The Top Crowdfunding Websites For Your New Venture

Crowdfunding is the new way to raise cash. It allows individuals, businesses and other organizations to raise capital without having to go to the banks or traditional lenders. It gives the finger to those financial institutions who are only interested in their own profits and allows smaller investors to put their money to good use. It’s a win win for everyone but the banks.

Crowdfunding has helped transform the computer game business, made startup and growth capital simple to get for businesses and launched some weird and wonderful projects. If you’re looking to raise money for just about anything, here are the top 10 crowdfunding websites that could help.

1.   Kickstarter

Kickstarter is probably the best known crowdfunding website and has been around since 2009. It has over 10 million users, has raised over $2.8 billion and has funded 117,903 projects (Jan 2017). Kickstarter helps everyone from struggling artists, entrepreneurs, innovators and literally anyone who has a great idea and needs money to fund it.

Projects include computer games, smartphone apps, social projects, albums, documentaries, hot sauce and just about everything you can think of.

Fees are currently 5% for completed projects and between 3-5% for transactions.

2.   GoFundMe

GoFundMe is another big mover in the crowdsourcing world. Like Kickstarter, this website covers projects of all types, size and scope and includes everything from helping animal sanctuaries to volunteering, sports, business, charity, creativity and more. Launched in 2010, GoFundMe says it is the biggest crowdfunding website having raised over $3 billion so far. It has a huge community of over 25 million supporters too.

A useful feature of the GoFundMe website is the ‘Near Me’ section where you can search out projects close to where you live. It’s a neat feature and one I check regularly.

Fees are currently 5% for completed projects and around 3% for processing.

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3.   Indiegogo

Indiegogo has a wider scope that most crowdfunding websites as it allows any project you can think of as long as it is legal. The site also works very well for international projects too, which is a big benefit to lots of NGOs and backers of such things. The website is simple to use and pledges are quick and easy to make. Much more so than the preceding two.

Indiegogo features projects as diverse as raising funds for Africa to helping artisan brewers expand their business and literally everything in-between. If you can think it, you can fund it.

Fees are flexible but average 9% for incomplete projects with a refund of 5% if you hit the goal. Discounts are offered for non-profits.

4.   CrowdRise

CrowdRise is an interesting crowdfunding website. It was part-founded by actor Edward Norton and concentrates more on charity and individual causes. The website is easy to use and pledges are simple and quick to make. As this site has a celebrity founder, it also has celebrity backers with some big names who contribute to some of the causes.

Typical projects supported by CrowdRise include helping children, raising awareness of causes, helping to bring dogs home and all sorts of stuff. You can also buy celebrity experiences with pledges too which is a big draw.

Fees vary but are typically 5% plus a credit card fee for each transaction or a monthly fee for larger, more long term projects.

5.   Fundable

Fundable is for businesses who need cash. It uses both equity funding and crowdsourcing funding to provide capital to organizations around the country. As this is an enterprise platform, fees are higher but you have more chances of raising the money you need as there are two ways of getting it.

The website is simple to use and easy to find a cause to invest in. There are all sorts of companies on here raising money for everything from flexible computer screens to innovative eye testing apps.

Fees are typically a monthly charge plus a processing fee per transaction.

6.   Patreon

Patreon is crowdfunding for creatives. If you’re a videographer, musician, YouTube wannabe or writer, this could be the crowdfunding website for you. Rather than offering a single project with a specific one-time goal, Patreon features monthly donations in return for regular content from creatives. The idea is to encourage content creation on a regular basis rather than one off items. Backers get something in return as all other crowdsourcing websites offer but it’s usually a smaller, more regular return in exchange for smaller, more regular donations.

Typical projects include fiction writing, YouTube video creation, podcasts, poetry, news and more.

Fees are 5% of any donation received.

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7.   StartSomeGood

StartSomeGood is another crowdfunding website for social causes. Staff also moderate every project and assess it on the change it can bring. This means there are fewer projects to back but they will have more impact than the usual. It’s a nice balance of responsibility and quality.

Typical projects can include clean water initiatives, performing arts projects, education and more.

Fees are currently 5% for completed projects and around 3% for processing.

8.   AngelList

AngelList is another crowdfunding site that differs from the norm in that it is mainly for businesses to meet angel investors rather than the general public. It is a big site that also includes the opportunity to find a job at a startup, to post a job, raise money and invest. It covers both sides of the equation and does a good job of it.

Projects include Uber, DuckDuckGo, IFTTT and many hundreds of smaller businesses.

The fee structure is complicated so it’s better to go directly to the website.

9.   FunderHut

FunderHut is another social oriented crowdfunding website that concentrate more on community projects than commercial ones. It uses Kudos as a reward system for backers that returns staged rewards for their investment. The site also has an in depth tutorial section for beginner investors which is ideal for anyone who isn’t sure how to invest wisely.

Projects include helping to fund outreach, training, education, social initiatives and individuals provide care or other services in their community.

Fees are around 5-7.5% depending on whether your project is successful or not.

10.   CrowdSupply

The final crowdfunding website in our list is CrowdSupply. This site is for designers and product experts who want to bring their idea to the store shelves. It doesn’t only provide crowdfunding but an entire business setup to support design, production, marketing and delivery. Standards are high too, lowering the risk for investors.

Typical projects include mini computers, e-paper, keyboards, computer hardware and a whole lot more. It also boasts a 100% success rate for projects.

Fees are 5% for every successful project.

Posted by Jamie on March 20, 2017

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