Thundafund has specific project categories:
1. Art & Photography
7. Film & Video
8. Food & Beverages
9. Media & Publishing
13. Technology & Games
Where can I find Backers?
Backers can be split into 3 networks:
1. Your First Degree Network – The Committed:
These are the people closest to you, the project and the organisation. They could be friends, family, close supporters, or trustees. These should be the people that you can absolutely 100% count on to make a pledge, and are absolutely crucial to the success of your crowdfunding campaign.
2. Your Second Degree Network – The Inspired:
These are other people that know you, the project or the organisation. They may be people on your mailing list, your organisation’s Facebook fans or Twitter followers. They could be people who have supported your organisation before, or people in the community that your organisation serves. They may also be the friends and networks of your first degree network.
3. Your Third Degree Network – The Shoppers:
This is everyone else – the friends of your second degree networks, the people who may see your organisation advertised or see a tweet online, or others browsing on Thundafund.com.
Do backers get ownership / equity in the projects they back?
No, but they do receive in-kind rewards from the projects they contribute to and
agood karma. Project creators remain 100% owners of their project.
Is Thundafund a Bank?
No, it a crowdfunding platform and acts only as a connecter for project creators and backers. The funds used via Thundafund are only held on behalf of projects until their campaigns are completed (no more than 90 days). If successful in their completion, the funds are transferred to the project creators, if unsuccessful the funds are returned to the backers.
What are the fees?
There are no fee’s to join Thundafund – just a simple registration.
For Project Creators:
If, and only if, your funding is successful by reaching their Tipping Point (Milestone 1) does Thundafund receive a fee of either 7% for regular projects and, 5% for registered NGO’s, exclusive of VAT.
3rd party fees and administration transaction fees, depending on the payment method can range from 3% – 5.5%, which is paid by the Project Creator. The payment method, EFT transfers carry a R10 fee per transaction.
If the Tipping Point (Milestone 1) is NOT reached, then all Backers have the opportunity to support another project or get their cash back.
How much (or little) funding am I allowed to ask for?
Projects average between R5 000.00 – R50 000.00, but at the extreme, can go into the millions, it really depends on what you’re looking to fund and the profile of the crowd who will be backing you. Pledges average between R100.00 – R1000.00 and can range upwards substantially.
What happens to the money until the target is reached?
The money you put towards a project is held in a separate Thundafund transaction account until the project crowdfunding campaign reaches its end. At which stage it is either transferred directly to the Thundapreneur or back to the Backers.
How long will it take to receive my funds when I reach my target?
Once your project ends and hits the target. There is a 2 week period where Thundafund allows a 5 day cooling off period for pending payments and to reconcile all successful payments.
What happens to the money if the target is not reached?
If the target of Milestone 1 (Tipping Point) is not reached, then all funds are returned to those who backed the project. Crowdfunding on Thundafund.com is based on the ‘All-or-Nothing’ model.
Does Thundafund protect personal and financial details? Is it secure?
The Thundafund platform is compliant to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002
For e-payments, we use MyGate, one of South Africa’s leading payment gateways, offering the most reliable and secure internet payment gateway.
Can I cancel my backing and make a withdrawal?
Only if the project you have backed does not reach it’s Tipping Point (Milestone 1). Thundafund then offers backers the opportunity to either withdraw their money or the option to back another project… Go on, back another – we know you want to.
How does Thundafund monitor delivery of rewards as initially promised?
Thundafund doesn’t monitor the delivery of rewards. The ‘contract’ as such is between the backer and the project creator, Thundafund is the channel. The power of the crowd to keep project creators to their delivery promises is one of the defining features of crowd funding. Simply put, the fact that rewards have been promised to many people, mean that there will be many people following up on their reward – and people from the project creators own network too.
It is important to note that Thundafund does not offer any tax advice and that you would need to consult your tax practitioner despite the information we provide in this email.
If you would like to have a look at any documentation in the mean time you can have a look at treasury.gov.za or SARS.
You will need to consider the reward types you are offering on the campaign and the total amount made on each purchase type.
A video is your get-up-and-go, your make-it-or-break-it. The essential contender in being a crowd-puller!
(Have we mentioned how crucial this is?!)
Why? Because people want to be able to look you in the eye and say “Do I want to invest with this person?”
Don’t stress about an Academy Award worthy aspect, just be yourself and explain what you want to do, within 1-3 minutes.
If a picture can tell a 1000 words, go figure what a video can achieve!
The important legal stuff:
The dogs of law-war get barking mad when it comes to things like copyright. DO NOT TRESPASS. Don’t use music, images, video, or other content that you do not have the rights to. The easiest way to avoid copyright headaches is to create all the content yourself or use content that is copy-left or free-to-public. For legal, mostly free alternatives, check out some of these great resources: SoundCloud, Vimeo Music Store, Free Music Archive, and ccMixter.)
Who is responsible for completing a project as promised?
The completion of a project rests entirely on the Project Creator’s shoulders. These are passionate people who want to see their project successfully completed. Things can go wrong, but then, if they weren’t stepping out there, wouldn’t the world be a boring place? That is why the Backers are so incredibly important: you are giving the Project Creator the chance.
How do backers know if a project will follow through?
Keep a keen sense of savvy about your backing. Look at the Project Creator’s planning, their updates, the links they include – such as their social media, and their video. Don’t be shy to contact them directly, and ask for further information or to extend a simple “Hi”.
How do I know a Project Creator is who they claim they are?
Through Thundafund’s project submission, we have a two level process to ensure we are admitting bonafide projects.
Firstly, our application procedure gathers information about the Project Creators, and also takes them through a process of analysing the realities of their deadlines, their ability to deliver on rewards, and the practical aspects of their project.
Secondly, the once-over by our Thunda-vettors and Thunda-champions gives an independent audit of a projects authenticity.
The third and final level is their interaction with you: watch their video on Thundafund, interact with the Project Creators and you’ll get a good sense of who the creators are, and if you would like to take a chance and back them. You’ll also see them and be able to interact with them via their video and various social media.
What should creators do if they’re having problems completing the project?
Be honest: reach out to the crowd. If there’s a bit of a speed bump along their road to success, Creators are expected to be open about the situation and post an update to their Backers. Letting your Backers know of any problems you face could even save the project: Backers may have that ‘aha’ moment you’re missing.
Are updates going to be emailed to backers?
Yes. Project Creators are expected to communicate with their Backers. As the project campaign develops, how often and in what detail is entirely dependant on the Project Creators, however Thundafund does advise Project Creators to keep a flow of communication going during the campaign – finding a balance between latest news, and over-informing…
Is a project creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?
Yes, as set out in Thundafund’s Terms & Conditions a Project Creator is legally required to fulfill all their Rewards promised. While Thundafund can’t enforce this, the CPA – Consumer Protection Act of South Africa entitles any project backer to demand their cash back from the Project Creator if they don’t receive what’s been promised.
Can Thundafund refund the money if a project is unable to fulfill it’s promises?
No, if the project campaign has been successful and the funds have been transferred to the project creator, Thundafund can not refund any money as all transactions operate between Project Creators and Backers. Once the project has been successful and the project campaign has ended, the pledges are received by the Project Creator. Refunds can only occur on a personal level between Project Creator and Backer.
Why can’t Thundafund guarantee projects?
The nature of start up projects is that some may fail. Thundafund is an arena where project creators pitch their ability and backers take a chance on their idea becoming a reality. The nature of crowdfunding means you are taking a risk that a project might not work: but your risk is small, and the rewards stretch further than simply the reward each project promises to gift you.
Thundafund is a space to allow this perhaps-maybe-probably.
Why should I support projects?
It’s win-win: you will either be part of a successful endeavour or your money is returned to you.
To support someone you know, or would like to know because they’re awesome.
To receive the in-kind rewards on offer.
To be part of a community building South Africa.
To help a really good idea become a reality.
To see how good your instincts are as an investor… will you back a winner?
Good karma and good fun!
How do I pledge?
Firstly, check out the inspired projects on Thundafund. Click through to those that you’d like to back and select the pledge you’d like to make. Read all about it and if it floats your boat, back it! You’ll need to sign in or register to climb on board, but only when you confirm your pledge.
Am I able to ask a Project Creator questions before I pledge? / What do I do if I have questions about a project?
Yes, we encourage you to ask! Make sure you understand the project fully before pledging.
In fact, we make it easier for you. Each proposal has a discussion forum where you can pose any relevant questions to the project creator and engage.
Can I back more than one project simultaneously?
Yes – there’s no limit to the amount of ideas and projects that could inspire you to assist in making the world as you would like it.
When is my card charged?
When you pledge, the funds are taken from your card and placed in a holding fund. Only projects that reach their target set for the Tipping Point (Milestone 1) will receive their funding. If a project does not reach its target, it is cancelled and you, the backer receive your money back in full, less the initial detailed transaction fee charged by the banks and payment gateway (varies between 2.5 % & 5% depending on whether it’s a card or other)
Is my pledge amount publicly displayed?
No. Thundafund protects the integrity of your pledge, so this is only known to you and the Project Creator. Only your ‘Display Name’ is shown on Thundafund.com. We never provide your personal or pledge information to any third party without your prior written consent.
What if I want to pledge anonymously?
Thundafund does not have an Anonymous feature. You can, however, choose a pseudonym when pledging.
Do I get notified if a project I’m backing succeeds?
Definitely! You’ll get an email, and you can bet that the project creator and Thundafund will be shouting out about it.
How can I change my pledge amount?
You can make a further pledge, but you cannot withdraw your pledge unless there has been fraudulent activity by the project you’re backing.
Can I ask for a refund?
Yes. You can receive a refund on funds not currently pledged on projects (for example if a pledge is returned to your profile.) As long as you have the balance available you can withdraw money from your account whenever you want.
To withdraw money:
Go to ‘My Account’, click on ‘Withdraw’ and follow the withdrawal process.
You’ll receive an email with a reference number confirming your request. Our accounts department will contact you to arrange the transfer of your withdrawal. This is a necessary step to confirm you are the owner of the account.
From receipt of withdrawal request to money available in your banking account takes approximately 2 working days.
Can I withdraw or cancel my backing?
Only in special circumstances can backers withdraw his or her backing from a project. The backer must submit a written request to Thundafund. To withdraw or cancel please send an email stating the reasons why to firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is responsible for fulfilling the promises of a project?
The Project Creator. The Thundafund team are there to assist and through our mentorship and business support programme we provide an incubative environment for project creators, but it’s totally up to the project creators as to whether they take up the support or not, both during their campaign with us and after they’ve left our stable, have received the cash for their project and are working to deliver on their promises to their backers.
What happens when a project receives more funds than it’s target amount?
Champagne anyone? The Project Creator keeps the excess amount and how they use it is entirely project dependent. Remember, that more money in effect means more people backed the project which results in more rewards needing to be produced and delivered. Extra money also gives Project Creators the opportunity to possibly ‘upgrade’ by adding extra features to their project and rewards.
Can people from outside South Africa pledge to projects?
Yes. We are a global crowdfunding cafe.
How do I pay?
Visa or Mastercard. We do allow direct deposits but only above a certain amount.
How are rewards redeemed?
Once the project has reached its target the project creator is responsible for ensuring that every Backer receives his or her appropriate reward. Once a project is successful Thundafund gives the full list of Backers and their appropriate details to the project creator.
Once the project creator receives the campaign funds they’ve raised for their products, they are then fully responsible for delivery of the rewards directly to their Backers.
How will project creators get my information to deliver rewards?
The delivery / shipping details you’ve filled in will be given to them, plus your relevent contact details to allow them to fulfill on their promise.
I haven’t gotten my reward yet. What do I do?
Contact the project creator. If in the unlikely event of loss of pressure and it does happen that you are unable to reach them, contact us at email@example.com.
How do I know when rewards for a project will be delivered?
Project Creators put in an estimated delivery time for each reward – but do consider giving them a little bit of breathing space if they take longer than promised. With new products / ideas coming out, often unexpected hurdles need to be cleared which can cause delays. We do emphasise to project creators to give themselves enough time. We also advise Project Creators to keep in contact with you, the Backer.