1. What is FundIt.Buzz (formerly Buzzbnk)?
FundIt.Buzz is an on-line crowd-funding platform bringing social ventures looking for start-up or growth capital together with like-minded people keen to participate in a new way of funding social change. Social enterprises or charities can raise funding for a wide range of projects in a variety of ways, from offering fun and engaging benefits, in return for goods or services, or as a donation.
FundIt.Buzz Backers support the initiatives they like by pledging money, time or both and carry the message to their own social networks and communities.
2. What is crowdfunding?
It is funding for great ideas from a crowd of people who back those ideas. There is a specific time frame for funding targets to be reached, and everyone who gives receives something in return. If the funding target is not met in the time frame defined, then the money is returned to the Backers.
Each member of the crowd gives a little, then tells their friends, who give a bit more, and so on until it all adds up; the initial idea becomes a reality, and the crowd of people who made it happen all get something back.
3. Why crowdfund?
With bank and grant funding being more and more difficult to get, crowd-funding provides a valuable alternative to traditional funding means. It offers vital working capital to help great ideas get off the ground. Furthermore, crowd-funding is more than just about the money, it is about participation and a having a sense of co-venturing in the projects people are excited about, encouraging greater involvement of a community of people around the social venture.
4. How does FundIt.Buzz work?
At FundIt.Buzz, crowd-funding works a bit like this:
Step 1: The FundIt.Buzz team works with each Venture to understand its funding needs and fundraising targets, what the money will be used for, and how results will be measured in terms of social and financial impact.
Step 2: Each Venture devises a variety of backer levels and benefits in return for Backers’ support. These benefits can be unique events, goods and services, money-can’t-buy experiences or illustrate the social impact that will be achieved. The type of benefit that a Backer receives corresponds with the amount of money they give.
Step 3: Crowd-funding can begin! The Venture defines a target time period within which to raise the funds.
5. How much money we are talking about?
Typically Ventures seek to raise between £1,000 – £30,000 in units of £10 to £200. Additional benefits can be offered at higher levels, such as at £500 or £1,000. We have had projects as small as £600 and as large as £100,000 - we welcome all, small and large and value the diversity of the projects we help support.
6. What sorts of ventures can use FundIt.Buzz?
Any venture that seeks to deliver social or public benefit, whether it is structured as a charity, social enterprise, a not-for-profit venture or a for-profit enterprise. Social entrepreneurs can use FundIt.Buzz to get support for small community projects or to develop big world-changing ideas, to supporting the publication of books or the creation and distribution of films. More details can be found here.
7. I am a UK Registered Charity - can I collect Gift Aid?
Yes, FundIt.Buzz has a fully automated service to collect Gift Aid for those projects and benefits which are applicable. We help you understand what you can and cannot claim and are able to collect Gift Aid on contributions in whole or in part depending on what you are offering as a reward.
For example, if the contribution is £50, but only £30 is eligible for UK Gift Aid because of Gift Aid rules, we can automate to treat only that partial amount (the £30) as eligible.
We file all Gift Aid claims for you on your behalf and the system gathers the necessary UK Gift Aid declarations at payment.
8. Are FundIt.Buzz's services regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?
No. Although Trillion Fund Ltd which owns the FundIt.Buzz.org business line is regulated under an Interim Permission (CCI-IP-662716) by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for regulated activities carried out in other business lines, FundIt.Buzz's crowdfunding services are not a regulated activity.
Before April 1, 2014, FundIt.Buzz offered loans-based crowdfunding, also known as peer-to-peer lending, and this was an unregulated activity at that time. Loans-based crowdfunding only became a regulated activity as of April 1, 2014.
Since April 1, 2014 FundIt.Buzz is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform only and rewards-based crowdfunding is not regulated by the FCA.
9. Was lending via FundIt.Buzz covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?
No. Lending via Loans-based crowdfunding was not covered by the FSCS.
10. Is FundIt.Buzz in the UK only?
FundIt.Buzz is developed primarily for UK registered organisations although we will accept organisations registered in other countries who have been referred to us by trusted partners.
11. What happens to the money if the target is not reached?
FundIt.Buzz operates a "Milestone" system whereby the venture can communicate how much money they need for different stages in the project. As long as the project reaches at least its 1st milestone (tipping point), they will receive all funds raised. The overall target indicates the aspirational target they would like to achieve and the milestones along the way indicate the outcomes they seek to achieve.
If the tipping point is not met within the defined timeframe, funds pledged by backers are returned. This facilitates that Backers commit their funds towards projects that have sufficient financial backing to be delivered successfully.
If there are no milestones given - then the overall target is the tipping point.
12. What happens to the money until the target is reached?
The money is held in an escrow account which only pays out when the crowd-funding period is complete, provided the 1st milestone was achieved. Otherwise the money is returned to the Backers who can choose to either a) back another project or b) withdraw the funds.
13. Does FundIt.Buzz charge a fee?
Yes, there is a 5% commission fee on funds raised successfully for each Venture. Note no fee is collected if the Venture does not reach it's 1st milestone (Tipping Point) and the funds are returned to the Backers.
There is also a transaction fee for the donor/backer depending on the type of payment/card used. These fee's are presented in the shopping cart when the user checks out. We have one of the lowest card transaction fees in the sector - only 2% for credit cards and 0.55% for Debit Cards plus £0.10. We offer multiple ways for your supporters to pay - including by bank transfer for amounts of £500 or more.
Please note that if you pay by debit or credit card "Trillion Fund" will show on your card statement for payments after November 1, 2014.
14. Does FundIt.Buzz protect personal and financial details? Is it secure?
For card payments, we use Secure Trading, the UK’s leading independent payment processor, offering the most reliable and secure internet payment gateway.
15. Can I cancel my backing and make a withdrawal?
You have a 14 day grace period to cancel a payment from the date the payment was made. If you wish to cancel a payment during this cooling off period, please email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your order reference, amount and username.
Otherwise, a withdrawal can only be done after the crowd-funding period ends and if the project was unsuccessful in raising the necessary funds. We offer backers the option of withdrawing their money or backing another FundIt.Buzz project.
16. How does FundIt.Buzz monitor delivery of rewards as initially promised?
In the Venture Contract that project owners sign with FundIt.Buzz, they agree to use all reasonable endeavours to provide the benefits and ensure that any goods provided to backers are of satisfactory quality. However FundIt.Buzz is not responsible that they must do so. Please see our Terms & Conditions for more detail.
The FundIt.Buzz system does send reminders to the project owners when the due dates for the individual benefits are coming up as a little helpful reminder.
17. How did the Loan system work?
Please note, FundIt.Buzz no longer offers loans-based crowdfunding, also known as peer-to-peer lending since April 1, 2014.
Previously, we had three types of loans projects could offer:
- Revenue Participation (RP):
With revenue participation, you receive a percentage of sales for a given period of time from the project, as stated in the project’s Benefits Terms e.g. ‘for ever £1 lent you will receive 0.004% of sales for the next five years’.
Projects can cap the upper amount of how much you can receive back - such as 'up to a maximum £3 for every £1 lent'.
There is no repayment of the loan principal.
- Interest (INT):
With an interest bearing loan, you receive a fixed interest payment for a given period of time from the project, as stated in the project’s Benefits Terms e.g. ‘for every £1 lent you will be entitled to receive 4% interest per annum for the next five years’. After the loan period is completed, the loan would be repaid in full.
- Principal Only (PRI):
With a principal only loan, you lend until the full amount until the end of the loan term, at which point the loan is returned to you in full, without receiving any interest or revenue participation. These loans were often combined with other non-cash benefits.
18. What is your Complaints procedure?
FundIt.Buzz aims to provide a responsive and timely service to all our user, we will:
- treat all complaints seriously and deal with them properly;
- resolve complaints promptly; and
- learn from complaints and take action to improve our service.
Please address all complaints to:
Trillion Fund Limited
Staines, TW18 3BA
or email email@example.com and cc firstname.lastname@example.org.
What we will need to know:
- Your name, and details of how to contact you
- Details of your complaint
- What you would like to happen
What you can expect from us, we will:
-Acknowledge the receipt of your complaint within five working days with an indication of how long it will take to send you a detailed response. (If you do not receive an acknowledgement within this timeframe please contact us in the event that it has not been received.)
- Investigate your complaint carefully and thoroughly.
- Write back to you with a full reply within 14 working days (occasionally we may need longer than this but this will be indicated in the acknowledgment letter).
- Should you not be satisfied with the response, the matter will be referred to Trillion Fund Limited's Board to be considered further and may include a meeting with all concerned parties in an effort to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
- You will not be treated any less favourably as a result of complaining about our services.
Last Updated: 13 October 2016