How do Rewards work?
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.
Yes, you must give a Reward.
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.
Yes, you should definitely include the cost of both the Reward itself as well as shipping into your fundraising target.
No, your Reward cannot be a donation to a charity.
Yes, you can include a cushion of profit in your fundraising target. Be aware, though, that the larger your cushion, the higher your 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We will only transfer funds to a parent’s bank account.
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.
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.
No, money is only collected if a Bertie Project hits its fundraising goal. We work on an all-or-nothing basis.
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.
A Sponsor can go to the specific Creator’s project page and make a pledge by clicking on the "Make a pledge" button.
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.
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.
Rewards are sent based on the timing that is listed by the Creator. If your reward is late, you should contact the Creator directly.
Yes, Creators will notify Sponsors directly if a project you sponsored reaches its financial target.
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.
Great idea! This is a function we plan to add in future.
Yes, just before your Reward is sent out, you will be contacted for a current address. Be sure to respond immediately.
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.
We currently offer resources for manufacturing, music and software. We hope to offer more resources for other categories in future.
You own the intellectual property relating to your idea.
Yes, you may work with friends on a project.
Generally, yes, but we reserve the right to review and approve all projects.
You should do your research beforehand. Go online, seek out experts in the area, talk to people in the industry, etc.
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.
Funds received from Sponsors can only be transferred to a parent’s bank account.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
A video is not required.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.