Frequently Asked Questions

Jumpstarter Basics:

  • What’s Jumpstarter?

    Jumpstarter is a new way to fund creative projects for individuals, charities and businesses.

    We believe that:
    • A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
    • A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

    Jumpstarter is powered by a unique 100%-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

  • How does Jumpstarter work?

    Creative projects are funding on Jumpstarter at any given time. Each venture is individually designed and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Jumpstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects.

Project Creators spend weeks building their project pages, capturing their movie clips, and brainstorming what benefits to offer backers. When they’re ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.

Every Project Creator sets their project’s funding goal, donation rewards, and deadline. As Jumpstarter received a Google Ads grant, we run a tailored free Google Ad campaign for the lifetime of each Jumpstarter Crowdfunding project. With this, we are also able to run a YouTube campaign alongside, if you have suitable video/s to integrate with your project. This will help to drive awareness and support!

If people like the project, they can donate money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal in the allocated timeframe, the Project Creator is paid out. Funding on Jumpstarter is all-or-nothing.

  • Why is funding all-or-nothing?

    Every Jumpstarter project must be 100% funded before its time expires or no money changes hands (received Jumpstarter Project donation funds, become usable for other live Jumpstarter Projects as credits/pledges).
    It’s less risk for everyone. If you need R50,000, it’s tough having R20,000 and a bunch of people expecting you to complete a R50,000 project.
    It allows people to test concepts (or conditionally sell stuff) without risk. If you don’t receive the support you want, you’re not compelled to follow through. This is huge!
    It motivates. If people want to see a project come to life, they’re going to spread the word.

  • Can Jumpstarter be used to fund anything?

    We allow creative projects in the worlds of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.

    Everything on Jumpstarter must be a project. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.

    Jumpstarter allows charity projects. Check out our project guidelines for details.

  • Does Jumpstarter screen projects before they launch?

    Only a quick review to make sure they meet our project guidelines. Jumpstarter does not examine a creator’s capability to finish their project. Donators ultimately decide the credibility and value of a project by whether they choose to invest in it.

  • Why do people donate to projects?

REWARDS! Project creators inspire people to open their wallets by offering smart, fun, and tangible rewards (products, benefits, and experiences).

STORIES! Jumpstarter projects are efforts by real people to do something they love, something fun, or at least something of note. These stories unfold through blog posts, pics, and videos as people bring their ideas to life. Take a peek around the site and see what we’re talking about. Stories abound!

  • Where do donators come from?

    In most cases, the majority of funding initially comes from the fans and friends of each project. If they like it, they’ll spread the word to their friends, and so on. Press, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Jumpstarter itself are also big sources of traffic and pledges.

    Jumpstarter transacts all payments and payouts in South African Rands only. We do accept international payment donations for all projects.

    Pledged Donation channels offered are via Jumpstarter Merchant account processed by PayGate (SiD = Secure EFT service; online Card payments worldwide, or Money Transfer).

    Alternatively, SnapScan is an option for pure donation pledges (each project receives its own QR-code for use).

  • Does Jumpstarter take some percentage of ownership or intellectual property of things made through Jumpstarter?

    Absolutely not. Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work.

  • What are the fees?

    PART A

If a For-Profit project is successfully funded, Jumpstarter applies a 7% fee to the funds collected. Payments pledged exceeding R250, are refundable.
• If a registered Non-Profit Organisation project is successfully funded, Jumpstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds collected. Payments pledged exceeding R250, are refundable.
• If ISASA or RSA Public School’s project is successfully funded, Jumpstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds collected. Payments pledged exceeding R250, are refundable.


In South Africa, the pledged donations will be processed by PayGate, a third-party payments processor. These payment processing fees work out to roughly 1.5-4%.

In South Africa, we accept credit and debit cards.

If international payments are sent via credit and debit cards, it is important the users card has 3D secure verification.

If funding isn’t successful, there are no fees.

  • Who is Jumpstarter?

    Jumpstarter is a registered Non-Profit Company (2012-056677-08) and Non-Profit Organisation (NPO 153-319) funding platform for creative projects.

    The notion of crowdfunding has actually existed for centuries as crowds gathered to hear and support pitches, but digital technology and social media have catapulted that notion to new heights and expanded the playing field and the playbook.

    Directors are Derek Whitehead (Cape Town, South Africa), Yaseen Kriel (Cape Town, South Africa), Zaid Kriel (Cape Town, South Africa).

    We are lovingly advised by a team of Online specialists.

    Home base is Cape Town, South Africa.

  1. Jumpstarter Basics: Accountability

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    1. Who is responsible for completing a project as promised?

      It’s the project creator’s responsibility to complete their project. Jumpstarter is not involved in the development of the projects themselves.

      Jumpstarter does not guarantee projects or investigate a creator’s ability to complete their project. On Jumpstarter, backers (you!) ultimately decide the validity and worthiness of a project by whether they decide to fund it.

    2. How do donators know if a project will follow through?

      Launching a Jumpstarter Project is a very public act, and creators put their reputations at risk when they do.

      Backers should look for creators who share a clear plan for how their project will be completed and who have a history of doing so. Creators are encouraged to share links and as much background information as possible so backers can make informed decisions about the projects they support.

      If a creator has no demonstrable experience in doing something like their project or doesn’t share key information, backers should take that into consideration. Does the creator include links to any websites that show work related to the project, or past projects? Does the creator appear in the video? Have they connected via Facebook?

      Don’t hesitate to request information from a creator. You can always reach out before donating via the “Contact me” button on the project page.

    3. How do I know a project creator is who they claim they are?

      Perhaps you know the project creator, or you heard about the project from a trusted source.

      Maybe they have a first-person video. That would be hard to fake. “Is it really U2?!” Well, it is if Bono’s talking about the project.

      Still not sure? Look for the creator bio section on the project page. Are they Facebook Connected? Do they provide links for further verification? The web is an invaluable resource for learning more about a person.

      At the end of the day, use your internet street smarts.

    4. What should creators do if they’re having problems completing their project?

      If problems come up, creators are expected to post a project update (which is emailed to all backers) explaining the situation. Sharing the story, speed bumps and all, is crucial. Most Backers support projects because they want to see something happen and they’d like to be a part of it. Creators who are honest and transparent will usually find backers to be understanding.

      It’s not uncommon for things to take longer than expected. Sometimes the execution of the project proves more difficult than the creator had anticipated. If a creator is making a good faith effort to complete their project and is transparent about it, backers should do their best to be patient and understanding while demanding continued accountability from the creator.

      If the problems are severe enough that the creator can’t fulfill their project, creators need to find a resolution. Steps could include offering refunds, detailing exactly how funds were used, and other actions to satisfy backers.

    5. Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?

      Yes. Jumpstarter’s Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don’t. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill.

    6. Can Jumpstarter refund the money if a project is unable to fulfill?

      Yes. Jumpstarter can issue refunds, as transactions are between Project Donators and Creators. Project Creators receive all the funds (after fees) soon after a successful campaign ends.

      If a campaign is not 100% funded by the end date, the Project Backers with credit balances exceeding R250, may request a payout of their credits.

      To cover back charges that applied when the pledge was made and for the payout, a handling fee of 5% will be subtracted from the balance upon refund. Backers opting to retain their funds as Jumpstarter credits may still pledge their amount towards other projects of their choosing on Jumpstarter to receive alternate rewards.

    7. Why can’t Jumpstarter guarantee projects?

      We started Jumpstarter as a new way for creators and audiences to work together to make things. The traditional funding systems are risk-averse and profit-focused, and tons of great ideas never get a chance. We thought Jumpstarter could open the door to a much wider variety of ideas and allow everyone to decide what they wanted to see exist in the world.

      Jumpstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative ideas. Many of the projects you see on Jumpstarter are in earlier stages of development and are looking for a community to bring them to life. The fact that Jumpstarter allows creators to take risks and attempt to create something new is a feature, not a bug.

  2. Jumpstarter Basics: Getting involved

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    1. How do I start a project?

      Click the “Start“button on the top of the page. That will take you through the process of building your project. All projects must meet Jumpstarter’s project guidelines and all creators must meet eligibility requirements.

      Before jumping in, do some research.  Read through our post on 7 Things to Consider BEFORE you Launch your Crowdfunding Project for tips on how to structure your project.   Talk to your friends about your ideas to see what they think.   Look at other projects on Jumpstarter that are similar to yours.   All of this work will pay off.

      Please note: A Jumpstarter project’s duration is either between 1 and 60 days, or by a certain date. Curiously, using the second option, you can have the project end past the 60-day limit. Statistically, projects lasting 30 days or less have our highest success rates. A Jumpstarter project takes a lot of work to run, and shorter projects set a tone of confidence and help motivate your backers to join the party. Longer durations incite less urgency, encourage procrastination, and tend to fizzle out.

    2. How can I find interesting projects to back?

      There are a bunch of ways to find cool projects:

      Your friends: Connect your Facebook account to Jumpstarter to follow your friends and check out the projects they’re backing.

      Staff Picks: The Staff Picks section collects standout projects selected by the Jumpstarter team.

      Popular: The Jumpstarter algorithms displays the projects making the most waves. The main popular page is the best view: three of the most popular projects in all categories.

      The Internet: This is how many projects are discovered.

    3. Is there a place I can download the Jumpstarter logo?

      Yes! The Jumpstarter Style Guide has hi-resolution versions of the Jumpstarter logo and other assets for creators, backers, and members of the press to download.

    4. If I have more questions, what should I do?

      Have questions that weren’t answered here? Send a message and contact us here. If you’re a member of the press looking to reach Jumpstarter, or just email customerservice@jumpstarter.com directly. If you are looking for customer service help, just click Contact at the top of the page. Thanks!

Creator Questions: While your project is live

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  • Where can I track my project’s progress?

    Your project’s dashboard contains up to the minute stats about your funding progress. From here, you’ll be able to monitor referrer information, reward popularity, video play stats, average pledge amount, and more. The “Activity” section of this page will give you more details, including any pledge or reward adjustments and comment activity. You can also check your backer report for a complete list of your backers, and their respective pledge amounts and reward selections.

    Both your dashboard and backer report can be visited from the creator tools menu, located on the left-hand side of your project page.

  • What are project updates?

    “Project updates” refer to what is essentially each project’s blog. Project creators use updates to keep their backers informed on the development of the project. Creators have the option to notify all of their backers about an update or backers of select reward tiers. Some creators may post every day, others may do it rarely, but it’s the best way to keep backers informed of a project’s progress.

    Creators are encouraged to include media in their updates (video files up to 250MB; images up to 50MB).

    Each post can be made publicly viewable or backers-only. Backers-only updates allow you to communicate privately with backers as a group.

  • Can a project be edited after launching?

    Yes! Project creators can edit any of the following, even after launching their project.

    — Project description
    — Project video and featured image/s
    — New rewards, or rewards without backers
    — Project FAQs
    — Jumpstarter profile bio

    The following cannot be edited once a project has launched.

    — Funding goal
    — Project deadline
    — Jumpstarter profile name
    — Rewards tiers that have already been selected by a backer

  • What is my responsibility for answering questions from backers and non-backers?

    People will reach out during the course of the project with questions about your project. These may range from queries on delivery dates to specific technical questions. These inquiries should be answered promptly and, in cases where other backers are asking the same information, publicly with a project update and through your Project FAQ (under your project description). Transparency is vital on Jumpstarter.

  • Can I change the estimated delivery date for my reward?

    If no backers have selected the reward tier, you can change the estimated delivery date on your Edit Project page. If the reward has already been selected the date cannot be changed, so you should notify those backers of the new delivery date via the “Message All” button in that reward tier’s Backer Report.

  • Where can I find my project on Jumpstarter?

    Every project that launches on Jumpstarter can be found on the New This Week category link. Your project will also pop up in the Popular section of its corresponding category and subcategory as well as the Currently Funding section.

    Lots of people who come to Jumpstarter browse around and look for projects, but keep in mind that when it comes to getting new backers, getting the word out through your own networks is the most effective. Most of the people who back your project will be friends, friends of friends, or fans of the work you do.

  • How does a project become a Staff Pick?

    At Jumpstarter HQ, we spend a big part of our day keeping up with projects. When something sticks out as particularly compelling, whether it’s a really fun video, creative and well-priced rewards, a great story, or an exciting idea (ideally all of the above!), we make the project a Staff Pick.

    We add to Staff Picks throughout the day and throughout the life of a project. We want this page to be ever-evolving and just one way of many for people to find great projects.

    The best way to get on our editorial radar is to keep running an awesome project. We’re always on the lookout, reading about projects through interesting project updates, social media, and articles that pop up in our trusty Jumpstarter Google alert. We look forward to reading about yours!

  • If I am unable to complete my project as promised, what should I do?

    If you realize that you will be unable to follow through on your project before funding has ended, you are expected to cancel it.

    If your project is successfully funded, Jumpstarter’s Terms of Use require creators to complete their projects and fulfill all rewards as promised. If you are unable to fulfill all of your project’s rewards, you should make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing your project to a satisfying conclusion for backers. Steps should include offering refunds, and detailing exactly how funds were used.