FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We’ve compiled a list of general questions, questions for donors and creators that are frequently asked. If you have a question not found below, feel free to Contact Us.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is Fund Lifelong Learning?
Fund Lifelong Learning is a crowdfunding platform developed by the Graduate Union of the University of Melbourne. Here you can create your own Crowdfunding ventures for People, Programs and Places within education, research, development, social good and lifelong learning or you can donate to other ventures supporting these areas.
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a method of fundraising for your venture by campaigning and receiving donations from a large number of people online.

Basic terminology

Venture: A venture is the initiative or idea you are seeking to crowdfund.
Post: A post is the online crowdfunding campaign created on Fund Lifelong Learning you can share on different online platforms to raise funds for your venture.
Post or Venture Creators, Creators: These are the individuals or groups of two individuals who create ventures on this site to raise funds.
Any more than two members can assist with the venture, however only the two members listed as creators will be responsible and liable for the crowdfunding activities of the venture.
If an individual creates posts for a company, organisation or the like, the company or organisation will be responsible and liable for the crowdfunding activities of the venture.
Donors: They are the financial contributors to each venture
Pledges: These are the amount that a donor contributes or donates to a venture.
SDG: This refers to the United Nations 2030, 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

What can you crowdfund for?
You can crowdfund for Ventures in the form of a one-off, or a series of events, programs or actions etc. to support People, Programs and Places in the furtherance of individual or collective education, research, development, lifelong learning, philanthropic causes and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations. However, your crowdfunding post must have an end date and cannot run without an end date or in perpetuity to fund a series of events or long-term ventures.
Who can use our services – crowdfund and donate?
Any one over the age of 18 can create crowdfunding ventures or donate to other ventures at Fund Lifelong Learning. Children between the ages of 13-18 must receive consent from a parent or legal guardian and only under their supervision, use the services of this website.
Can children use our services?
If children (aged 13-18) want to initiate a crowdfunding post, they should receive consent and be under supervision of the parent or legal guardian while using our services. Children should not provide their personal information including links to their personal social media profiles. The parent or legal guardian should use their own information for the purposes of the crowdfunding venture.

The parent or legal guardian is responsible and liable for any representation made, damage, fraudulent activity, tortious activity etc.

How do I use the services at Fund Lifelong Learning?
How do I reset my password?
On the login page, click on “Forgot Password” and an email will be sent to your registered email address with a link to reset your password. You will have to reset your password within 24 hours after receiving the resent password link.
Why People, Programs and Places?
At Fund Lifelong Learning, we recognise that people are the backbone to our developing world. By providing opportunities to develop and improve people directly and indirectly through programs and places, we are setting up a better opportunity to improve and sustain the planet.
Why is Fund Lifelong Learning exclusive to crowdfunding for education, research, development, social good and lifelong learning?
As a project of the Graduate Union of the University of Melbourne, a Not for Profit organisation focused on advancing education for social good, Fund Lifelong Learning branches out with the same vision. We recognise that these areas are pivotal in improving our society. Accordingly, this site encourages the furtherance of these areas by allowing crowdfunding ventures in these categories.
What is the fee structure?
On successfully funded posts, there is a 5% platform fee on the total amount targeted, plus third-party payment gateway costs and a transaction cost. Once you have met your target amount within the stipulated time, the funds will be transferred to you after the fee is deducted. The fee will not be charged to the donors, i.e., the costs incurred are deducted from what the creator receives and are not charged in addition to what a donor pledges.

If the venture is discontinued or cancelled, all the funds raised will be returned to the donors minus the third-party payment gateway and transaction costs. Read more information on our Fees here.

Explain the third-party payment gateway and transaction fees.
Stripe, the payment gateway used to accept payments online charges fees varying from 1.75% to 2.9% depending on domestic or international cards, plus a AUD 30c transaction fee. Stripe accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express Credit and Debit cards. Their fees includes Gift and Service Tax (GST) at a 10%. You can read more about their financial structures here. https://stripe.com/au/pricing
Why the All or Nothing Funding model?
With the ‘All or Nothing” funding model, a creator will receive the funds raised only after the target amount is met.

This model acts as a responsible fundraising model that ensures creators participation and further acts as a validation of the venture. Donors typically trust crowdfunding projects where creators actively work to engage communities and networks to gather support. The creators’ involvement at the fundraising stage gives donors the confidence that there is commitment to reaching targets and accomplishing the venture.

This method also acts as a safety net as donors get their cash back if the target amount is not met.

Why do Graduate House Ventures follow a different funding model?
Graduate House ventures adopts the “Keep it All” funding model because of our endowment reserves that are used to keep the ventures running in perpetuity. This model allows all donations in support of our ventures to change hands, even if the target amount is not met. Crowdfunding is only one of the methods adopted in our fundraising campaign, and other sources of funds are also added into the main fundraising venture. Funds will be apportioned to the endowment reserve and rolled over into activities for the following year.

You can read more about our endowment reserves here.

What happens if a fundraising post does not reach its goal?
There are two options available to a creator if the post does not reach its goal – the post can be cancelled, or the fundraising timeline can be extended as a one-off. You can read more details on the available options and their corresponding fees here.
Who funds the ventures?
Your ventures are primarily funded by the online network you build, and share the venture to. Developing a strong marketing plan prior to the launch of your post will help you build and develop your target audience. For ideas and tips on developing your three levels of target audience, check out our Creators Guidelines.
Is Fund Lifelong Learning for or not for profit?
Fund Lifelong Learning is not an organisation. It is a project initiated by the Not-for-Profit organisation- the Graduate Union of The University of Melbourne.
Who is responsible for the completion of the venture?
The venture creator or creators are solely responsible for the fulfillment of the venture. On successfully being crowdfunded, creators are now obliged to fulfill the tasks as specified on their venture page and must make every reasonable effort and work diligently to discharge their obligation, in full, to donors, within a reasonable amount of time.

Fund Lifelong Learning and the Graduate Union cannot guarantee that an individual creator may be able to complete the venture in accordance to the crowdfunding post and is not liable for the creator’s failure in doing so.

How do donors know if the venture will capitalise?
Donors are responsible to check or investigate the venture and venture creator they would like to support and pledge donations at their own risk. That is why, for individual ventures, the All or Nothing Funding model is used as this model tests the creator’s determination towards their post.
What happens if the venture is not completed after being crowdfunded?
Where a creator does not fulfill the basic obligation of completing the venture, they must inform the donors of their failure to do so. Creators must provide an account as to how the funds will be used, in working towards the fulfillment of the venture. Creators must then keep donors up to date regarding every other reasonable step taken to accomplish the venture. The creator has a duty to act in good faith and communicate to donors as to their progress.

If the venture fails entirely, they must work with donors to reach a mutually agreed solution, which may include providing donors a refund. Donors may be able to bring a legal action against the creator for failure to comply with the rules and non-fulfilment of the venture.

Both donors and creators agree that Fund Lifelong Learning and the Graduate Union of The University of Melbourne are not liable or responsible for a creators failure to fulfill the stated tasks for the crowdfunded venture. Fund Lifelong Learning does not guarantee that the donations will be used as promised in ventures created by third parties.

What happens to the donations once they are pledged?
Once a donation is made, it cannot be revoked, unless the post has not met its target amount and the creator opts to cancel the post.

As soon as a pledge is made, Stripe submits the pledged charge to the donor’s bank for payment authorisation, after which Stripe holds the funds till release. If the venture is extended because the target amount has not yet been met, the donated amount will be held until the end of this period for release

Donations to Individual Ventures

Once the target amount is met, Fund Lifelong Learning will enable the release of the funds through merchant services and the amount will change hands and be delivered to the creator, minus the platform fee. If the amount is met, funds will be transferred to the creator. If the venture is cancelled, on account of the target amount not being met, the pledged donations will be refunded back to the donors, minus the transaction fees.

Donations to Graduate House Ventures

All Graduate House crowdfunding ventures will ensure that the donations pledged changes hands and reaches Graduate House for the specified ventures, as soon as they are pledged. The donations will feed into the ventures as they are ongoing. All donations to Graduate House ventures are tax deductible.

Fund Lifelong Learning is not responsible to ensure the full receipt of the funds to a pledged post or venture due to the occasional failure of the creator or donors some credit or debit cards.

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How can I contact Fund Lifelong Learning?
You can contact the team at Fund Lifelong Learning at the Graduate Union Office on +61 3 9347 3428, or email us at website@graduatehouse.com.au.

You can also visit us at the Graduate Union Office at 220 Leicester Street, Carlton, Melbourne Australia 3053.

DONORS

Do I need to register with Fund Lifelong Learning to donate?
A user must have an account with Fund Lifelong Learning to donate. If a user does not have an account, while pledging their donation they will have to enter an email address and create a password. This automatically registers the user on Fund Lifelong Learning and provides them access to their account.

This is so that donors can view and manage donations and create a profile that is visible to creators. However, donors can choose to remain anonymous while donating.

What payment methods can I use?
You can make a payment using your Visa, MasterCard and American Express Credit and Debit cards. Every payment is processed through the payment gateway Stripe that holds and manages your pledged amounts until its release to the creator or as a chargeback to the donor at the end of the stipulated timeframe.

Payments through cheques cannot be made.

Do I have to create an account with Stripe to make a payment?
Donors do not have to have a Stripe account to make pledges to a venture. You can make payments through your Visa, MasterCard and American Express Credit and Debit cards.
Why is my card charged from Stripe even though I am not a stripe user?
Even if you make a payment through your Visa, MasterCard and American Express Credit and Debit cards, the payment is processed via Stripe. You can look up your charge here if you are unsure.
How secure is my payment on Fund Lifelong Learning?
Stripe, our payment partner follows the industry standards for secure payment transactions. You can read more about their Security Guide here.
Can I pledge through PayPal?
Fund Lifelong Learning does not support payments through PayPal. You can make one-off or recurring payments through Stripe, our payment gateway.
Who receives donor details?
While pledging a donation, donors fill in their basic details including their name, email address and banking details.

All donor’s information is collected by Stripe, the payment gateway and merchant services to charge the amount to your bank.

Fund Lifelong Learning stores your basic details including your name, email address and contact details. However, we do not store your credit card and account details.

Donors’ names and email addresses will be passed to the creators so that they can respond to your donation and thank you personally. Donors however have the option to remain anonymous. In this case, information will not be passed onto creators.

What do the donors get in return?
The funding structure operates on a Donation based model. This means that all pledged donations are voluntarily and receive nothing in return. The donors do not receive equity in any venture, neither do they benefit by any recognition or reward for their donation.

For ventures such as research or the like, creators may chose to thank the donors in their papers etc.

How do I keep track of my donations?
You can view, keep track of and manage the donations you made on your online backer profile.
What do I do if my payment is declined?
Most payments fail because of innocuous reasons – the charge may be declined by the issuing bank, the details entered may be wrong or the card may even be maxed out or passed its expiry date.

The first thing to do is make sure all the details are entered in correctly. If the payment is still declined, contact your issuing bank.

Can I pledge to a post more than once?
Fund Lifelong Learning allows donors to make recurring payments to a venture. You will have to specify this when you make your first donation.
Are my pledged amount publicly displayed?
Donors pledged amount are publicly displayed with their corresponding names. However, if donors chose to remain anonymous, the name will only appear as “Backer”.
Are donations tax – deductible?
If ventures are created by organisations with a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and wholly benefit from the funds raised, a donation above $2 will be tax deductible. To check if your organisation has a DGR status, refer to the Australian Tax Office website.  On receiving donations, once the funds are released, the creator will have to invoice the donor for their pledged donation. This can be done via emails.
Can I support a venture with a different currency?
Yes, you can donate to ventures in a currency other than AUD. Stripe, the payment gateway supports a wide range of currencies. You can check if Stripe accepts your currency here.

If Stripe does not accept your currency and you still wish to donate, you can contact the creator directly and organise a transaction. However, this will not be a part of the crowdfunding campaign the creator has initiated, but a separate donation towards their cause.

Donations in a foreign currency will incur a different transaction fees, which you can check here.

How do I contact a venture host?
If you have questions regarding the venture, you can leave comments at the bottom of the post page and the creator will get back to you. Alternatively, you can check the creator’s profile that is linked to each of their crowdfunding posts to get their details including name and email address and send an email directly.
Can I delete or change my pledge?
Once you pledge a donation, it cannot be revoked, changed or edited. All donations must be made voluntarily, unconditionally, and at the sole discretion of the donor.

CREATORS

Who can create a crowdfunding post on Fund Lifelong Learning?
Any person including individuals, groups, academics, professionals, representatives from charities, organisations etc. over the age of 18 can create crowdfunding ventures at Fund Lifelong Learning. Children between the ages of 13-18 can also create crowdfunding posts to fundraise, with consent and under supervision of their parent or legal guardian.
What do I need to do to initiate a crowdfunding post?
To set up a crowdfunding post, you must:

  • Understand Crowdfunding and our funding model
  • Plan your Venture and Post
  • Create your post and set up your Stripe account
  • Launch your Post
Do I need a fundraising license to crowdfund my venture?
Certain financial appeals require a fundraising licence. If you are targeting to raise over $10,000 per financial year and or have paid staff, you have to obtain a fundraising license. This is subject to certain exemptions. Refer to Consumers Affairs Victoria for more information.
What details do I need to provide on my profile?
The first step in creating your online crowdfunding post is registering and creating your profile. Your profile should contain basic details about who you are, what you do and why you are choosing to crowdfund. Most often donors support the creator as opposed to the venture itself, so write a brief profile about yourself that is personable, honest and appealing to a reader.

Crowdfunding posts initiated by children (aged 13-18) with consent and supervision of legal parents or guardians should not contain personal information of the children. The parent of guardian should put in their personal information in the child’s name. The post should clearly indicate the purpose and the beneficiary of the venture.

What do I do after crafting my post?
Once you have crafted your post, you must submit it for review. The team at the Graduate Union of the University of Melbourne screens your post against our guidelines and conduct rules. The team may advice for changes to be made in line with our Terms and conditions. Once the post is approved, the team will publish it on the date stated on the form or on the agreed upon date.

Fund Lifelong Learning and the Graduate Union of the University of Melbourne reserves the right to stay the publication of the post until it has met all our standards and guidelines.

What is the review process for a venture?
The review process considers if the venture and post is in line with Fund Lifelong Learning’s Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and our website guidelines.

Note: Our review process does not guarantee the success of the venture, the crowdfunding post and the creators intentions for the post and venture.

How and where can I create my crowdfunding post on my profile?
On your dashboard (access to which is granted by registering and creating a profile), under the “Mr Projects” tab you can create your venture post. All you have to do is fill in the form with the required details. You can save the post as draft to come back and edit later. Once you are happy with your post, submit it online for review.
What is the cost of starting a post?
Fund Lifelong Learning does not charge specific costs to start a post, however payment gateway and transaction fees apply with each transaction, and a platform fee is charged on the successful funding of a post. Fund Lifelong Learning does not charge any other fees, unless creators extend the duration of the post as a one-off. In this case, a fee is incurred regardless of whether the creator has reached their target amount. Additionally, the creator may incur personal costs apart from what is charged by the platform in planning and determining the actual venture itself, before deciding to crowdfund to fulfil or realise the venture.

Check our Fee structure for more details.

How much information do I have to share about my venture?
Information provided must be able to justify the costs targeted. By providing as much as information and facts, you can prove your venture’s legitimacy, integrity and gain donors trust. However, providing too much information can also bore or confuse your audience.

You can demonstrate your preparedness to fulfil the venture by not leaving questions unanswered. This readily gains donors trust and willingness to donate to and support your cause.

How do I receive funds into my account?
To launch your venture and receive funds, a project creator must have a Stripe account, the payment gateway through which online payments are processed at Fund Lifelong Learning. Fill in your account details on the post submission forms and you will be ready to receive funds on the successful completion of your post.
How do I set up my Stripe account and receive funds?
A creator must set up their Stripe account, without which payments cannot be processed and transferred.

If a creator does not have a Stripe account, one can be set up via the “Creator Account” tab on their dashboard (access to which is granted by registering and creating a profile). Click on “Connect with Stripe” to be redirected to the Stripe website and initiate the set-up process. Fill in the required details and voila, your stripe account is set up.

Detailed information on setting up your Stripe account:

Do I need to pay taxes on the money I raise?
Funds raised or the profit made by crowdfunding could be considered taxable income by the Australian Tax Office. Venture creators alone are responsible to declare and pay any taxes in accordance with the funds raised in compliance with the relevant state and federal laws. Refer to the Australian Tax Office for more information.
Can I launch a venture outside of Australia?
You may be able to launch your venture outside of Australia. However all the funds received will be in Australian Dollars (AUD) and to Australian Bank accounts. In either case, you will have to inform your community of supporters regarding the location of your venture.

Rules and regulations for the fulfillment of your venture may differ across jurisdictions.

Can I delete my launched venture?
Before you launch your venture, be certain that you are fully prepared and have everything ready to go. You should be ready to manage and run the crowdfunding venture. Running a crowdfunding venture is a process, so be sure you are committed to fully immersing yourself into this adventure.

Prior to reaching your target amount, you may decide against the venture and cancel your crowdfunding post. Here, the funds raised will be refunded back to the donors without incurring a fee. But, if you cancel your venture after you reach your target amount, you will be charged the platform fee and the pledged donations will be returned to donors.

Additionally, if you cancel the venture after extending the timeline of your post, you will incur a fee.

How do I provide updates regarding my post and venture?
On your dashboard, under your specific post, there is a provision for project updates which gets posted chronologically. Donors must be kept up to date through posts or updates frequently. Once the target amount is met, creators must also provide an account as to how the funds are used.
Can I run multiple crowdfunding posts at a time?
Yes, you may run multiple crowdfunding posts at a time.
However, it is adviced to focus on one venture at a time. Running two campaigns at once will take up a lot of time and can overlap. Ventures can be created one after the other for continuity and to demonstrate progress, if they are linked to the same idea.
Can donors contact me directly for questions and more information?
Donors have the option of leaving public comments and messages on your post page, to which you can directly reply. These messages will appear publicly at the bottom your post.
Do I get information of a donor?
You will receive a donor’s basic details including their name and email address, to thank them for their support, if they chose to make it visible and share it with you. This information however may not be passed on to you if they chose to make anonymous donations.
What happens if I raise more than my target amount?
If you raise more funds than your target amount, you will be able to keep all the funds you raised, minus the platform fee. The 5% platform fee is only based on your total targeted amount and not the amount raised.
Can I edit my post once it is live?
After your post is published and active, you will not be able to make changes to your post. You can however provide updates and comments while your post is active.
Do I have to be in Australia to create a crowdfunding venture?
It is preferred that you are in Australia and the venture you initiate is in Australia. This is because the funds raised is in Australian Currency and processed through Australian Banking Institution. However, you can still be overseas and initiate a venture overseas. In this case, the relevant jurisdictional rules, guidelines and conversion rates apply.
How do I get on the front page of the site?
To be recognised a featured venture and placed on the websites home page, your venture should generate great online activity by way of sharing across different portals and receive immediate support.
Can I change (lower) my target?
Once your post is launched, you cannot change (lower or increase your target). However, if you have chosen to extend your timeline post the prescribed timeline, you can then change your venture.