Starting a service-based or product-based business project years ago was unfathomable to the majority of the regular crowd. Fundraising for your business is perceived as one of the most daunting tasks in entrepreneurship. Enter the modern-day Internet and fundraising for your project no longer needs to be all about that tedious work with hundreds of papers, boring presentations, and board meetings. While still a major portion of companies are funded in a similar fashion, there is an even better way to raise funds for that project of yours – Crowdfunding.
When you are building something, most of the times, it will always cater to your final consumers. What if you could raise money from a crowd of people, who are also your potential early adopters. Crowdfunding is exactly about this. Raising money from potential customers who are more than willing to invest in your vision and make it a reality. While Crowdfunding is almost always synonymous with Kickstarter, there are better alternatives to Kickstarter you can make the most of for crowdfunding your project.
Why Alternatives to Kickstarter?
With almost close to 2 Billion dollars of pledged money to Kickstarter projects, and over 90,000 successfully funded projects, Kickstarter is easily considered the leader of online crowdfunding. From the $2.4 Million in funding for the Oculus Rift to a whopping $20 Million pledged for Pebble Time, Kickstarter is famous worldwide for the highest quality of projects coming out of the network. But there are a few drawbacks to Kickstarter that will make you look for better alternatives for your crowdfunded project.
First things first, Kickstarter is limited to a certain few countries to be able to start campaigns for crowdfunding. US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. If you aren’t a citizen of the above-mentioned countries, Kickstarter won’t let you start your own crowdfunding campaigns on their network. Kickstarter also is an ‘all-or-nothing’ crowdfunding network, meaning you won’t be able to get the money if it doesn’t hit its threshold amount. Also, the getting listed on Kickstarter is the hardest part, since each of the new crowdfunded projects gets scrutinized by a Kickstarter Staff member. Apart from all of this, Kickstarter also imposes several restrictions and in overall won’t be much helpful to your cause, unless it is a product-based project.
10 Best Kickstarter Alternatives
Now that you are clear regarding the limitations implied by Kickstarter, below are the 10 Best Kickstarter alternatives that you must definitely consider for your next crowdfunded project.
Indiegogo is easily one of the biggest competitors of Kickstarter and offers features that place it well for many people worldwide to start their campaign on Indiegogo. Starting a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo is comparatively much easier and doable as compared to Kickstarter. Since there are no imposed restrictions on the country that you are based out of, almost anyone, and everyone can start a campaign on Indiegogo platform. While this may be seen as an advantage, this also does imply that the average success rate drops off as compared to Kickstarter, meaning your project really does need to stand out.
Indiegogo does not impose project submission rules, so you can choose to submit the project the way you like. The option of Fixed and Flexible funding allows you to either do the project when it hits it target or go Flexible to take whatever you get from the campaign and utilize it for your project. Indiegogo’s Campaign Editor offers much more flexibility to your crowdfunding campaign with numerous options. With over 20 categories for your campaign, Indiegogo goes beyond Kickstarter to have you covered np matter what kind of project it is that you’re working on. Kickstarter is more about individual projects. Indiegogo allows the addition of team members to a project, that leaves a positive response with the people investing in your vision.
You can also have a read of our extensive comparison of Indiegogo versus Kickstarter here.
Countries Available: All countries.
Commission Charges: 5% share of the funds you raise.
Categories Covered: Animals, Art, Comic, Community, Dance, Design, Education, Environment, Fashion, Film, Food, Gaming, Health, Music, Photography, Politics, Religion, Small Business, Sports, Technology, Theatre, Transmedia, Video, and Writing.
Well known for: Code.org’s Hour of Code, Solar Roadways, Skully Motorcycle helmet, Stone Brewing Company, Gosnell Movie, etc.
For individual or community-related causes, GoFundMe is the perfect crowdfunding network. GoFundMe allows its users to create a personal cause campaign to raise your tuition or medical expenses you face in your hardships. You can invite friends and family to the cause and also get help from other people all over the world for your individual causes. GoFundMe offers three types of campaigns – Personal campaigns, Charity campaigns, and All or nothing projects. The personal campaigns offer a flexible mode of campaigns, which allow you to withdraw your amount raised at any point of time.
You can also set up a campaign for your friend or an injured pet in your neighborhood. If you wish to run a campaign with a fixed funding goal, you can do that too with GoFundMe. The only drawback of GoFundMe is that your causes could not be made 100% private to friends and family, and it will be listed in the GoFundMe directory. Most of the campaigns on GoFundMe tend to be for personal causes and is pretty famous with the crowd to make the life of fellow community people easier and happy.
Countries Available: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, Finland, Austria, Italy.
Commission Charges: 5% Of every donation made + 2.9% by WePay Or 1.9% by Stripe.
Categories Covered: Business, Charity, Community, Competitions, Creative, Events, Faith, Family, Other Travel, Wishes.
Well-Known for: Personal causes like Tuition or Medical expenses, Animal welfare campaigns, Chraity and non-profit donations, etc.
A popular crowdfunding platform based out of Europe, Ulule is the best Kickstarter alternative for your creative campaign pursuits. Ulule has one of the highest numbers of Art, Film, Book and Theater campaigns. While Ulule is open to people all over the world, only people with a European Union bank account could receive the money in Euros. For people running campaigns from any other nation, PayPal is the only option to collect money collected by your campaigns.
With over 10,000 creative projects successfully funded and raised over €37 Million, Ulule is easily the best crowdfunding network for your next creative campaign. While technology and other such categories are included in Ulule, most of the successful projects tend to be of some sort of creative or innovative campaign, related to the arts. Book publishing, Movies, Music albums, Theater plays, etc are some of the types of categories that get funded the most on Ulule. Ulule also offers the ‘all-or-nothing’ mode of collecting campaign funds, meaning that you won’t get any money if the campaign does not hit its target.
Countries Available: All countries.
Commission Charges: 5% commission (8% after technical and transactions costs).
Categories Covered: Film and Video, Music, Charities, Publishing, Stage, Games, Art, Sports, Crafts and food, Technology, Fashion, Comics, Heritage, etc.
Well-Known for: Noob: le Film!, L’Avenue des Légendes, Wings of Desire – Learning to fly, etc.
Patreon is a new-generation of the crowdfunding platform for the content creators of today to connect with their patrons and raise money from them. Patreon offers a great way for artists and their patrons alike to connect and contribute something to each other. Patreon allows content creators to create an account and let your patrons set up a monthly recurring payment to you for early access to your content or even let them pay on a ‘per release’ basis.
Patreon lets content creators like YouTube artists, Comic artists, Singers, Writers and other creatives to connect with your patrons and raise money from them in return for access to perks from you. Although Patreon has already raised over a Million dollars across all of their Patreon content creators, the concept of monthly recurring payments to support your favourite Indie artist is not well-taken by many people across the world. The ‘pay-per-release’ scheme makes it easy for you as a content creator to raise money from your patrons using this platform.
Countries Available: All countries.
Commission Charges: 5% of every donation made.
Categories Covered: Video & film, Music, Writing, Comics, Drawing & paintings, Animation, Podcasts, Gaming, Photography, Comedy, Science, Education, Crafts, Arts & Theater.
Well-Known for: Comics, Novels, Drawings, Paintings, Podcasts, Comedy shows, YouTube video makers, etc.
Tilt is the next-generation of crowdfunding networks. Tilt is more of a group crowdfunding network. For people with a bank account from one of the countries mentioned below, the creation of a Tilt campaign is pretty simple. For a group fundraising, create a campaign with a goal, select the target amount and add friends and people to the list. Tilt also lets you manage who has chipped in and who hasn’t contributed yet after getting invited. This group crowdfunding network is an ‘All-or-nothing’ model, so the people contributing to the cause won’t get charged until the target gets met.
Collecting money from groups of people is free on Tilt. It also allows users to create fundraising campaigns, on which even uninvited people can chime in with their donations. Tilt has been made pretty much popular in the recent few years, thanks to its unique proposition of raising money for personal causes.
Countries Available: United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Netherlands.
Commission Charges: Free to collect money, 2.5% to sell something or for fundraising.
Categories Covered: Your own created goals.
Well-Known for: Parties, Birthday bashes and gifts, and all personal fundraising causes.
Pozible is another one of the best Kickstarter alternatives to consider if you are one of the creative content creators. Be it comics, writings, drawings, paintings, photography, Music, Fim & video or any such creative campaign, Pozible lets you raise money for your creative pursuit. Pozible works on an ‘all-or-nothing’ campaign, which won’t charge your contributors if your target isn’t met. You begin on Pozible by creating a project and setting a target monetary goal and time deadline.
Family, friends or all strangers can contribute to your creative cause on Pozible. You can offer both tangible and intangible rewards to your contributors. Although you may come across tech and science projects on Pozible every now and then, this network is primarily targeted for creative and innovative creations.
Countries Available: All countries
Commission Charges: 5% (up to $100K ), 4% ($100-500K), 3% (500K+)
Categories Covered: Art, Comics, Craft, Design, Event, Fashion, Film, Food & drink, Game, Journalism, Music, Performance, Photography, Technology, Video, Writing, etc.
Well-Known for: Creative content campaigns like Writing, Comics, Design and much more.
Wishberry is India’s own crowdfunding platform for the creative content makers. Wishberry is home to hundreds of creative projects across India. The platform works on an ‘all-or-nothing’ model, which won’t charge your contributors until your monetary targets are met. Wishberry places a 60-day expiry date on your project from the date of it getting accepted and published on their platform. So, you only get to choose a target monetary goal for your creative project.
In return for the money you raise on Wishberry, you could reward your contributors with VIP passes, goodies, free download and such. By simply filling out a form on their platform, you can try getting your campaign listed on Wishberry. Once accepted by Wishberry, you will be redirected to a campaign page, that will let you fill out the specific details regarding to your campaign.
Countries Available: India
Commission Charges: 7% Commission + 3% transaction fees
Categories Covered: Arts & craft, Product design, Film & video, Music, Dance, Theater, Publishing, Comics, Fashion, Food, Photography, Games, Apps.
Well-Known for: Creative content campaigns.
While all of the notoriety in crowdfunding was enjoyed by the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Try Celery is a new breed of crowdfunding networks that challenges all the notions about crowdfunding before. With just two lines of code, Try Celery turns your own product landing page into a full-fledged crowdfunding and pre-ordering portal for your customers. Try Celery lets your customers pre-order your products and it also gives the option to charge them instantly or at a later point of time when the product ships.
Incubated from YCombinator, Try Celery is challenging the entire crowdfunding industry by offering greater autonomy to the product manufacturers and helps them continue selling their products without limiting them to a certain time period, as with Kickstarter or any other platform. If you are feeling a third-party platform is thwarting traffic to your own website and is placing both monetary and other kind of restrictions on your crowdfunding campaign, Try Celery might be just the right fit for your needs. An e-commerce platform in addition to the crowdfunding platform hosted on your website make Try Celery a modern-day crowdfunding platform that deserves the attention it has been getting off lately.
Countries Available: All countries
Commission Charges: 2% of every transaction + PayPal/Stripe fees
Categories Covered: Everything you want to raise funds for!
Well-Known for: Pebble pre-ordering, August Smart watch, etc.
For your community-based crowdfunding campaigns based in the United Kingdom, Crowdfunder.co.uk is the best Kickstarter alternative. In just five clicks, you can start your own crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfunder.co.uk. Crowdfunder.co.uk offers you, two models, to raise money for your cause – ‘All-or-nothing’ and ‘Keep what you raise’. Crowdfunder.co.uk gives its users between 2-8 weeks to run their crowdfunding campaign on the platform.
Crowdfunder.co.uk also charges the standard fees charged by all major crowdfunding platforms for hosting campaigns. While all major categories are listed on Crowdfunder.co.uk, the vast majority are the community campaigns that offer some well-doing to the nearby community.
Countries Available: United Kingdom
Commission Charges: 5% + VAT
Categories Covered: Community, Business, Environment, Arts, Politics, Publishing, Music, Film and Theatre, Food and Drink, Sports, Schools, University.
Well-Known for: Community projects.
Fig.co is a crowdfunding platform just for games. While all the crowdfunding platform gives rewards to their early adopters, it is a huge loss to early investors if the project becomes a hit. Oculus’s early adopters didn’t receive bonuses when the company got bought by Facebook for $2 Billion! Fig.co challenges that and provides an option for accredited investors to make a major investment in a game title and receive an equity in the profits of the game title.
Fig.co runs campaigns on an individual game title basis, one-at-a-time. Fans also can chime in contributing to a game title, in return for early download rewards and such. For investments over $1,000, Fig.co rewards its contributors with an equity of the game title. Fig’s advisory board and staff decide on the pitches submitted to the network and work on crowdfunding a game title at a time.
Countries Available: United States
Commission Charges: 5% of successful campaigns
Categories Covered: Video Games
Well-Known for: Independent and major studio Game titles
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So, as we come to the end of the 10 Best Kickstarter Alternatives, which platform impressed you the most? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments regarding the crowdfunding platforms below.