11 Top Crowdfunding Websites: Choose the Right One for Your Project

Top Crowdfunding Websites

With crowdfunding catching on like wildfire, we bring to you some of the best crowdfunding platforms available. You could be an entrepreneur looking for capital or having a personal emergency. Or you could be a backer looking to fund an idea- either because it is an innovative concept or on humanitarian grounds. The projects might range from music to a start-up to scientific progress. Crowdfunding websites platforms listed below deal with some or all of the mentioned aspects

1.  Kickstarter

This is one of the most popular Crowdfunding Websites there is! It was founded in 2009 and soon became a major player, building a formidable reputation for itself. Kickstarter provides the user with the option of going for rewards based crowdfunding or others. It also follows a policy of All or Nothing wherein it charges the members nil amount if they do not meet the target. In case, the user does meet the goal, it charges a certain percentage of fees.

   Kickstarter: Core features

  • This crowdfunding platform provides you all you could have asked for- excellent services, flawless execution, simple to understand and a 24/7 customer service.
  • It places huge emphasis on social media and given your project plenty of limelight
  • Backers are motivated to pay more via creating a threshold point, on crossing which the backer is entitled to a reward after a successful funding completion
  • Kickstarter hosts only creative projects and not any charity, scholarship, campaign etc
  • It charges a fee of 5% for a successful project along with processing fees.
  • This platform is only for US residents

Example Crowdfunding Projects by Kickstarter,

  • Pebble Time managed to raise $20 million- more than 4000% of its target!
  • Coolest Cooler surpassed all expectations and raised $13 million- a whopping 26000% more than its goal!!
  • Pebble Technology raised $10 million which was a massive 10000% increase from its set target amount!

2.  Indiegogo

Indiegogo, the first crowdfunding platform ever, was launched in 2008. Thus, it had the early bird advantage and managed to build up a huge following very soon. It offers a lot of categories to donate to like businesses, politics, animals, writing etc. it makes use of a rewards-based crowdfunding method to pay its backers

    Indiegogo: Core features

  • It has various partner pages for different causes. Indiegogo Generosity is for the causes that touch your heart while and charges no fee while Indiegogo On Demand lets the really successful campaigns continue to raise money even after the expiration of the campaign.
  • Typically, Indiegogo charges 5% of every donation made along with the occasional processing charges.
  • With an excellent customer service, Indiegogo boasts of responding within hours of lodging the grievance.
  • It uses an algorithm called Gogofacgtor to increase the project’s visibility and also has a variety of marketing tools for members.

Example Crowdfunding Projects by Indiegogo,

  • A project called Flow Hive launched to enable the completion of a beehive box with a twist raised $12 million!
  • An Hour of Code for Every Student was a charity based project which aimed to provide every student in all schools the opportunity to become computer science savvy. It raised about $5 million.

3.  Gofundme

The GoFundMe crowdfunding platform was launched in 2010. It is a platform that lets members raise funds for professional or personal work. It is based in San Diego. Very popular among users, it lets you raise money for various purposes like emergencies, education, volunteer, medical etc. The site takes five percent of each donation, but is free to the user and easily syncs with social media.

   Gofundme: Core Features

  • GoFundme has no deadlines and imposes no penalty for missing the preset goals.
  • Extremely user-friendly, GoFundme has an easily navigable interface and lets the user track the metrics daily. It is social media friendly although one of the pre-requisite is to have a Facebook account.
  • The crowdfunding platform charges a fee of 5%.
  • GoFundme offers three types of campaign: Certified Charity Campaigns, Personal Donation Campaigns, and All or Nothing Campaigns.

Example Crowdfunding project through Gofundme,

  • Help Sampson get surgery: This was a project where a young African boy named Sampson needed surgery. The money was raised in a record one day! The amount raised was $115,000
  • Heaven Can Wait Animal Shelter: GoFundMe helped raise fund about $100,000 to stop an animal shelter from closing down.

4. Fundable – Crowdfunding Website for Small Businesses

This is typically for people looking to raise capital for starting something brand new. It was launched in May 2012 and has offices at various locations including Ohio, California etc. the backers have a choice for going for either rewards based crowdfunding or equity-based crowdfunding and hence enables people from all walks of your life- from friends, families to strangers and customers- participate.

   Fundable: core features:

  • It has a solid reputation with the founders and board members having hefty profiles. They are also known for providing the members with a personal touch and personalizing services on the basis of requirements
  • Fundable has a large database of investors. So members looking to raise money have a higher chance of reaching their preset goals.
  • It is known for excellent customer services- extremely efficient and reliable.

Example Crowdfunding Projects by Fundable,

  • A company called Rayton Solar Inc’s aim was to enter the solar energy market via producing cheaper and more efficient solar panels. It’s manufacturing cost was among the lowest in the market. It managed to raise fund about $2.8 mn.
  • AEVA, a company trying to replicate the unmanned aircraft system technology in the commercial space managed to raise $1.6 million

5. YouCaring

Started functioning in 2011 with headquarters in California, YouCaring crowdfunding platform provides charity and good cause services like funeral expenses, medical bills, personal expenses, tuition among other things. The platform is free but users can donate. Till date it has been able to raise about 300 million dollars.

  YouCaring: Core features

  • YouCaring is free for both backers and campaigners but backers can give more if they want, which then goes to support YouCaring’s functions. It also accepts donations via check and cash.
  • There is however a 3% fee wrt transaction costs.
  • YouCaring offers unlimited campaigning time
  • The platform actively makes use of social media which gives a boost to the rankings and adds more legitimacy to the campaign

Example Crowdfunding stuff by YouCaring:

  • The ‘STOP Human Trafficking of Girls from Nepal’ cause for helping a Non Profit rescue girls from brothels and deal with human trafficking
  • A 13 year old kid named Brian Friend trying to raise money for a homeless shelter for men.
  • This project by ‘Engineers for a Sustainable World’ want to help the citizens of a small town on Haiti have access to a sustainable source of power.

6. Crowdrise

Crowdrise was formed in 2010 (May). This funding platform is the ‘world’s largest community for raising money for great causes’. It aids in raising funds for charities and personal causes.

    Crowdrise: Core features:

  • There are no minimum targets or deadlines. Truly exists for a noble cause
  • To enhance its appeal and also get the message to a wider audience, this platform has roped in various actors like Lady GaGa etc. in fact, its co-founder Edward Nortan himself is an actor.
  • It charges 5% along with a transaction fees of about 2.9%
  • Runs two types of campaigns- non-profit and individual.
  • The money raise, whether or not the target is reached, goes to the fundraiser.
  • Tagged as ‘one of the best crowdfunding sites’ by both Forbes and Mashable

Example crowdsourcing Project by Crowdrise,

  • Helped a Syrian refugee family, who came to the USA, raise some money to buy a car.

7.  RocketHub

This platform is easy to use and uploads your project with minimum hassles along with continuous tracking and monitoring. One of its most innovative features is the launch pad. This is popular with all the creative folks- musicians, artists and the like

   RocketHub: features

  • Launchpad: gives the members a chance to get in touch with the best companies, marketers,brand names etc to help generate as much interest as possible via various means like advertising, campaigns, social media etc. This infinitely increases the chances of raising more
  • It pushes you too get in touch with already existing friends on social media for donations.
  • If the member isn’t able to reach the preset goal, the fee charged is 8% while in case of a successful campaign, it is 4%. There also is a transaction fee of 4% in the form of credit card processing
  • They also provide the option of joining a ‘success school’ which gives te member advice on the campaign.

8. Razoo – Crowdfunding Website for Nonprofit and Personal Causes

Razoo provides vying for four types of projects- Individuals, Non-Profits, Foundations and Corporates. This is deemed to be the next hot kid on the block with claims of having earned more than $97 million for plenty of projects and causes.

    Razoo: features

  • It makes use of social media and also has a Donation widget which can then be used to create a donation special section in any blog. It even has iPhone specific apps
  • The fee charged is extremely low- just 2.9% of the total fund.

Sample crowdfunding job by Razoo,

  • Project ‘Giving Tuesday: A project to feed 12 ‘Big Cats’- Tigers, Bobcats and Cougars- survive after being rescued. With a target of $58,000, they managed to collect about $69,000

9. Chuffed – Crowdfunding Website for  Nonprofit and Social Enterprise

This crowdfunding website is solely for non-profit causes and social problems. A chance to give something back to the society.

   Chuffed: Some notable features

One of the features of the platform is the person interested has to write about their idea in just fifty words! Hence,      clarity of thought is the key and also helps the platform decide easily among the many applicants.

Crowdfunding Samples by Chuffed,

  • Project Instant Feeding Team: This project is aimed at the refugee migrants with small babies and infants in Northern France and to collect funds for feeding and keeping them safe. Managed to raise £2,263 with a target of £1,000.
  • Project ‘First Response: This is a heart touching project for helping the homeless who live on streets. It is ongoing and has raised $12,344 of $45,000 via donations.

10. Experiment – Crowdfunding Platform for Science Research

This platform is for primarily supporting science and aiding in research. The users do not need to become sign up and become members. Also, this is a donations based platform where there is no reward except for the personal satisfaction of having helped in the progress of mankind a bit. This crowdfunding platform has the honor of having helped many scientific research papers get published.

   Experiment: Some features

  • All or nothing business model: if the project fails to meet target, no fee is charged
  • Before being approved, the project is vetted and the science behind it validated to ensure it is viable. Thus, the risk of failure is relatively low
  • The backers can monitor the progress continuously
  • There is a 5% fee on successful projects along with the transaction charges.

Crowdfunding Projects examples by Experiment,

  • Do Shadow Groups Run Our Democracy? How Interest Group Advertising Persuades Voters: the aim of this project is to understand the role of various interest groups in elections and public policy via funding, advertising etc. it hit 101% of its target and raised $1,703.
  • How does lunar dust react to getting hit: it aims to study the harmful effects of lunar dust and measures to reduce them.

11. Crowdfunder

This platform allows entrepreneurs raise funds via selling debt and equity based securities. Thus instead of the usual rewards and gifts, the backers are actually given a stake in the company (equity based crowdfunding). It however, has a minimum threshold of investment and thus is not really suitable for everyone. However, if you understand the concept and the industry and have done your homework, you can jump right in!

   Crowdfunder: features

  • It offers a number of plans- each with different features
  • Due to the relatively higher level of risk involved, constant customer service and protection of vital information along with analytic support among other things
  • Again, due to the complexity, certain documents, and a pitch are required

Example Projects Undertaken by Crowdfunder,

  • GoodWorld: This innovative project deals with making a revolutionary social payments platform which would enable safe social payments. It is by GoodWorld and raised a whopping $1,876,001 while the target was $1,250,000.
  • Revl: this project’s aim is to build the smartest action camera in the world. It is an engineering marvel and raised about $4,552,001- exceeding its goal of $1,300,000.

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