Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo vs. GoFundMe vs. RocketHub: Crowdfunding Platforms Compared

If you read our post on 45 ways to make money through crowdfunding, then you’re likely ready to test the waters for your business. But the question is: which crowdfunding network is best? The answer is: it depends. It depends on your goals, the type of funding you need, and several other factors. In this article, we’re going to look at the top four crowdfunding networks and what makes each one unique.

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Kickstarter: The Most Popular Crowdfunding Platform

kickstarter

  • Monthly Traffic Estimate: 5.5M US.
  • Funding: Projects must reach goal in order for project creator to receive funds.
  • Fees: Free to sign up, 5% fee to funds raised, plus Amazon Payments processing fees.
  • Categories: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theatre.
  • Project Duration: 30 – 60 days.

If you want to be on the hottest crowdfunding platform, then Kickstarter is the place to be. Celebrities have used it to fund movies, companies have launched popular new tech gear, and artists have funded their work. Top projects have seen upwards of $10M in funding, with projects in Music and Technology getting the highest dollar amounts.

Out of the four platforms compared in this article, Kickstarter is the only one that requires your project to reach its goals in order for you to receive funding. While you might consider that a con in your comparison shopping, consider this instead: if you choose to receive the funding for your project even if it does not meet its goals, will you still be able to fulfill the rewards? If the answer is no, then it’s best to go with Kickstarter or a platform that allows you to only receive funds when the project reaches its goals.

Indiegogo: The For-Profit & Non-Profit Crowdfunding Platform

indiegogo

  • Monthly Traffic Estimate: 919K US.
  • Funding: You can choose to get the funds earned for projects, regardless of whether the project reaches its goal.
  • Fees: Free to sign up, 4% fee to funds if the project reaches its goal, 9% fee to funds if it does not, plus 3% credit card processing fee and $25 wire fee for non-US campaign.
  • Categories: 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.
  • Project Duration: Up to 40 days.

Indiegogo, compared to Kickstarter, supports a wider range of project categories to choose from. Their top projects have also received funding over the $10M range. As noted, you can choose from a flexible funding option that allows you to keep any contributions, regardless of whether the project reaches its goals, or a fixed funding that allows you to only keep contributions if the project reaches its goals. If you choose the flexible funding option, you need to be sure that you can fulfill rewards for backers even if the full goal is not met.

GoFundMe: The Personal Fundraising Crowdfunding Platform

gofundme

  • Monthly Traffic Estimate: 2.3M US.
  • Funding: You will get the funds earned for projects, regardless of whether the project reaches its goal.
  • Fees: Free to sign up. 7.9% + $0.30 per donation, or 9.25% total fee for non-profit projects.
  • Categories: National News & Events, Accidents & Emergencies, Animals & Pets, Babies, Kids, Family, Business, Celebrations, Community, Competitions, Creative Arts, Dreams, Education, Funerals, Medical, Missions, Non-Profits, Charities, Sports, Travel, Volunteer, and Weddings.
  • Project Duration: No deadlines unless you choose an All-or-Nothing campaign.

Whether your goal is business or personal, GoFundMe is the platform to turn to. Let’s say that your income generating plan is to create a travel blog. GoFundMe would be the platform to use to fund it. If your business is sinking, and you need donations to keep it afloat, GoFundMe is again a great platform. Unlike Kickstarter and Indiegogo, many projects don’t actually offer rewards to backers; they are simply asking to be funded to achieve their goals.

GoFundMe is a platform that allows you to keep the funds you are pledged, regardless of whether your project meets its goals. This means that if you offer rewards or other promises to backers, you need to be sure that you can fulfill them even if you do not meet your goal.

RocketHub: The World’s Crowdfunding Platform

rockethub

  • Monthly Traffic Estimate: 32K US.
  • Funding: You will get the funds earned for projects, regardless of whether the project reaches its goal.
  • Fees: Free to sign up, 4% fee to funds if the project reaches its goal, pr 8% fee to funds if it does not, plus 4% credit card processing fee.
  • Categories: Art, Business, Science, and Social.
  • Project Duration: 30 – 75 days.

While RocketHub only has four main categories, their subcategories range from animation to writing. Successfully funded projects have received upwards of $493K. While not as impressive as larger networks, there is one added perk. RocketHub has teamed up with A&E Networks to bring projects additional exposure through Project Startup. Your project could receive funding from A&E as well.

RocketHub, like GoFundMe, is a platform that allows you to keep the funds you are pledged, regardless of whether your project meets its goals. This means that if you offer rewards or other promises to backers, you need to be sure you can fulfill them even if you do not meet your goal.

Choosing the Right Network

While these are some top choices in terms of crowdfunding platforms, they are not the only ones. Wikipedia lists more services that include some basic details including funding types, country, focus, and additional notes.

Your choice will boil down to the following factors:

  • Where you are located.
  • What type of project you are launching.
  • How much funding you need.
  • How long you want to run your project.
  • What type of rewards (if any) are you offering to backers.
  • How much you can afford to be charged by the platform for the funding fee plus by the funding processor.

Also, remember that your success will really come down to you. Just because tech projects on Kickstarter have received $10M+ in the past doesn’t necessarily mean that yours will just because you chose that network. Your success will come down to how hard you promote your project, and how well received it is by the public, the press, and habitual backers on those networks.

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