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10 Sites Like GiveForward for Crowdfunding
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a relatively new method for individuals and some not-for-profit organizations to raise capital funds for private projects, entrepreneurial projects, as well as some altruistic projects. This fundraising method taps into the collective effort of many individual investors who are pooled primarily through online solicitations and typically leverage social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as dedicated Crowdfunding platforms.
Giveforward is one of the Top 10 crowdfunding platforms available, according to its Alexa and Compete rankings. It is different than the more popular crowdfunding platforms, which will be discussed below, in that it’s primary mission is to allow people to raise funds for personal things such as medical and living expenses, funeral costs, pet emergencies, and disaster relief and many more reasons.
To date, donors at Giveforward have provided over $183 million for the above such projects. The fact is, many of us wish we could do more, say more, and make a difference and Giveforward provides a platform to make it easier to do just that.
Of course, Giveforward is just one crowdfunding platform doing its part to make a difference in people’s lives. Below is a list of 10 alternative crowdfunding sites. Whether you are looking for a place to donate money or a platform to raise funds, you will find the platform that best suits your needs from the list below.
The Top 3 Crowdfunding sites helped individuals raise over $3 BILLION in 2015
GoFundMe has surpassed Kickstarter as the number one crowdfunding platform on the Internet. The site claims to have hundreds of thousands of campaigns and in 2015 it helped campaign organizers raise over $1 Billion.
The most popular types of campaigns involve raising funds for medical expenses, educational expenses, volunteerism, personal emergencies, and local community sports teams. While those may be the most popular, there are dozens of other categories to either become a donor or start your own campaign.
So far, GoFundMe has been my platform of choice as a donor. I have been a donor to at least 30 different campaigns ranging from household fire relief to helping fund a local little league baseball team raise funds to travel for a regional tournament. A small $25 donation may not seem like much but that is the beauty behind crowdfunding; my donation is pooled with dozens of others to help small dreams come true.
Kickstarter was once the king of all crowdfunding platforms until very recently. The most popular campaigns here are either creative or entrepreneurial in nature. So, if you are looking for funds to “build a better mouse trap,” or create a documentary on ancient astronauts, this is the platform for you.
If you intend to start a campaign on Kickstarter, you really need to do your research on best practices because Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” platform. That means, if your campaign does not reach it’s goal then it does not get funded and none of the backers will be charged.
People are familiar with and trust Kickstarter which is why it is so popular. I have a friend that, along with her partners, fully funded 2 documentary films but only after failing to get funded on her first campaign. My own campaign failed to get funded for a photo book I wanted to publish but I chalk that up to the learning curve. Research is the key to success on Kickstarter.
IndieGogo is similar to Kickstarter with its original mission to help musicians, filmmakers, and other artists find funding for their projects. From there it has grown to help creative individuals find their entrepreneurial spirit. They do this because, as they state, “When there’s more freedom in the funding of ideas, there’s simply more freedom, period.”
Like most crowdfunding platforms, they charge a 5% fee to collect funds for a project (see the chart below) but they also have a no fee platform if you are raising funds for a cause. If you’re a creative person looking to raise funds, this is the platform will you will find the most like minded individuals.
YouCaring is a crowdfunding site that empowers individuals to help others overcome hardships. In order to achieve fundraiser goals, they do not put time limits on campaigns like many of the other platforms do. Initially, you set a deadline for a goal but you have the option of logging back into your account and changing that date. Their reasoning is, deadlines give a sense of urgency which can sway undecided donors.
The most popular campaigns here are to help fund medical issues, support memorials and adoptions, and help students with their tuition costs. There are also plenty of campaigns designed to help fund community and humanitarian causes.
Crowdrise is very similar to YouCaring in that it allows for peer to peer fundraising for personal causes such as medical expenses, volunteer trips, memorial funds, and even for your pets. Like some of the other platforms, it also provides the same fundraising opportunities for Non-Profits. Here at Crowdrise, you can find over 1.5 million charities you can donate to.
Crowdrise earns its fees from each transaction so they allow campaign organizers to keep all the money they raise whether they meet their funding goals or not. This can make a huge impact for your cause, but it is more the reason to research the best practices before starting a campaign.
Have you ever used a crowdfunding platform to raise money?
Tips for a standout crowdfunding campaign
- Have a solid plan
- Tell a great story
- Use lots of pictures and videos
- Build and engage a great social network
- Crunch your numbers and set a realistic goal
- Be creative and generous with your perks and rewards to backers
- Network with influencers
- Update regularly on the progress and steps to reach your goal
- Don’t ignore offline opportunities to build engagement
- Respond to feedback
Fundly is growing in popularity as a crowdfunding platform. There may not be as many campaigns on this site as the top tier platforms but that can be a good thing. It means your campaign may get more attention to those browsing the site. Of course you shouldn’t rely on people exploring the site to get your campaigns funded; you need to rely on the leverage of your social networks, as with all the platforms.
Like some of the other platforms, there is no minimum amount you need to raise in order to keep your funds. Fundly makes it easy for payments to be processed and funds can usually be withdrawn in as little as 24 – 48 hours after the donation. This is a great option for people raising funds for causes that need immediate responses.
Fundrazr is a platform that provides an alternative funding source for startups, charities, and personal causes. It works in the same manner as most crowdfunding sites by first creating your story in a creative way, sharing your campaign with your social networks and encourage your contacts to share among their networks, and finally collect your funds. They too have a “Keep it all” option if your campaign doesn’t reach its funding goal.
In order to get started with a campaign, you need a personal Facebook or Google + account along with either a Paypal or WePay account. And of course you will need a base of social contacts to get the ball rolling.
Popular campaign categories fall under Creative Arts, Causes, Personal, and Business Ideas. They claim a campaign can be up in running in about 15 minutes but I highly recommend that you take the time to research successful campaigns and be as organized as possible before jumping in.
RocketHub is not set up for instant payments into your PayPal or WePay accounts. They generally process payments at the completion of your campaign and it takes 5 to 10 business days after that to receive your campaign funds. They do have a “keep it all” model but if you don’t reach your fundraising goal, they charge a larger fee to keep the funds; 8% as opposed to the 4% if goals are reached.
One great benefit to RocketHub is their “Success School” which is their step by step program for users to succeed at crowdfunding. It will help the user organize and prepare a campaign which will increase funding and exposure. It is a program that is available at no cost to the user.
Rally says it is set up for instant payments but directly to your bank account after you link it to your Rally account, however it takes 2 -3 business days for the funds to be available to withdraw and then it can take up to 6 business days for the funds to get transferred to your bank account, so it’s not exactly instant.
501(c)(3) fundraisers can let donors know their contributions are tax deductible from their account pages and contributors will receive a receipt for their donations as soon as they are charged. Other than that, Rally works just like many of the other crowdfunding platforms and for many of the same reasons.
US Alexa Rank
Platform Fees + Transaction Fees
5% + (2.9% + $0.30)
5% + (between 3% and 5% + $0.20)
5% + (3% - 5% +$0.30)
$3.20. Donation Processor Costs. (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction)
3-5% and there is a 2.9% + $0.30
4.9% + 2.9% + $.30
5% + 2.9% + $.30
5% + 2.9% + $.30
Reach your goals: 4% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee. Don't reach your goals: 8% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee.
5% + 2.9% + $.30