As crowdfunding becomes an even more viable option for big thinkers and entrepreneurs, the platform marketplace has become more competitive. But too many choices can sometimes be a bad thing. How do you decide where to post? What are the pros and cons? Is there a best platform for my kind of idea?
Fear not. We’ve taken a look at some of the heavy-hitters in crowdfunding to breakdown the benefits of each, the potential cons, and give you the tools to pick the right one for you.
As the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter has funded over 200,000 creative projects since its inception in 2009. The biggest rule for Kickstarter has always been that the project must create something to share with others, so no charitable fundraising, and all projects are vetted before being posted on the site. Also, Kickstarter campaigns offer tiered incentives to project backers.
Project Types: Design, Creative, Theatre, Film & Video, etc.
Fees: 5% (+3-5% payment processing)
Funding: All-or-nothing, no in-between.
Cons: Project may not receive any funding, stricter rules, shorter fundraising timelines.
Founded in 2008, indiegogo has aimed to be the flexible, inclusive option for people looking to raise funds. Creative projects, charities, and everything in-between has a chance to enter the crowdfunding arena, and unlike Kickstarter, projects keep any money received.
Project Types: Anything (barring anything illegal, of course).
Fees: 4% (9% if goal not reached)
Funding: Paid as you go (but subject to higher fees if goal not met).
Cons: Lack of urgency (since all projects keep what they raise), only 1/6th audience size of Kickstarter, more projects=more competition
Starting in 2010, GoFundMe helps people to raise money for life events - such as adoptions, weddings, illnesses, tragedies and/or other charitable works.
Project Types: Life events, charitable fundraising, weddings, tuition, etc.
Funding: Paid as you go with an option to make your campaign “All-or-nothing” at setup.
Cons: Not ideal for creative campaigns, hard to stand out unless you have a truly unbelievable story
Launched in 2010, Rockethub offers a diverse crowdsourcing community (similar to Indiegogo). Rockethub also partnered with A&E for Project Startup and boasts increased exposure for projects due to this partnership. Rockethub has also been heavily involved in the legislation of crowdfunding, testifying before congress and giving insights on how to regulate the industry.
Project Types: Anything (barring anything illegal, of course)
Fees: 4% + 4% payment if goal reached (8% + 4% is not reached)
Funding: Paid as you go.
Cons: Smaller audience (though A&E partnership may change that), higher than average fees for unsuccessful campaigns, more categories=more competition
Narrowing down the list of platforms to feature for this article was a challenge in itself. Even though there are several more sites that may also fit your needs, ask these questions before submitting your next project:
Am I creating something? Will people be able to touch it, see it, or buy it?
Do I have an audience for what I’m doing? Do I think I have the support needed to hit the goal?
Can I follow through with partial funding?
Have you had any success with a crowdfunding project? Which campaigns have you contributed to? Let us know on Facebook or send us a shout on twitter!
Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.