There are a number of websites that assist with soliciting funds for academic pursuits, including research and other activities, from the general public. Such funding must be solicited through existing institutional channels via ORSP and PIs assume all risk when utilizing crowdfunding platforms.
In order to avoid potential tax ramifications on the part of the PI, only crowdfunding platforms that issue funds to an institutional office of sponsored programs will be considered. Be sure to understand how funds are treated if the goal is not met and what portion of funding is retained by the platform for overhead, and confirm that treatment of publication and intellectual property are institutionally appropriate.
Prior to signing up for and publishing anything on such a registry, the PI should work with his/her ORSP departmentally-assigned Sponsored Programs Specialist, and must complete and route an E-Prop that includes required information and attachments. In the E-Prop, the sponsor will be the name of the crowdfunding platform, such as Experiment.
If interested in crowdfunding for charitable purposes, contact the UM Foundation prior to proceeding.