10 Best Crowdfunding Websites and Kickstarter Alternatives for 2020

Crowdfunding campaigns are a popular way to raise money for any cause – they have a broad reach and bring different people from all over the world together. Although Kickstarter has achieved a lot of success in this field and remains the most prominent crowdfunding platform, several competitors offer better solutions, packages, and more intuitive service.

Indiegogo

Monthly organic traffic: 1,039,596

This one’s quite obvious, but this review wouldn’t be complete without it. Indiegogo enables people to gather funds for charitable causes, ideas, or start-up businesses. It is remarkably similar to Kickstarter, except that it does not run exclusively on an all or nothing fundraising strategy.

Strong points

  • Campaign length: Indiegogo allows campaigns to run for 120 days. This allows for more time to market your campaign to targeted audiences, which is especially important if you have not done pre-campaign operations to increase exposure.
  • Flexibility: in contrast to Kickstarter, Indiegogo allows you to keep funds even when you don’t meet campaign targets.

Weaknesses

  • Possible financial burden: let’s assume you’re giving rewards to people for contributions. Even if you don’t meet funding targets, you are contractually obliged to provide those rewards. This may put you or your business in a weak financial position.

GoFundMe

Monthly organic traffic: 859,888

GoFundMe is a for-profit crowdfunding site that lets campaigners raise money for various events that may range from life events like weddings and celebrations to difficult circumstances like illnesses and accidents.

From its inception in 2010 to the start of 2020, the platform had raised a cumulative total of $9 billion, with the contributions coming from over 120 million donors. Personal campaigns in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia, Germany, and Spain are free.

Strong points

  • Zero funding fees for personal causes
  • It’s personal: the platform is focused on personal charitable causes
  • You get to keep what you raise

Weaknesses

  • There are few options for conventional start-up companies
  • It has only a 10% success rate for fundraising campaigns.

Patreon

Monthly organic traffic: 773,532

Patreon may not be the ideal alternative to Kickstarter, but it is one of the best ways for creators to build their audiences and find income. It’s open to just about everyone in the world, provided that they are at least 13 years old. It is suitable for creative enterprises built on professions like photography, video, writing, music, animation, games, and more. You’re likely not going to earn significant investments on Patreon. However, you’ll get to keep all the donations you receive (minus a 5% payment fee), and you can run your campaigns indefinitely.

Strong points

  • Service and support – the platform has a top-notch support team that’s easy to work with.
  • Growing community: a growing number of creatives are using Patreon, and the platform is registering an increasing number of supporters too.

Weaknesses

  • Discoverability: although the platform has search functionality and categorization, its tags are too broad. This makes it hard to sort through projects.

CrowdRise (charity.gofundme.com)

Monthly organic traffic: 415,480

CrowdRise is an innovative platform geared towards nonprofits, charities, corporate foundations, and fundraisers. Though it was acquired by GoFundMe in 2018, it still offers reliable fundraising channels for organizations like Red Cross, IRC, and UNICEF.

Strong points

  • The platform offers reward points to encourage donations
  • Intuitive, easy to use website

Weaknesses

  • You must pay to customize your profile
  • The platforms’ starter package attracts limited attention

CrowdFunder

Monthly organic traffic: 51,844

Launched in 2012, Crowdfunder is a platform for high-impact ventures. The platform only allows accredited investors and does not accept charities, personal causes, and nonprofits. It is entirely targeted at start-ups and entrepreneurs with high growth potential.  

Strong points

  • The platform can benefit fundraising campaigns at all stages
  • It is easy to find niche ventures

Disadvantages 

  • Exorbitant monthly fees
  • Smaller investors have no access to the platform

Fundable

Monthly organic traffic: 39,061

Most crowdfunding platforms, regardless of whether they run, offer investors equity or rewards, take a portion of the funds you raise. Fundable uses a different strategy. It charges a fixed monthly fee. As long as you have a subscription, you can create campaigns that raise funds (on the condition that fundable approves your campaign).

Strong points

  • It supports all kinds of donors
  • There are no charges on equity donations.

Disadvantages:

  • Nonprofits and industries are not supported.
  • Higher monthly fees than other platforms.

Quirky

Monthly organic traffic: 20,396

If you have ideas for a technology or product and believe they will return a substantial profit if you have the funding, designers, and marketing resources to bring them to life, then Quirky may just be what you need. It’s a crowdfunding platform that supports revolutionary ideas. All you have to do is submit an idea, and the quirky community will determine whether it is worth funding. If everything works out, you’ll get royalties from your produced design. However, because you don’t do most of the work, you won’t get to have a large percentage of your royalties.

Strong points

  • No fees: you don’t have much to lose.
  • Convenience: you need minimal effort to develop products

Weaknesses

  • You’ll have little control over product design.
  • You only get 5-10% of the total revenues.

Fundly

Monthly organic traffic: 16,376

Fundly is a keep-what-you’ve raised, a donations-driven platform that doesn’t offer backers any rewards. Its campaigns are driven through social media and reach potential backers through Facebook integration, comment walls, and photo slideshows.

Strong points

  • Convenience: you can withdraw your funds whenever you want them-
  • Mobile: the platform is optimized for mobile users.

Weaknesses

  • Cost: campaigners on the platform must pay a 4.9% service fee and are charged 2.9%+3% per donation.

iFundwomen

Monthly organic traffic: 9,694

iFundwomen is a platform dedicated to providing a reliable fundraising ecosystem for women-led small businesses and start-ups. The platform also includes marketing, coaching, and other services for start-up owners.  

Although women are increasingly participating in entrepreneurship, they still face daunting challenges in getting sufficient capital to take their businesses off the ground. iFundwomen presents itself as an answer to some of these problems. Contrary to reward-driven crowdfunding platforms, iFundwomen allows campaigners to keep all the funds they raise. A fifth of all the money earned by the site is reinvested into supporting campaigns and providing helpful services for women entrepreneurs.

Strong points

  • It’s flexible: you get to keep what you raise.
  • Extra services: video production, entrepreneurial coaching, and private forums.
  • Women empowerment: there’s an honest commitment to reinvesting into the women-led business community.

Weaknesses

  • Limited data: there isn’t enough information on customer experience and success rates
  • Limited accessibility: access is restricted to campaigners in only 23 countries.

CircleUp

Monthly organic traffic: 2,781

If you’re launching a consumer brand, CircleUp is worth your attention. The platform has helped raise 260 million dollars for 196 start-up companies, and it offers both credit financing and equity capital. It is also a great space to meet retailers, experts, and entrepreneurs. On CircleUp, you’ll find accredited investors who have a net worth of at least $1 million and annual incomes of at least $200,000.

Strong points

  • Focus: the individuals that join CircleUp are from a single industry: consumer and retail. The platform specializes in vertical industry and has investors interested in companies operating in that space.
  • Efficiency: the platform will make your fundraising process a lot more efficient. The average amount of time required to raise funding for a retail brand is 8 months to a year. On CircleUp, you will probably have it done in 2 months.

Weaknesses

  • Access is limited to accredited investors
  • Relatively high minimum fundraising requirements
  • Stringent vetting process for campaigners

All the Kickstarter alternatives discussed above offer unique features aimed at specific markets. Before you opt for anyone, it would be wise to consult a financial advisor to determine which is best for your needs.

Once you’ve set up your campaign and successfully funded your dream, when it is a physical product, don’t forget about NextSmartShip’s crowdfunding fulfillment service. NextSmartShip is a professional fulfillment company with dedicated fulfillment centers to ensure that your backers’ rewards are shipped out and delivered on time.

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