Kickstarter is one of the largest crowdfunding sites for creative people. It has helped innovators raise more than $5.4 billion, with nearly 200,000 projects funded through the platform. Founded in 2009, more than 19 million people have backed a project on Kickstarter to date. Their pricing model is all or nothing. You only pay if you meet your fundraising goal. Their fee is 5% of the total funds raised plus payment processing fees which are normally 20 cents plus 3% on each pledge.
Although Kickstarter is well recognized, it's not the only crowdfunding platform available for your fundraising goals. There are many to consider that may be a better fit for your specific needs. To help you find an alternative that works for you, we reviewed over 30 different sites. We narrowed these down to the six best alternatives to Kickstarter based on the platform's pricing, usability, and range of fundraising options. We specifically included those that cater to creative professionals and platforms that allow individuals to raise money for personal projects, business ideas, or nonprofits. Here are our top picks.
The 6 Best Alternatives to Kickstarter in 2020
FundRazr: Best Overall
FundRazr is our top pick for the best overall alternative to Kickstarter because there's a free version with 0% platform fee. A 5% fee standard version also exists as well as a variable-fee pro version. Also, there are plenty of social media integrations to help people ensure their projects are shared far and wide.
Mobile app available
Social media integrations
2.9% + $0.30 payment processing fee per transaction
With headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, FundRazr was founded in 2009. To date, users have raised more than $182 million through the platform.
FundRazr provides you with all the tools you need to help bring your project to life, from software integrations to an easy-to-use mobile app. Anyone can raise money with FundRazr. Whether you are an artist or a nonprofit, there is a place for you on this platform. Its three flexible pricing models ensure there's an option that fits your fundraising goals.
FundRazr offers three tiers: Free, Standard, and Pro. The Free plan is one of the reasons we selected this company for best overall because it offers one of the best options for creatives and individuals who need all the capital they can get to launch their projects at a lower cost. All you will be charged is a 2.9% plus $0.30 processing fee per transaction. FundRazr will ask your supporters to help cover the 5% platform fee through an optional tip that the company uses to operate the platform and keep offering a free option.
The Standard plan charges the 5% platform fee directly to you, instead of through your donors, along with a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30. The Pro plan gives you control over who pays the platform fee—you can either choose to pay the platform fee yourself or ask your supporters to chip in.
Unlike Kickstarter's All or Nothing structure, with FundRazr you have the option to raise money using either the company's Keep It All or All or Nothing campaign options. Keep It All means everything you raise is yours and will be deposited to your account as soon as the funds are available, giving you immediate access to the capital you need when you raise it. All or Nothing means that if you don't meet your goal by the campaign's deadline, no money will be charged to your supporters or given to you. So, if you don't raise enough to get your project off the ground, you have the option to back out.
Interested customers can request a free demo or speak to an advisor directly by requesting a one-on-one consultation on the company's website.
Patreon: Best for Creative Projects
We chose Patreon for best for creative projects because of its range of tools and plans that are designed specifically for creative people to raise the funds needed for their projects.
Monthly membership for fans
Software integrations, such as Google Analytics, Zapier, and Mailchimp
Fees increase depending on the plan you choose
Patreon was started in 2013 by Jack Conte, a musician who had millions of views on YouTube but had little luck getting money to sustain his career. Since launching Patreon, the company has paid out more than $2 billion to its community of more than 200,000 creators.
Patreon is a crowdraising platform designed to help artists raise capital to support their dreams. If you're an artist or writer who wants your fans to support your endeavors so that you may have the freedom to create without worrying about where your income will come from, that's just what Patreon is for. It's a clear pick for creatives because it's an easy-to-use platform where you can ask supporters of your work to help back your efforts with financial contributions.
The company offers different pricing options, with plans starting at a 5% platform fee and increasing up to 12%. On top of these platform fees, the company charges standard processing payment fees of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction over $3.
All of the company's plans offer flexible payouts, customer support, access to an education platform to learn how to run your project, a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices, and tools to help you generate funds, track your progress, and communicate directly with your supporters.
Wefunder: Best for Businesses
Whether you're looking to launch a movie studio, brewery, or the next tech startup, starting a Wefunder campaign gives you the chance to have your idea seen by the platform's community of more than 723,000 investors.
One simple 7.5% fee
Legal assistance offered
Marketing strategy support provided
In exchange for receiving financial backing, you have to offer up equity
In 2012, Wefunder successfully lobbied Congress to pass a law that allows anyone to invest in companies online. Since 2016, Wefunder has funded around 500 companies and it has a goal to help fund a total of 20,000 founders by 2029.
To get started on Wefunder, you'll need to create your company profile and tell your story. Next, the company will help you with legal compliance.
Then your campaign will be ready to launch to your network. Wefunder will share it with their community of more than 723,000+ investors, something none of these other platforms offer—making it a clear pick for entrepreneurs looking to fund a new business.
Most campaigns take one to two months for businesses to successfully raise capital, another reason this has been selected in the best for businesses category. If you don't meet your fundraising goal, you don't have to pay anything to Wefunder and your backers will not be charged.
Wefunder's website includes a large resource library that has information about crowdfunding and how to run a successful campaign, and you can also join as an individual investor and back projects that are of interest to you. Zenefits is one of many successful companies that got its start thanks to Wefunder.
Indiegogo: Best for Going to Market
Indiegogo doesn't just help innovators raise money, it offers services—from marketing and prototyping to licensing, fulfillment, and distribution—to help you bring your business to your market.
Has raised more than $1 billion for campaigns on its platform
Option to keep raising money with its InDemand feature
Flat 5% platform fee in addition to 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction
Minimum fundraising amount of $500
Founded in 2008, Indiegogo has operations in more than 235 countries and has helped fund more than 800,000 creative ideas. It's a clear pick as best for going to market because it offers partnerships to help with all aspects of going live and launching. This includes creative services, communications, production, retail, and distribution partnerships.
Unlike most crowdfunding platforms that only allow you to collect the amount of money you've raised once you meet a certain goal, with Indiegogo you have options. You can choose to get whatever money you raise even if you don't meet your campaign goal with the company's Flexible Funding option. The company also offers a Fixed Funding option where you only collect your money if you meet your goal, which is a better choice if your project needs to hit a minimum funding amount to be able to get started. With the company's InDemand offering, you can continue to raise funds even after your campaign ends, without having to set a new fundraising goal or deadline.
Indiegogo requires a fundraising minimum of $500 to run a crowdfunding campaign and you can run a campaign for a maximum of 60 days, regardless of the type of funding option you choose. If you meet your goal, Indiegogo will send you a payout within 15 business days.
GoFundMe: Best for No Fundraising Deadline
With GoFundMe, individuals can crowdfund for as long as they want without any set deadlines to meet their goals.
No deadlines for raising money
More than $9 billion raised on the platform
Your donors will be asked to support GoFundMe with a voluntary tip
1.9% plus $0.30 payment processing fee per transaction
GoFundMe was founded in 2010 and has become one of the largest fundraising platforms around the world. Users of the platform have raised more than $9 billion from over 120 million donations.
As a creative individual, you can crowdfund using GoFundMe whether you are trying to start an individual project or get your art studio running. A teacher can raise money for a major in-class purchase or field trip. A business can launch with the necessary capital raised from the platform. The fundraising opportunities are limitless.
In addition to the GoFundMe.com website, the company offers mobile apps where you can run your campaign from your fingertips. The platform is free to use, however, there is a 1.9% plus $0.30 processing fee per transaction. The platform does ask donors to support the platform with a separate, voluntary fee.
The reason we selected this as best for no fundraising deadline is that GoFundMe does not require you to meet any fundraising timeline or set a time limit in which you have to raise your desired financial goal. For even greater flexibility, if you are unable to reach your fundraising target, you can still receive whatever funds you are able to raise and the money will be available within a few days after the donations have been verified.
Chuffed: Best for Social Causes
If there's a social cause you care about that you want to raise money for, then Chuffed is the platform for you because it specializes in crowdfunding for nonprofits and charities. Especially attractive is the plan where you can collect 100% of the money raised.
Multiple pricing plans available
With the Keep 100 plan, your donors will be expected to cover the processing fees
Chuffed is a social enterprise entity. Launched in 2013 in Australia to provide a platform for people looking to crowdfund money for the social causes they care about, the company has grown into a worldwide organization. While they offer three plans, the Keep 100, as the name suggests, lets you keep the 100% of the donations. That's why this is our pick for best for social causes—100% of the proceeds can go directly to the mission or charity. Donors cover the payment processing fees (2% plus $0.20 per transaction).
With the Shared option, the processing payment fees are subtracted from the funds you raise, and with the Flat Fee option, both a processing fee and a 4.9% platform fee are subtracted from the funds you raise, and donors are not asked to donate to Chuffed to cover the fees. This strategy may mean you don't keep 100% of the raised money but could make donors feel better about the amount they donate, not having to worry about a fee on top of their donation.
To help your fundraising campaign be a success, Chuffed provides a crowdfunding guide, a crowdfunding educational academy, video tutorials, and workshops. Plus, there are integrations for platforms like Google Analytics, Facebook, Salesforce, and Mailchimp.
What Is Kickstarter and Crowdfunding?
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site for creative people that has been around since 2009. Since launching, they have raised billions of dollars around the world. Individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofit organizations turn to crowdfunding sites to raise capital for specific projects, business ideas, causes, or personal needs. With the help of crowdfunding sites, millions of people all over the world have been able to get monetary support from backers.
How Do Funding Thresholds Work?
Each site has different rules on how much you have to raise and for how long you can run a campaign. For instance, there are sites like Indiegogo that have a specific time frame in which you have to raise the money, and in the event you don’t meet the goal, all your backers will be refunded (or are not charged until you meet the goal).
There are other sites, like GoFundMe, where you have the option to keep all the money donated, even if you don’t meet your goal. After all the fees collected by the site are deducted, all of the money raised will be given to the beneficiary that you set which can be a business, nonprofit, or a person.
What Do Contributors Get in Return?
When you decide to back a fundraiser, there are many different ways that you may be rewarded for your contribution. It may be the simple personal satisfaction that you have helped someone or have the chance to see something come to life and say, "I was part of that." You may also receive special content, such as an exclusive newsletter or autographed book if you are supporting a writer. Artists often offer a discount on an art piece or other perks. If you are investing in a business, you may get shares or equity in return.
What Does Crowdfunding Cost?
Crowdfunding costs vary from platform to platform. Kickstarter, for instance, charges a flat fee of 5% of the total amount raised. If you don’t meet your goal, you don’t have to pay the fee and your backers won’t get charged. For the rest of the sites in this list, the platform fees range from 0% to 12% charged to fundraisers, as the platforms rely on donors to cover the fees. Plus, payment processing fees range from 2% up to 5% plus $0.30 per transaction.
How We Chose the Best Alternatives to Kickstarter
In the process of coming up with this list of six top alternatives to Kickstarter, we took a look at over 30 different crowdfunding options available online. In conducting our research we took a variety of factors into consideration that included the platform's pricing plans, software integrations, user-friendly features, and customer support offered. We looked for companies that were fairly priced with a good reputation for actually funding campaigns. The ability to easily share campaigns on social platforms was preferred to those that didn't. From there, we considered niche areas of fundraising to choose our six best.