Crowdfunding websites have sprung on the internet in various years and have helped thousands of charity, individual, or profit based initiatives and start-ups. Goteo is however different than most, and its unique character stems from its focus on the commons.
Using goteo to crowdfund a commons or community project is among others, meant to complement public funding, and to help civil society take responsibility for advancing community projects with social impact at its core. The platform itself is open source and has seen replicas around the world. The people behind goteo wish to advance transparency and openness.
Projects accepted on the website will have to revolve around these elements. The themes of the projects are numerous: open data, innovation, free software/hardware, environmental projects, free culture, alternative economies, research, agriculture, etc. The projects should not solely focus on the social good or general development, but they must involve collective return. One way to ensure this is to license the result of the project under the creative commons, ensuring that others can reuse or take advantage of the open nature of the project and its results. The mission of the platform stipulates that projects supported through crowdfunding are aimed at developing more collaborative process, and community building.
Although the platform was developed and is managed in Spain, projects from around the world can be submitted as campaigns on the website. It is important that one campaign is active at a time, rather than multiple ones, and priority can be given to projects that are in a closer geographical location.
In order to support the platform, Goteo charges a 4% fee of the total amount raised. This is below most other crowdfunding platforms. Other charges are also to be considered, for example, if an international bank transfer or paypal transfer is needed.
When a project is submitted to the platform, it will have to be approved. Goteo staff will usually help improve the description of the project or give feedback. If your project complies with the conditions and is approved for a campaign, it will go through a 2-round period. In the first round, you will be given 40 days to reach a minimum of funding needed to begin the logistical aspects of your projects. This round is all or nothing, so if the minimum amount is not raised, the contract will be cancelled. If the minimum amount is raised, your project will be given another 40 day round in which you can fundraise more for an ‘optimum’ amount of funding.
- Goteo is backed by a non-profit organisation (Platoniq) which ensures that all donations are tax-exempt, and deductible in countries which allow that. This is an incentive for donors in such countries, as they can get tax-refunds for the donations they make
- Instead of money, supporters can also donate skills, tools, or time to help the projects succeed
- Matching campaigns mean that sometimes, the donations of your supporters will be matched by institutional funders, such as foundations
- Goteo follows up with projects post-funding, to research the impact of projects, promote transparency, and share the results
- The platform will promote your project, ensuring maximum visibility so you can attract the support you need to fund the project