Kickstarter is the Kleenex of Crowdfunding

20 Alternative Platforms for Your Campaign

In the nine years since its founding, Kickstarter has become become practically synonymous with crowdfunding. As the largest crowdfunding platform for creative projects, Kickstarter has evangelized many common crowdfunding concepts like the all-or-nothing funding model. But Kickstarter is not the only crowdfunding platform in the world, and depending on your project, another platform may better suit your needs. Below we dive into the pros and cons of Kickstarter and 20 alternative crowdfunding platforms.

Did we miss your favorite crowdfunding destination? Drop us a note and let us know what to add!

The big two: Kickstarter vs Indiegogo

fighting deer

The two biggest bucks, locking horns. (Photo: Ming Jun Tan)

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is the crowdfunding platform you’re most likely to have heard of, and for good reason: with a backer community of 14.6 million total, $3.7 billion raised across close to 150,000 projects, and nearly 300 individual campaigns raking in over $1 million apiece, Kickstarter has a solid reputation as the best place on the Internet to launch a high-quality crowdfunding campaign.

Kickstarter crowdfunding is rewards-based, so backers pledge their support to your campaign in exchange for a (usually) tangible item. The platform also follows the all-or-nothing model of crowdfunding, which requires creators to hit a pre-specified funding goal in order to acquire funds from backers.

empty hands

In an all-or-nothing funding model, you either reach your funding goal or walk away empty-handed. (Photo: Jacek Dulag)

The all-or-nothing funding model is a good fit for creators who need to raise a specific volume of funds in order to make their project happen. Moreover, backers tend to perceive all-or-nothing campaigns as less risky, since they won't be charged for their pledges until the campaign acquires enough support to actually produce something. This perception of reduced risk can help nudge backers towards a pledge.

Backers tend to perceive Kickstarter as a destination for high-quality, credible projects. The platform adheres to a review process that ensures projects on Kickstarter meet a high standard of legitimacy. While certain Kickstarter creators have famously fumbled in the delivery of their rewards, backers tend to trust that Kickstarter creators are legitimate. If you’re creating a project with a degree of technical difficulty, Kickstarter’s reputation for credible verification can help validate that you know what you’re doing.

Kickstarter’s community is comprised of tech-savvy early adopters, and the most successful projects on the platform tend to be in the technology and gaming categories. Early momentum, high quality, solid messaging, and a spark of creativity can garner you a "Projects We Love" badge from Kickstarter, which can help drive more eyeballs to your campaign from the broader Kickstarter community. However, don’t expect Kickstarter deliver an audience for you. You won't find backers if you don't do any marketing ahead of time, so make sure you come to launch day with a reliable stable of supporters to commit early dollars to your project.

paparazzi

Even on a well-known platform, it's best to find some fans before you launch. (Photo: Howard Lawrence B)

While Kickstarter’s reputation for quality can be a bonus, their tight regulations can present challenges for creators who don’t meet the platform's narrow definition of acceptability. Only creative projects are accepted, and pre-sales are frowned uponyour campaign is meant to bring an otherwise unachievable project to life, not function simply as a vehicle to sell your goods.

Indiegogo

Like Kickstarter, Indiegogo is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform popular with early-adopter types. However, Indiegogo differs from Kickstarter in a few key ways.

First, Indiegogo offers two two funding options for crowdfunding campaigns: all-or-nothing (Fixed Funding) or take-it-all (Flexible Funding). If you choose a take-it-all campaign, you won't have to hit a funding goal in order to collect pledgeswhatever backers give you will be yours to keep.

Keep in mind, however, that just because you *can* run a keep-it-all campaign doesn’t mean you *should*. If you need a specific amount of money in order to get your project off the ground, an all-or-nothing campaign protects you from having to fulfill obligations to your backers until you reach your funding goal. All-or-nothing campaigns also appeal to backers who may not be sure you can pull off your project, since they know they’ll only be charged if you raise enough money to deliver.

Choosing your funding model: All-or-nothing vs Take-it-all

All-or-nothing Take-it-all
You don't get funds if you don't reach your funding goal. Even if you don't hit your goal, you keep whatever is pledged.
More credibility with backers, less perceived risk: They'll only be charged if you garner enough pledges to reasonably deliver. Less credibility with backers, more perceived risk: Even if no one else pledges, they'll still get chargedand risk being out the money with no reward.
On Kickstarter: All campaigns are all-or-nothing. On Kickstarter: No campaigns are take-it-all.
On Indiegogo: Creators can choose to run an all-or-nothing campaign.
On Indiegogo: Creators can choose to run a take-it-all campaign.

Indiegogo hosts three other platforms in addition to campaign-based crowdfunding:

  1. Indiegogo Indemand, which facilitates ongoing fundraising after a campaign ends
  2. Indiegogo Marketplace, where creators can sell products directly to consumers
  3. An equity crowdfunding platform where you can offer stock in your company to investors in exchange for funds

In general, Indiegogo takes a more neutral view of its creators than Kickstarter. They don’t review campaigns before they go live, and they don’t mind if you’re doing pre-sales (though they do prohibit GoFundMe-style personal fundraising initiatives). The flip side of this convenience is that some backers see Indiegogo projects as less credible. However, as long as you produce a strong, compelling campaign, you should have no problem convincing supporters that your project is viable.

marketplace

Indiegogo's more neutral platform is open to anyone. (Photo: Jezael Melgoza)

Indiegogo is also more open with its toolset than Kickstarter, offering access to a public API and real-time backer information. On Indiegogo, it's easier for creators to insert tracking pixels and display campaigns stats on other websites. These kinds of advanced marketing tasks on Kickstarter tend to require professional assistance, though Kickstarter has made some progress on this front as they release tools like custom referral tags.

Like Kickstarter, Indiegogo has a large backer pool to draw upon, with 9 million pledging over all time. If you’re choosing between Kickstarter and Indiegogo, your main criterion should be which platform you think is the best fit for your audience. Do some research into projects similar to yours on both platforms: survey your target audience or ask creators with similar projects about their experience.

If you find your audience is just as likely to back on Kickstarter as on Indiegogo, you may consider the strategy of launching on both platforms. Some creators advocate for launching your project on Kickstarter to capture the Kickstarter audience, then moving to Indiegogo to capture the Indiegogo audience. Consider, however, the potential costs of this dual-launch strategy to your productivity and sanityrunning two marathon campaigns back to back can drain you of mental resources that might be better spent working on your actual project.

Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo is analogous iOS vs. Android: a high-quality, closed platform vs an open, less polished platform. Here's a side-by-side comparison of how these two crowdfunding behemoths stack up against each other: 

 
ks logo
indiegogo logo
The "iOS"
The "Android"

Closed platform:

  • Tight rules prevent pre-sales and limit projects to a certain set of categories.
  • All projects are reviewed (either by humans or by algorithm, depending on the project type) before getting the green light.
Open platform:
  • Laxer rules for projects: Pre-sales are fine, though GoFundMe-style personal fundraising initiatives are prohibited.
  • Projects do not require review prior to launching, though staff does monitor live projects to ensure campaigns are legit.
Perceived as higher-quality, more credible
Perceived as less polished, less credible
All campaigns are all-or-nothing
Choose if you want an all-or-nothing or a take-it-all campaign
14.6 million backers over all time
9 million backers over all time
Platform gives limited support for marketing tools like tracking pixels
Public API access makes building and managing marketing tools easier
Both have a 5% platform fee
Both are rewards-based: Backers pledge in exchange for some (usually tangible) reward
Both prohibit GoFundMe-style personal fundraising initiatives

For both: don't rely on the platform to deliver your audience

Category-specific platforms

Seed & Spark

slate filming

Seed & Spark provides rewards-based crowdfunding for filmmakers. (Photo: Jakob Owens)

Seed & Spark is a crowdfunding platform specifically for film and television. They also run a streaming platform, so you have the option to distribute your film on the very same platform where you raise the money to produce it. The Seed & Spark community of streaming subscribers theoretically supplies a good audience to tap for fundraising campaigns, though Seed & Spark is still exploring the best way to connect their subscribers to active campaigns.

Seed & Spark follows an all-or-nothing fundraising model, allowing you to keep pledged funds once you reach 80% of your funding goal. They charge a 5% platform fee and give backers the option to help cover the platform fee on your behalf. As a result, Seed & Spark claims the effective fee for most campaigns winds up being around 2%

Seed & Spark heavily curates projects on their platform via their review process. Their team of “experts” reviews every campaign before it goes live, and you won’t be able to launch without their approval. This process is meant to help filmmakers achieve more success on the platform, and it seems to work75% of projects on Seed & Spark are successfully funded.

In the review process, expect the experts to look for evidence that you can realistically achieve your funding goal. They consider factors like the size of your social media following and email subscription list, the strength of your video pitch, the types of rewards you intend to offer, and the scope of your project (i.e., how much you intend to raise). Seed & Spark also emphasizes the importance of diversity both on camera and behind the scenes and requires a statement of inclusion for all projects launching on the platform, so you’ll want to highlight your team’s unique background where relevant.

Because this review process can take some time, Seed & Spark recommends you set up your campaign page one month before your intend to launch and submit your campaign for review two weeks before your desired launch date.

Seed & Spark offers perks packages for filmmakers as they acquire certain numbers of followers on the platform. The total package is valued at $9,000 and includes scriptwriting software, post-production support, legal consultations, free camera gear, and festival waivers. The platform also offers access to a number of grant programs where filmmakers can rack up additional funds.

Seed & Spark offers a handbook with tons of tips and guidance for crowdfunding success.

Slated

handshake

Slated helps filmmakers find investors for their projects (Photo: rawpixel)

Slated is another platform focused on films, though it follows a more traditional investment model than the rewards-based crowdfunding of Seed & Spark. Investors on Slated take a percentage of ownership of the film and will take a cut of the profits. These investors must be accredited in order to contribute to funding, which according to SEC regulations means they must be either high-net-worth individuals or professional investors.

Slated hosts a community of thousands of film industry professionals, and the platform supports methods for finding talent and distribution opportunities in addition to fundraising. Slated uses a script analysis scoring method to help show investors how much film projects are potentially worth. This analytical method is meant to help unknown filmmakers get a fairer shot with investors, though in practice it doesn’t always work that way: Slated attaches a separate score to every user’s profile based on their experience (like an IMDB star rating), and many high-ranking investors will only take intros from users who surpass a certain personal score threshold.

However, if your project package scores high enough in Slated’s analysis, you can get access to their Executive Producer Services that will help you find talent, funding, and distribution. EP Services come with a series of fees: 2-10% of the project’s budget, plus 5-10% of the returns after your projects has recouped 120% of its budget.

If you’re considering Slated for your project, we recommend checking out filmmaker Daren Smith’s essay on his experience with the platform and the pros and cons he encountered.

PledgeMusic

microphone sing

PledgeMusic crowdfunds projects by musicians. (Photo: Jason Roswell)

PledgeMusic is a marketplace for music. Artists run campaigns to pre-sell, market, and distribute music projects to fans. These projects include recordings, music videos, and concerts. You don't need to have a project finished in order to launch, since part of the fun from the fan's perspective is that they get to join you in the process of creation (assuming you'll keep them in the loop with regular updates).

Artists on PledgeMusic can run projects with our without a target goal. In general, non-target projects function more like pre-sales for items that are going to be made regardless. If you run a target campaign, then you won't receive funds unless you hit your target goal. You'll have the option to change your goal during the campaign or extend the campaign duration if desired.

Unlike most other crowdfunding platforms, PledgeMusic does not reveal to backers how much money the artist is raising. This choice stems from the unique needs of creators launching music projects. As Chris Robley, a PledgeMusic creator, points out, “focusing on the monetary goal puts pressure on the content and end result to be worth a certain amount. [...] Great music can be made on tiny budgets, and terrible albums can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to record. Would your audience be able to separate the quality from the dollar amount?”

PledgeMusic works with every artist to help make their campaign a success. They are rumored to boast a significantly higher success rate than Kickstarter and Indiegogo, though there’s not a lot of recent information available. PledgeMe offers support for releasing digital downloads to your backers, and it also has tools that can help with fulfillment.

PledgeMusic has hosted 3 million fans and 50,000 artists and takes a flat 15% fee of all items sold on the platform (which includes payment processing fees). PledgeMusic was acquired by VNUE at the end of 2017, so keep an eye out for changes to the platform.

Musician Chris Robley wrote a thoughtful post about his experience crowdfunding on PledgeMusic. He notes that part of his rationale in choosing PledgeMusic was that the smaller platform offers less competition than Kickstarter and Indiegogonot just with the desired audience, but also with the staff and the time they have available to help creators. This kind of one-on-one attention helped him to justify PledgeMusic’s higher platform fee.

Experiment

beakers

Experiment crowdfunds scientific research. (Photo: chuttersnap)

Experiment is a crowdfunding platform for scientific research. Backers give money directly to research projects, which means researchers see the bulk of the funds delivered (unlike grants delivered through universities, where a portion of funds must be used to pay for facilities and staff salaries). Instead of rewards, researchers share progress, data, and results with their backers.

Anyone can start a campaign on Experiment, so long as they’re willing to share their results openly. However, the Experiment team will review and approve each campaign before launch. Before you submit your experiment for review, you'll need to gather endorsements from colleagues and peers.

Experiment follows an all-or-nothing funding model. They charge an 8% platform fee along with payment processing fees for successful campaigns.

RallyMe

foosball

RallyMe is crowdfunding for sports. (Photo: Alex Sajan)

RallyMe is a crowdfunding platform for sports, where teams, athletes, clubs, and individuals can raise money for sporting needs. Projects support ranges of individuals, from Olympic hopefuls to high schoolers funding their participation in sports training camps. Meanwhile, teams, clubs, and schools raise money for gear, travelings expenses, and scholarship funds.

RallyMe has some cool tools relevant to sports fundraising, like their Team Roster pages where you can add player bios. If you have an individual or organization matching funds, RallyMe will display relevant matching info as well. You will also have the option to set up a Fan Page in order to continue collecting funds after your campaign ends.

RallyMe collects a 5% platform fee, plus payment processing fees. They support an option to have your donors cover the platform and payment processing fees for you.

Other crowdfunding platforms for athletes: Pursuit

Other category-specific crowdfunding platforms: DonorsChoose (for schools & classrooms)

Demographic-specific platforms

iFundWomen

woman like a boss mug

iFundWomen provides crowdfunding for women-led businesses. (Photo: Brooke Lark)

iFundWomen is a crowdfunding platform for women-led businesses. All projects on iFundWomen receive coaching services from the platform, and all projects begin with a brief call with iFundWomen’s experts.

iFundWomen provides a variety of free and paid resources to creators. Their site hosts a campaign guide with tips for running your campaign and building your audience. They also offer video production services starting at $1,200, along with a free script template and advice for how to make a great video on your own.

Like Indiegogo, iFundWomen offers both Fixed Funding and Flexible Funding. Project categories range from business services and art to tech and social good.

One interesting twist: iFundWomen reinvests 20% of revenue from fees into campaigns on the site.

Other demographic-specific crowdfunding platforms: Women You Should Fund

Equity crowdfunding

dolla dolla bills y'all

In equity crowdfunding, you receive funds from investors in exchange shares in your company. (Photo: Sharon McCutcheon)

RocketHub

RocketHub is an equity crowdfunding site. Unlike Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where backers pledge support to a project in exchange for some reward, RocketHub investors exchange money for shares in the campaigning company. RocketHub is really only appropriate for companies seeking to raise capital in exchange for equitynot for creators who just want to make something cool or companies looking to expand their customer base via product pre-sales.

To launch your campaign on RocketHub, you’ll start by submitting a business plan for review. After that, the RocketHub team will help you determine the right terms for your deal and help you manage the paperwork (there are a lot of i’s to dot and t’s to cross as the SEC regulates these types of investments).

From our perspective, equity crowdfunding is so different from the rewards-based crowdfunding made famous by Kickstarter and Indiegogo that it doesn’t even make sense for so many listicles to lump the two methods together. Equity crowdfunding may or may not meet your needs.

Buyer beware: There’s a lot of unverifiable information about RocketHub floating around on the Internet. It looks like the company’s strategy changed significantly after they were acquired in 2017. Be careful with what you read, and validate all information with what you can find on RocketHub’s website.

Crowdfunder

piggy bank

Equity crowdfunding will hopefully net you more money than you can hold in this piggybank. (Photo: Fabian Blank)

Crowdfunder is an equity crowdfunding platform focused on startups attempting to raise capital. As with RocketHub, you’ll be exchanging stock in your company for the invested funds. As far as we know, Crowdfunder only allows investment from accredited investors.

You’ll see well-known investors listed on Crowdfunder’s home pagethe companies on this platform aim to live the Silicon Valley dream. Like many equity crowdfunding platforms, Crowdfunder charges a monthly subscription fee once you start fundraising: the basic package runs for $229/month, while the $499/month option gets you access to top investors.

These subscription fees may seem egregious to the typical Kickstarter creator, but bear in mind that the aim of equity crowdfunding is so different that it makes comparisons Crowdfunder to Kickstarter pretty pointless.

Fundable

Fundable is a platform that supports both rewards-based and equity crowdfunding. However, most companies choose equity crowdfunding, and that seems to be the platform’s focus. Fundable charges a $179/month subscription fee while you’re fundraising.

Fundable supports projects in a range of categories such as consumer products, energy, and real estate. A quick perusal of their site reveals businesses raising as little as $500,000 and as much as $20 million.

Fundable only allows investment from accredited investors.

If you’re seriously considering equity crowdfunding, you should research the variety of sites available to find the right one for your business.

Other equity crowdfunding platforms: WeFunder, CrowdCube, CircleUp

Charity and cause-driven platforms

GoFundMe

heart bowls

GoFundMe raises money for charitable and personal causes. (Photo: Jessica Ruscello)

GoFundMe is perhaps the most ubiquitous crowdfunding option besides Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Though GoFundMe is popular with charitable causes (particularly those that benefit individuals, including fundraisers for medical bills and tuition), it’s possible to raise funds for a small, non-charitable project on the platform. A bonus for personal projects: GoFundMe charges no platform fee for crowdfunding individuals (only the standard payment processing fees).

In general, GoFundMe campaigns are funded through the campaigner’s social network. The phenomenon of people browsing Kickstarter or Indiegogo to find cool projects to back doesn’t really translate to GoFundMe in our experienceit’s just not really what the platform is built for.

GoFundMe allows you to keep what you raise, even if you don't reach your funding goal. You'll also have the option to increase your funding goal during your campaign if you find you're able to raise more than anticipated.

With a grand total of $5 billion raised from 50 million donors, GoFundMe is the largest crowdfunding platform, surpassing even Kickstarter in terms of its reach. While GoFundMe charges no platform fee for personal campaigns, they do charge a 5% platform fee for certified charities. Donors can also offer a tip to GoFundMe to support improvements to the platform.

CrowdRise

monkeys holding hands

CrowdRise helps nonprofits band their supporters together for causes and events. (Photo: Park Troopers)

CrowdRise offers crowdfunding for certified nonprofits. The platform used to support crowdfunding for individuals raising money for nonprofits, but now that CrowdRise has been acquired by GoFundMe, inquiring individuals are redirected to GoFundMe's site to set up their campaigns.

Many CrowdRise campaigns aim to fund cause-related events, such as the Women’s March on Washington. CrowdRise is the #1 event crowdfunding platform worldwide, and claims organizers see a 5x boost to participation rates when using their platform.

CrowdRise offers flexible funding, so you won't need to hit a funding goal in order to succeed. They offer fundraising tips that they claim will help you bring in three times the funds. They have several celebrities on the platform running ongoing campaigns for the charities of their choice, including Lady Gaga, Olivia Wilde, Will Ferrell, and Jonah Hill.

Only nonprofit organizations can campaign on CrowdRise's platform. For these organizations, CrowdRise offers three different payment plans, starting at a 6% platform fee + $0 subscription fee. Donors will have the option to cover fees for you during your campaign.

Other charity and cause-driven crowdfunding platforms: YouCaring, Fundly, Mightycause (formerly Razoo), FirstGiving, StartSomeGood, Deposit a Gift, Prizeo

Catch-all platforms

teamworks

These platforms will let you crowdfund just about anything. (Photo: rawpixel)

GoGetFunding

GoGetFunding aims to be the most universal of crowdfunding options, where you can crowdfund anything. While they tend to attract more cause-based and personal funding projects, they also host categories for creative projects, small businesses, religious endeavors, and much more. There’s a whole category for weddings and honeymoons, an increasingly popular option for couples eschewing traditional gift registries.

Campaigns on GoGetFunding can be time-limited or ongoing, public or private. They charge a 4% platform fee in addition to payment processing fees. Projects on GoGetFunding follow a keep-it-all funding model.

GoGetFunding offers a personal funding coach to all project creators on the platform. They also offers tools for you to add team members to help manage your campaign. In general, GoGetFunding projects are rewards-based à la Kickstarter, in contrast to charity fundraising sites like GoFundMe. GoGetFunding allows you to change your funding goal during the campaign, and boasts a goal-achievement rate of 78%.

GoGetFunding’s “ideas” page offers helpful tips on how much you should expect to raise from your inner circle, how to engage your backers with events and challenges, tips for spreading your campaign via press and social media, and more.

Fundly

Fundly offers crowdfunding for individuals and nonprofits. Categories include fundraising for medical expenses, schools, and disaster relief, along with creative and community projects. Fundly offers tools and guides to perfect your campaign page and strategy, and they follow a keep-it-all funding model.

Fundly’s T-Shirt Designer will help you design and sell T-shirts, mugs, iPhone cases, and other merchandise related to your campaign. Fundly handles shipping and fulfillment for a per-item fee ($13.43 per T-shirt, for example).

Fundly charges a 4.9% platform fee, plus payment processing fees.

Fundrazr

facebook - social media

FundRazr harnesses the power of Facebook to support crowdfunding by individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and more. (Photo: William Iven)

FundRazr is a crowdfunding platform for individuals, nonprofits, businesses, schools, and sports teams. Like GoFundMe, FundRazr offers a 0% platform fee under their free crowdfunding plan.

FundRazr was built for raising funds on Facebook, and their Facebook integration aims to secure maximum visibility for your campaign. This integration sends campaign updates and contribution activity directly to your Facebook Timeline for all your friends to see. FundRazr’s automatic fundraising milestones also get shared via Facebook to help build momentum for your campaign.

FundRazr offers tools to support giving perks and rewards to your backers. They support both all-or-nothing and keep-it-all campaigns.

FundRazr’s Pro Plan comes with a 5% platform fee and provides access to special tools, including micro-projects, recurring donations, and tools for managing volunteers.

Other catch-all crowdfunding platforms: Plumfund

T-shirt rewards

t shirts

Crowdfunding with T-shirts. (Photo: Parker Burchfield)

Teespring

Teespring supports crowdfunding for causes, events, personal projects, and more via T-shirt sales. You design these T-shirts on Teespring, your supporters buy the T-shirts, and Teespring prints up the shirts for you and takes care of fulfillment.

No longer just for T-shirts, Teespring offers tote bags, sweatshirts, stickers, and mugs, all ready to be branded with your custom design.

Campaigns on Teespring can run for a limited time period or as ongoing endeavors. Teespring provides a database full of charities where you can opt to donate a portion of your proceeds, which they claim tends to boost donations by 45%.

While you should expect to bring your own audience to the Teespring platform, they do offer certain services to boost and better market your campaign (for a price). Teespring also integrates with Facebook, so you can sell Teespring products via your Facebook Shop.

Teespring offers flat pricing, with a a base price of $10 per T-shirt. You’ll unlock discounts on this base price with the more shirts you sell.

Other T-shirt rewards crowdfunding platforms: Bonfire, Nifty Campaigns, Represent

International options

hand on globe

Platforms for crowdfunding around the world. (Photo: Artem Bali)

Pozible

Australian-based Pozible hosts crowdfunding for “creative, community, and passion projects.” Like Kickstarter, Pozible adheres to an all-or-nothing funding model and hosts projects in art, technology, photography, performance, and other categories. Creators should expect to offer some type of reward for their backers, but no financial rewards are allowed (no stock in the company, for example).

Pozible has an international focus, with projects from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, and beyond. If you’re not based in the USespecially if you’re in the APAC regionPozible could be fit for your target audience. It might also make sense to launch your project on the larger Kickstarter or Indiegogo, then move it to Pozible to capture a more regional audience.

Pozible's platform fees range from 3-5% depending on the volume of funds raised.

If you’re overseas, you may want to check out other crowdfunding platforms outside the US. These include Ulule (based in France), Startnext (based in Germany), wemakeit (based in Switzerland), and mycause (based in Australia).

Ongoing funding

Patreon

pennies and anchor

Patreon helps you pool pennies (and dollars!!) from your supporters. (Photo: Jonathan Brinkhorst)

While most of the platforms listed here are focused on one-time campaigns, Patreon is a good option for creators who want to structure support on a recurring basis.

On Patreon, patrons sign on to contribute funds on a recurring basis to support you or your project—typically a few dollars a month. Creators usually offer some special perk to their patrons, such as access to premium content. There's also a nice Shopify integration for Patreon if you want to sell merchandise as rewards for patrons.

Anyone can sign up as a creator on Patreon, and the platform is popular with artists, podcasters, and activists. Most of these creators bring their own audience of patrons to the Patreon platform.

Patreon charges a flat 5% fee to creators, in addition to payment processing and certain payout fees.

Society6

tie die wall

This is probably *not* how Society6 handles their printing. (Photo: Rosie Kerr)

Society6 is a platform where artists can sell their artwork. Artists can sell prints and have their art printed onto merchandise such as T-shirts, leggings, notebooks, mugs, pillows, shower curtains, and a variety of other options. Like Teespring, Society6 handles the sourcing of raw materials, printing, and fulfillmentall you have to do is upload your artwork.

Each product on Society6 has a base price that the platform collects when an item sells. Artists set their own selling prices and collect royalties on top of the base price.

From the buyer’s perspective, Society6 looks like a store (or something like Etsy), so artists may see sales from browsing users or via Society6’s promotions. Still, Society6 recommends artists work on bringing their own followers to the platform to maximize their sales.

Other custom-print drop shipping platforms: Printful

Give

Give is a WordPress plugin that enables you to accept donations on your WordPress site. You can customize Give’s donation forms to specify giving options, goals, and more. The plugin supports one-time donations with their basic plug-in and recurring donations through an add-on.

Give does not charge a platform fee to its users and instead makes money through add-ons, not the basic product.

Other WordPress plugins for donations: Charitable

Final thoughts

three flower pots

At least one of these platforms should be the right place for you to grow your project. (Photo: Debby Hudson)

Although platforms have proliferated as crowdfunding has gained popularity, not every platform is appropriate for every project. Each crowdfunding platform is tailored to a specific type of project with a specific set of goals, and the closer your project fits that carefully tailored image, the more likely the platform will be a good fit for you.

However, even if you're planning to run a traditional, rewards-based, all-or-nothing, Kickstarter-style campaign, there are likely several platforms that might be a fit for your project. It's worth checking them out to see if they have any unique benefits to your campaign.

What topics would you like to see us cover next? Drop us a note with your best crowdfunding questions and we'll dive in soon!