If you’re looking to start your Crowdfunding business, it can be super stressful to track down the various options available to you.
You already know the big players, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe, and Kickstarter. Gone are the days when these platforms were the biggest and most well-known ones in town. The times have changed, and so have the platforms.
Look no further if you want a slice of deeper cuts in the Crowdfunding product space! We’ve compiled a list of lesser-known crowdfunding platforms that offer unique features and cater to various industries.
These sites will boost your fundraising and Crowdfunding efforts from Rewards-based crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding to Facebook integration and recurring donations, and more. So, whether you’re an entrepreneur, artist, or charitable organization, read on to discover the perfect platform for your next funding campaign.
The Crowdfunding Sites to Watch
Well known for its connection to Shark, Kevin O’Leary, StartEngine is a platform that caters to investors looking to invest in exciting startups—it caters to startups looking to get around the big venture capitalist schtick and desire more agency over their company’s destiny.
StartEngine provides a large audience for its marketplace of investment opportunities, which sets them apart.
- Accredited and Non-Accredited investors can participate and invest on StartEngine opportunities.
- Access to a large audience of investors.
- Access to a large database of exciting startups you can become an early investor of.
- 5% fee for selling shares on StartEngine Secondary
- The platform fee is high, at 3.5%
- If listing your startup, know that your ideas and concepts are public and open to people stealing your ideas.
- Yes, you have access to many investors, but many of them may not know about your industry or product market fit.
A fundraising platform that focuses on cause-based funding campaigns. A quick look through their open campaigns demonstrates a variety of campaigns aimed at the general good, such as funding power generators for Ukraine, Artist Showcase fundraisers, people wanting to fund their tattoo artist careers, and more. Fundly is a hosted platform and charges a 4.9% fee for every donation plus 2.9% + .30¢ for credit card processing fees. Per transaction fees get pricey, but it’s an excellent platform for highlighting a worthy cause!
- Donation entry is easy, and tracking donations year to year with campaigns is super helpful. It provides a “full picture” of campaign activities and funding data, and donor data, as well.
- Awesome support
- Easy to use, pleasant UI
- High per-donation fees
- With as many features as there are, it can be challenging to find what you need with all the menus a user needs to access to get anything done.
Like Fundly, it focuses on social good campaigns. They have applied the reasonably standard 5% platform fee per transaction and credit card processing fees. No surprises there. They also offer a couple of unique features I think are compelling. They offer a storefront capability to sell products online, like a traditional e-commerce storefront. They also support live and virtual events, which are great for mixers, and managing attendance for things like art shows, discussion panels, and virtual conferences.
- Create wishlists that donors can respond to directly, like purchasing a specific good or service your campaign requests.
- Ability to offer perks and rewards for reaching campaign milestones.
- Solid reporting capabilities.
- Easy to use.
- Automated tax receipt generation.
- The platform is not flexible; you’re locked into whatever features it provides.
- Design capabilities are not flexible. You’re locked into what the platform provides for the look and feel of your campaigns. Only basic color options exist.
A large platform that offers a variety of collaborative finance solutions (aka Crowdfunding). Mipise provides white-label tools for various use cases, such as issuing shares for a startup or Equity Crowdfunding.
The platform supports issuing shares. They aren’t clear in their fee structure what they charge or how they move money around when I looked. However, I suspect this service, like many others, has integration with an Escrow Company that holds and releases funds as needed.
- An all-in-one platform that provides Crowdfunding capabilities, investor onboarding, and verification.
- Caters to much of Europe. Many of their customers are French-based companies.
- Opaque pricing. I could not get pricing after various attempts to contact them, which is a warning sign. I received emails explicitly asking for pricing and tried to get someone on the phone, but I was successful with neither getting that phone call nor getting pricing.
- Truly, Mipise is not well-known, and not much info exists about this service beyond what’s on their website.
Donorbox is a platform that caters primarily to Non-Profit Organizations and, you might have guessed, many of which focus on cause-based Crowdfunding, which isn’t the theme of this article. I promise. DonorBox provides a robust platform with features like flexible donation buttons, campaign pages, peer-to-peer fundraising, and more traditional Crowdfunding capabilities. DonorBox offers the lowest fee structure among the competition at 1.5% and you can configure it to have your customers cover transaction fees, which 80% do, according to the website.
- Nice UI, easy-to-use interface.
- Recurring donations are easy to set up.
- Integrates with Zapier.
- Easy reporting and fiscal summary generation tools.
- 1.5% transaction feels, which I believe are some of the lowest out there.
- Forms are embeddable, so your website can display your donorbox donation form.
- Website design and donor page building capabilities are rudimentary.
- You don’t control the platform or own the data.
A non-caused-based Crowdfunding Platform. Founded in 2009, MicroVentures is an equity crowdfunding platform that offers accredited and non-accredited investors the opportunity to put in early-stage organizations. MicroVentures specializes in Regulation Crowdfunding (REG-CF), a term that refers to a form of equity crowdfunding that enables everyone to contribute, not just accredited investors.
Similar to StartEngine, MicroVentures targets investors wanting to invest in startups. They also target startups looking to generate liquidity through selling shares or Crowdfunding.
MicroInvest offers 0% non-accredited investors fees (Regulation CF and Regulation A offerings); Private investment fund fees for Regulation D/S include a 5%, 0.50%, 10%, and 1.5% fee; fees for secondary offerings vary
- Accredited and Non-Accredited Investors can invest in startups on the MicroVentures platform.
- Solid due-diligence onboarding and workflow for orgs seeking funding.
- Transparency of startup/company information readily available to investors.
- A limited number of investment opportunities exist at any one time.
- Startup investment is typically a risky endeavor.
- Not great for beginner investors and seems to cater to insiders.
The Best of the Best Crowdfunding Platforms?
All of these platforms have one thing in common: Many of their features are offered by the IgnitionDeck the original self-hosted Crowdfunding Platform
IgnitionDeck is a powerful crowdfunding software that offers a wide range of features to help you raise money for your project or cause. It provides the flexibility of flexible funding, allowing you to keep whatever funds you raise, whether or not you reach your goal. It also allows users to offer perks and equity to backers, similar to RocketHub. Additionally, it offers the ability to create and join teams to fundraise together, like Crowdrise.
IgnitionDeck also allows integration with social media platforms and provides Facebook integration, similar to FundRazr. Furthermore, it provides a platform for personal or charitable causes and allows users to set up recurring donations, similar to GiveForward. With IgnitionDeck, you have access to all the features of these other platforms and much more, making it a comprehensive and versatile choice for your crowdfunding needs.
In conclusion, many crowdfunding platforms are available to choose from, and each has its unique features. The platforms mentioned in this article are just a few examples of the many options available. It’s important to research and chooses a platform that aligns with your goals, target audience, and the type of campaign you want to launch. Remember, a crowdfunding campaign is not just about raising money; it’s also about building a community and engaging with your supporters.
Choosing the right platform and utilizing its unique features can increase your chances of success and achieving your fundraising goals.