GETTING STARTED

Zaar is a donation/reward-based crowdfunding platform in Malta that offers an alternative to raise finance for projects and business ideas in order to get them funded.

 

The Zaar platform was established to promote entrepreneurship and offer alternative funding methods to start-ups and entrepreneurs. This was the first initiative by the Foundation for the Promotion of Entrepreneurial Initiatives (FPEI), set up by the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) and the University of Malta (UM).

Crowdfunding is a concept where small contributions are collected from a large number of persons in return for a reward during a particular timeframe.

 

The business proposal or project idea will undergo a standard due diligence process and, once approved, the Campaign Owners can create a project page on the Zaar platform to promote their idea and raise funds.

 

Donors (also referred to as backers) support projects voluntarily. Since the platform is donation/reward-based, backers will either pledge as a donation or towards a reward (supplied by the Campaign Owner).

 

Campaign Models:

 

Zaar typically offers the All or Nothing (AON) model – if the campaign does not reach its funding goal and the rewards promised cannot be supplied, the backer will be refunded accordingly.

 

For community-based and/or philanthropic projects Zaar may opt for the Keep it All (KIA) model where all funds collected may be kept by the Campaign Owner even if the funding target is not reached.

Zaar wants to promote diversity and innovation; therefore, Arts, Theatre, Film, Sport, Technology, Startups, Research and Community/Philanthropic causes can all be found on the Zaar platform.

All crowdfunding campaigns are checked and their campaign owners are given the necessary feedback before, during, and after their project.

Upon receipt of a project submission, a Zaar representative will contact you via email in order to set up a meeting, during which you will be able to present your idea and you will receive more information about crowdfunding.

If the idea is suitable for crowdfunding a due diligence exercise will follow. Once approved, the campaign owner can create their crowdfunding project page and submit it for review. When the page is finalised, it will be published on the platform.

Following that, campaigns will be promoted by the Zaar team via marketing channels as part of the promotional service offered by Zaar.

This can vary from project to project; however, we suggest short time frames of 30-60 days to set a sense of urgency. This makes the crowdfunding campaign more dynamic and reduces the risk of potential backers losing interest.

The duration of the crowdfunding campaign needs to be in line with the promotional activity planned for the campaign.

There is no limit set; this is decided by the project owner.

The funding target needs to be feasible and reachable. This is determined by the needs of the project, the promotional effort, the type of campaign, the product or idea behind the campaign, and other relevant factors.

The higher the target, the greater the commitment that needs to be given to the project to achieve your funding goal (e.g. creating a strong community behind the project)

The individual / entrepreneur who creates the campaign is the sole owner of the project and he/she will be Zaar’s official contact.

This does not mean that you cannot build a team to assist you during the campaign. Research shows that projects with a team of committed individuals have a higher chance of success.

The following have to be provided by the project owners:

– Copy of your Identification Card (for individuals).

– Copy of your VAT certificate (for entrepreneurs).

– Company Registration Certificate (for companies/business entities).

– Copy of the Voluntary Organisations (V/O) certificate (for non-profit organisations).

REGISTRATION

Registering with Zaar enables you to discover the world of crowdfunding.

 

Project owners will be able to develop their ideas into projects that will be showcased on the Zaar platform for backing. Backers will see ongoing crowdfunding projects and support those that attract their attention. By registering you will gain access to our online newsletter complete with crowdfunding news and Zaar campaigns. To register, head to the Start page and fill in the details.

Once you register you will be redirected to a profile dashboard with the following sections:

 

Account: Registration Details & Other Settings

Backer Profile: Showing Projects you have supported on the platform

Creator Profile: Showing Projects you have created on the platform

Creator Account: Form to create a mailing list of your supporters

Create Project: Form to create your Project Idea (Save Draft and/or Submit for Review)

We are very diligent with the information submitted by our users. We do not give out any personalised user information and we do not, under any circumstances, give personal data to third parties or partners.

 

Once the campaign is live, project owners will have access to email data submitted by the people who are backing the campaign.

BUILDING A CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN

Crowdfunding is typically used by businesses or individuals from any sector, although it is generally the creative and cultural sectors, software developers, tourism operators, social enterprises, NGOs and local government that tend to be the most active beneficiaries.

The project owner decides what they want to achieve from crowdfunding and what they can provide as rewards. A start-up cannot expect to raise funds if their proposal does not factually show it is good enough to succeed.

Successful campaigns work through written and visual material, by explaining the story and drive behind the project, and providing potential backers with details of how the funds will propel the project.

For a crowdfunding campaign to succeed, take note of the following:

 

– Write an appealing project idea; describe a genuine concept that will be supported by the crowd
– Have a dedicated team who will assist with the different aspects of the campaign
– Have an attainable funding target (research and costings)
– Plan a viable timeline for the campaign
– Plan rewards that are interesting and add value / unique campaign rewards
– Set up an effective Promotion Plan using your community and different relevant channels
– Ensure that you have compelling content, post campaign updates, use call to actions (CTAs), and collect testimonials where possible.

The Goal Amount specified by the Project Owner is the minimum amount that is needed to keep the funds and start working on the project, in accordance with our AON (all-or-nothing) model; however, this does not mean that you can only raise up to that goal. The more backers you attract to fund your campaign, the more money you will be able to raise for your project.

Stretch Goals are supplementary goals related to the project that can be achieved as an extension to the main funding goal.

 

These goals are only unlocked if the initial crowdfunding goal is met. And they will help the project owner to fund another aspect of the project.

If the crowdfunding campaign does not reach its fundraising goal, all the money donated by the backers will be refunded once the campaign is closed. Note that for philanthropic campaigns, the money is usually given to the cause even if the target isn’t reached.

The Zaar platform will promote your campaign and help you collect donations through its online channels; however, any donation you get outside of the Zaar platform can still be added to the running total of the campaign in order to reach the funding target.

Funds collected outside the platform can be included through the Zaar system by sending the necessary information to one of the Zaar administrators who manage the platform.

Rewards will enhance the value and attractiveness of a campaign – especially if they are available only through the campaign.

 

Rewards can be in any of the following formats: (note: monetary/financial rewards cannot be offered)

Goods/Products – e.g.  the actual product that you are crowdfunding for. e.g. merchandise, caps, t-shirts, pens, sunglasses
Experiences – event tickets, lectures/talks, open days, “a day in the life of…”
Digital Goods – social media mentions, digital downloads, thank you note/email
– In-kind Perks – teaching of a skill, contributors immortalized on a plaque, wall or insert on a book.

Rewards can be edited or deleted before the campaign is launched. This is normal procedure when planning a crowdfunding project in order to offer the best possible reward structure to potential backers of the campaign.

Once the campaign is live, adding, editing or deleting of rewards will be subject to the platform administrator’s approval. Some factors may prevent the administrator from approving such changes.

Rewards should add value to the crowdfunding campaign; however, they should be planned carefully to be economically viable. Remember that there is a financial element that has to be considered to issue rewards as fulfilment of the project targets.

Rewards should preferably be within the categories mentioned above, and limited to eight. Offering too many rewards can cause confusion.

Yes, limits can be set for particular rewards. You can set limits for rewards where only a small number of backers are able to receive that reward, due to the nature of the reward. This is often tied in with the amount pledged as it makes the reward more unique.

The active promotion of your project plays an important role in the success of your crowdfunding campaign. Building a campaign page on its own will not be enough to succeed, you have to shout out to the crowd as well.

 

Promote Effectively:

– Promote through your own community / network / people you know (they will be more willing to share and create exponential growth)
– Source channels and media that will assist you in directing your crowdfunding campaign to the crowd out there, through their information streams.
– Conduct events to promote your campaign (launch events, information sessions, lectures)
– Compile a list of contacts  to send newsletters, mailshots or project updates.

Zaar charges a 5% commission rate (+18% VAT) on funds raised in successful campaigns. The payment gateway charges are 3.4% + €0.35 per transaction (PayPal) or 1.4% + €0.25 (Stripe). (These fees are only applicable for online donations submitted through the platform’s online payment channels).

 

The platform will take an “all-or-nothing” (AON) approach for projects, and a “keep what you raise” (KIA) approach for philanthropic causes. Donations to projects that don’t meet the target will be refunded to backers.

A campaign can be cancelled or deleted before the campaign is launched on the platform without any issues, although a request has to be sent to the Zaar administrator.

Once the campaign is live, if you want to cancel or delete your project, you have to send an email to your Zaar administrator explaining the reasons why. An email notification will then be sent to the individuals who have pledged explaining the situation and informing them that they will not be charged.

Once your campaign is over, whether it reached its goal or not, you need to send a request to the Zaar administrator to have it removed.

SUPPORTING A PROJECT

To support a Crowdfunding Project you simply need to decide how much you want to donate (according to the tiers provided) and submit your credit card details through the secure payment gateway.

The Zaar Crowdfunding Platform uses an online payment method. You can choose to pay via PayPal or Stripe – both payment gateways accept all major credit cards.

You will be given a refund if:

– The Project you backed didn’t reach its funding target.
– The Project has been cancelled by the project owner upon approval from the Zaar administrators. Funds will be returned back to the backers and there will be no charges.

No, donations are not considered to be an investment or collaboration, but are simply supporting the project. No equity is given as the Zaar crowdfunding platform is a donation/rewards-based platform.

Rewards are received after the crowdfunding campaign is over. The Project Owner has access to the backer’s email information and will contact all backers with information on how rewards can be claimed. If the reward is not received, you are urged to contact the project owner directly. Zaar is not responsible for the rewards offered by Project Owners.

While projects are vetted and fraud detection systems are in place, backers give funds of their own free will and with no financial payback.

In most crowdfunding cases, a non-financial reward is offered for donations. Supporters should use caution when donating and not donate more than they can afford.