13 Best Kickstarter Alternatives for Crowdfunding Anything
Looking to fund a new project through Kickstarter?
Crowdfunding is a great way to get an idea off the ground, but what you may not know is that there are other, similar sites that you can use to raise the capital you need–even funding on your own self-hosted site.
Some work more or less exactly the same as Kickstarter. Others may provide more flexible funding models depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
Below are 13 of the Best Kickstarter Alternatives of 2017 that you should know about.
Keep reading and find out:
“How do you crowdfund without Kickstarter?”
Indiegogo is essentially Kickstarter’s direct competitor, and as such, its feature-set and scope is more or less exactly the same.
The primary difference is how goal deadlines work:
If you fail to meet your goal with Kickstarter, you don’t get to keep any of the money. With Indiegogo, you get to hold onto the money even–when you choose the flexible funding option–if you don’t hit your specified goal amount.
However, there’s still a transaction fee of 5% when your project is successful and, when you use the flexible option, there is also a 5% fee on all funds raised (see the table on this post for details).
Fundly is the best site for fundraising when it comes to charities, non-profits, schools, teams and more–while still being a good choice for individuals too.
Check out the video below for more details:
Patreon is a little different from the other crowdfunding sites, as it is primarily for content creators who have new things to share – like YouTube videos, podcast episodes, or blog posts – on an ongoing basis.
Patreon funds project creators in smaller amounts of money that are charged when the content creator delivers new media.
It’s not for everyone, but it can be especially attractive to those who create new media or other forms of digital content on a regular basis.
Because of Patreon’s subscription nature, success on the site and the strategies to fundraise require different tactics than the launch-style strategies used on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Smallknot is a relatively new crowdfunding platform specifically tailored to local independent businesses. It works more or less exactly as Kickstarter does, as it uses the same all-or-nothing funding model.
However, Smallknot only approves established businesses that are out of the idea stage, and do not require more than a small monetary boost to get going, in certain way Smallnot’s funding opportunity is very similar to angel rounds in the startup world.
RocketHub is primarily for art, business, science, and social projects, though there are many subcategories that live under each of the broader headings.
In essence, RocketHub is but a combination of Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
As with Indiegogo, you get to keep any funds you raise, but whether you succeed or fail, you have to remember to keep your promises to your backers who are going to be waiting for you to fulfill the perks at the various levels.
GoFundMe brands itself as a personal fundraising website. However, this does not mean that they don’t accept business-related projects. In fact, they allow their user base to gather funding for a variety of different purposes.
As with Indiegogo, you get to keep the funds raised, even if you don’t meet your goal.
Many project creators on GoFundMe do not offer backers any perks, and this could potentially be an upside, but it could also be a sticking point if you’re trying to incentivize more people to back your project. It’s still up to you whether or not you offer any perks.
Fundable is specifically for business crowdfunding, though their monetization model is different in that instead of charging a percentage-based fee contingent on the success or failure of a project, they charge a flat monthly fee for using their platform.
Companies, investors, and backers can register on the site, providing businesses with more opportunities to find the right kind of funding.
FundAnything is a platform that definitely lives up to its name, as there are plenty of project categories to choose from, including business and technology.
Interestingly enough, FundAnything was launched by Donald Trump. The site models itself more or less exactly after Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but the one missing element Mr. Trump identified was – wait for it – himself.
9. Facebook’s Fundraiser
Heralded by FB as “a new place to fundraise”, Facebook’s new crowdfunding platform for non-profits Fundraiser intends to be a place where:
“Nonprofits can tell their campaign story, rally supporters, collect donations and visibly track progress toward a goal for year-end drives, themed campaigns and special projects such as building a clean water well or funding a clothing drive.”
At the moment, the platform is only for nonprofits, yet, as TechCrunch notes:
“…if you just take the ‘non-‘ out of ‘nonprofit,’ what Facebook built becomes a highly viral Kickstarter competitor.”
Nonprofit or not, depending on what you are raising money for, it’s worth keeping your eyes on the how the Fundraiser platform evolves because the huge successes seen in many crowdfunding campaigns have been largely driven by a viral social media element
When the platform for raising funds is the social media ecosystem itself, it may be a game changer: Stay Tuned.
The self described next generation crowdfunding engine. Thrinacia allows you to set up your own crowdfunding website with in minutes.
This crowdfunding solution comes loaded with most of the features you would find on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, like statistics on:
- funds raised
There is a monthly fee of $39.99 to use this crowdfunding engine; but, it allows you to avoid the fees encountered on 3rd party sites, normally 5-10% of final funds raised.
With that said, to really make this method work, you’ll do best on reaching your funding goals by already having an audience along with a solid marketing and PR plan for your launch.
Are you working on a health or medical related project?
There is a platform just for you, Medstartr.
Patients, Doctors, and Companies Funding Healthcare Innovation: Find & Fund the Future of Medicine
This site is the ‘go to’ platform super-niche for any product, service or other innovation touching the health, wellness and medical field.
Ulule’s focus is to “Make Good Things Happen”. They pride themselves on having the highest success rate for project creators.
To see the latest, up-to-the-minute stats on how much this platform has raised and the success rates of its various categories, click here.
Launched in 2010, Ulule has benefited from the growing trend in crowdfunding.
For a quick intro about Ulule and to find out if this is the fundraising platform for you, check out the video below or you can visit the site here.
The site was also featured on Shark Tank and got an investment from Kevin O’Leary. Since it’s launch Plumfund campaigns have raised more than $350,000,000 USD.
To get started, you can create your fund page here: http://www.plumfund.com
Plumfund’s differentiator to most of the platforms are it’s zero platform fees, where most the other platforms have fees starting at 5% or more.
BONUS: Self-Hosted Crowdfunding Campaign
Believe it or not, you can self-host your crowdfunding:
A great example of a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign on a personal website is this comprehensive guide about Topo’s Kickstarter-free money raise, detailed in the case study here, DIY Crowdfunding: $100k in a Month Without Kickstarter.
There are also some platforms that enable you to “roll your own crowdfunding” as Selfstarter.us states it–Selfstarter is an open source framework that will allow you to build your own crowdfunding platform. How much more punk rock can you get?
In a similar vein as Selfstarter, there is also OpenTilt that lets you build your own preorder platform without the need to write any of your own code. Some notable projects that have been funded with this tool include, Lytro and Soylent.
- Take some time to evaluate your options before going ahead with a project.
- Don’t forget to have a marketing plan in place too.
Once you’ve setup your campaign and successfully funded you dream, when it is a physical product, don’t forget about Floship’s special crowdfunding fulfillment look here when you are ready.
13 Best Kickstarter Alternatives to Crowdfund Anything https://t.co/vS84NtcfCY
— Floship (@floship) January 25, 2017