Attracting Donors to Research via Crowdfunding Platform
14 January 2016 at 10:03 am
A new Australian crowdfunding platform allows individual donors or philanthropic organisations to give directly to medical research and fund projects that have previously missed out on grants.
Called Researchable, the platform has partnered with major research institutions and universities to campaign for funds.
“I’m sure every Australian wants discoveries that will cure cancers, and prevent and treat problems like dementia, but they would be shocked to find out how many medical researchers with great potential are left without money each year,” Researchable founder George Crones said.
“An astounding 86 per cent of applications for public research grants are unfunded. The result is that good researchers leave Australia or promising ideas simply die.
“Donating to research is an investment in the future, and I founded Researchable because I wanted to ensure that the breakthroughs of tomorrow receive the funding they need today.”
Crones said donors had a right to know if research was of a high quality and would produce results, whether the researchers were up to the task and how to check if their money was being used wisely and productively.
“We do the due diligence for donors, making it easier for them to support projects at leading institutions and to follow the research as it happens,” he said.
“We partner with major research institutions whose output is well known and trusted, then work with them to identify high quality projects which are at an early stage and would benefit from funding to get them going. Researchable uses a very lean, cost-effective model to pool funds from individuals, businesses and charities to achieve something greater together.
“Most importantly, we don’t fund and forget. We stay engaged with the research institutions and ensure that the researchers report back to donors on how the project is advancing.”
Crones said research projects approved by both the institution and by Researchable were listed on the site so that the "crowd" could contribute funds, which were pooled together to enable the project to proceed. Donations are tax-deductible for Australians.
Fundraising campaigns are for set durations. Crones said projects only received funding if they raised their target before their campaign ended. Fundraising finished either when a project reached its target or when the campaign ended, whichever came first.
He said if a fundraising campaign was unsuccessful, donors would be refunded in full to the payment method they used for their donation.