The digital era has made raising capital for personal needs, nonprofit causes, and business ideas simpler with the development of digital crowdfunding sites. The total funds raised using these sites is over $34 billion.
These platforms have easy-to-use features and offer a streamlined experience for those sourcing for money and their supporters. Whatever the reason for raising cash, there’s a crowdfunding platform for you.
This article goes over the leading crowdfunding sites based on their history, pricing options, ease of use, and social channels integrations. Whether you’re an artist, entrepreneur, or activist, these sites will assist you in getting the money you require for your cause, concept, or project.
Crowdfunding is a common way of raising funds. Many people have used it for various reasons, such as assisting with medical requirements, funding new businesses and real estate projects, and social justice causes. Essentially, crowdfunding is just raising funds online from many people to finance a particular venture.
How Crowdfunding Works
Crowdfunding operates by having numerous people donate some money to a cause, business idea, or project. The pool of people is usually large and may not know each other; thus, the term “crowd” in crowdfunding. Rather than having few investors finance the venture, crowdfunding lets many more people donate money.
Types of crowdfunding include:
- Reward crowdfunding: In this type of crowdfunding, you reward donors with a gift or product sample when they contribute a certain amount
- Debt crowdfunding: Rather than taking out a bank loan, you get an advance from crowdfunding and then pay it back
- Equity crowdfunding: In this type of crowdfunding, you offer your donors equity in the firm in exchange for capital
9 leading Crowdfunding Platforms To Fund Your Project
This is the best overall crowdfunding platform. Indiegogo has helped individuals fund over 800,000 concepts globally since its inception in 2008.
Indiegogo has three founders, Eric Schell, Slava Rubin, and Danae Ringleman. These individuals founded Indiegogo intending to fund their ideas and causes. Over 15 million individuals visit the platform every month, with approximately 19000 campaigns launched each month.
Initially, the Indiegogo platform was only oriented towards reward-based fund drives for startups and creative projects. However, in 2016, the platform set up equity-based fund drives for business investors. In 2014, the founders also added the Indiegogo Life service to raise funds for medical costs, emergencies, and celebrations.
The site is available in 235 countries. You can start a 60-day campaign that usually attracts a 5% site fee and an additional 3.2% third-party processing charge.
The site has tools that let users integrate with social platforms such as Google and Meta to advance your fund drive. Once users have attained their target, they’ll receive the funds through their bank within 15 working days. Users can also invest in one of the numerous products and concepts and become a backer.
- Great for investors and entrepreneurs
- Operates globally
- Limited restrictions for projects
- Great support pages for project creators and backers
- Charges a third-party payment processing fee and a 5% platform fee
- The platform doesn’t have an FAQ page
- It doesn’t provide backer statistics
- It doesn’t offer comprehensive protection from fund abstraction
2. SeedInvest Technology
SeedInvest Technology is a New York-based crowdfunding platform launched in 2012 to offer investors a way to invest in startups. The site has over 600,000 investors and has assisted over 250 startups to raise over $350 million.
To get started on the SeedInvest platform, all you need to do is create an account, fill out the online application, and complete a verification process that will include a due diligence check.
If the platform invites you to raise funds, you’ll need to set up your profile then you can start the fundraising process.
Once you reach your target, the platform will take a portion of your earnings, including a 5% equity charge and a 7.5 % placement charge.
The site has a calculator that you can use to estimate the cost of raising funds on it. The campaign length depends on your enterprise; however, it generally takes 45days to six months.
- It has more than 600,000 investors.
- Assists in creating awareness among angel investors and venture capital firms
- You don’t pay any charges if your funds drive isn’t successful
- All startups have to go through a rigorous vetting process; however, not all make the cut
This is the leading crowdfunding for nonprofits since it’s among the most budget-friendly platforms. Mightycause also offers some select features for free.
The platform was launched in 2006 as a fundraising site to assist individuals, and nonprofits raise capital online for their causes. The platform’s flexibility for raising cash gives it the edge in this class for companies looking for contributions since it has aided over 150,000 causes to attract the donations they required to meet their target.
The site offers various campaigns, from giving days to P2P (Peer-to-Peer) fundraising. The site has a 1.2% payment processing fee and charges 29 cents for every transaction. Mightycause also offers a free “starter” option where users can raise funds and create event-related campaigns, year-round fund drives, P2P, etc.
Users can also upgrade to the advance plan, a paid version that gives users access to additional features for donor management, marketing, and branding. The advance plan goes for $99 per month, and you can cancel at any time.
Nonprofits can set up fundraising campaigns themselves. Individuals can also set up a fund drive for their favorite organization.
- Compatible with CRM (customer relationship management) systems, such as Salesforce
- You can ask for a free demo
- Social channels integrations are available
- Various campaign options like year-round fundraising, giving days, special events, and crowdfunding campaigns.
- Tools like CRM integrations aren’t available on the site’s free plan
This is the ideal site for investing, as it allows ordinary people to put their money directly into startups and firms they admire and get equity in return. Users can invest from as little as $100
Howard Marks and Ron Miller established the platform in 2014, with Kevin O’Leary, ABC’s Shark Tank host, as a strategic advisor. This site enables individuals to invest in early-stage startups. StartEngine has a layperson-friendly investment strategy making it the leading crowdfunding site for investors.
Users can start investing in any of the listed firms on its web page, from tourism startups to biotech pioneers, with as little as $100, based on the company’s listed share value. Each firm’s profile includes its valuation, investor numbers, and price per share to assist you in making an informed decision.
Once you’re ready to invest, simply select the “‘Invest Now” icon and begin the process by filling out the application form and selecting a payment method. If you’re a startup trying to source funds, the site has aided over 500 organizations to raise cash via its network of over 750,000 users and 500,00 investments.
- Users can invest as little as $100
- The platform has raised over $450
- The site has a reputable strategic advisor
- StartEngine is a relatively new firm
This versatile site has assisted individuals in raising money for everything from funds to keep local businesses alive to personal healthcare costs. GoFundMe is the ideal platform for setting up personal fundraising campaigns. The platform has brought in over $9 billion in funds from more than 120 million contributions.
The platform was inaugurated in 2010 and is among the largest online funding-raising sites. Its simplicity and success make it the perfect site for individuals.
Users can set up their GoFundMe pages in three steps. First, set up a funds drive-by detailing how much money you wish to raise. Next, tell your story and share your funds through social channels.
Users can manage the contributions they receive via the site’s dashboard, where they can send thank you notes, withdraw cash, etc. An advantage GoFundMe has over other sites is that it doesn’t charge platform fees.
Nevertheless, the site does have a 1.9% payment processing fee and charges $0.30 for every transaction. Additionally, users can raise cash as long as they wish as there are no deadlines or time limits.
The platform also offers round-the-clock customer support if you require any help setting up your page or experience any difficulties.
- No platform charge
- Flexibility to raise funds for a charity, a friend, or yourself
- Round-the-clock customer support
- Debit and credit card transaction charges
This is a crowdfunding site designed specifically to assist creatives in thriving by aiding them raise money from admirers, family, friends, and supporters.
This platform offers simple-to-use fundraising and subscriptions options for creatives and artists looking for “patrons.” More than 200,000 creators trust this site, including musicians, podcasters, writers, and artists.
Jack Conte, a YouTube musician, launched the platform in 2013 with Sam Yam. Patreon has raised over $2 billion in funds, making it the ideal platform for creatives.
The platform charges a monthly fee depending on your plan. The premium plan charges 12%, while the lite and pro charges 5% and 8%. Additionally, the site charges 0.30 per transaction and has a 2.9% processing fee.
The Lite plan is ideal for creators who are just dipping their toes in the creative market, while pro assists creators in putting up membership options to support their enterprises. The Premium plan is for established businesses or creatives that make a minimum of $2500 per month on the site and have at least 100,000 social media followers.
Users can switch between the Pro and Lite plans at any time. For the premium plan, users must pay a three-month commitment.
- Users can set up monthly subscriptions.
- Software incorporations are available with Mail Chimp, Vimeo, and more
- Users have the option of hiding how much they get on the site
- The platform is very flexible in terms of the project it hosts
- Sensible and extensive project classification
- Charges start at 5% and go up to 12%
- The close connection between creatives and backers gives creators a lot of pressure
This platform was founded in 2009, and it has established itself among the most successful and popular crowdfunding sites. After signing up, users can post projects on the web page through a separate, customizable page.
Project creators have to specify a funding target on this site, but the fund drive can be supported beyond the set target. Users can donate as little as $1. Once the campaign hits its target, the site makes payments via Stripe. The funds won’t be transferred if the campaign doesn’t meet its target.
The platform has a 5% payment processing fee and a 5% platform fee. Each funding project is permanently archived and remains visible on the platform.
The platform’s primary focus is on creative projects and startups whose aim is to supply innovative commodities or cultural goods. Some of the successful projects conducted on the site include the pebble time smartwatch, the OUYA video game, the exploding kittens’ card game, and the coolest cooler cool-box.
Kickstarter has a reward-based crowdfunding model—contributors are individually gifted based on their donation amount.
- The platform only deducts funds from contributors once the campaign reaches its target.
- The site only charges for successful campaigns.
- Kickstarter has clear and informative project pages
- It has a clumsy navigation site
- The platform influences a campaign’s success
This platform was inaugurated in 2018 and has quickly risen in popularity. Barnraiser is only operational in the United States, and its primary focus is supporting healthy food projects.
The platform is ideal for cooks and farmers. Artists, activists, journalists, and software developers can start a page on the site if their content is oriented toward food sustainability.
Users can search for projects close to them using the localized search function. The platform has a discover page that allows users to filter the projects depending on what they want. The site also has a contribute page where users can sort the projects by recently added, most funded, and most popular.
Barnraiser works using the tilt model; therefore, the campaign has to reach its target for the money to be deducted from supporter accounts and released to project creators.
- Fund drives have a highly motivated backer system as money is only released when project creators reach their target.
- High project success rates
- User guidelines and FAQ pages are hard to find due to clumsy site navigation
- The platform doesn’t have the global contribution element
9. Circle Up
This platform is ideal for individuals looking to create a consumer brand. The platform has assisted over 500 start-ups to raise over $500 million. Circle up provides credit and equity funding and offers users an opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs, experts, and retailers.
The platform also gives users a chance to interact with accredited investors who earn at least $220,000 annually or have a net worth of $1 million.
Users on this platform also have access to Circle up’s machine-based learning tool that offers market insights and special lines of credit.
This platform is ideal for individuals who want to scale rather than develop their concepts. Circle Up has a very competitive selection process. The site usually requires individuals to have a minimum revenue of $1 million to be listed.
- Offers credit and equity funding
- Has tools that offer market insights
- Users can interact with other retailers and entrepreneurs
- It has a very competitive selection process
- One has to have a revenue of at least $1 for the site to list you
Online crowdfunding has risen in popularity over the last decade. It has become common to source funds to finance projects or cover personal needs. This article has highlighted ten of the most popular crowdfunding sites to help you find one that suits your needs.