FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
NamStarter is Namibia’s very first crowdfunding platform, created by RLabs Namibia. It was initially created to help unemployed Namibian youth, yet it can be utilised by any Namibian to bring their creative social, environmental and entrepreneurial project ideas to life, step-by-step and one campaign at a time.
NamStarter’s purpose is to empower and connect people across economic divides, by helping those who have some money available (the economically more priviliged) to support those with great ideas (but limited financial means).
We hereby want to enable anyone around the globe to support home-grown Namibian project ideas and innovation.
There are two ways to take part in NamStarter. Registering (it’s free!) will give you both options:
- Any Namibian with an innovative idea for a new or already existing project that will have a positive impact on your community’s development can start a campaign, hereby asking supporters worldwide to help you make your project become a reality. We recommend you start small with a first campaign that will rund for a few months, and then create a second campaign that builds on the successes and experiences of your first campaign – which can all be about the same overall project.
- Everyone can support as many campaigns as you like, by making cash deposits, electronic transfers from your bank account or by using your Visa/Master card or PayPal account (additional ways of making payments are currently being explored). By becoming a Supporter/Backer on NamStarter you can make a real difference in other people’s lives.
NamStarter was initially funded by the Finnish Embassy, and is so far offering all its services completely free of charge.
In future, registration and uploading your projects will remain 100% free.
As from 2018, we will most likely charge an administrative fee of 3-5 % of the total amount pledged to a campaign, in order to keep the project going. This admin fee will be deducted at the end of a campaign, i.e. when the amount will be paid out to the campaign creators.
Yet this admin fee will only cover part of the costs involved, and we will therefore actively engage various donors and local partners to ensure that NamStarter will grow into an effective vehicle for social and economic change and will make your dreams and ideas become a reality.
A Campaign is a clearly defined request for support to a specific project or activity. A campaign can be started by a single person or by a small group of people, who are then called Campaign Creators. Every campaign has a funding goal (= a certain amount of money that the campaign aims to raise) and an end date (usually after 3-12 months).
The most successful campaigns have a great story to tell about what you do, how it will positively change other people’s lives, and why it is important for you to do it.
Please note: You can have as many consecutive campaigns (= the next campaign can start after the previous one has come to an end) as you want on the same project (or even on differernt projects).
We strongly recommend that you have many smaller campaigns (each campaign building on the success of the previous ones) that help you develop your project step-by-step.
This will also not only help you build a ‘support base’, but will also demonstrate to your supporters that their money is well invested in you and your project ideas.
A campaign is one (of many small) steps on your way of making a certain project become a reality. We recommend you to start small with your very first campaign and to then build on its successes in the following campaigns you can create.
If you have an idea but are not sure if it has what it takes to become a campaign, don’t hesitate to contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NamStarter is dedicated to particularly help young unemployed Namibians (18-35 years old) by providing support in developing project ideas and campaigns.
The best way to start a campaign is to:
- Register as a user,
- Click on “Start a Campain" – top right corner of the screen then, under your name, after you loged in as a registered user,
- Write your ideas into the campaign form and upload some pictures, audios and/or short videos that tell a bit about yourself and what your idea is all about.
- Submit your campaign,
Please note that we are still working on the possibilities for users to preview their campaigns and to save a campaign as a draft (before publishing). As these functions are not yet in place, we recommend everyone to firstly write down your project description into a text document and save it on your computer or USB, just to be on the save side. You can then copy and paste this text into the project description fields of the ‘Start a Campaign’ form.
Your campaign will not imediatley be visible to the public, as all campaigns will first go through a review process by the NamStarter team, which should usually not take 1-2 weeks.
During that time, the NamStarter team might be in touch with you to discuss and fine-tune your campaign, as we try to make all campaigns clearly understandable and attractive for potential supporters.
Finally, when your campaign is published, it will be visible to everyone and can receive the support you are asking for. You can then write regular updates to your campaign on your own and others can write reviews on your campaign.
Should there be any changes you would like to make to the campaign itself, please contact the NamStarter team, as it is currently not possible for campaign creators to edit their own campaigns by themselves.
Here also some more helpful tips and tricks from other crowdfunding platforms on how to write a successful campaign:
Updates to your campaign are highly recommended, as it shows your continuous involvement in your campaign and passion for your project. It also helps keeping everyone (especially your current supporters and any potential supporters) informed about most recent developments.
However, you are not able to edit or change the content of your campaign itself. If there is a need for changes to be made, please contact the NamStarter team and explain the situation to us, so that we can then assist you.
One of the most effectives ways (besides having a great idea and a good ‘story to tell’ through your campaign text and uploaded media) is to promote your campaign as much as you can, e.g. online through emails and verious social media platforms.
Ask your friends to also sign up as users and to share your campaign through their social media sites (e.g. by easily clicking the ‘share’ buttons on your campaign).
RLabs Namibia therefore offers training in Social and Digital Media and for developing other useful skills, such as Project Management and Leadership. These courses are offered on a regular basis for unemloyed Namibian youth (18-35 years old) free of charge – depending on funding available.
Another way of making your project more attractive is to invite and encourage other people to comment on your project by providing a review. Reviewing a campaign also gives anyone the opportunity to rank your campaign, i.e. to give it up to five (5) stars if they think that it is really a great idea.
You can also write Blog Posts in which you share your eperiences with NamStarter.
Furthermore, with Namibia being one of the most attractive tourist destinations, RLabs is aiming at entering partnerships with local and international tourism companies to promote NamStarter and make the various campaigns known to many potential supporters from around the world.
Last but not least, NamStarter will also send fresh information through the soon-to-come NamStarter Newsletter, to which you can sign up here.
NamStarter neither has a maximum nor a minimum amount when it comes to making contributions.
Even if you don’t have money, you may contribute in kind and support the creators of a certain campaign in other ways, such as offering your time, skills or materials.
In cases like this, we recommend you to contact the campaign creators directly through their email address or cell phone, so that you can share with them what you could offer and find out what they might need.
We receommend you start by then sharing a bit about yourself, why you want to support them and what you would like to offer, as this might give the campaign creator a better idea of how best you could support them.
Please also do not forget to write at about your non-monetary support in the update section of the campaign or even write a NamStarter Blog Post – as such kind of support and interaction is what we would like to encaourage and nurture through this platform.
Based on our experiences so far, a number of campaign creator would hugely benefit from mentoring support when it comes to realising their project ideas and campaigns.
Each campaign has a funding goal (which indicates how much money is needed/requeted) and an end date (this is when your campaign will automatically end).
After your campaign ends, the NamStarter Team will contact the campaign creators to inform them about how much money has been received (which is also visible on the campaign site – this information will also remain visible in NamStarter’s public archive.
If the exact funding goal has been reached, the money will be paid out directly to the campaign creators.
If the donated amount is more than the funding goal, the NamStarter Team will contact and ask the Campaign Creators how either the additional money received will be utilized for, and ask the campaign creators to provide an update on the use of these additional funds, so that supporters will be transparently informed.
If a campaign receives less money than was asked for, the NamStarter team will also contact the campaign creators and discuss with them how best they can use this reduced amount towards achieving their project goal. The campaign initiators will then have to inform their supporters (via project update and/or email) how this lesser amount will be used, before it gets paid out. This information will also automatically appear and remain in the ‘update’ section of this campaign in the archives.
Please note, you as the campaign initiator can also chose when your campaign will end; either when the funding goal is achieved or when it reaches the end date.
We recommend that it ends at a certain date, because otherwise your campaign might just drag on for too long, and having a clear end date will also help you create momentum (and excitement when such date is coming closer and closer!) and also provides clarity regarding taking the next steps on your project at a certain point in time.
On the other hand, when you decide that your campaign should end when your funding goal is reached, you might receive this amount even before the envisioned end date. On the other hand, if you were to let your campaign end at a certain date, you probably could even overachieve your funding goal because you attracted so many supporters.
At the end of the day, the choice is ultimately yours.
NamStarter is a platform for facilitating empowerment opportunities and supportive relationships among different people from different socio-economic backgrounds. NamStarter is therefore responsible to facilitate the exchange of information and financial resources (= money), yet NamStarter is not responsible for how this money is eventually being used by the Campaign creators. This means that we cannot guarantee the implementation of projects and activities as they are described in the campaigns. We trust in the honesty and integrity of each Campaign Creator, and ask anyone to please report abuse, if you become aware of any suspicious or unethical behaviour.
It is the supporters who ultimately decide the validity and worthiness of a campaign by whether they decide to fund it or not.
The best way to ensure that your support to a certain campaign is well and responsibly used is to be in touch with the campaign creators directly.
We also encourage all campaign creators to write regular updates on their campaigns and ask supporters to write reviews of the campaigns yuo are familiar with.
All of this will help everyone to get a better sense of the campaign and their creators, and it will make NamStarter the interactive and inspiring patform it strives to be.
No. NamStarter does not issue refunds (only in highly exceptional cases).
NamStarter understands itself merely as facilitator for transactions directly between supporters and campaign creators. The campaign creators will receive all donations (less admin fees, as applicable) soon after their campaign ends, i.e. when the campaign goal is met. All this money will go the campaign it was intended for.
If a funding goal hasn’t been achieved, all its supporters will be notified through campaign updates as to what the then lesser amount of money will be used for.
During these first few months we haven’t yet included any “Rewards" into the first number of campaigns. However, this is a great feature, because it gives real incentives to people to support certain campaigns.
If you are thinkning of starting a campaign that could offer your supporters certain rewards (i.e. what they will receive from you when they donate a certain amount), please fill in the respective fields in the ‘campaign creation’ form – because the technical possibilities for this feature already exist.
If you could not find an answer to your question, please contact us directly and we will come back to you as soon as we can.