Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click the headers to expand each section

How do Rewards work?

Can I send a Reward to someone in another country?

Yes, you can send Rewards to people in other countries. Be sure to get all of their contact information, including email, telephone number and address. Your financial target should include the cost of international shipping, too.

Do I have to give a Reward?

Yes, you must give a Reward.

How are Rewards delivered?

Rewards are typically delivered via the local postal service or by courier. You should incorporate the cost of shipping your Reward into your financial target.

Do I include the cost of the Reward in my fundraising target?

Yes, you should definitely include the cost of both the Reward itself as well as shipping into your fundraising target.

Can my Reward be a donation to a charity?

No, your Reward cannot be a donation to a charity.

Can I include a cushion of profit in my fundraising target?

Yes, you can include a cushion of profit in your fundraising target. Be aware, though, that the larger your cushion, the higher your target.

Can I increase my fundraising target?

You can change your fundraising target any time before you go live. Once you go live and your campaign has started, you may not change your fundraising target.

What if I don’t hit my target?

If you don’t hit your target, feel free to try again. Before your restart, though, it is important to review your experience, think about what you might have done better, and incorporate those improvements into your new Bertie Project.

What if my costs exceed the amount I raised?

If your costs exceed the amount raised, you and your parents are responsible for either covering those costs or returning money to Sponsors. It is important that you carefully calculate all of your costs and that you include EVERYTHING in your fundraising goal. It also helps to include a small cushion, just in case you encounter some unexpected costs.

What if my production process takes longer than expected?

If your production process takes longer than expected, you should communicate with your Sponsors and keep them in the loop. Sponsors are generally understanding if you tell them early and communicate with them honestly.

What can I include in my fundraising target?

You should include all costs involved in producing your idea. This includes any costs paid to a third party (someone who is not yourself), materials, packaging, labeling and shipping. It is sometimes a good idea to include a small cushion for just in case you have unforeseen expenses.

I don’t have a bank account. How do I get my money?

We will only transfer funds to a parent’s bank account.

What if my friends/family/Sponsors give me cash?

It is not uncommon for friends/family to commit to give cash. If friends/family or other contributors want to pay by cash instruct them to first make their pledge online. After your project has reached its funding goal, cash can be wired directly to us. Bertie will provide wiring instructions and various options for payment once a project hits its fundraising goal and pledges from Sponsors need to be collected.

Can I raise money from people in other countries?

Yes, you can raise money from people in other countries. If you reach your fundraising goal, they can send the money to you via credit card or wire transfer.

Do you take money from Sponsors when they make a pledge?

No, money is only collected if a Bertie Project hits its fundraising goal. We work on an all-or-nothing basis.

When does a Sponsor’s money get sent to the Creator?

If a project hits its fundraising goal, Sponsors are sent an email or contacted directly after a campaign deadline. They are asked to make payment within 5 business days of being contacted. Usually, money is sent to the Creator within 5 business days after all monies are collected from Sponsors.

How does a Sponsor make a pledge?

A Sponsor can go to the specific Creator’s project page and make a pledge by clicking on the "Make a pledge" button.

Can a Sponsor change the amount of their pledge?

Yes, you can change the amount of your pledge at any time. You can also withdraw your pledge. You may not, however, change or withdraw your pledge within 48 hours of the deadline.

How much money does a Creator get, net?

The actual amount of money that Creators receive varies, depending on how Sponsors pay their pledges. 5% goes to Bertie. If Sponsors pay their pledges by credit card or through a payment gateway (such as PayPal or Alipay), there are additional transaction costs. These vary, but they generally range between 1.2% (for a direct cash payment on Paypal or Alipay) and 4.5% (for credit card payments). On average, Creators should receive between 91% and 95% of all money raised.

When can I expect my Reward?

Rewards are sent based on the timing that is listed by the Creator. If your reward is late, you should contact the Creator directly.

Will I be notified if the Creator I sponsored hits their target?

Yes, Creators will notify Sponsors directly if a project you sponsored reaches its financial target.

Will I be notified when I need to pay my pledge?

Yes, you will be notified that the project you sponsored has hit its target pledge and you will be asked to pay your pledge within 5 days of being notified.

Can Sponsors ask questions or communicate directly with Creators?

Great idea! This is a function we plan to add in future.

If I move/change address, can I still get my Reward?

Yes, just before your Reward is sent out, you will be contacted for a current address. Be sure to respond immediately.

Can I sell products from a company or someone else on Bertie?

No, all products sold on Bertie must be original items whose original idea came from you, the Creator, and which are produced as part of the project.

What categories do you offer resources for?

We currently offer resources for manufacturing, music and software. We hope to offer more resources for other categories in future.

Who owns the intellectual property (IP) on my idea?

You own the intellectual property relating to your idea.

Can I work with friends on a project?

Yes, you may work with friends on a project.

Can I raise money for a service idea on Bertie?

Generally, yes, but we reserve the right to review and approve all projects.

How do I know if my idea is unique?

You should do your research beforehand. Go online, seek out experts in the area, talk to people in the industry, etc.

Why does a parent need to approve my Bertie Project?

Using Bertie creates a legally binding contract—between Creators and Sponsors. Sponsors commit to giving money and Creators commit to producing something in exchange for money from Sponsors. Because there are legal repercussions to breaking a legal contract and because students are usually legal minors who need to be protected, we require that an adult—usually the student’s legal guardian—review, approve and sign off on the financial commitments involved in a Bertie project. Before a project can go live, Bertie must receive a signed Parental Consent form.

My child has no bank account. Can I receive the money?

Funds received from Sponsors can only be transferred to a parent’s bank account.

What does it mean to be financially responsible?

Parents are financial responsible for all the endeavors that their child(ren) undertake on Bertie. By using Bertie, Creators and Sponsor create a “contract.” Sponsors pledge to give money to Creators, and Creators commit to use the money for the sole purpose of producing something that they thought up by themselves. When money is collected, it means that the Creator’s project has reached its fundraising target and that something will definitely be produced. Whatever is produced will become a Reward which is sent to Sponsors. Parents are responsible for making sure that all third parties, such as the manufacturer, producer, musicians, fulfilment company, etc. are all paid and that Rewards are sent to Sponsors on a timely basis.

If the amounts raised are insufficient to produce and send the Rewards to Sponsors, it the Parents must decide whether to cover the shortfall or to return the money to Sponsors.

Why do I have to be financially responsible for my child?

Parents are financially responsible for their children, since real money trades hands through any project on Bertie. As children under 18 years of age are legal minors, it is expected that they act with the oversight of a parent/responsible adult. There must be someone who is responsible for making sure that payments are made to all parties and that Rewards are sent to Sponsors.

Do you project my child’s online identity?

We have implemented certain procedures and controls into our system to protect your child’s identity. These include the use of only your child’s first name and first initial of their last name. Other than project location and school, Bertie provides no other information about your child. We have also included language and warnings throughout the project development process which cautions children to not disclose too much information about themselves, including their last name, their address and information about their family members. The Resources section includes a guide called Tips for Online Safety, which we recommend that everyone reads

Why do I have to give final approval/sign-off on my child’s project on Bertie?

Because parents are financially responsible for their children, parents need to be aware of how much money is involved in each project. After signing the Parental Consent form we recommend you go through the Finnacial Worksheet with your child to ensure you are fully aware of your financial obligations.

What is the recommended campaign length?

We recommend a campaign of 30 days. Remember, longer is not always better. Sponsors get motivated when there is a sense of urgency. Also, running a campaign involves a lot of work—contacting people, looking for new Sponsor leads, reaching out to media and influential people/forums. Don’t forget that you have to go to school and do homework, too.

What if I go “live” late and my deadline falls on a date after the Bertie Genius Expo?

It is perfectly OK. You never know, you may reach your fundraising target long before the Genius Expo. On the other hand, if your project is still in progress when the Genius Expo rolls around, keep going! The Genius Expo is just a chance to exhibit ideas and creations. You can still participate in the exhibition. Who knows, you may attract some Sponsors there! Bertie prizes at Genius Expos are awarded based on the strength of a Creator’s idea and not necessarily on whether they hit their fundraising target.

Why do I need to make a video?

A video is not required, but it is highly recommended. Sponsors will be able to connect more easily with a story, and stories are more easily told via video. Remember, a video conveys sound, emotion and a million nuances which are not conveyed through words or traditional still pictures.

Is a video required?

A video is not required.

What should I put into the project overview and detailed description?

Describe your project in enough detail so that Sponsors “get it” but not in so much detail that someone would fall asleep trying to get through it all. If your project is a board game, tell Sponsors all about it—the characters, the objective, the “tricks” and rules. Show Sponsors the parts, what the prototype looks like (or drawings if that is all you have). If you have a gadget or gizmo, tell us about it, what it does, why it is such a good and helpful gadget, what it is made of, etc. If you are trying to produce a song, write out some of the lyrics, tell Sponsors how you came to write the song and why, what instruments/vocal talents will be used, etc. Don’t be afraid to upload pictures.

Can I start a project on Bertie if I don’t have everything I need?

Yes, you can start a project and work on it as you go. We allow you to save your project and work on it piecemeal.

How much do I need to tell about my idea?

You can tell as much or as little as you want about your idea. Remember, though, that you need to convince Sponsors about how great your idea is, so if you tell them too little, then they might not have interest in making a pledge to your project. If your idea involves some sort of “secret technology” or intellectual property which you do not wish to share, that is OK,

Should I tell people my costs and how I calculated my fundraising target?

You can share your costs if you want to do so. If you feel it is important for Sponsors to know how you are spending the money (e.g. maybe there is one big tooling or design cost that makes your fundraising target quite high), it is OK to be straightforward about it. On the other hand, there is no need to list out in exhaustive detail every single expense that will be incurred (too much is not always good). Feel free to group expenses together and possibly show the cost breakdown as percentages (%) or in a pie chart.

How do I respond to questions from potential Sponsors, especially if they are very detailed and border on being too nosey?

Only share what you feel comfortable in disclosing. If you are getting bad “vibes” from someone, or if you feel that they are asking irrelevant or unnecessary questions, just ignore them. If someone becomes a problem or really starts to bug you, please be SURE to tell an adult and to also tell us at Bertie right away.