If you’re looking for extra funds to bring your project or business to the next level, crowdfunding could be a great option for you. Especially if you already have a dedicated community. One of the first and most important steps in launching a crowdfunding campaign is choosing which platform you want to host it on.
The crowdfunding platform that’s best for you will depend on your campaign and project goals. To help you choose, we’ve researched the most popular platforms. Check out the brief descriptions and fees below to determine which is the best fit based on your needs.
The most popular platform, Kickstarter follows an all or nothing model. Meaning, if you don’t reach your goal, you won’t keep any of the funds raised. The benefit is that it comes with a huge built-in community of members (including brands!) who spend time on the platform looking for interesting projects to invest in. The community has seen $2.3 billion pledged to 100k creative projects from more than 10 million backers. Fees: 5% of total funds raised plus 3% + $0.20 per pledge for credit card fees.
The second most popular platform, Indiegogo offers two options for campaigns – all or nothing or flexible funding, which allows you to keep all the funds you raise. Only create a flexible funding campaign if your project doesn’t require meeting your goal. Fees: Free for pre-launch; free + 3% credit card processing fee for nonprofits; and a 5% platform fee plus 3% and 30 cents for credit card fees for all other projects.
GoFundMe is better for individuals and local businesses looking for support. You’re less likely to find a community ready to donate, but it’s a safe and easy platform for sharing with your own audience. There are no deadline or goal requirements and you can keep whatever you raise. Unlike the other platforms, supporters don’t receive rewards for pledging. Fees: 5$ of total funds pledged + 2.9% payment processing fee per pledge.
Tilt is popular for crowdfunding personal projects and outings. It’s mostly used for collecting funds among a group – such as a group of friends wanting to buy a birthday gift or throw a party. You can also use the platform to sell a product like a poster to your friends. You can invite people to join your group and track who has paid and who hasn’t. Fees: Free plus a 3% fee added for credit cards to collect money; 2.5% fee on funds pledged plus the 3% credit card fee for selling something.
Patreon is different in that it provides recurring funding for artists and creatives. Rather than raising funds to complete a project, supporters pledge to support the continuous creation of art (music, films, writing, blogging, painting). Fees: 5% of all pledges + $0.25 – 2% for payment processing fees depending on payment method.
6) DIY crowdfunding platform
Some people opt to skip the platform and collect donations themselves using Stripe or PayPal. Youjin Do is doing this with her documentary about digital nomads. She has set up her own reward levels for supporters and payment options via credit card, PayPal or BitCoin. Although DIY can be a more cost-effective method of crowdfunding (with a lack of fees), we suggest only taking this approach if you’ve run a crowdfunding campaign before. Fees: approx. 3% for payment fee processing per pledge.
After choosing your platform, you’ll start planning your campaign goal and rewards. Check out our extensive guide to running and optimizing a successful crowdfunding campaign.
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