About ZotFunder

You are the stars of this campus. You think big. You imagine the impossible. You push boundaries.

Now you’re ready to transform your bright ideas into game-changing realities. All you need is seed funding to forge ahead.

ZotFunder, our new crowdfunding platform, will help you tap into the power of the crowd to support your next venture: Advance your research, produce a play, save the planet, serve the community, design an app or engage in other novel activities that will make the world a better place.

Whatever your specialty, you’ll have the opportunity to spread the word about your groundbreaking work – and attract donors who believe in your vision. They’ll also have a personal stake in your crowdfunding success. They’ll be rooting for you, and so will we.

Join us as we power ideas and passion projects that make a difference. Fund your project of choice today to make it a reality.

Want to learn more? Watch our new ZotFunder video!

Looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign of your own? Apply here and contact James Yokelle, Senior Director of Annual Giving at james.yokelle@uci.edu for more information on how to get started.

University of California, Irvine FAQ

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, mainly from personal networks.


UC Irvine faculty, researchers and student organizations may have projects in need of funding that will not attract the attention or meet the typical criteria required by larger funders such as foundations, corporations or governmental agencies. Many crowdfunding websites have been established in recent years which provide a means to raise philanthropic support with a specific dollar goal in a limited time frame.


Charitable gifts for the benefit of UC Irvine are, by UC policy, to be donated directly to the campus via the UCI Foundation without an intervening entity or middleman. However, in the case of crowdfunding, these sites offer an effective strategy to communicate via social media in a streamlined manner that is currently not available within the University.

Who is eligible?

University Advancement invites faculty members, staff, graduate students and faculty-sponsored undergraduates that are passionate about a project or program to submit ideas. A core leadership team of five to eight individuals excited about raising funds for the project or program is generally needed for a campaign to be successful.

How do we apply?

Apply here or contact James Yokelle at james.yokelle@uci.edu for more information on how to get started. Before you apply, you should know:

1)      How much are you looking to raise?

2)      What will the funds be used for?

3)      How many team members will you have helping you crowdfund?

4)      When are you looking to start?

Who does the actual crowdfunding work?

Crowdfunding should be used primarily for projects where there is a group of individuals who are willing to serve as part of a team to promote this opportunity to their personal network. These projects rely heavily on teams of volunteers to promote and market the faculty or staff research opportunities. 

Where does the crowdfunding money go?

The gifts your campaign receives go directly to the fund specified at the beginning of your campaign. This is a 4-digit fund code that is usually managed by your school or program's finance administration. This tool is available to student clubs and organizations where the funds can be directed to a specific fundraising account in support of the educational mission of the university and meeting the spending requirements of the administrative policies of the university. Please note that the UCI Foundation fund must be managed by a school or program’s business office or finance administration.

How much can I expect to raise?

The amount of team members you recruit will help set your initial goal. It is important to note that your initial target goal will need to reflect the capacity your team has to fundraise - not how much your campaign actually needs.

Our success formula: # of Team Members x $500 = Initial Funding Goal

Please note: If you hit your initial funding goal early on, we can raise it!



Are gifts tax deductible?

The UC Irvine Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. Your gift qualifies for tax-deduction in accordance with IRS regulations during the calendar year that you make your gift. Consult your tax professional for more information.


Whom can I contact for more information on how to make a gift?

Please call 949-824-6136 or email us at ucifund@uci.edu and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.


Can I make a gift via check to support a campaign?

Yes! You are welcome to send a check made payable to the UCI Foundation to:

UCI Giving

111 Theory, Suite 200

Irvine, CA 92617

Please make sure to indicate which ZotFunder project you are supporting in the memo.


Will I get a receipt for tax purposes?

If your donation qualifies as a charitable contribution, a gift receipt for your financial records will be sent to you in the mail.


Do you accept matching gifts?

Some companies match their employees' gifts to universities.

This could double or even triple your gift to UC Irvine.

For questions, please email:



You can mail your matching gift to:

UCI Gift Administration

University Advancement

111 Theory, Suite 200

Irvine, CA 92617


What should I do if I'd like to make my gift in honor of or in memory of someone?

If you would like to make your gift in honor of or in memory of someone, please email the following information to james.yokelle@uci.edu 

  • Your name
  • Gift amount
  • Gift date
  • Is your gift in honor of, or in memory of
  • Full name of honoree
  • Is the honoree an alum, student, parent of a student, faculty or staff member of UCI? If so, please indicate which relationship types apply.
  • Would you like us to notify anyone about your gift? If so, please include their full name and address information.
Our Crowdfunding Groups