1. What is InvestLocalBC?
Creating online forums to fund, support and evolve business startups, non-profit initiatives and civic projects in our communities. InvestLocalBC accelerates creative ideas into reality by providing an online platform to seek financial investment and collaboration.
2. What is the difference between InvestLocalBC and other Crowdfunding sites?
InvestLocalBC was created by Community Futures Stuart Nechako (CFSN), to provide a platform tailored for local SME’s, startups, non-profit, art and cultural initiatives to realize outstanding results from across the local area, as well as beyond. While there are many crowdfunding platforms out there, InvestLocalBC looks at our “crowd” as “local people investing in local people.” Our concept is to move local startups and nonprofit projects along by inciting local investors to “get in on the action.”
Unlike many platforms, InvestLocalBC is an all-in-one crowdfunding portal that relies on a dealer registration exemption provided by the BCSC (BCI 45-535) to give small startups an alternative way to raise funds.
3. Why should I fund a project?
InvestLocalBCers contribute financially to startups, projects and fundraisers that are in line with their own interests and beliefs. Contributors have the opportunity to see first-hand how their contributions make a difference.
And, contributing is easy! Select the project that you are most interested in, enter your financial contribution, select payment type and voila you have just experienced the power of crowdfunding.
The main reason to fund a project? Empower your community through local investment!
4. What are methods of payment and is it secure?
InvestLocalBC accepts most major credit, debit, and prepaid cards.
We use Stripe and WePay (in conjunction with FundRazr) as our payment processors, but you do not need an account to create a campaign or to contribute to a campaign.
5. I have questions about a project — how can I get them answered?
There are many ways to reach out to the campaign creator, such as engaging them directly via InvestLocalBC contact feature, or contacting them directly via one of their identified communications medians (i.e. Facebook, posted web-site, etc).
6. Can I withdraw a pledge?
You can withdraw or change your contribution to a particular project if you do so at least five business days (“business day” refers to a day other than Saturday, Sunday or recognized Canadian or British Columbia Statutory holiday) prior to the project’s completion date.
To withdraw your contribution: contact us and request that we reverse your transaction. Please include a reason for the reversal, the name of the project, and make sure to use the same email address in the “Your Email” field that you used when you made your contribution (so we can identify your transaction).
To change the amount of your contribution, whether higher or lower: please withdraw your original contribution using the format above, then submit a brand new pledge in the amount you wish.
7. What about investing in a business?
InvestLocalBC acts as a portal to bring together local entrepreneurs and local investors and relies on a dealer registration exemption provided by the BCSC (BCI 45-535) to give small startups an alternative way to raise funds.
For more information please refer to the BC Securities Commission guidelines.
See new amendments to the crowdfunding rules here.
8. How can I ensure the validity of a nonprofit project?
InvestLocalBC does an initial vetting of the project. This is based not only on the InvestLocalBC guidelines, but through formal discourse with the project’s originator. This could be in the form of face-to-face meetings, follow-up emails, phone discussion, and even a reference check. InvestLocalBC does its best to ensure project validity. We will also confirm the charitable status of each project.
However, you too play a role in the research process. Please research the project on your own through social media, other community members, or maybe check out an event. Check for a Facebook page, web-site, or even reach out to the originator directly.
9. Who is ultimately responsible for fulfilling project promises?
As mentioned, InvestLocalBC does its best to ensure the project validity, however project execution ultimately rests with the creator of the project. They are the managers and hold the ultimate accountability for a successful or unsuccessful campaign.
10. Explain the Project Acceptance and Approval Process
CFSN will review every submission prior to its public listing on InvestLocalBC. The review includes language to ensure nothing offensive is being said, that the initiative is not illegal or unsafe. There is no review of the viability of the campaign itself and every person contributing must conduct their own assessment. CFSN makes no claims whatsoever nor does it guarantee the viability of either the initiative or its promises.
Sometimes we will need to ask some follow up questions in order to understand the purpose or goal of your idea. Regardless, you should be aware that projects are typically not posted immediately and you should be available to respond to the inquiries of InvestLocalBC staff. Basically, we need to see that your InvestLocalBC project or idea is in line with our standards and guidelines. Once we’ve approved your funding initiative and incentives you’re ready. If you need further information, you can contact us directly at any time through our help link.
11. What are the costs / administrative fees?
There is absolutely no cost to start a fundraising campaign on InvestLocalBC. We operate under a “fixed funding” model. Fixed funding assumes administrative fees of: a 5% commission and a 3-5% payment processing fee (which we pay out to Stripe or WePay). You are only charged these fees if you reach your funding goal. If you do not reach your goal, all proceeds go back to the Contributors and you will not be charged anything.
12. Can InvestLocalBC help me if I get stuck?
You bet! The InvestLocalBC team will provide you end-to-end support to help you get your project started. From incentives to content ideas, we are here to provide you the support you need to get funded. Contact us here if you need help.
13. What are project updates?
You should generate project updates on a fairly regular basis to keep your supporters up-to-date with the latest status of your project. Your supporters really do care and want to know what is going on. Regular updates keep your project fresh and encourage other to join in your AdVenture. However, in keeping with our open and honest philosophy, while updates are encouraged, you are not permitted to change the details of the project goals or objectives in any manner. This is simply because you may have already received buy-in from others who have funded your project. Changing course creates a disconnect between all parties and does not form the basis of a successful funding relationship.
14. Can I cancel my project?
You can cancel your project if you are unable to continue for whatever reason. Keep in mind, if you are unable to meet the deliverables or expectations of the project that will impact your reputation among supporters, friends, and family. Transparency and honesty is critical and is a mandate of InvestLocalBC.
15. What happens if I am unable to complete the project as indicated in my InvestLocalBC proposal?
If you are unable to complete your project as defined within your original proposal, your project should be cancelled. You will be given an opportunity to make your supporters aware of the events, so don’t be ashamed; it is better to be honest then to hide the truth. You will win respect and it will give you an opportunity to re-submit the project when it is able to be completed. In the event of a cancelled project, all funding will be returned.
16. What if I fail to deliver my Incentives?
Before you post; plan, plan and plan again. Your Contributors expect a professionally-run project and are holding you accountable for meeting the defined expectations. However, situations may arise whereby you are unable to deliver your reward on schedule. Again, be honest and transparent with your Contributors, make them aware of the situation, and advise them of an alternative delivery date as soon as possible. Keep them updated regularly.
17. How and when are funds disbursed?
Funds will be disbursed via e-transfer or cheque upon completion of your InvestLocalBC campaign. All funds raised (minus administration fees) are given to campaign creators within ten business days of the goal completion date (“business day” refers to a day other than Saturday, Sunday or recognized Canadian or British Columbia Statutory holiday).
18. Will I get a tax receipt?
That will depend entirely on the status of the organization setting up the campaign.
19. What are the first steps in creating an InvestLocalBC campaign ?
Please read our “How to Launch your AdVenture” page. It contains a plethora of startup information. Ensure that you have a complete grasp on your costs (i.e. shipping, rewards). Create a detailed cost list and ensure that these costs are captured within your InvestLocalBC target goal. For example, if you are offering a small tangible gift such as an autographed picture of your team, make sure you include the costs of having pictures printed and identify in your group who will pay for those.