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About PolarCatalyst

PolarCatalyst is a crowd-funding platform created by the Students on Ice Foundation (SOIF) to support initiatives that benefit the Polar Regions.

For Donors

Through PolarCatalyst, you can direct a gift right to the project or opportunity that is closest to you, or presents the greatest possibilities. Your gift, and those of others who share your interests, go directly to the projects that need your help. PolarCatalyst features projects led by individuals and organizations, including the Students on Ice network of alumni and partners that share the common goal of a healthy and sustainable future for the people, the land and biodiversity of the Arctic and Antarctic.

For Submitters

PolarCatalyst can help you get your next project off the ground, give it the extra boost to the finish line, or help you grow your impact. What separates PolarCatalyst from other crowdfunding websites? SOIF offers you project development support and ongoing support to ensure your project is a success.

Learn more about why you should choose PolarCatalyst for your next project in the Prezi below.

About the Students on Ice Foundation

The Students on Ice Foundation was established in 2000 with the mandate to foster a new understanding and appreciation for the Polar Regions and its people and to educate, inspire and empower youth as leaders in their communities and around the world.

The Foundation’s core program is Students on Ice Expeditions, the world’s pioneer in life-changing educational youth expeditions to the Polar Regions. Please click here for more information. Other programs funded by the Foundation are the Students on Ice Scholarship Program, the Students on Ice Alumni Program, the Students on Ice Inuit Relations Program and the Arctic Tern.

The Students on Ice Foundation has developed the PolarCatalyst to further its mandate to inspire and empower youth, and to build direct connections between donors, programs and organizations focused on furthering a healthy and sustainable future for the people, the land and biodiversity of the Arctic and Antarctic.

Please find key questions and answers regarding PolarCatalyst below. If you have additional questions, please contact the Students on Ice Foundation at 819-827-3300 or at polarcatalyst@studentsonice.com.


Polar Catalyst FAQ


Is my information secure?

As a registered charity, Students on Ice (SOI) upholds professional standards of accountability, security of information, confidentiality and respect. Please see SOI’s Privacy Policy for more details.

Will the amount of my gift be published/displayed?

No, the amount of your gift and your personal information will not be published. A list of donors and their amounts will be given to the project owners so that they can thank donors and update them on the status of the project.

Can I contribute anonymously?

Yes. If you prefer that your name is not listed as a donor in the report to the project owner, please email polarcatalyst@studentsonice.com

How will I know if the project succeeded?

We will contact all donors after the project closes to update them on the status.

Will I receive a tax receipt for my donation?

The Students on Ice Foundation will issue charitable tax receipts for donations over $100.

Can I pay by cheque?

Yes, you can send a cheque specifying the project you would like to support and including your home address for your charitable tax receipt to:

Students on Ice Foundation (for Canadian and International residents, excluding the United States)
Natural Heritage Campus
1740 Pink Road
Gatineau, Quebec J9J 3N7 Canada

For US residents, please make cheques payable to:

The Polar Education Foundation
1740 Pink Road
Gatineau, Québec J9J 3N7

The Polar Education Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charity in the United States.
Federal ID (EIN) 20-5853356

Can I change the amount of my donation?

Your gift will be processed immediately and charged to your credit card. If you wish to change the amount of your donation, we can refund your gift and complete another transaction.

What happens to my donation if the project I support does not succeed?

During the project approval stage, Students on Ice staff work with project submitters to ensure they have alternate plans and a contingency if their project does not reach its fund raising target. Alternate plans include scaling the project down to work with the amount of money donated, or identifying other funding sources to complete the project as planned. A contingency involves project owners identifying another PolarCatalyst project that they would reallocate their donated funds to. The project owners will communicate their intentions and update donors on their status through this process.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

For all queries contact polarcatalyst@studentsonice.com


What kinds of projects can be submitted?

The Students on Ice Foundation accepts proposals for all projects that benefit the Polar Regions. Each proposal will be reviewed by the SOI team and evaluated based on its alignment with the SOI Foundation’s mission and values, as well as its potential to make a positive impact on a local or global level.

We are also looking for projects with a robust project plan, feasible scale, suitable budget, and project submitters whose body of work is relevant and will contribute to a successful project.

How much information do I need to provide?

The more the better. You will be more successful if you can submit extensive background information about your project, how the project will be executed and who will benefit, supplying as many photos and videos as possible to support your proposal.

Who decides that a project will be added to PolarCatalyst?

The Students on Ice team will evaluate each proposal based on its alignment with the SOI Foundation’s mandate and values, as well as its potential to make a positive impact on a local or global level.

Which fees are associated with the use of PolarCatalyst?

The total fees associated to the use of PolarCatalyst amount to 4.9% + $0.30 per donation. The breakdown of this fee is the following:

  • The transaction fee charged by the financial institution handling the online transaction is 2.9% + $0.30
  • The Students on Ice Foundation charges a fee of 2% to cover costs associated with website maintenance and staff time.

How do I access the donations?

Once a project receives the green light, the funds will be deposited into the account of the organization undertaking the project. If the project is undertaken by one or more individuals. SOI will work with you to ensure the funds are available to you to finance the project.



Once my project is submitted, how can I help it succeed?

  • Share. Tweet, Facebook and blog about your project to your personal social network and get the word out.
  • Give. Make your own personal gift to put your money where your project is.
  • Remember the 30% rule. Good crowd funding principles recommend that you try to raise at least 30% of your goal before you launch it. Talk to your personal networks – friends and family – before you start and ask them to help your project get off the ground.
  • Update. Keep the project alive with updated photos, videos and testimonials. Send them to us and we’ll post them for you.
  • Steward. Even once the project is funded, keep SOI and your social network updated on its success so we can ensure those donors will be interested in other PolarCatalyst opportunities.