If you’ve spent much time looking at business blogs, or have friends who support causes on social media, chances are you’ve heard of crowdfunding. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, crowdfunding usually means drawing funds from a group of people to support a specific cause. People crowdfund for virtually every situation imaginable — from raising money for college to buying shoes for poor children. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find thousands of people fundraising for one cause or another. In fact, the Internet is why crowdfunding became so popular in recent years. With a basic Internet connection you can raise money from anyone anywhere in the world.
Businesses, as well as individuals, can benefit from crowdfunding. If you’re part of a nonprofit or association, you may be wondering how crowdfunding can work for you. Here are seven tools to use for your company.
Gofundme.com is a user-friendly site dedicating to helping you raise money for your cause. It has an easy-to-use dashboard and widgets to help you keep track of your progress. The site charges a 5% fee for your efforts, and you can redeem your money through PayPal or WePal, both of which also charge a fee of around 3 to 4%.
Kickstarter is the most popular crowdfunding site on the web, so if you decide to use it you’re sure to get a lot of name recognition and visibility. Like Gofundme.com, it charges a 5% flat rate for all donations. It also charges a 3% fee to receive your funds. While Kickstarter is a great tool, it’s not the best for all projects. Kickstarter needs to approve your project before it goes online, and will usually only sign off on those with creative initiatives.
This site allows you to raise funds for all types of projects, whether you’re an individual trying to raise funds for college or a start-up trying to get off the ground. FundRazr’s selling point is its excellent social media integration. Like the two sites above, it also charges 5% of all donations, and the money goes directly to your PayPal account.
RocketHub is a great place to launch your fundraising campaign. It features a simple three-step account creation process, and it also has two different types of accounts to support your campaign. FuelPad is best if you’re just looking to crowdfund, but LaunchPad is excellent if you’re a creative type looking to break into the business. RocketHub charges a 4% fee, plus a 4% processing fee. However, the initial fee goes up to 8% if you don’t reach your goal.
Razoo is great for businesses, as it has special pages for corporations, nonprofits and foundations. The site has helped raise millions of dollars and has the tools you need to raise money for your cause. While it’s geared toward for-profit projects, Razoo is also a wonderful fundraising resource for charitable causes. For more information about crowdfunding for nonprofits, check out the crowdfunding revolution.
This site gives you the flexibility to fundraise for just about everything. It costs less than many other crowdfunding sites — there’s a 3.5% flat fee for all donations, plus a 2.5% transaction fee. GoGetFunding also offers social media interaction and has a user-friendly platform with a progress tab. The only downside is it offers limited access to other businesses or corporations in comparison with larger sites.
If your eventual goal is to attract attention from Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists, then Crowdfunder’s the site for you. The site allows you to fundraise and sell equity in the hopes of attracting big-time investors. Crowdfunder offers great exposure for your company — however, it has an all or nothing policy. If you don’t meet your goal, you won’t be able to take home any money. If you do raise the funds you need, you’ll pay a flat 5% fee, plus an Amazon transaction fee, which can be between 1.9 and 5%. What’s great about Crowdfunder is its ability to support growing businesses, so this could be your new non-profit, or help garner funds to establish your association. Crowdfunder’s been successful in turning even pretty “average excitement” businesses into a viral donating sensation, when KountryKraft and Aellon partnered up to turn a shipwreck into a gorgeous series of furniture and raised $17,000.