There is a wide array of crowdfunding platforms, each with its own unique spin on raising funds. Some platforms support charitable or creative campaigns, others reward-based campaigns, while still others support equity-based campaigns.
Some are for accredited investors only while some are open to all types of investors. Some are designed to help raise funds for product development while others are looking for donations to help an individual or family deal with personal needs. While some are designed to help charities raise money.
The following list should help you make some sense out of which platforms are best suited for your crowdfunding needs:
- Kickstarter is the largest platform with over 13 million visitors a month. It is a good platform to host product and event campaigns, but not social causes.
Kickstarter caters to individuals and businesses seeking to raise money for creative projects. For example, this platform might appeal to filmmakers, musicians, artists, gamers, developers or any other business owner with a creative bent. Over 17 million people have backed projects through Kickstarter, to the tune of $4.7 billion pledged.
- Indiegogo has upwards of 9 million visitors a month and is similar to Kickstarter. Here you can raise funds for any legal project. It is a good platform for not only raising funds from domestic sources but international ones as well.
Indiegogo’s platform is all about fueling and funding creative innovation, primarily for startup businesses in tech and design. The focus here is on raising money for startups and small business owners who are developing or have developed clever and unconventional products. Indiegogo offers entrepreneurs numerous tools to maximize the odds of a successful campaign, including an expert design team and marketing resources.
- Fundable is one of the few platforms that offer both equity-based and reward-based crowdfunding. What makes it unique is that it does not work on a commission based on the amount of money raised. This quality makes it attractive for large projects.
Fundable is designed for small businesses interested in equity and rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns. Similar to Crowdfunder, the industry representation is broad, and over $558 million has been committed to Fundable projects. One thing worth noting is that Fundable only allows businesses that have a U.S. presence, meaning that even if the business is physically located elsewhere, it must be registered to do business in the United States.
- AngelList is a platform for start-ups to meet accredited investors and is geared for equity-based campaigns only.
- SeedInvest is a platform like AngelList that enables accredited investors to invest in start-ups.
- CircleUp is an equity-only platform that connects accredited investors, innovative consumers, and retail companies. Companies must have existing revenue in excess of $500K to be listed. Funding can be through convertible debt or equity.
CircleUp also does invoice factoring and uses partnerships to help founder grow their distribution.
- WeFunder is another equity-based crowdfunding platform for accredited investors only but allows for pledges as small as $100.
From an investor perspective, WeFunder makes investment crowdfunding widely accessible as campaigns can be funded with as little as $100. That platform has funded over 340 startups, with $120 million in combined capital. This site may be attractive to small businesses that have a physical product as well as those that need funding for creative projects or app development.
- GoFundMe is a popular platform for personal fundraising causes (e.g., covering medical expenses), but also for a select group of charities. They also support reward-based all-or-nothing campaigns similar to Kickstarter.
GoFundMe has been on an acquiring binge. They acquired the following crowdfunding platforms:
– CrowdRise that was designed for nonprofits
– YouCaring which was designed for charitable and personal causes with specific categories for medical, funeral, tuition, adoption, faith-based, pet expenses, and community causes.
– GiveForward that was a donation-based platform with specific categories for medical bills, veterinarian bills, and funeral expenses.
- Patreon is a platform for fans to support their favorite creative projects such as music or video projects on a more ongoing basis.
- AlumniFinder is a relatively new platform to fund creative and innovative projects within a university community.
- CauseVox is a platform tool for developers to develop their own website for peer to peer fundraising campaigns.
- CrowdSupply accepts projects that have a narrow focus: bringing business ideas for hardware to life. If your business has a concept for an innovative processor or a stereoscopic camera, for example, you might choose to launch a campaign using this site. What makes Crowd Supply unique is that once projects are funded and a physical product is created, the platform also handles the selling and shipping of your hardware for you.
- Crowdfunder is an equity crowdfunding platform that helps startups connect with an individual investor or group of investors to fund campaigns. This site is one of the most comprehensive, in terms of industries represented. Businesses of virtually every kind can launch and promote a fundraising campaign, including those in advertising and marketing, healthcare, fintech, and real estate industries.
- Fundly is open to both individuals and nonprofits seeking a fundraising avenue. Over $330 million has been raised through the site spanning a variety of missions. If you run a business as a sole proprietor or your organization is a non-profit, you may consider this platform for donation-based funding.
Which crowdfunding platform is right for your next fundraising campaign?
For more information on crowdfunding see our Navigator Advice Page
Related free course: Funding Your Small Business Startup
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