Thundafund launched in 2011 with a specific focus on getting creative and innovative projects funded.
The rewards-based platform allows people to make donations and in return, receive a reward. Individuals (‘project creators’) can raise funds for anything from charitable causes to startup capital for a new business venture or to support a creative endeavour.
Thundafund is the brainchild of award-winning social entrepreneur, Patrick Schofield, who also founded Uprise Africa, South Africa’s first equity-based crowdfunding platform, and Backabuddy.
Since its launch they have helped raise millions of Rands for project creators.
See also: A Guide to Crowdfunding in South Africa
Type of funding – Thundafund operates a ‘rewards-based’, ‘all-or-nothing’ crowdfunding model. Project creators offer project-related items, known as rewards, to backers in return for their financial contribution. These rewards can be in the form of retail items, recognition and experience.
With the “all-or-nothing” model, entrepreneurs are only allowed to keep the funds if they achieve their fundraising goal.
Projects on the platform average between R5,000 – R50,000, but at the extreme, can go into the millions.
Qualification criteria – To make use of the platform, businesses must fit into any of the following 13 categories: art and photography, community, crafts, design, events, fashion, film and video, food and beverages, media and publishing, music, performance; sport, and technology and games.
Project creators also have to be over the age of 18. If applicants are under 18, they will need a project collaborator to register for them, be the payment account holder and take responsibility for the project roll-out.
Application process –You can submit an application after registering on the website. Each application is reviewed by the Thundafund team and has to be approved before it goes live. The approval process can take weeks.
The first step for qualifying businesses is to determine their crowdfunding project (what the money will be used for) and funding goal. Project creators also have to set a target time period for two milestones – the tipping point and the dream goal.
They are also responsible for selecting the appropriate reward to correspond with the amount of money given by each backer. The reward can be a product, recognition or an experience.
Once the project goes live project creators can launch their marketing campaigns to encourage backer support. If the financial target is not met within the tipping point, the funds pledged by donors are returned.
Successful campaigns – those that reach their tipping point milestone – will be charged a fee of either 7% for regular projects and 5% for registered NGOs, exclusive of VAT.
Other costs that are carried by project creators are third party fees and administration transaction fees, which can range 3% – 5.5%,depending on the payment method.
If the tipping point (milestone 1) is not reached, then all backers have the opportunity to support another project or get their cash back
Thundafund offers free business and mentorship support services.
The Thundafund committee has to approve all campaigns before they go live.
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