Click crowdfunding

Funding for your big idea is just a click away

Click is Essex's very own crowdfunding platform which is free for students, alumni and staff to fundraise for their big ideas and projects. If you have an amazing idea or an exciting project in mind, and you need funding to help it take off, then help is just a click away.

How crowdfunding works

Crowdfunding helps raise money made up of relatively small amounts from lots of people. Donors pledge a donation to your project and in exchange they receive tangible, non-monetary 'rewards' such as a thank you card, t-shirt or tickets to your show.

The special thing about using Click crowdfunding as a member of staff, is that it’s completely free to use, unlike other websites.

Click is a leading crowdfunding platform in UK Higher Education with 97% of projects reaching their minimum fundraising targets. There’s plenty of support you can access at each stage of the process to help you develop your project, craft your campaign, build your crowd and turn your idea into a reality.

What’s different about Click

There are two special things about Click crowdfunding. The first is that it’s free to use unlike other websites. The second is that, thanks to generous donations from alumni, you could get up to £500 more than you raise thanks to our match funding scheme.

Over 1,300 alumni have contributed to student projects at Essex since the Student Experience Fund was set up in 2002. The money raised from this fund is now used to support Click projects and give your project a boost. 

Visit the Click platform

How to use Click crowdfunding

There are lots of things to consider before applying for a Click crowdfunder, such as checking that your project is suitable and that you have enough time to fundraise before the event or activity. Read our conditions below before applying

How to apply

Fill in the application form - Once you’ve submitted it, it goes to our Click team for approval.

Crowdfunding conditions

Process and timeline

To be eligible to launch a Click project, you must apply a minimum of 10 weeks before the event or activity you are fundraising for takes place. 

Step  Process
Idea formulation - week 1  Submit your application online 
Project submission – week 2  If your project is approved, you’ll sign up to the Click website and set up your project proposal 
Project hosting – week 3   Once the Click team at Essex have approved your project, you’ll agree a date for it to published 
Project is live – week 4 - 9  Your project can be live for a maximum of 5 weeks. It’s your responsibility to fundraise for it 
Project success – week 10   When you reach target, the Click team will be in touch to transfer the money to you. It can take up to two weeks to receive the funds
Project report   It is important that you deliver the rewards you promised supporters within the agreed timescale 

Suitable crowdfunding projects

Projects can be about anything - but they should focus on the benefit they will provide to students, our University, alumni or the wider community. Projects will be judged on their goals, their creative or innovative merits and the level of organisation and commitment demonstrated by you and your team. Example projects include:

  • Funding a new piece of equipment for a sports team or society.
  • Supporting performances and theatrical or film productions.
  • Trips and expeditions.
  • Competition entry (like a sport tournament).
  • Community and volunteering projects.
  • Conferences and events.
  • Entrepreneurship and social enterprise.

Your project must reflect at least one of the four core values of our University:

  • Culture of membership - Our students are "members" of our university – for life. Projects in this category should enhance our mutually supportive community, enabling our members to develop interests, build friendships and embrace values which transform their lives and careers.
  • Essex Spirit - Essex provides a home for the tenacious, the bold, the inquisitive and those impatient for change. It’s not just an academic institution, it’s a place where students grow as people, develop moral and cultural values and gain skills for life.
  • Global community and outlook - You can discover the world in one place at Essex. Projects in this category should encourage members to develop a cultural sensitivity along with a genuine world view that prepares them for life as global citizens.
  • Research mindset and skills - At Essex, our students partner with academics, informing and actively participating in research. Projects in this category should equip students with research skills, stimulate their curiosity to question conventional wisdom and nurture their desire to pursue new ideas.

Match funding criteria

Match funding means that the University of Essex agrees to ‘match’ donations received to a project, £1 for £1, up to an agreed limit. For example, £100 of match funding means that every £1 raised will be worth £2, until the project total reaches £200.

Current criteria to receive match funding:

  • Only available to student-led projects (not alumni or staff)
  • We will match fund 50% of the minimum project target, up to a total match-fund value of £500. 

Note: The criteria are subject to revision each month.

Sports Teams and Societies

There is no limit on the number of times a sports team or society may use Click in a year, however each submission must be for a single & distinct project and must seek to raise the entire cost of that project for the whole year. Clubs may not use Click to fund general or ongoing expenses.

For example, clubs may fundraise for kit (for the whole team, for the year, including any envisaged spares or extras), specific pieces of equipment, or the costs of attending specific competitions; they may not submit multiple Click projects for ongoing ‘competing expenses’, or additional kit.

Each project submitted must be for a significantly different project or thing than has already been submitted within the last academic year. Clubs seeking to finance special events or trips that involve significant expenditure and/or an entire squad (i.e. competing overseas), should contact Click to discuss how we can help them structure their project and maximise their access to match funding. 

Setting your fundraising targets

We ask you for two amounts - the minimum you need, and your ultimate target. Funds only change hands if a project has reached its minimum once it hits its end date. This means you only need to carry out your project and deliver rewards if you achieve this minimum target.

We recommend setting the minimum at the smallest amount you need to complete your project and successfully deliver rewards. You can still set a bigger project target as well and most projects receive considerably more than their minimum.

Getting the most out of your project

The Click website has lots of resources with details on how to get the best from your project which you should look at when designing your project. As well as access to specialist support available on the online platform, you will also benefit from personal support from the Click team at Essex, as well as training and workshop opportunities.

Some quick tips for a successful project include:

  • Telling a story – what’s the background behind this project?
  • Offering of creative rewards.
  • Making a killer pitch video.
  • Finding supporters.
  • Making a weekly plan.
  • Being confident – don’t be afraid to ask for donations, and to keep asking!

Deadlines and exclusions

You must apply a minimum of 10 weeks before the event or activity you are fundraising for takes place.

Theatre Productions

Students going to Edinburgh/Camden/London Fringe should apply by 1 June.

Essex Abroad

Students going on volunteering abroad, please note you must start crowdfunding at least 10 weeks before you need to pay your fees (not 10 weeks before the summer school takes place).

For any other summer schools, unpaid internships or volunteering opportunities, please email

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Click crowdfunding