Many of us have creative ideas that we would love to see come to life but we typically do not have the funds to back such dreams. The realization is sometimes hard to stomach especially when faced with reality that your big dream might never come to fruition. Fortunately nowadays finding the funds to support your projects isn’t as hard and unobtainable as it once was thanks to the emergence of crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is a method in which every day people provide funding, with their own money, to projects that they personally want to see come to life. In other words a mass amount of people are donating money to your project in hopes that you will be able to make your dreams come true. There are various methods of crowdfunding from offering rewards and incentives to backers to just having people donate to you without seeking anything in return. Today I’m here to share with you 12 crowdfunding websites that could help you fund your next project. Below you will see a summary of each website along with how it works, the fees levied, acceptable projects and of course the up side and down side of each website so let’s get started.
One of the most, if not the most popular crowdfunding website, Kickstarter is a funding platform that allows users to raise funds so that they can financially back their projects. Launched back in April 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Stickler and Charles Adler, Kickstarter’s main objective is to allow creators to promote their projects to the community in hopes to have backers support their project with monetary donations. Each project page on Kickstarter is maintained by the creator or creators who set their own funding goal as well as project deadline. It is only after the deadline expires, if sufficient funds are raised, that backers’ are charged the amount they pledged to said project.
Costs: If your project is successful Kickstarter will apply a 5% fee to the funds collected.
Accepted Projects: Kickstarter only allows for funding for creative projects in the fields of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.
- Project creators retain 100% ownership of their work.
- Millions of people visit Kickstarter every week which increases your chances of finding people to back your project.
- If you’re in a creative field you have the chance to get your project off the ground.
- Kickstarter does not allow for the funding of charities, awareness campaigns, scholarships or “fund my life” projects which means those who wish to make social change must look elsewhere.
- Your project must also fit in on of Kickstarter’s listed categories.
- If you do not raise enough funds to meet your funding goal by the end of your set deadline you receive nothing.
- Kickstarter seems to only be available to those in the U.S. and UK.
Founded back in 2010 in Oslo, Norawy, NewJelly is a public online funding platform that allows anyone who has a creative idea to launch a project on their site in order to obtain fans and funding. NewJelly is crowdfunding for the artists, be it in art, design, food, film, music, technology or anything else creative. Essentially almost all forms of creative projects are accepted as long as they have goals and adhere to a few guidelines. Getting a project started on the site is fairly simple. First come up with an idea, create an account, make your project look appealing so that backers will want to invest and upload a video or explain your project in writing before submitting it. If NewJelly approves of your project it will be up on the site within 24 hours.
Costs: For all projects that successfully raise their funding goal, NewJelly collects 5%. PayPal, the payment system used by NewJelly, will charge a service fee as well.
Accepted Projects: NewJelly accepts all projects relating to artist creativity with the exception of projects that promote violence, pornography, firearms, religion or are solely to express political views.
- There is no country restriction, meaning you do not have to be from the UK in order to create a project.
- You can create as many projects as you want.
- A maximum of 180 days is given to fund your project.
- There is no max number of funds you can raise but there is a minimum funding limit of 100 Euros.
- Artists retain complete ownership of their projects.
- NewJelly only accepts PayPal.
- Any creative projects for fundraising or charity support will not be accepted.
- Unlike with Kickstarter, funds are immediately withdrawn from your Paypal account once you pledge to support a project and will only be refunded if the project does not meet its goal.
- NewJelly’s instructional videos are currently in Norwegian only.
- NewJelly has only had three successful projects.
Like Kickstarter, RocketHub is one of the more popular and successful crowdfunding websites for creative projects and is known as “the world’s crowdfunding machine”. Founded in 2010 by Brian Meece, Jed Cohn and Vladimir Vukicevic, RocketHub encourages direct-to-fan social media outreach, the use of social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, in order to publicize their fundraising campaigns. Rockethub has two important features, FuelPad, which is for those interested in crowdfunding and Launchpad, which presents their member’s the opportunity to win contests to work with big-name brands, companies and marketers to increase public interest for their projects. Launching a project is simple and easy, simply post your project, promote it, raise funds, follow through with the project while keeping your funders up to date and send the promised goods/services to your funders.
Costs: Should you reach your goals, RocketHub will charge a 4% commission fee as well as a 4% credit card handling fee. If you do not reach your goal the commission fee charge is 8% while the credit card handling fee remains the same.
Accepted Projects: RocketHub welcomes all projects in the field of art, science, business and social good.
- You can live just about anywhere and be able to find funding for your project through RocketHub.
- There is no all-or-nothing model, which means even if you don’t reach your goals you can still keep what you raised.
- Projects for social good are accepted.
- Large projects can be split into smaller projects.
- The Successful School teaches and gives you the tools in order to help you succeed in creating a successful project.
- The commission fee for not raising enough money is double that of what you would be charged if you were to meet your funding goal.
- Goods or services are expected to be offered to funders in exchange for funding.
- Certain goods and services are not allowed to be offered, this includes equity, revenue shares, investment opportunities and entry into lotteries, raffles and sweepstakes.
Founded in 2007 by a group of friends that had experienced the hardships of raising money through traditional mediums in order to back their projects, Indiegogo became a crowdfunding solution meant to empower creative ideas and aid those with projects to obtain the needed funds. Originally launched within the film industry, Indiegogo has now branched out to include all industries and currently stands as the leading international crowdfunding platform as of today. The site isn’t just about raising enough funds to back your projects but it is also a place to discover people from all over the world and learn their stories. Campaign options include Flexible Funding, which allows you to keep whatever funds you raised regardless if you meet your goal and Fixed Funding, which returns all contributions to funders if the goal limit is not reached by the end of the deadline. Campaign creation is easy as there is no application process.
Costs: There is a 4% fee on all projects that meet their funding goal and a 9% fee is charged to all projects that do not meet their funding goal.
Accepted Projects: All types of projects are accepted to Indiegogo.
- Indiegogo provides both industry lading tools as well as support to help you get your project off the ground.
- No matter your location you can use Indiegogo to start raising funds.
- The site is open to all campaigns, that includes profit-ventures, creative ideas and personal needs.
- Campaign options and educational support are provided for easy personalization.
- You have the ability to get merit-based promotion to gain more global exposure.
- Nonprofits can sign up and use Indiegogo.
- Those from countries on the U.S. OFAC sanctions list cannot create a project on Indiegogo.
- Commission fee on contributions towards projects that do not reach their funding goal is pretty high.
A different form of crowdfunding, Teespring’s crowdfunding platform is only for designers to crowdfund custom apparel, to create and sell custom tees, with zero upfront costs. Founded by Walker Williams and Evan Stites-Clayton in Providence, Rhode Island and launched in April 2012, Teespring handles all of the t-shirt production and shipping themselves. Fairly new, Teespring has shipped over 50,000 t-shirts as well as aided causes, communities and individuals to raise over $ 400,000 in custom t-shirt designs. They work with a network of screen-printers in order to create the shirts and route customers’ orders to the screen-printing facilities nearest to them. Campaign creation is fast and easy, all you have to do is use their online designer to create your t-shirt, set your sales goal along with a price, launch your campaign, promote it and reach your goal.
Costs: Teespring only makes a flat fee per t-shirt you sale which is quoted in the base price of your item when you’re designing it. They do not take a percentage from your profit.
Accepted Projects: T-shirt designs are the only accepted projects.
- No upfront costs.
- You can launch a campaign from wherever you live.
- T-shirt design help can be requested through their contact page.
- You’re only charged once your campaign has ended and goal has been reached.
- Individuals, organizations and nonprofits are all welcomed.
- High-quality prints.
- You can only run your campaigns between 3-21 days.
Originally called Fundbreak, a Sydney based crowdfunding platform created back in 2010 by Rick Chen and Alan Crabbe, Pozible is both a crowdfunding platform and community with the motive to allow creative ideas and projects to find financial backing.Pozible was designed for those of creative minds, specifically musicians, artists, journalists, filmmakers, software developers, designers, entrepreneurs, inventors and event organizers. Pozible works by providing individuals, groups and organizations to sell both tangible and intangible rewards in order to raise money for their projects. The Pozible Handbook and Project Guidelines are available to read in order to help you start planning your campaign.
Costs: Pozible issues a standard fee of 5% on projects that reach their deadline and 4% for invitations from their partner organizations and previous successful project creators. Credit / Debit Card on Pozible : 2.4% + 30c (Australian card) / 3.4% + 30c (international card) for each transaction and Paypal fees vary on transaction and location.
Accepted Projects: All projects must fit into one of Pozible’s categories: art, comics/graphic novels, community, design, event, fashion, film, food, game, music, journalism, performance, photography, technology, video, writing, and crafts.
- Projects may also be a community, environmental, educational or innovative outcome.
- Pozible supports most major currencies.
- Charity organizations can use Pozible as long as it is to fund creative projects and not to donate to said charities.
- You can limit the number and availability of rewards for the different levels of financial support.
- Rewards can be a list of things including music downloads and trips.
- Projects for charitable purposes are prohibited.
- All-or-nothing model is implemented.
- Project deadlines have a maximum of 90 days.
A New Zealand based crowdfunding platform, Pledge Me is a team of four passionate individuals from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch who are all about crowdfunding for kiwi creative projects. The site works as a collaborative effort to help fund creative projects and ideas. Creating an account and setting up a project with Pledge Me is free and easy. You simply need to create an account with the site, click on the Create button located at the top of the website and provide a few details including a brief proposal for your project, a promotion plan and the amount of funds you are seeking making sure to include the 8% fee that they charge for successful projects.
Costs: If you reach your goal you must pay a 5% admin fee as well as a 3% credit card fee.
Accepted Projects: There is a list of creative projects accepted on Pledge me including projects that focus on art, circus, dance, film, photography, music, theater, standup comedy, design, fashion, technology, games, comics and journalism.
- You can still pledge even if you are outside of New Zealand as long as you have a valid Visa or MasterCard.
- Facebook is not required to login.
- Project creation is fairly simple.
- If you’re outside of New Zealand and want to use Pledge Me you must have a New Zealand Bank account.
- The requirements state that you must have a New Zealand bank account and address as well as be over 18 to use the site.
- Can only use credit cards to make payment.
- All-or-nothing model is implemented.
Launched and founded in 2010 by French entrepreneur Gregory Vincent, Sponsume is an independent venture based in London that operates as an international crowdfunding platform and community dedicated to the raising of awareness for individuals and organizations that seek funding for their creative projects. Campaign creation starts off first by creating a project and then setting up a time-frame and funding goal. The creators will then upload a video to their campaign page to explain their project to potential backers, explain why they should back them and what non-monetary rewards they will receive for their support. It is the selling of these incentives that help creators raise sufficient funds to back their projects.
Cost: Sponsume has a 4% fee levied against successful campaigns and a 9% fee for those that fall short of their goal.
Accepted Projects: A variety of projects are accepted my Sponsume including films and documentaries, music, fashion, photography, theater, scientific research, technology as well as green and social enterprise based projects.
- Users can raise money in various forms of currency.
- If funding goal is not reached project creators can still keep the money raised.
- Anyone with a PayPal account can start a campaign.
- Sponsume offers helpful information to get you started.
- Campaigns from Singapore are prohibited due to local restrictions on private fundraising.
- Campaigns only can last up to 90 days.
- A video is required to promote your project along with a copy of some form of ID.
- The fee for failed projects is 9%.
A different form of crowdfunding, GoFundMe is a do-it-yourself online fundraising project. If you have ever needed to raise money then this site is for you. Unlike most of the other crowdfunding websites, GoFundMe which was launched in May 2010 is not a creative project only based platform. The site allows for users to receive donations to fund what matters most in their life. Supporters can donate to help you raise money for everything from weddings, vacations and competitions all the way to funerals, medical expenses and volunteer services. Using GoFundMe is easy, simply create your site, share it and collect donations.
Cost: A 5% fee is attached the total amount of donations received.
Accepted Projects: GoFundMe accepts various types of projects from personal to charity based.
- You can use GoFundMe for virtually anything.
- The site is purely donation, meaning you do not have to offer incentives as with some other sites.
- Just about anyone no matter your location can use the site.
- You can choose between 3 different types of campaigns: Personal Donation, Charity Fundraising and All-or-Nothing Campaigns.
- GoFundMe offers a bevy of features for you to use.
- You can use Facebook and Twitter to accept donations.
- Both WePay and PayPal charges a transaction fee between 2.9% +$ .30 per transaction.
- All-or-Nothing Campaigns will not receive donations if goal is not reached.
Another crowdfunding website with a specific niche, Appbackr is the first and currently only digital wholesale marketplace that specifically caters to the application market. Appbackr is for those application developers looking to receive funding for their mobile apps. Once you get around the numbers and business side of how Appbackr functions and regulates the rest of process is fairly simple. Essentially the site works like this, the developer or developers sell their app in the Appbackr marketplace, afterwards it is purchased in bulk by a “backr” and the developer instantly receives payment. Appbackr then receives payment from all sold apps where they then distribute the profits to all involved parties.
Cost: There is no fixed percentage on how much you will be charged, percentage is determined by app price.
Accepted Projects: The only projects accepted by Appbackr are mobile apps.
- If you are a backer you have the opportunity to earn back your money by backing an app.
- Appbackr handles the entire trade process for you.
- You can release an iOS version and an Android version of the same app as different campaigns.
- The process seems a lot more complicated than your typical crowdfunding program.
- For mobile app developers only.
Taking a different approach to crowdfunding, Rock the Post is not for creative projects, instead it is designed to help the funding for startups, small businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs. Launched back in 2011 by founders Alejandro Cremades and Tanya Prive, Rock the post looks to help budding entrepreneurs without connections gain exposure as well as funds. Initially funding activity for projects come from the project creator until it reaches its tipping point, from there others begin getting involve and begin supporting the project.
Cost: Rock the Post charges a 5% fee to all successful posts and there is a 3.5% charged for credit card processing. Nonprofits are charged a flat fee of 4%.
Accepted Projects: Rock the Post only accepts projects with products and ideas that they believe actually have a chance to make a difference in the world.
- If you’re serious about starting a business this is the site for you.
- Rock the Post does not take a percentage of the equity ownership.
- You can raise funds for your projects in exchange for a product or tangible good or you can raise for funds in exchange for a percentage of ownership in your company.
- Helpful tools are offered to get you started.
- All-or-nothing model is implemented.
- U.S. residents only.
- Must have a WePay account.
- You can only post one project at a time.
- Strict guidelines must be followed or your project could be rejected.
A different form of crowdfunding, CrowdRise is a crowdfunding platform that specializes and focuses on real world issues opposed to creative art projects. The site is dedicated to being a fundraising and event management website for individual, charity and event fundraising projects as well as volunteering projects. CrowdRise is pretty simple and to the point in regards to signing up. Once you have created your account with CrowdRise you can begin creating your charitable life profile page, next start the fundraiser, share your fundraiser via social media and allow donors to begin making donations to the charities.
Cost: The starting fee for donations on CrowdRise begins at 4.95%.
Accepted Projects: Crowdrise will accept projects that are charity based.
- Donations are tax-deductible.
- A great way to raise money for your cause.
- You can still raise funds for personal activities such as weddings and birthdays.
- The fees applied are a bit complicated in finding out how you much you will be charged personally.
Finding funding for your next big project or even charity is now a lot closer with a simple click of a button thanks to the various crowdfunding websites that keep popping up. If you are having trouble obtaining funds by means of traditional channels perhaps crowdfunding will yield better results. Make sure to choose the right platform for your particular project and consider the risks that will be associated by using it. Remember to read the guidelines and pay attention as some of these crowdfunding websites require you to offer rewards to your backers. Hopefully you can find the best platform that fits your needs and start bringing in funds. Best of luck to all your future endeavors and continue to follow your dreams.