Crowdfunding is one of the most popular ways to raise initial funds when starting a non-profit, social enterprise, or even if you want to raise money for a cause! I’ve personally used crowdfunding three different times, and I’m a big fan! There are so many different platforms to choose from, though, and it can be overwhelming trying to choose the right one for you. Today on the blog I’m comparing some of my top crowdfunding platform choices!
Who is this good for? Anyone who wants to raise funds for themself, a cause, or a non-profit. Although started by Indiegogo, it's different in that it's not focused on creative or entrepreneurial pursuits. So ethical fashion companies and creative-based projects wouldn't be a good fit for Generosity. One good thing about this platform is that it has access to a big community of people who are looking to give back to a cause!
Funding model: "Flexible" model meaning that all the money that you raise goes towards your cause even if you don't reach your final goal.
Fees: Generosity doesn't take a fee, but the credit card processor does take a 3% + $0.30 fee on all funds raised.
Who's this good for? CrowdRise is perfect for people who want to raise money for a cause! They have access to a huge community of people who are serious about raising money for important causes around the world. There are also opportunities to get featured on their blog and to participate in social impact challenges to gain more visibility. If you have a compelling story, this one could be perfect for you!
Funding model: Also uses the "flexible" model.
Fees: CrowdRise has two options: 5% fee including the credit card processing fee, or $50/month plus a 3% fee including the credit card processing fee. The second option is perfect for people who are looking to create monthly recurring donations. CrowdRise has one of the lowest fees in the industry.
Who's this good for? Kickstarter is only for creative projects. If your project is an artisan cooperative, ethical fashion company, documentary, or photography, art, or fashion-related project, then Kickstarter may be perfect for you. Kickstarter campaigns are most successful when you have a physical product such as jewelry or an art print that you can use as rewards for pledges.
Funding model: "Fixed" model meaning that they take the all or nothing approach. You need to raise 100% of the goal amount or else you won't get anything. This can be helpful because it incentivizes donors (and campaign organizers) to rally for the cause in order to meet the time-bound goal. But it also has a huge downside if you don't reach your goal.
Fees: Kickstarter takes a 5% fee and the payment processing company, Stripe, takes another 3-5% fee.
Who is this good for? This platform is known for raising money for individual causes such as for funding a trip abroad, funding medical or educational expenses, etc. The people who search GoFundMe campaigns to help support are looking for causes like raising money for a humanitarian crisis or to help someone in need. I would suggest using this only for a short-term project and if you have a large network that's already tapped into the GoFundMe platform.
Funding model: Reaching your goal is not required, you keep the amount of money you make ("flexible" funding).
Fees: They take a 5% fee and then the payment processor takes 2.9% +$0.30 fee for each donation received.
Who is this good for? Charities or causes like a volunteer trip, medical expenses, or humanitarian relief. They coined the term “compassionate crowdfunding” because of the causes they support. Because YouCaring is one of the newer and smaller platforms, there is more of a chance that your campaign could be featured if you reach out to them via e-mail and submit your campaign to them.
Funding model: YouCaring uses a flexible funding option. You can also update the campaign goal and extend the deadline during the campaign.
Fees: 0% fee from YouCaring, 2.9% + $0.30 per donation fee from the credit card processer. This is one of the lowest fees in the industry!
Who is this good for? Tilt is for all types of industries, and is perfect for someone who is putting together a lean, mean, campaign without the bells and whistles of having rewards and a ton of photos or content. If you're trying to get a quick and simple campaign up, this would be one of my top choices. Because Tilt is a smaller platform, you have more of a chance to be featured on their website or to be tweeted by them!
Funding model: Tilt is unique in that there is a "tilt" goal and a campaign goal. For instance, you could set the campaign goal to $10,000 and the tilt goal to $1,000. Once the campaign reaches the tilt goal and "tilts" then you can keep all the money you raise even if it doesn't reach the $10,000 goal. If it doesn't reach the tilt goal, however, then you don't get to keep any of the funds. The tilt goal is meant to create a sense of urgency with donors, but Tilt also wants you to be able to keep your funds. Some people like to have campaigns "tilt" at $1, so that you can keep all funds after you raise your first dollar!
Fees: Tilt doesn't take a fee. The credit card processing fee of 3% is added onto the donation amount that donors contribute to the campaign.
Who is this good for? Women who have amazing projects they’re working on! The platform suggests providing rewards to increase pledges—something like a t-shirt, jewelry, or your services. So this would be great for female-run ethical fashion companies or artisan cooperatives.
Funding model: You can choose between a fixed funding model or flexible funding where you keep the amount even if you don’t reach your goal.
Fees: : iFundWomen takes a 5% fee, but they reinvest 20% of all the fees into live campaigns! How cool is that? There is also a credit card processing fee.
Who is this good for? Changemakers! The platform was creating by changemakers for changemakers. It's perfect for non-profits, social enterprises, and purpose-driven bsuinesses. They are the world's leading platform for social impact projects, and have expertise in this area. Because they are more specialized, they are a smaller platform and can therefore spend more time giving expert advice to the people they help.
Funding model: All or nothing approach.
Fees: 5% plus a credit card processing fee from Stripe.
thinking of starting a crowdfunding campaign? Which platform seems like the best fit for you? let me know in the comments below!
Do you want to fund your own social impact project and need help launching a crowdfunding campaign? I create customized programs to help change-makers create and launch successful crowdfunding campaigns! Contact me here if you need extra support and want to work together!