About Rocket Fund
Rocket Fund is an online fundraising platform for teachers. It is a pilot project by Nesta, to test if the concept will work in the UK.
So please be nice and let us know here if you notice anything wrong!
To enable teachers to try new things.
What we do
Rocket Fund empowers teachers to buy what they think will have the biggest impact on their students' education, by raising money, connecting with their community and accessing corporate match funding.
Donors give funds to projects in schools they want to support. Funds only change hands when a project achieves its minimum target.
For more information on the process for both Donors and Creators, please visit our Learn section.
Can I find Rocket Fund elsewhere on the web?
Who is the team behind Rocket Fund?
Do you have a blog?
Yes, well almost, it's coming soon... it'll be full of news, advice, success stories. You can see updates on the Nesta blog here
How Rocket Fund works
Who can create a project?
Rocket Fund has been created to enable teachers to innovate in their classroom. A Creator must be a teacher/coach, employed in a UK educational institution, who works directly with students. Where the Creator is a non-teaching member of staff, the project must be for the direct benefit of students.
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 to register as the Creator of the project, e.g. their teacher or coach.
How much can I raise?
We cap a teacher’s first project at £1,500. This is to help maximise your chances of success. Our research shows that the less expensive a project is, the more likely it is to be funded. If you think you need a bigger budget, could you split your wish list into two projects? Or do a smaller trial before committing to a bigger spend? If the project raises more than its target amount, we will ask you to choose some additional items up to the value of the overfunding and purchase them on your behalf.
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 in a UK state school? Is your project for the direct benefit of students? 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 or coach.
What types of project can I post?
Rocket Fund is designed to enable teachers to try new technology. Previous projects have raised for: Virtual Reality headsets, 3D printers and iPads. Maybe you want to try exploring Ancient Egypt using VR? Or teach students to use professional technology, like a computerised sewing machine?
A few rules do apply and you can see these in the Rocket Fund Guidelines.
Are a minimum needed, funding target and completion date required?
If your project fundraising campaign is successful, we will contact you. We will then purchase the items on your behalf and have them sent directly to your school address.
If the project raises more than its target amount, we will ask you to choose some additional items up to the value of the overfunding and purchase them on your behalf.
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.
Assuming you reach your minimum target by your fundraising deadline, we will process your pledges and purchase the products you fundraised for.
If you experience any problems with the products you receive, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
For advice on how to promote you project, you can visit the Promotion section of Rocket Fund Academy.
Hubbub also have some great advice and checklists in their Promotions Guide (please note their content on rewards is not all relevant to Rocket Fund).
Can I edit my project after submitting?
Sorry! Apart from us needing to keep reviewing amended proposals, we feel this allows too much room for Creators to change the deal after Donors have made donations.
However, you can add updates to your project once published so that Donors can keep track of the latest developments.
Can I change my minimum, funding goal or completion date after submitting?
No. It is not permitted to edit your project after submission.
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. You might also be able to break down a larger project to enable you to get your idea under our £1,500 cap per project.
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 funding is completed before the completion date?
We strongly encourage donors not to continue donating towards completed projects, instead we encourage them to support other projects that are still below their funding targets. If you do raise more than you're target amount, we will ask you to choose some additional items up to the value of the overfunding and purchase them for you.
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?
Sadly no. Credit card rules do not allow Creators to make a payment to themselves. This prevents individuals from attempting to obtain a cash advance. Please don't try it - not even from another account. You may end up losing all of your donations!
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 claim Gift Aid on donations from eligible Donors who choose to support us. This means we can pass 100% of their donation on to you and support schools across the country. Remember we're non-profit, any surplus we create will be put back into match funding school projects.
Why are there credit card transaction fees added to my project total?
We use a payment gateway provider called Stripe, who applies fees on every donation made to successful projects. Please visit Stripe's Fees page for more information on their costs. To cover these transaction fees, we add 2% to your project total.
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?
How many images can I have?
One video, but as many images as you like! You just need to enter the web address of the image in your project description.
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.
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 ask the teacher to choose some additional items up to the value of the overfunding and then purchase them on the teacher's behalf.
Can I pledge anonymously?
Yes. When you make a pledge you will be given the option of displaying:
- your name and the value of you pledge;
- just your name; or
- remaining completely anonymous.
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 entirely 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?
Creators see your username, the size of your donation, and the reward you've selected. If their project is successful, we'll also give the Creator your email address so that they can contact you and home address if you selected to receive a reward.
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 at email@example.com
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.
What happens to the Gift Aid?
If you tick the box allowing us to claim the Gift Aid on your donation, Nesta (the charity behind Rocket Fund) will reclaim the tax from your donation to help cover the operational costs of running Rocket Fund. This enables us to continue supporting teachers across the country and transfer 100% of your donation to schools. We are non-profit, if we make a surplus we will put the money back into match funding other school projects on Rocket Fund.
Can I trust Creators?
Yes. We check every project before it is published. Once a project is successful, Nesta receives your donation and uses it to purchase the items and sends them directly to the school address. So there is little chance of fraud by teachers.
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 will purchase the items on behalf of the teacher and then send them directly to their school address.