Online fundraising makes it easier than ever for people to raise support for a cause or project—but choosing the best site for your fundraiser can be tricky. Ideally, the site you choose should cater to your specific fundraising needs, come with an existing community of people who have an affinity for your cause, and offer you relevant resources and help. In short, the site should multiply your efforts.
No two crowdfunding sites are exactly the same—they differ in fees, features, services, resources, and even the types of fundraisers they host. The following overview of the top five online fundraising sites can help you find the one that best fits your needs.
With Fundly, either individuals or nonprofits can create campaigns for a wide range of causes, including fraternities and sororities, LGBT, military, and politics. It’s free to start a campaign on Fundly, but every donation will have a 4.9% platform fee deducted, as well as a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents. One unique feature of Fundly is that you can sell t-shirts or other merchandise on your campaign.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, FundRazr hosts crowdfunding campaigns for causes such as sports teams, schools, and nonprofits. FundRazr has two pricing options: individuals can choose a free fundraising model with no platform fee (supporters are asked for optional tips), and organizations such as charities can choose a “professional” model with a 5% platform fee and advanced fundraising tools.
GoFundMe is the world’s largest social fundraising platform with a giving community of more than 50 million worldwide. More than $5 billion has been raised on GoFundMe for personal causes, and it’s the first and only platform with a donor protection guarantee. Powered by donors™, GoFundMe is free to use and has a 0% platform fee. GoFundMe is known for its customer service, and it has Customer Happiness agents available 24/7.
Kickstarter helps people bring creative and business projects to life, including new products, gadgets, and video games. If you’re launching a new product that doesn’t exist in the market, it’s hard to beat this site’s community of early adopters. But Kickstarter requires an all-or-nothing approach—you can’t withdraw any of the money unless you reach your fundraising goal by the deadline. If you do reach your goal, the site takes 5% of your funds off the top (the platform fee), in addition to third-party payment processing fees of 3% plus 20 cents per pledge (5 cents for pledges less than $10). Note also that you cannot raise funds for charity on Kickstarter.
Indiegogo aims to help creators and entrepreneurs raise funds for bold endeavors and projects, such as independently produced films and music, or new tech products. Fundraising involves creating a set of different perks (often the products themselves) that supporters receive for different amounts given. One of Indiegogo’s strengths is its InDemand service, which helps product designers bring their creations to market after the fundraising phase is complete. If you’re looking for an end-to-end solution to raise funds and bring a product to market, they could be a great choice. In contrast to its main competitor Kickstarter, with Indiegogo you can choose between all-or-nothing fundraising and a more flexible approach—but in either case, the site takes 5% of your funds off the top, in addition to payment processing fees of 3% plus 30 cents per pledge.
Now take your pick
Now that you know how the top five online fundraising sites compare, you can choose the right platform with confidence. Once you’ve made a choice, you might find our fundraising tips and fundraiser ideas extremely useful.