Frequently asked questions
What is CrowdJustice?
We believe that the law should be accessible to everyone, big and small.
CrowdJustice is a funding platform where you can come together with your community to build support and share the costs of taking legal action for issues that affect your community.
If you have a case, it’s a way to spread the word and try to get funding and support. It’s a rare thing to be passionate enough about an issue to take it all the way to the courts. You shouldn’t have to go it alone!
And by supporting a case that touches your community or an issue that you care about, you can help make the law a tool for positive change.
How does CrowdJustice work?
When someone has a court case that they feel passionate about and that affects others in their community, they can set up a Case Page on CrowdJustice that explains what the case is about and why they need help funding it. That person – the Case Owner – sets a deadline and funding target of the amount they need to raise to help offset the costs of taking their case forward. It’s up to you to support them, help spread the word and make pledges to help them meet the funding target.
Only when the funding target is met do the pledges get collected and backers’ cards get charged. If the funding target is not met, the pledges made do not get collected.
When a case is successfully funded, a Case Owner will keep in touch and update backers about the latest developments in a case.
Case Owners can also set a second, Stretch target, in order to accommodate the funding needs of their case. Backers' cards are charged for any amounts raised after the initial "all or nothing" target is achieved.See our How it works page or email us to ask a question.
Is my case eligible?
If you have a case that affects your community, we'd like to hear from you. (Please note: you will need to have instructed a legal representative by the time you publish your case on the site.) Get in touch!
Where does the money raised go?
The money raised goes directly to defray legal costs associated with the case. The Case Page should give you specific information about the case and what the funds are needed for. CrowdJustice does not investigate how funds are used.
A Case Owner must be represented by an attorney, and the money raised on CrowdJustice will be paid directly to the attorney’s client trust account. Money in a client trust account is held “on trust” by the attorney for the Case Owner. This provides an added layer of comfort that the money backers raise for a Case Owner will be accounted for and used as promised.
In all cases, Case Owners are responsible for the money raised. It’s the Case Owner’s responsibility to account to backers as to how the money is spent, and to keep in touch with backers about the objectives achieved.
I work for a 501(c)(3) or non-profit. Can we use CrowdJustice to raise for a legal case or project?
Yes, charities can raise for legal cases or projects! You can also offer backers the chance to opt-in to receive your regular email list.
Unlike other platforms, we perform sanctions checks on all donations being processed through the platform so you can be sure that all funds will be compliant with AML obligations.
I want to support a case. What’s in it for me?
Sometimes petitions or complaints aren’t enough to achieve real change. By contributing to court cases, you can often have a real impact on a specific issue. In some cases, you can even contribute to changing the law.
Case Owners may decide to give additional rewards, like a free cup of coffee or updates from the attorneys on the case! We hope these are just icing on the cake for helping achieve justice in your community. Rewards are only fulfilled when a case hits its target.
When I pledge to a case, what currency is my pledge collected in? Will I be charged any fees?
Your pledge will be collected in the currency displayed on the case page. Currency conversion will be applied by your financial institution when we charge your pledge. Pledges are charged either when a case hits its initial target or 24-48 hours after the pledge is made if the case has already exceeded its initial target.
If the case to which you've pledged uses a different currency than that of your financial institution's account, there may be international payment fees levied on charges to your account. If you have questions about foreign currency transactions, we recommend you reach out to your financial institution for clarification.
Will I get my money back?
In general, there are no refunds.
There are some limited circumstances where the Case Owner does not use all the funds raised on the site for their case or recovers some of their costs.
When that happens, the Case Owner returns those "surplus" or unused funds to the site. (Unless the Case Owner is a charity or non-profit, in which case, the charity or NGO retains any surplus for its general charitable purposes).
After funds are returned to CrowdJustice, if you contributed more than $1000 to the case, and the Case Owner is not a charity, you will be given the opportunity to request the amount of your donation back. If you elect to do so, your donation will be returned to you, on a pro rata basis (which means it might be less, but will never be more, than the amount you gave).
If there are unused funds at the end of the case, we have a simple mechanism in place. Namely, the plaintiff returns unused funds to CrowdJustice, and we in turn donate them to a designated charity dedicated to furthering access to justice.
What are the fees?
There is no charge for creating a case page on CrowdJustice. If you do not hit your target, backers’ cards are not charged and you do not pay anything.
If your case is successfully funded, you will receive all funds raised, minus our fee and payment processor charges.
Our fee is 5%, plus our payment processor (Stripe) charges 2.9% + 30¢ for every transaction (charges for cards issued outside the USA may vary).
So the total amount that goes to your case or project is c.92% of funds raised on the platform. If you are a charity and your case or project is eligible for Gift Aid, you can reclaim Gift Aid on the whole amount raised.
Why do we take a fee of 5% of funds raised?
We use your fee to:
- Maintain and constantly improve our technology platform so that you have the tools you need to run a successful legal crowdfunding campaign.
- Give you full access to analytics and data on your crowdfunding campaign, and constantly improve the tools you have to leverage your success.
- Provide expert, ongoing advice on how to approach your legal crowdfunding campaign.
- Provide a great customer support experience, answering any questions you have promptly.
We'd be happy to help with any questions you might have. Email us and we'll get back to you asap: firstname.lastname@example.org