Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for the people and causes you care about, or even for a personal financial need. Yet when it comes to knowing how to choose a crowdfunding platform, the amount of information out there can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve written this guide, ‘The Best Crowdfunding Sites Compared,’ so you know exactly which platform to choose to meet your specific needs. Choosing the right crowdfunding site will help you get the most out of your fundraising efforts, and put you well on your way to meeting or even exceeding your fundraising goal.
What to look for in a crowdfunding platform
Crowdfunding is right for you if you need to quickly raise funds or want to help someone else but can’t do it alone. With crowdfunding, it is easy to rally the support of your friends, family, and in-person and online community to help you meet your fundraising goal. When choosing a crowdfunding platform, ask yourself the following questions.
What type of crowdfunding model does the site use?
Choose a platform that specializes in the type of crowdfunding for your specific goal, whether that is raising money for a personal need, donating to charity, or funding a new business idea.
What features does the platform offer?
For example, mobile optimization is among the top online fundraising trends for 2020 and beyond. Other features to look for include how quickly you are able to receive funds, and whether or not the platform supports adding a fundraiser beneficiary.
Is this a platform you can trust?
You might be wondering, is crowdfunding safe? The answer is yes: crowdfunding is one of the safest and easiest ways you can raise money for any cause. However, it is still important to choose a platform that offers donor protection features—for example, keeping your data safe with an SSL certificate, and offering a donor refund in rare cases of misuse.
Does the site offer customer support?
The crowdfunding platform you choose should make it as easy as possible for you to get help when you need it. In addition to having an up-to-date crowdfunding blog you can turn to as a helpful resource, choose a site that offers a support team you can reach every day of the week.
What are the fees?
Make sure there are no hidden fees with the crowdfunding platform you choose—and ideally, select a platform that offers free fundraising. Know that no matter the platform, you will still be responsible for a payment processing fee that can range anywhere from 2.0% to 5.0% of the total amount donated.
Indiegogo vs Kickstarter: Payment processing fees
Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo focus on project-based crowdfunding, and are great options when you want to raise money to fund a creative idea. Kickstarter offers a shorter waiting period to withdraw funds—14 days, compared with a 3 week wait for Indiegogo. Both sites charge a 5% platform fee. Indiegogo’s payment processing fees range from 2.9% to 3.9% depending on your currency, and Kickstarter’s payment processing fees are a flat 5%.
GoFundMe vs Fundly: Platform fees
Both GoFundMe and Fundly operate on a donation-based model, meaning you can raise money for anything that is important to you and collect donations from family, friends, and people all over the world. Both sites charge a standard payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30. GoFundMe always offers a 0% platform fee, while Fundly charges 4.9% of the total amount raised to use their platform.
GoFundMe Charity vs Classy: Total costs
Both GoFundMe Charity and Classy are fundraising platforms designed specifically for nonprofits, and include many enterprise-grade features—for example, customizable campaign pages. However, the biggest factor when choosing between these two platforms—especially for organizations with a budget—is cost. Classy charges a monthly subscription fee up to $1,499 depending on your plan, plus an additional 1% to 5% payment processing fee. GoFundMe Charity offers full-feature access with no subscription fees or contracts, and a 0% platform fee option. Payment processing fees through GoFundMe Charity are a flat 2.2% + $0.30 per donation.
GoFundMe vs JustGiving: Wait times and fees
With GoFundMe, you can withdraw the funds you raise immediately—and deposits to your bank account take between 2-5 business days. JustGiving requires a waiting period of 14 days before you are eligible to withdraw your funds, and deposits can take up to 10 business days. Additionally, JustGiving charges a 5% platform fee, compared with GoFundMe’s 0% platform fee.
GoFundMe Charity vs Indiegogo: Crowdfunding model and costs
While both sites are used for crowdfunding, GoFundMe Charity is designed specifically for nonprofit fundraising. Indiegogo supports project-based fundraising, which means you can’t continuously raise money as your organization grows. Additionally, Indiegogo charges a 5% platform fee, while GoFundMe Charity offers a 0% platform fee option. Payment processing fees through Indiegogo are 2.9% + $0.30 in the US. GoFundMe Charity charges 2.2% + $0.30 per donation for payment processing.
GoFundMe vs PayPal: Fundraising features
While PayPal can be used for fundraising, it is not a dedicated fundraising platform. Among platforms specifically designed for crowdfunding, GoFundMe offers the only donor protection guarantee in the industry: the GoFundMe Guarantee. GoFundMe also offers 24/7 rapid email support, unlike PayPal. Additionally, GoFundMe offers platform features specifically designed for fundraising, like an optimized mobile app, comprehensive fundraising resource bog, and a superior add beneficiary feature.
GoFundMe vs Patreon: Crowdfunding model and fees
Patreon offers users a unique fundraising model within the crowdfunding space: donors pledge an ongoing amount to support creators and their projects, paid each month. However, the drawback comes from the high fees to use their platform. Patreon users must pay a 5% platform fee, plus a payment processing fee of 5% + $0.30. On the other hand, GoFundMe offers a 0% platform fee, plus a payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30.
Indiegogo vs GoFundMe: Crowdfunding versatility
Indiegogo is specifically for people and companies wanting to raise money to fund a new project or idea—and donors receive “perks” based on the amount they contribute. Unlike GoFundMe, Indiegogo doesn’t offer the option to raise money for people or causes, without offering some reward in return. Additionally, GoFundMe offers 0% platform fee. Indiegogo charges 5% of the total amount you raise to use their platform.
Patreon vs Kickstarter: Fees and donation structure
Both Patreon and Kickstarter charge a 5% platform fee. Patreon charges an additional payment processing fee of 5% + $0.30, while Kickstarter’s payment processing fee ranges from 3% to 5%. The key difference in these platforms is how donations are managed. With Patreon, creatives and entrepreneurs set up an ongoing donation subscription, where donors pledge to contribute a fixed amount each month for the duration of the project. Kickstarter is similar to other platforms, where donations are made on a one-time basis.
Fundrazr vs GoFundMe: Goals and fees
Depending on the pricing model you choose, platform fees on FundRazr can be as high as 5%. GoFundMe always offers a 0% platform fee, no matter what type of fundraiser you are starting. And with GoFundMe, you always keep your donations—even if you don’t meet your goal. If you choose the all-or-nothing model with FundRazr, you must meet your fundraising goal to receive any of your donations.
GoFundMe Charity vs GoFundMe
Both GoFundMe and GoFundMe Charity exist to make it easy to raise money for causes and issues that matter most—whether on an individual or global scale. Both platforms offer key features that make either one an ideal choice for a variety of fundraising needs.
- Designed specifically to empower nonprofits of all sizes and budgets to fundraise more efficiently and further their missions.
- Full-feature access with no subscription fees or contracts, plus a 0% platform fee option.
- Low payment processing fees: 2.2% + $0.30 per donation.
- Advanced customization of your donation page, seamless integrations with industry-leading tools, plus free and unrestricted access to full supporter and transaction details.
- Full access to social fundraising expertise at no extra cost, with a best-in-class Charity Services team standing by to offer advice.
- Ideal for personal fundraising, whether that means paying off medical bills or helping a family in need.
- GoFundMe is the #1 and most trusted leader in free online fundraising, with a 0% platform fee and a community of over 50 million strong.
- Industry-standard payment processing fees of 2.9% + $0.30.
- No waiting periods to receive funds.
- Customer Happiness agents are always available through 24/7 rapid email support.
Get started crowdfunding today
Crowdfunding experts agree that this method of quickly raising funds will only continue to gain popularity in the coming years. Whether you need to raise funds to cover personal expenses or medical bills, to help a family in need, or to donate to a cause you care about, starting a free fundraiser is a reliable solution. Sign up today to get started.