Top Crowdfunding Sites: Pick the Right One for Your Needs

| 9 min read Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become an essential tool for raising money for everything from new product launches to medical bills to scientific research. But with so many crowdfunding websites out there now, you might be wondering which platform will best fit your needs.

Before answering that question there are a few things to consider, including site features, community, and fee structures.

Crowdfunding sites compared: Four key services to look for

Before we dive into the top crowdfunding sites in Australia, here are four key considerations to keep in mind as you compare platforms.

Ease of use

Before you start a crowdfunder, navigate the site to see how easy it is to use and find the features you need. Any good crowdfunding platform should make it simple to start your own fundraiser or donate to someone else’s, and it should also be easy to find a specific fundraiser, especially if you know the name of the campaign or the person who organised it.

Creating or contributing to a fundraising campaign should leave you feeling motivated or fulfilled, not frustrated – if all you feel is the latter, consider choosing another platform.

Customer support

Does the site offer email support, live chat, or a phone helpline? Remember that your friends and family members will be donating money, and they might need help, too. It’s important for the people behind the site to be honest, responsible, and available.

Tools for spreading awareness in your community

Take a look at the social networking tools the crowdfunding site offers. The best ones have tools that make it easy to share your fundraiser via Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other ways. Since your social network is a vital piece of your crowdfunding effort, features like these are essential. 

Crowdfunding fees comparison

A platform fee is when a crowdfunding site takes a percentage of all the money you raise through your fundraiser. Typically, crowdfunding platform fees range from 5% to 12%. Look out for punitive fee structures. Some platforms increase fees if you don’t meet your goal. Others have an all-or-nothing model, meaning you only receive the money you raised if you meet or exceed your goal. 

Personal crowdfunding and funding for nonprofits

These sites give anyone the opportunity to set up a crowdfunder, for almost any purpose, whether that’s a charity cause, to raise money for someone going through a difficult time, or for a personal goal or dream.

1. GoFundMe

GoFundMe is the world’s largest social fundraising platform for individuals, teams, and nonprofits with a giving community of more than 50 million worldwide. More than $5 billion has been raised, and it’s the first and only platform with a donor protection guarantee. GoFundMe has Customer Care agents available 24/7.

Fees: There is a 0% platform fee for organisers plus standard payment processing fees of 2.9% plus $0.30 per donation. 

2. FundRazr

This platform helps individuals, nonprofits, and companies raise money for causes they care about. They offer both keep-it-all fundraisers or all-or-nothing fundraisers, meaning you don’t get access to your funds until you’ve reached your goal.

Fees: Individuals can choose a fundraising model with no platform fee for organisers (supporters are asked for optional tips) and organisations can choose a “professional” model with a 5% platform fee.

3. Fundly

With Fundly, either individuals or nonprofits can create fundraisers for a wide range of causes, including schools and education, military, and politics. 

Fees: It’s free to start a fundraiser on Fundly, but every donation will have a 4.9% platform fee deducted, as well as a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30.

4. mycause

mycause is an Australian crowdfunding platform that can be used to raise money for a wide range of personal or charitable causes. 

Fees: It’s free to start a fundraiser and there’s no platform fee or commission. Donors are asked to pay an optional tip when they donate, and beneficiaries pay processing fees of 2.5% plus GST.

5. GoFundraise

GoFundraise is a fundraising platform that helps connect nonprofit organisations with people who want to donate to good causes. The organisation works with charities to boost their digital fundraising through marketing campaigns and events.

Fees: The platform charges a service fee of 0-6% + GST for donations, processing fees of 1.1-2.1% (including GST), and transaction fees of $0.20 (including GST).

Crowdfunding for creative projects

Acquiring funding for creative projects can be challenging, but crowdfunding is an effective way to raise money for something that you’re passionate about. It gives you the opportunity to tell the story of your project, explain what it means to you and how the funding would help. The following platforms are commonly used to fund creative projects.

6. Kickstarter

Creators seeking funding can use Kickstarter to bring their project to life. Fundraisers, who can range from individual designers and inventors to large corporations that want to test new product ideas, offer their donors (known as ‘backers’) rewards, such as a small piece of the project, the first available prototypes, or the products that they are raising money to manufacture. You must raise all the funds you need, or get nothing.

Fees: Service fee of 5%, along with 3% + $0.20 per transaction for payment processing. All or nothing, so you must reach your fundraising goal to receive any money.

7. Indiegogo

If you want help at every stage of your creative or entrepreneurial project, this site offers tools to help you get the job done, from pre-launch to crowdfunding and distribution. You can choose either all-or-nothing or flexible funding. 

Fees: Platform fee of 5%, along with 3% + $0.30 per transaction for payment processing. They have an international transfer fee of $25 when sending funds to banks outside of the US.

8. Patreon

This platform allows you to gather recurring patronage for your art or other creative projects in the form of monthly subscriptions from fans. Patreon encourages users to offer rewards to fans as a way to repay them for their support.

Fees: They have a Patreon fee of 5%, along with 3% to 5% plus $0.25 to $0.35 for payment processing. They also have “payout fees” of either $0.25 to $0.35 or 1% per payout (capped at $20 for PayPal disbursements). Additional fees apply to payments made by international donors.

9. Pozible

Pozible is a crowdfunding platform aimed at people looking to fund creative projects, launch new products, and help local communities. Fundraisers can offer rewards to supporters for pledging money to all-or-nothing campaigns.

Fees: There’s a 5% commission on funds pledged to all-or-nothing campaigns, and zero platform fees for donation-based campaigns. Transaction fees are 1.75% plus $0.30 for Australian bank cards, and 3.4% plus $0.30 for international cards.

Equity crowdfunding

Businesses and entrepreneurs looking for funding can use these crowdfunding platforms to raise the money they need to make their business plan a reality.

10. Equitise

Equitise is a crowdfunding platform that gives businesses the opportunity to raise capital by connecting them with an online community of investors, who receive equity in return for their investment.

Fees: It’s free for investors to invest through Equitise, and for companies there’s an upfront fee that starts at $5,000. There’s also a 6% commission on total funds raised.

11. Fundable

Fundable focuses on helping entrepreneurs, startups, and companies raise capital from the public through business crowdfunding. The site allows users to offer either rewards or equity in return for financial support. Note that to use Fundable, organisations must have a registered presence in the US (but can be headquartered in Australia).

Fees: $179 a month, along with 3.5% + $0.30 per transaction for payment processing. 

12. Wefunder

If you want to grow your existing business, Wefunder can help. Your investors receive a small stake in your company, and the platform aims to increase their emotional investment in your success.

Fees: It’s free to start a company profile but they charge a service fee ranging from $7 to $75 depending on the investment size and 7% of total funding volume for Regulation Crowdfunding. 

For Regulation D they charge up to 20% Carried Interest, and for Regulation A+ Wefunder does not charge any fees.

Real estate crowdfunding

Whether you want to buy a home or invest in real estate to make money, you’ll need capital to get started. These crowdfunding platforms specialise in providing funding to real estate investors.

13. VentureCrowd

VentureCrowd gives you the opportunity to enter the real estate market by pooling your funds with other investors to buy a share of property. The platform takes some of the work out of investing by giving you access to investments that have already been vetted.

Fees: It’s free to register on VentureCrowd and there’s a 0% transaction fee. Investors will incur a 20% performance fee upon a successful exit, and companies pay 6% on capital raised, along with a $4,000 campaign fee.

Niche crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has proven to be an effective way of raising money, such that there are crowdfunding sites available for a wide range of niches and special interests. The platforms below are designed to raise money for causes in specific areas and industries.

14. Honeyfund

For engaged couples or newlyweds, this crowdfunding site helps raise funds for a wedding, honeymoon, or even the down payment on a new home.

Fees: It’s free to register but bank deposits cost 2.8% + $0.30. They offer Honeyfund Elite which offers more in-depth fundraising services for $39.99.

15. Slated

Slated is an equity crowdfunding site for movies. This start-to-finish platform helps with funding film projects, finding talent, and distributing the final project. It also offers extended services such as script and financial analysis for an additional cost. 

Fees: Their Executive Producer Services fee is 2% to 10% of the project’s budget and 5% to 10% of the back-end after recoupment plus 20%.

16. Experiment

A crowdfunding site dedicated to scientific research, Experiment helps researchers raise the funds they need to pursue new discoveries. Backers can review their impact through open access to data and the resulting journal publications. 

Fees: Platform fee of 8% with 2.9% + $0.30 payment processing fee. They only offer an all-or-nothing fundraising model.

Choose the right crowdfunding platform for you

Use this list of the best crowdfunding sites to find the platform that works best for your project or cause. For more crowdfunding inspiration, check out these fundraising tips and easy fundraising ideas. Start your fundraiser today.

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Written by nicola