FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here you will find the answers you need to get started on Dodo

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BASIC QUESTIONS

What is crowdfunding?
Wikipedia explains Crowdfunding as “the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money to support efforts/projects initiated by other people or organizations.” In other words, it is when a certain number of people, most of the time simple citizens, decide to gather and make relatively small donations to a project they like. We think that it is the best way to mobilize the community to support great ideas and especially scientific projects. It also is a great innovative channel for science outreach. This goes along with the idea that science should be more directly connected to its main stakeholder: society.

What is Dodo Funding?
Dodo is a worldwide crowdfunding platform for Biotech and Life Sciences projects and research. We connect people, scientists, business companies and institutions allowing them to engage in Bio-related projects, redefining the way we know science through its democratization.

How the platform works?
Dodo offers researchers, students, organizations, citizen scientists and startups a new way to raise funds for their Bio-related projects. In exchange, they decide whether or not they give back rewards to their supporters and in what form (as products, acknowledgements, personalized updates). The projects must have a fixed sum as a funding goal and a deadline for the fundraising to be achieved (up to 120 days), both set by the project owner. During this amount of time the owner spreads the word about his project to its friends, fans, family, the whole community and potential sponsors he can solicit and convince with its pitch. Dodo charges a 5% commission and all the transactions regarding the money funded is transferred to the project owner Paylpal account (more information on the payment process and the involved fees here). For the supporters, the platform works as a great way to discover thrilling projects, they only need to go through a really easy and fast registration to make a donation. The donations are made through PayPal for its reliability, reputation and international coverage.

Why a Bio-related crowdfunding platform ?
Raising funds for basic or applied research is one of the big issues that are hindering the development of science and new technologies worldwide. Most of the traditional funding opportunities are available only to people with a PhD degree or Professors. Strong barriers exist for students and citizen-scientists with great ideas who want to raise funds for the development of their projects. Besides, research funding opportunities are available almost exclusively for low-risk investigation, limiting the development of high-risk but promising projects. There are also a lot of people based in countries struggling with poverty and urgent matters where science projects funding simply cannot be a priority.  Dodo is the global solution to prevent the extinction of all these promising but unfunded projects.

If you want to know more about what we consider being our mission, please have a look to our manifesto: http://dodofunding.com/the-manifesto-of-the-dodo/

I’m a scientist / researcher. How does it work for me?
If you are a Bio-related (life sciences or biotech) researcher, either professional or amateur, submit your project. If it is selected by our scientific committee, you will get public exposure, marketing and communication help and above all the opportunity to meet enthusiast people ready to help your project take off the ground. You are the one to decide how much money you need and how you want to reward your followers: acknowledgements in scientific papers, personal updates and insights on the research progress, finalized products or even equity in the company. Our platform is a flexible funding model: you get the funds on your PayPal account as soon as the amount is donated. Our platform simply charges a 5% fee for its functioning, PayPal applies additional taxes associated with its transaction services. It varies according to your country between 2.9 – 5.99%, plus US$ 0.30 per transactions. See: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees
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I’m not a scientist / researcher. Can I participate?
Yes. If you are a citizen of the world, passionate about science and technologies, if you want to make a change, to be part of great projects, if you believe in collaborative science, congratulations you are in the right place! Through Dodo, you will discover thrilling and innovative ideas that need you to be realized. Through small donations of your choice, you can be part of the future success of these start-ups. Depending on the project, you can either be rewarded with finalized products or, simply but not less gratifying, with updates and insight on the progress of the work.

Why should researchers submit their projects on Dodo’s platform and not on a more general one
Most of the traffic on crowdfunding projects depends not on the platform you choose to put your project on, but on the campaign on your networks.

So, on one hand you have a majority of funds collected thanks to your campaign and on the other hand, the rest of the funds coming through the platform activity. You have two strategies for the platform activity depending on the type of platform you choose:
you count on the number of people on bigger platforms, but with a low percentage of them interested in Biotechnology and Life Sciences.

you choose Dodo, a platform with less people on it but with the huge majority of them really interested in Biotech and Life Sciences. (Less people for now, but brace yourselves, Dodo’s coming).

Another important aspect is that on the other crowdfunding platforms, your project is in competition with projects from other fields, like music, art, video games. So yes, science can be really sexy we agree, but from a donator’s point of view maybe not as much as this FPS video game on the same platform.

No need to tell you the strategy we prefer at Dodo.

Why this name, Dodo?
Dodo (Ralphus cucullatus) is an extinct bird endemic to the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar. It was discovered in 1598 and probably extinct only a century later by 1700. They were isolated animals, without significant predators. Add to this the fact that they were fearless of humans and unable to fly, and you understand what an easy prey they were for human predation after the colonization of Mauritius by sailors. They have become a worldwide and charming symbol in the public imagination of an animal extinction due to human activity.

The Dodo appeared to us as a strong symbol of what is happening to a lot of these Bio-related projects nowadays; isolated with no strong contacts with the outside world, unable to get off the ground, no surprise the chances of survival are rather low. So we decided to revive the dodo in a symbolic way; the difference is that this new Dodo won’t go extinct: now it can fly and reach far away from its tiny island!

The obvious other meaning behind this name is that some of Bio projects are related to the preservation of endangered species or involveed in research to find new responsible ways to interact with nature: we will be very proud if our platform permits achievements in this direction! This is also linked to what we think is an educative part of our mission, through scientific outreach and education we would like to make people rethink the way they interact with nature. What better symbol than the dodo, extinct only due to human activity, to alert people on those matters?

Who is the team behind Dodo?
Dodo is originally the creation of a Brazilian team of bioinformatics specialists, scientists and academics. It is a product of Beagle Bioinformatics (Beagle Technologies SpA), that in 2014 it has been selected in one of the most prestigious startup accelerator in the world, Start-Up Chile! Currently it is incubated at Austral Incuba, the incubator of Universidad Austral de Chile. So, no need to say that we are fully aware of the kind of difficulties Biotech and Life Science projects can face during the early stage of their development. When you submit a project on Dodo you know that you’re a bit at home. Here, we understand your project, its possible difficulties and above all, what’s thrilling in it and how exciting Life Sciences is!

Nowadays, Dodo is a team of passionate people from different countries and from various backgrounds, eager to see the projects you will submit and back up here!

What is the “flexible” model of funding?
Projects in Dodo will receive all the money they manage to reach during the campaign. This means that even if the project does not reach the funding goal, the project owner will keep with all the money raised.

What kind of projects can be funded in Dodo?
Any project related to Biotechnology and Life Sciences can be funded in Dodo. We are always seeking new projects in the following fields: BioEngeneering, Bioinformatics,������������������������������������������������������������������������������������DNA  Barcoding,  Education,  Genomics,  Metagenomics,  NanoBiotechnology,  Proteomics,  Synthetic Biology, Transcriptomics, etc.

If you want to raise money for a project related to Biotech and Life Sciences but whose field is not listed above, please feel free to contact us at info@dodofunding.com.

Is Dodo a for-profit or a non-profit institution?
Our startup was incorporated as a for-profit organization focused on a public service with a relatively non-commercial nature. We have a social mission and commitment to provide a platform where science builds bridges towards citizens and society in an open-access model. Dodo provides and fuels science outreach and the development of low or high-risk but promising bio-related projects. The 5% commission fees correspond to expenses of maintenance and operation of the platform.

Does Dodo own any intellectual property?
No! The project ownership, its development and outcomes remain the full property of the researchers. However, if you work for a university or an institution you need to follow your institution’s standard procedures. Keep in mind that the researchers are free to give any outcomes as a reward to donators, according to the amount donated.

Can anyone submit a project?
To be eligible to start a campaign in Dodo you must be of legal age in your country of origin and match PayPal user requirements (https://www.paypal.com/bcp). Since we are using PayPal as our payment platform, project owners must be located in countries with PayPal coverage and complying with PayPal regulations concerning crowdfunding (feel free to ask us if you have any doubt concerning the eligibility of your project, paypal coverage https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide). As long as you meet all the criteria mentioned above, you can submit any project related to biotechnology and life sciences and ask for fundraising.

Can anyone in the world support a project and make donations?
Yes! Dodo is an international platform. Donators can make their payments using a credit/debit card or a PayPal account. Contributors must only complete the PayPal process for the contribution to be recorded in Dodo.

Note that users DO NOT need to have a PayPal account to make a donation, but it makes things easier. The sign up on PayPal is free. If you do not want to create a PayPal account, you can make your donations directly with your credit or debit card through PayPal. We choose to use PayPal as our payment platform due to its worldwide coverage and its reliable international reputation.

What is Dodo’s goal?
Biotechnology and life science plays a big role in everyone’s life. Our mission is to bring together science and the community and help the funding of bio-related innovative solutions for a better world.

Dodo aims to be a little more than a crowdfunding platform, Dodo is also an ideal and a community. Here at Dodo, the team firmly believes that bridges have to be made between people, scientists, institutions and companies and that we need to continue the effort toward a more collaborative science. Dodo wants to give back science to its real stakeholders: citizens.

Can I have some stickers, postcards, t-shirts or any gift related to the Dodo?
For sure!!! We would love to have you helping us spread the word!! Just send us an email with your mailing address to info@dodofunding.com.

PAYMENT QUESTIONS

Is it necessary to have a PayPal account to launch a project? 
Project Owner: Yes! To launch a project on Dodo you do need to have a PayPal account. Note that PayPal is a free platform for sign up. You will only need to pay fees if you launch a project and get successful.

Is it necessary to have a PayPal account to make a donation?
Project Donors: No! You do not need to have a PayPal account to make a donation. The payment process can be done both through your Paypal account or  through a direct credit card payment.

What are the fees involved in the payment process?
Dodo is a free platform to join. There is a fee on funds raised for any project, which is 5% of the total amount you raised.

We use PayPal as our payment platform due to its security and distribution worldwide, making possible for people from almost all over the world to raise money for a project, or make donations to a project. Here you can see if PayPal works in your country (https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide), and so, if you can create a project in Dodo.

If you are a Project Owner, when transferring the money raised to your account you will need to pay approximately 3 to 5.9% for PayPal services. It varies depending on your PayPal account and location. For example, for commercial transactions in Australia, the fee is 2.4% + 30c each transaction. You can see the full list of Paypal fees here (https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees).  So, you need to check this when developing your budget, including these fees on it. Note that all the transfers are made automatically by PayPal at the moment you receive a donation.

If you are a Project Donor, you don���t need to pay any fee. Only the amount you want to donate to the project.

How do the authors receive the raised funds?
The contributions are disbursed to your PayPal account at the moment you receive a donation. Note that you will receive the amount raised less Dodo’s 5% platform fee.

Does Dodo charge any fees if the project doesn’t succeed?
Yes! Dodo will charge a 5% fee from the amount raised.

Are there tax implications for the money raised for my project?
Dodo is not authorized to give tax or legal advice. Users should always consult with a tax attorney or CPA regarding the tax implications of contributions to your projects. Our payment platform PayPal does offer some information related to this subject in their user agreement.

I AM A PROJECT AUTHOR

Who can submit a project?
To be eligible to start a campaign in Dodo you must be at least 18 years old or the legal age at your country, and match PayPal user requirements (https://www.paypal.com/bcp). Since we are using PayPal as our payment platform, project owners must be located in countries with PayPal coverage and complying with PayPal regulations concerning crowdfunding (feel free to ask us if you have any doubt concerning the eligibility of your project. Paypal coverage here :https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide). If you are between the ages of 13 and 17 and using the Website and Services with parental or legal guardian consent and supervision, you can create a project, having you parent/guardian as the Entity responsible for fundraiser’s PayPal funding account. As long as you meet all above-mentioned criteria, you can submit any project related to biotech and life sciences for fundraising.

Is the video mandatory?
No, the video is not mandatory but it is the best way to pitch your idea and acquire new donors. We strongly recommend it. Even a short and low quality video is a good way to transmit your project idea.

What do I need to do to have a successful campaign?
You need to identify and engage your project’s target audience. You can use social media, blogging, press release to achieve your goals. The more you spread the word about your project, the bigger the possibilities for you to make it a success. That is amazing! This is one of the most powerful ways to develop science outreach and engage people on your research/project. Look also for companies that can have possible interest in support your project. We might also provide you with some services to power up your campaign or to improve your pitch with our marketing and design ninjas. It can be either project consulting, marketing strategy consulting or even design. For more information about those ninja skills, feel free to contact us info@dodfunding.com

Of course, we don’t forbid you to showcase your project on other crowdfunding platforms, nonetheless we strongly recommend you not to do so. Indeed, you have to concentrate your marketing and communication efforts in one point to be really efficient. Otherwise, if you submit your project on more than one platform, you’ll put at risk the success of your campaign on each platform by diluting the interest in your project and scattering the collected money.

What are the evaluation criteria for the potential projects?

Every project submitted to Dodo will pass by a peer review. The review is based on three main criteria:

1. Does the project seek to answer a scientific question / is it providing a new product based on transferring technology related to biotech or life sciences/ or even is it an educational project related to biotech or life sciences (i.e. website, books, games)?
2. Are the project goals within the capabilities of the team?
3. Can we verify the project owner identity?
To be really sure about these above-mentioned points, we systematically make Skype/Hangout interview with every project owner.

Once accepted, when my project will be published?
Once accepted, your project will be published immediately in the platform.

How much money can I try to raise?
You don’t need to raise your entire budget in one campaign, you should set a goal for the amount needed to make the project feasible. We recommend you to start different campaigns for the different stages of your project. Your goals should be structured in a way that you will make tangible progress using your budget.

It’s important to estimate how much you can raise. A simple calculation is dividing your goal amount by 100. This is an estimation of how many people you need to make donations to your project to achieve your goal. You also need to have in mind that you need to spread the word as much as you can about your project. It’s necessary to see if you have that amount of friends and fans in your social networks online and outside the Internet, then make a budget estimation based on it. Every project is different and you need to work to reach people in different ways, not only using your social network, for instance by using Press Release to local media and blogs etc.

Do all the projects require a due date?
Currently, all projects must have a due date up to 120 days, set by the project owner.

Should my project be written in English?
No! Currently, you can write your project in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. We’re working on improvements on the platform to have it translated to other languages. However, keep in mind that Dodo is an international platform and, maybe English would be an easier way to prospect donators worldwide.

What if I don’t reach my funding goal? Can I submit again?
Yes! You can re-submit it. However do not forget to be explicit about the amount raised in the previous campaign. Explain your possible backers how did you use the money in the first campaign, and what was the progress achieved in your research with the amount previously raised. Additionally, we strongly recommend you to rethink carefully your project goals, deadline and how your team worked on spreading the word. Consider an alternate strategy to engage your project�����s target audience and let us know how you intend to develop it differently and why it’s more likely to be successful.

What happens if my project reaches the fund goal before the due date?
Every project campaign will stay active until the due date proposed. If you reach the goal before this date you will be able to receive more money than you asked for, but you cannot end your campaign before the date. Use this time to spread the word even more about your project.

Who can fund my project?
Anyone from anywhere in the world can contribute to your project. All they need is a valid credit or debit card.

Can I cancel my project?
No! As we are working with the flexible model, campaigns that have raised even the smallest sum must remain active.

Can I change my project once published?
Yes! You can edit the project after its launch, except the project title, funding goal, time-frame, start date and any rewards already chosen by your supporters. But keep in mind that people make donation based on what you initially proposed. We strongly recommend you to give updates to your donors for any changes in the project. Our idea is to create a comment section for the development of each project; you’ll have to use your project page to get in touch with your supporters as much as you can.

How much do I have to pay Dodo? Do I have any obligation with Dodo?
Dodo is a free platform to join. There is a fee on funds raised , which is 5% of the total you raised.

We use PayPal as our payment platform due to its security and distribution worldwide, making possible for people from almost all over the world to raise money for a project, or make donations to a project. Here you can see if PayPal works in your country (https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide), and so, if you can create a project on Dodo’s website.

Besides, we really would appreciate to have a mention on the Acknowledgments of your product or paper, in any language, saying: “Part of this project was funded collaboratively through Dodo Funding”. This is a great way to spread the word about Dodo and scientific crowdfunding. =)

You can also find our logo here, if you want to state it on your project website.

Does Dodo own any intellectual property?
No! The project ownership, its development and outcomes remain the full property of the researchers. However, if you work for a university or an institution you need to follow your institution’s standard procedures. Keep in mind that the researchers are free to give any percentage of the project ownership and its outcomes as a reward to donators, according to the amount of money donated.

Am I obliged to provide backers with updates?
No, you don’t have to provide updates for backers. However, we strongly recommend you to keep providing them with all your project development. If they are willing to give money to your project, it’s because they believe in it, share the values it conveys etc. so the general idea even if not mandatory is to make them part of your project beyond the simple money donation.

Once my research finished do I have to give a report to my backers?
No, you don’t. However, we highly recommend you to send them a final report. They were of huge importance for your project development and made donations with the intention of being part of it.

Can I embed a widget on my lab homepage so that people can fund directly?
Yes! You can click on the “<>” symbol available in your campaign page and copy-&-paste the HTML embed code provided in your lab homepage code. It will redirect them to your campaign webpage.

Are there tax implications for the money raised for my project?
Dodo is not authorized to give tax or legal advice. Users should always consult with a tax attorney or CPA regarding the tax implications of contributions to your projects. Our payment platform PayPal does offer some information related to this subject in their user agreement.

Do I have to give rewards to backers?
No, you don’t have to. However, we strongly recommend you to give them something in exchange for their contribution. Of course, we understand that sometimes defining a reward to give back to donors can be really hard for some specific projects. However, a simple acknowledgment in the project official website or in the paper, according to the amount donated, can be a really gratifying reward. Donors are proud to help and to participate in your project success. So, what better way than sending them some rewards to thank them for their donations and help in spreading the word about your project?

Note that project owners are responsible for delivering the rewards promised to their supporters.

I AM A PROJECT DONOR

How can I donate to a project?
Anyone from any place in the world can be a donor (except for a few exceptions, India and Malaysia, PayPal will block the transactions). Dodo is an international platform and you can make your donations with your PayPal account or with your credit/debit card.

To contribute to a campaign in Dodo you only need to select your reward, if applicable, or clicking directly on the blue button “Contribute Now” on the project page, and then selecting your reward. You will then be redirected to a PayPal’s secure payment process.

You do not need to have a PayPal account to make a donation. It is only necessary a credit card.

Why should I be a donor?
You should be a donor because it’s a great opportunity to be part of the innovation and the creation of the most innovative projects related to biotech and life sciences. It is really exciting to be part of it! You should be a donor because you can make a huge difference with a small donation! You should be a donor because it’s very gratifying to be part of projects whose values you share, and indeed biotechnologies and life sciences can initiate really interesting shifts and improvements in the everyday life with medical and environmental applications for instance!

Does PayPal charge me any fee?
For projects����� donors PayPal doesn’t charge any fee. All fees related to PayPal platform will be on charge of the project owner.

Can I donate to a project from another country?
Yes, you can make donations to any project available in the platform (with a very few exceptions, if you are from India or Malaysia for instance, we are working on a solution).

What happens if the project that I’ve been backing doesn’t raise the amount needed?
If the project doesn’t raise its fund goal in due time, it will still receive the amount raised. We strongly believe that even if the money raised cannot be able to make all the project come true, it will be possible to develop at least a part of the project. Have in mind that your money will be helping this research to get started!

Can people see how much money I gave?
No, the amount you chose to donate to a project will only be available for our staff and is confidential. Also, at the moment you are donating the system will ask you with you want to be in anonymous or not to the public.

What are the payment types available? How does it work?
You have two options: you can make your contribution through a PayPal account or directly with your debit/credit card. You must complete the whole PayPal payment process for your contribution to be recorded in Dodo.

Will I receive some award for my donation?
This is up to the project owners. They are the one to choose whether to give or not rewards. We don’t require that all projects have a gift in exchange for donation because we know that for some research projects it is almost impossible to define a gift to send in exchange for a donation. However, most of them have rewards and we strongly encourage project owners to give some in their campaigns. Anyway, the available rewards will be clearly mentioned on each project page.

What kinds of rewards can I receive?
You can receive a big variety of rewards in exchange for your donation. Please note that some projects cannot have rewards. It is not mandatory to have rewards for a project to be on Dodo, but we really encourage project owners to provide the donators with some gifts in exchange for their involvement.

You can receive various types of rewards: it can be a t-shirt, your name in the acknowledgment of a paper or in the project’s website, or even a gene in your name. The gifts are always up to the project owner.

Who is responsible for the completion of the project and the delivery of the rewards?
The project owners take the full responsibility of the project development and delivery of the rewards. We supervise projects development and strongly recommend project owners to give periodic reports to project contributors on their own project webpage on Dodo’s platform.

When and how are the rewards sent?
That information is the responsibility of the project owners. They will keep all contributors updated on rewards situation on their webpage on Dodo’s platform.

How can I ask a question about the rewards?
If you have any question regarding the reward of a project for which you make a donation, you must contact directly the project owner through e-mail or using the comments section on the project webpage on Dodo’s platform.

Will I receive a development report from the author of the research?
We strongly recommend all project owners to send all backers periodic reports regarding the project development. You can follow it on the project webpage on Dodo, or on the project official webpage.

If the project that I supported offered a reward that needs to be sent by mail, will I be charged the delivery costs?
No, all the costs related to the delivery of the rewards are responsibility of the project owners. It will be clearly mentioned on the project webpage on Dodo’s platform.

Are the donations tax-deductible?
We are currently working on making available tax-deductible donations on the projects available on Dodo.

I really think the project that I’m supporting is amazing. How can I help them to achieve their fund goal?
The best way to help the project you’re supporting is to spread the word as much as you can around you by blogging, using social networks, giving talks about it to your friends, your family and your entire network. The more you spread the word about it, the bigger the possibility for the project to be successful.

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