About Rocket Fund
Rocket Fund is a crowdfunding platform for schools.
We help schools supercharge their lessons by fundraising from businesses and their wider community.
To give every child access to the best opportunities at school.
What we do
Rocket Fund modernises school fundraising, empowering schools to raise money from businesses and their community more efficiently. We provide support through the whole process, from pitch creation, to fundraising, to sourcing the best suppliers for schools to buy from when they hit their target.
Donors give funds to projects in schools they want to support. Money only changes hands when a project achieves its minimum target.
For more information on the process for both Donors and Creators, please visit our About page
How Rocket Fund works
It's a simple process:
- Teachers / PTAs create a project to fundraise for something they think would make a difference to their school
- They share the project with their contacts (friends / alumni / parents / local community)
- People donate to the projects they want to support
- Funds are automatically transferred to the school / PTA's bank account within 2 days
- Teachers review the products they receive to help other teachers in the future
Who can create a project?
A Creator must be employed by a UK school / college / pre-school or part of a school PTA / PTFA (Parent, Teachers and Friends Association) / Governors.
Creators have to be at least 18 years old. If they're younger than this, students can ask a member of staff at their school (e.g. their teacher) to register as the Creator of the project.
How much can I raise?
As much as you like! We recommend you limit your initial target to £1,500. This is to help maximise your chances of success. You can raise more than this, so add a stretch target just in case.
This summer term we are giving £250 "rocket boosts" (aka grants) to the first 10 projects to raise £250.
Here are the rules:
- Only for projects raising money for technology, created by state funded schools
- If your target is less than £500, then the boost will be 50% of your initial target and be triggered when your project reaches 50%
- To be eligible, projects must be launched on or after 3rd June 2019
- Projects must raise £250 from at least 3 supporters, online via Rocket Fund, to be eligible for the boost
Sound good? Start creating your project now.
Which schools are already involved?
You can view all previous projects here or checkout the map below!
How to create a project
Checkout our series of short videos below to see how to create a project on Rocket Fund.
How to start your project
How to write your pitch
How to create rewards
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is when you raise monetary contributions from a large number of people.
What is Match funding?
Match funding is where companies / philanthropists match the amount raised from individual donors. Where possible, we try to ﬁnd match funding for your projects. You may want to propose this to businesses you know, as it’s an easy way for them to make a positive impact on their community.
Any questions? Contact us here.
Can I find Rocket Fund elsewhere on the web?
Who is the team behind Rocket Fund?
Do you have a blog?
Yes, read inspirational stories from other schools and updates from us on our blog here.
Can I change my profile name?
Make sure you're logged in, go to 'account', and click on the 'edit profile' button.
I forgot my password. How can I log in?
D'oh! You can reset your password by clicking the 'reset your password' link on the login page. You will be sent an email which contains a link to gain access to your account.
How do I delete my account?
Contact us using our contact form. We'll miss you!
Can I change my email notification settings?
You will only receive emails about projects which you are following. To stop receiving these, go to the project page and click 'Follow' - when the pink heart is absent you won't receive email updates. If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter, click on 'Unsubscribe' at the bottom of any newsletter.
Creating a Project
Can I be a Creator?
Are you employed by a UK school / college / pre-school or part of a school PTA / PTFA (Parent, Teachers and Friends Association) / Governors?
Is your project for the benefit of your school?
Then yes! You’re eligible to sign up, get going here.
Creators also have to be at least 18 years of age. If you're under 18 and want to post a project, you'll need to get someone over 18 to register on the site and be responsible for your project, e.g. your teacher.
What types of project can I post?
We encourage you to use this platform to try new things, rather than cover core costs. Perhaps it’ll be setting up a school radio station, investing in an app to help improve grades or developing an outdoor learning area.
Rocket Fund wants to empower teachers, support staff and PTAs. Therefore we put no real restriction on what you fundraise for - we say let the crowd decide!
However, we do have a few guidelines:
- Projects must be created by teachers, support staff or PTA members with the permission of the Headteacher
- Projects must fundraise for resources or experiences that directly benefit the students
- Projects cannot fundraise for anything illegal
- Projects must not contain anything offensive or discriminatory
- Projects cannot offer equity or financial investments
- Projects must not fundraise for core school costs
Are a minimum needed, funding target and completion date required?
Yes! We will help you set these when you submit your project.
What is all-or-nothing funding?
All-or-nothing funding means that unless your project has achieved its minimum fundraising target by its fundraising deadline, no donations or rewards change hands.
As a result, we recommend setting your minimum target at the smallest amount you need to complete your project.
Why we require thank you notes
We've found that saying thank you for a donation engages Donors more with your project and encourages more donations. We require every project creator to at least send thank you notes to their donors, see "what rewards should I offer" below. Just try to keep your rewards digital and simple! (It'll make it much easier for you and Donors don't mind).
What rewards should I offer?
We highly recommend offering 3 forms of digital thank yous as rewards to your Donors:
1. A thank you note from yourself
2. A thank you note from your students
3. Some form of personal recognition / thank you to the Donor (e.g. in a video / picture / school newsletter)
What happens after I submit my project?
We will review it and aim to get back to you within 3 working days. We'll either respond with feedback on how to improve, or (hopefully) say you're ready to launch! If so, we will start the countdown and send you some advice on how to get ready to launch your campaign.
Can I edit my project after submitting?
Yes, but only if it hasn't been published yet. You'll need to email us and ask us to make it a draft again.
Once published, you can add updates to your project so that Donors can keep track of the latest developments.
Can I change my funding goal after submitting?
Yes, you can add a stretch target.
Can I edit my project after funding is completed?
No, otherwise Creators would be able to raise money donated for one purpose and then spend it on something different. This isn't fair on your Donors.
How many projects can I post at the same time?
As many as you want. We impose no limit though it might be in your interest to keep the number of live projects low. This prevents you exhausting your networks of potential Donors. Donors are unlikely to donate several times to the same person in a short space of time. Even if they do, their donations will be far smaller when shared between multiple projects, meaning that maybe none of your projects get funded!
Can I split funding for one project into several projects?
Yes. The advantage of doing this is that people might be more interested in one aspect of your plans than another and, in doing so, you're giving them the freedom to choose where to put their money.
Can I share my project with friends before I submit?
Yes. In the sense that you will be able to discuss what you're doing with people online and via word of mouth. However, you will not be able to send people a link to your project in draft mode (though screenshots are possible). In order for other people to view your projects prior to it going live, you will need to log in to your account and demo the project in preview mode.
Can I cancel my project?
You can cancel a project by informing us using our contact form. We will notify your Donors.
Can I retry if unsuccessful?
Yes. If you didn't reach your minimum you can re-submit your project as many times as you like. However, we recommend that you make some alterations. Why weren't you successful last time? Would a different funding target or completion date help?
You can view advice on setting these in Rocket Fund Academy.
What happens if I hit my fundraising target before the completion date?
Then keep going! If you do raise more than your target amount, we will contact you to see if you'd like to add a stretch target.
Can I raise more than my minimum needed?
Yes. Your minimum needed is the minimum you need with which to carry out your project.
How many Creators can I have on my project?
There can only be one Creator account per project, but you should definitely get help from your friends, colleagues and students to help create and promote it.
Can I pledge to my own project?
Yes, if you want to!
Where can I find Donors?
Does it cost anything to post on Rocket Fund?
No. Not a penny.
How does Rocket Fund cover its costs?
We currently cover our costs via grant funding from Nesta and other partners (see them under "supported by" here). This means we can pass 100% of donations onto teachers.
Payment processing fees
Stripe charges 2.4% + 20p per transaction to process your donations (or approximately 3%), which is why we suggest you add 3% to your total target.
If you successfully hit your target, donations will be automatically transferred to your bank account via Stripe (the payment processor we use).
If one of your donors disputes a transaction, Stripe will automatically refund the donor and deduct that amount from your account + a £15 admin fee per refund. In our experience refund requests are very rare and can normally be resolved if you message the donor reminding them of their donation (if the refund is resolved, the Stripe fees are also refunded back to you).
If you haven't got a company or charity number
When you create a Stripe account, they will ask you to select which "Type of Business" you are. If your school / PTA doesn't have a company or charity number, then choose the "Individual / Sole Trader" option.
Do I have to make a video?
No, but a video is highly recommended as it greatly improves your chances of achieving your funding target.
Can I add a video later?
No. You can't edit a project after submitting it.
Any advice on what makes a great video?
What types of video can I use?
How large can my video's file size be?
Vimeo's basic account has a limit of 500mb per file and 5GB for premium accounts. Youtube has a limit of 2GB.
How many images can I use?
As many images as you like!
Can I use music on my video?
Yes, but only if you have permission to do so from its owner! Alternatively you can use any music from http://freemusicarchive.org/
Can I embed media?
Yes you can add images or videos to the description section of your project.
Consent from parents
If any of your photos or videos identify individual students, make sure you have parental permission before you upload them. The permission also needs to give Nesta the right to use the images to promote Rocket Fund as a whole. Ideally use our template Photo Consent Form. It’s your responsibility to ensure you comply with the requirements of your school and any applicable law or regulation.
What are Updates?
An Update is a bit like a status update on Facebook. It lets Donors know about developments in your project and how you're getting on. They breathe life into your project and are essential to the process. For advice on how to use them visit the Updates section of Rocket Fund Academy.
What media can I use in Updates?
You can add images, but not videos.
Will Donors know if I've posted an Update?
What is my responsibility for answering questions from Donors?
Donors will ask you questions about your project. They may ask for more details about how you will carry out your project, or even for more information on you! Donors should be answered promptly. In cases where many Donors ask the same question, you should answer with an Update to your project so that anyone viewing it can see this information.
What if I can't complete my project as listed?
If this is the case you must cancel funding immediately. You can cancel a project by informing us using our contact form. We will notify your Donors.
What if I can't deliver a reward?
Get in touch with us ASAP. The minimum reward we require is a thank you note from you (and ideally your students), this should be enough.
Supporting a Project
Can I be a Donor?
Yes. Anybody can be a Donor. You will need a debit or credit card to donate. You will be asked for your details when you pledge to a project.
How do I make a pledge?
Simply find a project you like and hit the pink 'Sponsor This Project' button at the right-hand side of the page and follow the on-screen instructions.
When will I be charged?
Your card will be charged after the project fundraising deadline but only if the project you pledge to achieves its minimum needed by this date.
If the project is unsuccessful no money changes hands, so your card/account is not charged.
What happens if a project does not achieve its minimum needed?
Nothing! No money changes hands. This is all-or-nothing funding.
What happens if a project is overfunded?
If the project raises more than its target amount, we will contact the teacher to ask if they'd like to add a stretch target. The school will still receive all the money they raise.
Can I pledge anonymously?
Yes. When you make a pledge you will be given the option to hide your name & amount donated. Please note that you will not be anonymous to the Project Creator - only to the public.
Is the value of my pledge made public?
Not automatically. We leave it up to you to decide whether your name and contribution should be displayed as described above.
What info about me do you give to the Creator?
This depends on what option you choose when you donate, they will at least see your username, the size of your donation and the reward you've selected.
Will you notify me if a project I'm sponsoring is successful?
Yes. You will receive an email regardless of whether the project is successful or not.
Can I change my pledge?
You will not be allowed to amend an existing donation but you can add another one.
How do I change my credit card details before funding ends?
Please get in touch with us here.
What happens if my credit card is declined?
Don’t worry, if this happens you will be sent a re-pledge link so you can make sure you have the necessary funds available and re-donate.
Can I cancel my pledge?
When you make a pledge you make a commitment to that Creator. We, and the Creator, would really appreciate it if you don't cancel your pledge.
Can I get a refund on my donation?
Once payment has been processed, donations are non-refundable.
Can I trust Creators?
Yes. We check every project before it is published.
Still not sure? Ask the Creator a question via their profile or project page. At the end of the day, we leave it to your judgement. If you spot anything you think looks suspicious, there is a button on every project page where you can report suspicious projects.
How can I get more info about a project?
Most people will be happy with the information provided in the proposal and video. But, you can always ask them directly! You can contact the Creator directly through their profile or project page. If you have already donated to a project and you would like to make your question public, you can post a comment on the project. The Creator will be notified by email when you do.
Will projects be completed as described?
Yes, we encourage schools to share updates with Donors after they've purchased the items they fundraised for, to showcase the impact they've had.