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Procedures for Crowd Funding Projects

The following procedures apply to all faculty, students and staff using a crowdfunding platform to generate funds to support research projects that use GS facilities, equipment or resources:

  1. Applicants must be faculty, staff, or students of Georgia Southern University. All funds received will be treated as external sponsored funding and will be deposited into a grant account that will be the property of the university. All funds must come directly to GS.
  2. All crowdfunding projects, particularly those using any GS facilities, equipment, personnel or resources, must receive unit-level (i.e. departmental and deans) approval prior to the beginning of the crowdfunding effort. Please fill out the approval form, attach a project budget, and route through the department chair and dean to the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs (ORSSP). Once approved, the form will be returned to the researcher (faculty/staff/student) for the project to begin. GS reserves the right to reject funds that utilize any GS facilities, equipment, personnel or resources in the event that prior approval was not obtained.
  3. Use of the GS insignia, logo, and other related promotional branding materials requires the permission of the GS Office of Marketing & Communications.
  4. The project leader or team members cannot have a financial interest in the crowdfunding company or any interest that is in conflict with the discharge of your University duties. You cannot accept gifts or anything of economic value from the crowdfunding company if it could be reasonably expected that the gift or favor would influence your action with respect to the company. You may not accept a gift from the company if the value of the gift exceeds $50 in total. You may accept unsolicited advertising or promotional items of nominal value, such as pens or note pads.
  5. Federal Grant/Contract Award Requirements (only applicable if your project is already partially funded by a federal grant, contract or award or you are applying for this type of award): Federal funding sources, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Public Health Service and the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation do not allow any scientific overlap between the project they fund and any other project funded by a separate source (e.g., via crowdfunding). You are responsible for ensuring that your crowdfunded project is outside the scope of your federally funded research and complies with the terms of your grant or contract award.
  6. Researchers are required to comply with all laws and applicable University policies and procedures, including those related to research compliance such as IRB and IACUC, conflicts of interest, intellectual property rights, and other areas. All funds must be spent according to university, state, and federal procurement guidelines.
  7. Crowdfunding uses the personal and social networks of the project team to drive traffic to their crowdfunding page. Email lists used in support of these campaigns will only come from the personal contact lists of those involved in the project, and will not be pulled directly from the university alumni donor database or from any other centralized university email list, unless authorized to do so by the university.
  8. Tangible items of fulfillment (material items or gifts that are delivered in exchange for funding) are not to be offered by the project leader. Georgia Southern University will not support a fulfillment process through crowdfunding and will not process donations that reduce the full tax-deductible value of the donation.
  9. Projects not using any GS resources whatsoever do not require institutional approval, and will not be accepted by GS. Tax and legal implications are the responsibility of the individual where funds do not come directly to GS, and it is the sole responsibility of the individual to determine such implications.
  10. Project leaders are advised crowdfunding sites do not provide intellectual property protection; presenting your campaign to the public could result in others using your ideas and research before you can protect them with patents or other legal measures. The University has an interest in any discoveries or inventions as you are performing the project as part of your GS duties. If the crowdfunding company desires any interest in your project or you are concerned with intellectual property protection you should consult with the Office of Legal Affairs.

Last updated: 10/7/2019