Kickstarter was the first, but since its inception many more followed, and now there are dozens of crowdfunding websites to choose from… But which is the best crowdfunding website to use for fundraising?

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It depends on your goals: what you’re fundraising for, how much you want to raise, and in what timeframe. Here’s a breakdown of some popular crowdfunding web sites and what to know when considering each one for your cause:

Kickstarter 

Cause Types Permitted: Creative projects — no charities

Timeframe: 1-60 days

Overhead Costs: 5% platform fee, plus 3-5% transaction cost

Perks: Recognition, high site traffic

Other Limitations: All-or-nothing fundraising — goal must be met for any funds

International? Yes


Indiegogo & Indiegogo Life

Indiegogo is used to raise funds for a business initiative, creative project, or non-profit organization. Indiegogo Life raises funds for self or others (e.g. to pay medical costs, veterinary bills, tuition) or to celebrate a life event like a wedding.

Cause Types Permitted: Creative, business, beneficiary, fundraising

Timeframe: 15, 30, 60, or 120 days

Overhead Costs: Indiegogo: 9.0% fee on funds raised, 5% refund if goal is reached. Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits receive a 25% discount. 3-5% for credit card or PayPal processing. $25 wire fee if you run a non-US campaign and have raised funds in USD via Direct Credit Card. Indiegogo Life: No platform fee.

Perks: Can accept fundraising more than initial goal. Life creators get funds no matter what, Indiegogo users have an option to choose “all-or-nothing.”

Other Limitations: Leave 15 days between end of fundraiser and when needed to allow time to get funds.

International? Yes


GoFundMe 

Cause Types Permitted: Any/all

Timeframe: None

Overhead Costs: 5% platform fee

Perks: Can withdraw funds at any time (takes 5-7 business days), mobile version

Other Limitations: Must not break any local laws or promote inappropriate content

International? Some


YouCaring 

Cause Types Permitted: Personal or Nonprofit

Timeframe: 90 days, can extend

Overhead Costs: 2.9%, plus $.30 per transaction

Perks: Money goes to you as it is donated

Other Limitations: No fundraising campaigns for legal matters. Creator must use Stripe, WePay, or PayPal

International? Yes


CrowdRise 

Cause Types Permitted: Individuals, Nonprofits

Timeframe: None

Overhead Costs: 3% for nonprofits (including credit card transaction fees)


GiveForward 

Cause Types Permitted: Individuals

Overhead Costs: 7.9% + .30 per transaction

Perks: Commenting ability, mobile app, privacy options


Patreon

Cause Types Permitted: Creative projects

Timeframe: Ongoing

Overhead Costs: 5% platform fee, plus credit card or other transaction fees

Perks: Donors can donate monthly or per creation

Other Limitations: No one-time donations — either monthly or per creation. Cannot use to fundraise, must produce some output.

International? No


FirstGiving 

Cause Types Permitted: Individuals, Nonprofits

Overhead Costs: $500 a year for nonprofits, 9% fee + 2.5% credit fee for individuals but must support certified nonprofit (signed up with FirstGiving)

Perks: Possible event creation, can email donors en masse


Tilt

Cause Types Permitted: Individuals, Nonprofits, Sales

Timeframe: 60 days, can extend

Overhead Costs: 2.5% fee for fundraising, 3% processing w/credit card

Perks: Can collect money, fundraise, or sell items. No one’s cards are charged if fall short of goal. Can also set “dream” target to exceed goal.

Other Limitations: Must meet “tilt” goal. Must be on Facebook to start. Only funds benefitting US-registered non-profits with a 501(c)(3) are paid out when the Tilt ends, funds are dispersed to the organization directly.

International? No (must have U.S. or Canadian bank account)


Invested

Cause Types Permitted: Organizations (businesses, startups, schools, nonprofits, entrepreneurs)

Overhead Costs: Monthly fee starting at $350 a month

International? Yes


Crowdfunder 

Cause Types Permitted: Businesses and startups

Timeframe: 60-90 days

Overhead Costs: Flat monthly fee, varies

Other Limitations: Only “Accredited Investors” can invest, does not actually transfer funds

International? Yes


RocketHub

Cause Types Permitted: Any/all

Timeframe: 15-90 days

Overhead Costs: Goal met: 4% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee. Goal not met: 8% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee.

Perks: No ‘all or nothing,’ can exceed fundraising goal.

Other Limitations: No $ until timeframe completed, Once project is posted, unable to alter your financial goal or timeframe. 5-10 days to receive funds.

International? Yes


Did we miss any crowdfunding sites? Have you had good or bad experiences with any of these? Let us know in the comments!