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Statement on Crowdfunding for Research

Crowdfunding solicits relatively small donations of money from many people, typically via the Internet. There are many crowdfunding services on the market, with varying terms and conditions.

While Drexel University understands the faculty's desire to seek alternative research funding sources, we do not currently have the resources and infrastructure to support the use of external crowdfunding services and platforms to fund research.

Prohibition of Independent Fundraising on External Crowdfunding Services and Platforms

At present, Drexel University does not permit the independent pursuit of fundraising utilizing external sources.

  • Any member of the research community who is utilizing an external site unaffiliated with Drexel to raise funds for Drexel research is personally liable, as they, not Drexel, will be the party to any agreement with said site.

  • Since Drexel will not be in direct receipt of the funds generated through crowdfunding sites, Drexel cannot provide a gift receipt to a crowdfunding backer.

  • Those funds cannot be contributed as a donation to Drexel by the researcher.

  • Additionally, creating a crowdfunding campaign with mentions to Drexel also violates existing Drexel policies that express restrictions on the use of the Drexel name and logos (UComm-2, Policy on Marketing, Advertising and Promotional Materials).

Alternative Internal Funding Services

As an alternative, Drexel encourages members of our research community to work with the Office of Institutional Advancement (IA) and the Office of Research & Innovation (ORI) to seek knowledge of solicitations, grants, or other forms of funding available for their research.

  • If you would like to seek out donors for your research funding, there are processes in place to establish gift accounts tied to existing cost centers at Drexel to direct funds raised with the assistance of IA. For more information on the available options or services (e.g. online gift forms, providing donors with receipts for donations) to fund research, members of the research community should contact IA at

  • If a funding source has already been identified, please reference the Policy on the Definition of Gifts and Sponsored Projects and Related Administrative Responsibilities [PDF]. Appendices A and B, which are linked on the upper right hand corner of the policy page, are provided to help determine if the ORI or IA should be involved.