What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a fundraising method used in the development of a wide range of initiatives, in which the funds are raised from a large number of private donors each contributing a relatively small quantity as a donation or in exchange for a product/service.
Online crowdfunding began about two decades ago, and since then it has exploded in popularity and success around the world. More and more people are taking part in advancing initiatives across a spectrum of sectors and platforms, turning dreams into reality. Today, the leading crowdfunding platforms are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Israel’s first crowdfunding platform, Headstart, was founded in 2011. Since then other platforms have been launched and continue to demonstrate the success of the concept.
Why should crowdfunding succeed in the education sector?
Crowdfunding is made up of two groups – entrepreneurs and backers – and both of these groups exist in abundance in every aspect of Israeli education. There are many highly-motivated educators drawn to teaching by a sense of calling. Creative and enterprising at heart, they are joined by many good people in Israel and around the world who understand the value of education and want to promote it. Lakita grants every person the chance to donate as much as they can afford to educational projects that inspire them in a simple, direct and inclusive manner. We are also working hard to widen the pool of potential supporters, in part by engaging with local and national partners who support a range of projects. We believe that by working together, it is possible to create a new, improved and more empowering reality in education.
Is this concept proven elsewhere?
Yes. Lakita was inspired by the hugely successful American platform, DonorsChoose.org, which was founded in 2000 by a History teacher in a New York public school who wished to provide his students with the best possible education, but was constrained to spending the money from his own pocket in order to do so. He created a website to fund projects within his school, which developed over time into a runaway success with a significant impact on American public education. To date, over 500 million dollars have been raised through this platform for educational projects, affecting over 70,000 public schools across the United States. The success of DonorsChoose is down, in part, to the endorsements of public figures such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Colbert, who have become enthusiastic ambassadors for the platform.
Are you making money from the platform?
No. Lakita is a not-for-profit organization run, a registered charity (Israeli charity no: 58068738) which is recognized as a public institution for fundraising purposes under clause 46 (a) of the Israeli tax code. Lakita was created as a not-for-profit platform to advance teacher-led educational projects for the benefit of their students. The platform was built with this specific demographic in mind, and all the resources of the project are directed towards the accessibility of the site for creative teachers and their supporters. The only money taken by the website is for the purposes of purchasing the resources necessary to realize the project and for the expenses involved in carrying it out.
Why are the teachers transferred equipment rather than money?
In doing so, we are sparing teachers time-consuming headaches, bringing down costs, ensuring the quality of the equipment, and guaranteeing that the money raised for funding the project fulfils its intended purpose. We have set up a logistics network composed of a professional team that is experienced in doing business with trusted suppliers, project pricing, purchasing equipment and transporting the goods straight to the school gates.
How does it work?
A teacher creates a project through the Lakita website. Then, the project undergoes approval from the school administration, after which it goes online for a period of 14-60 days. During this time, it is open for every person in Israel and around the world with an interest in funding educational projects in Israel in a simple and straightforward manner. Each project is given a fundraising target that encompasses the total cost of the project. A supporter identifies a project they are interested in promoting and the amount they would like to give, and then completes the funding process in three simple steps. If the project reaches its target within the allotted time, the Lakita team purchases the equipment/services necessary for the realization of the project and ensures their transportation to the school. The teacher updates the supporters of the project throughout the process and, upon completion, writes to inform them of the impact their support has had on the students. If a project should fail to reach its target within the allotted time, it will be removed from the website and its supporters will be given the choice of either a full refund or redirecting the funds to an alternative project active on the site. The teacher is entitled to attempt to get the project funded again at any time.
Can a project raise only a percentage of its funds?
No, projects on the website work on an all-or-none basis.
This is because the cost of each project on the site is precisely calculated, as defined by the teacher upon creation of the project, no more and no less.
What happens if a project fails to reach its fundraising target?
In cases where a project fails to reach its fundraising target within the allotted time, its supporters will have the choice of redirecting their donation to another project, or receiving a full refund, and the project will be taken down from the platform.
Is it possible to raise more than the requested total for a project?
No, the fundraising page for a project will automatically close when it reaches 100% of its funding goal. It is not possible to raise a larger amount than that requested for the project.
Who can create a project on the website?
Teachers in Israel, teaching in the public sector, throughout the country and in every community. In order to set up a project, it is necessary to create a profile on the website, which is simple and quick. Before creating a new project, it is important to go over the terms and conditions of the site and to ensure that the project meets the project policy of Lakita.
How long does it take to sign up for the website?
30 seconds. All that is required is to insert your name, your email address and a password and you are part of the most innovative education community in Israel!
What is the longest time a project can take to reach its goal?
A project can fundraise on the site for up to 60 days. However, it is possible to allocate a shorter period of time, beginning at 14 days, should the teacher wish to do so.
How can I contact Lakita?
Through the ‘Contact Us’ option at the bottom of the page. We will do everything possible to respond to your query as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Where can I find more information?
You can find us on our Facebook page. Click ‘like’ and follow us!
How do I support a project?
It’s very simple. All you need in order to support a project is access to the ‘Lakita’ website through your PC or smart device, and a valid credit card. From this point, all you need to do is choose a project that inspires you and to support it with whatever sum you decide, in three simple stages. You can find more information in the following guide: “How to support a project”.
Is there a minimum donation required for supporting a project?
No. You can support a project with any amount from one NIS and upwards. We believe that every supporter should be granted the same choice, transparency and feedback from the teachers and Lakita staff, regardless of the sum they donate.
Is there a maximum donation allowed for supporting a project?
No. You are entitled to fund an entire project that deeply inspires you :).
Am I required to register for the site in order to donate to a project?
No, supporting projects through the platform does not require registration.
Can I support a project anonymously?
I supported a project, when will my credit card be charged?
Your credit card will be charged at the moment of donation through the site. Should the project not reach its fundraising goal within the allotted time-frame, you will be given the choice of redirecting your donation to another project or receiving a full refund.
Do you save my card details?
Your credit card details are not kept in the system.
Are there other ways to donate to a project aside from credit card?
At this stage we are only accepting payments by card, however we are working on widening the range of payment options.
Is there any way to support a project aside from financial donations?
Absolutely. If you want to see a project succeed, you can help by leaving a supportive message on the project’s responses page and raising awareness of it by telling your friends and family and sharing it on social media.
Can I donate the items themselves instead of donating money?
At this stage there is no option to donate second-hand equipment to Lakita. It is possible that in the future such an option will be added. Suppliers who are interested in donating new equipment or services are invited to get in touch with us
How will I find out if the project I supported reached its target?
The Lakita team will make sure to update you and to send you an email when the project reaches the end of its allotted time, whether it has reached its fundraising target or not.
Can the fundraising target of a project change after I’ve donated and before it reaches its time?
Theoretically, yes. Changes in the cost of equipment are possible in the time between the project going up on the website and it reaching the end of its allotted time. In such cases we will make sure the equipment is supplied to allow the project to go ahead and your donation will not be affected. In such cases as the necessary equipment being out of stock with no suitable replacement, your donation will be canceled and you will receive a full refund.
How can I be certain the process is transparent and fair?
We make every effort to ensure the transparency and fairness of the process. The team behind Lakita examines every project proposal, verifies the details and passes every request on for the approval of the school administration. If everything is in order, we purchase the equipment on behalf of the teacher and send it directly to the school. In addition, the Lakita team requires teachers to send photos of the project, and it is also possible to request an expenses form outlining how every shekel was spent.
Where does my money go?
All the money raised through the website is directed towards covering the cost of the project. We believe in complete transparency and it is important to us that you know where every cent of your money goes.
For each shekel donated (on average), 92 cents will go to covering equipment and services for the project, 5.5 cents toward its running costs (logistical analysis and advice, obtaining price quotes from suppliers, pricing, purchasing and supplies) and 2.5 cents is the commission charged by the credit card company for clearing your card.
Who do you pass my contact details to?
Your contact details are necessary for the sole purpose of helping us and the teacher whose project you supported to keep you updated on the project. Your details are stored in our system and we do not pass them on to any other body. During the fundraising period for the project, the teacher will be sent your Lakita username and the amount donated. Should the project reach its fundraising target, we will provide the teacher with your contact details so that they can keep you updated on the project’s progress.
Can people outside of Israel donate to a project?
Of course! The site is open to every person who believes in the importance of education in Israel and wishes to support it. The platform is designed to be direct, simple and secure; all you need is an internationally accepted credit card.
Does the amount I donate have any impact?
Every donation helps a project get closer to completion and we believe that every person should donate as much as they choose, and retain the same level of choice, transparency and feedback from the teachers and the team behind Lakita, irrespective of the amount donated.
How can I unsubscribe from the mailing list?
Our mailing list is designed to provide you with updates that might interest you, and we make every effort to only send periodic updates that we think will be of interest to you. If you still wish to unsubscribe, email us at info.a10862-tmp.s21.upress.link and we will remove your name from the mailing list.
How do I create a project on the site?
The process of creating a new project proposal on the Lakita website is simple and user-friendly, and our team will help you put your idea into practice. If you have an idea that meets our site project policy, you are invited to click the “Create Project” button and take the first step to bringing your project to life! Further information can be found in the full guide to creating a project.
I have an idea for an educational initiative but I’m not a teacher. Can I create a project on the site?
No. We appreciate and encourage all education-related initiatives, however, Lakita was created solely for teachers in the Israeli public education sector.
And if I am a teacher, but my initiative is not targeted at my students?
Our apologies, but at this point Lakita is focusing on allowing teachers to provide innovative projects and new equipment for the direct benefit of their students only.
Which schools is the platform geared towards?
The site is geared towards every school in the public education sector in Israel. In the primary phase it will be open only to those schools detailed previously, and will gradually be opened up to other schools around the country.
Are teachers outside Israel allowed to create projects?
No, the website is intended for teachers in the public sector in Israel only.
Does it cost money to upload a project to the platform?
No, the creation of a new project proposal on the site is entirely free for the teacher.
Is it obligatory to register for the site in order to create a new project?
Yes, in order to create a new project you will have to register, but registration is quick and simple. All that is required is to fill in your full name and email address and set a password. Half a minute and you’re in.
Can I upload more than one project at a time?
There is no limit to the amount of projects that can be uploaded at any one time, as long as they meet our project policy. That said, we discourage uploading multiple projects simultaneously, as this could divert the teacher’s attention and that of supporters and in so doing hurt each project’s chance of success.
Is it possible to split a project into a number of stages and fundraise for each one separately?
Yes, as long as each stage in the project is noticeably different from the one before and there is enough time between them, fundraising in stages is possible.
Does my project have to be targeted at the students in my class only?
A project can be aimed at a small group of students or at an entire school. You decide who it is to benefit, so long as it is directly aimed at students.
Is it possible to create a joint project among several schools?
Absolutely. We encourage cooperation in general and will be happy to see projects that display cooperation between different schools.
Will you provide any resources required for the realization of a project?
Almost any. You can request any equipment, service, transportation, etc. to realize a project. We will confirm with the school administration that it meets their approval and that the equipment meets the school’s standards and policies. The only requests we can definitively not provide are: food and overnight accommodation, remuneration for the teacher’s time or direct employment of service providers.
Will the equipment provided belong to me?
No. The equipment provided by Lakita is the property of the network to which the school belongs. The equipment is designed for the use of the teacher who created the project and their students, however it is not their property.
Is the school administration involved in the process?
Absolutely. We believe that an effective project, whether class or school-wide, is one that takes into consideration the environment in which it is implemented. The perspective of the school administration is vital to evaluating the rationale and the educational efficacy of a given project proposal, as well as meeting the school and Ministry of Education’s guidelines. We do not upload projects to the site before receiving confirmation from the school administration that the project has been presented to it by the teacher and that it has been evaluated and approved. We highly recommend presenting the full details of the project to the school administration before you upload it to the site.
How will people find out about my project?
Firstly, and most importantly, by you sharing it through every available channel in order to widen its exposure as much as possible. The idea is to turn your acquaintances and passionate supporters into financial collaborators in the project. We believe that a good idea that is conveyed in a clear and engaging way, can spread far and wide. The teacher’s social networks can provide a huge source of support and donations. The team behind Lakita prioritizes support and advice for projects and specializes in viral marketing. We are here for you throughout the project’s creation, donation and realization. Further information can be found on the full guide to creating a project <<INSERT HYPERLINK>>.
What do I need to do after I have successfully raised the necessary amount to fund my project?
Congratulations! We are delighted that you have successfully funded your project through Lakita and soon you will be able to bring it to life.
We will be contacting you in the coming days to finalize the equipment for purchase and the delivery details. In the meantime, this is a good time to thank everyone who made it happen! In the next phase you will be asked to update all the donors on the process of realizing your project and to let them know how it will impact you and your studentsץ The updates will be published on the “updates” tab on your project page and will be sent to everyone who has donated to it. Another option for thanking your supporters and to strengthen your ties to them is sending them hand-written thank-you letters from the students, expressing their gratitude. If you should decide to do this, we will provide all the necessary tools and will pass the letters on to the donors. You can find more information in our full guide to creating a project.
Can I patent the rights to my project?
Lakita was established with the aim of realizing and sharing educational initiatives of teachers in Israel, in order to allow as many teachers and students as possible to maximize their potential. Therefore, there is no option to patent a project funded through the site. If you are not interested in sharing your idea and exposing it to other supporters and teachers, this platform may not be best suited for you. You can find further information on our Terms of Service page.