Online Fundraising and Crowdfunding
Even though this website, Creeklife is a online fundraising site (crowdfunding website) it may not be perfect for your needs, in this article I want to talk about the other platforms that are available to web users. Because Creeklife focus on outdoor issues, you may have a need to fund your child’s medical bills, or help a unfortunate friend get a step up by paying for an educational course.
So if it is not related to protecting or caring for green spaces or an outdoor project, read on.
In the past, fundraising was difficult to do beyond a local level unless you already had the advantage of holding either a lot of wealth or a wide network of important to-doers. Thankfully, the internet has changed the position of those looking to fundraise entirely, unlocking a network of millions of potential donators to every cause. Each year new and innovative online fundraising sites are providing new ways for innovators and activists to fund projects that are important to them.
The internet has democratized almost everything, and online fundraising provides the much-needed democratization of causes that has been needed for ages. Whether you are looking to raise money to fight cancer or looking for start-up money for your promising tech firm, there is a site that can help you get the most out of online fundraising efforts. With the variety of different online fundraising platforms available, you can be assured that there is a site that fits your individual fundraising needs.
Since online fundraising has experienced a massive boom over the last decade, the amount of sites has become so massive that deciding on your platform can become confusing. Knowing what a site has to offer your specific cause, and the audience associated with that site, can help you make an informed decision. Knocking out the possibility of less-than-stellar sites is useful, as is focusing your attention on the most attractive platforms. To help narrow your search, here is a breakdown of three of the most innovative and useful sites out there today:
With its claims of being able to help users create a fundraiser site in less than 42 seconds, Crowdrise provides an excellent platform for raising funds for important causes on a tight deadline. Before access to online fundraising methods, small but important causes often had a difficult time making themselves known, but with sites like Crowdrise every group in need can have their voice heard. From flood relief to local homeless shelter support, this platform can help change things for the better.
Crowdrise has been proven to be effective, and this is reflected in the over 1.5 million charities that have now used the site to raise needed funds. Touting itself as being the #1 fundraising site for amazing and fun causes, Crowdrise can mix an appealing air of seriousness and joy. Browsing through the colorful interface of the site will allow you to see the variety of causes supported by the website, and will invite donators in with its friendly language.
One of the most unique features of Crowdrise is their fundraising ideas page. The Crowdrise team provides users with innovative and fun ways to help increase the funds they raise online. By combining their knowledge and experience with your passion, Crowdrise can help you unlock fundraising goals you never thought possible.
Crowdrise Impact Points also help to set this useful platform apart. This reward system is the only thing of its kind in the online fundraising world, and can allow frequent and successful fundraisers to gain access to beneficial features and free merchandise.
Funds are easily accessible and reach your accounts quick, which just furthers Crowdrise’s reputation as the best platform for quickly raising funds for urgent causes. Additionally, Crowdrise only takes 3% of each donation, which is less than any other online fundraising platform out there! Most other sites, such as KickStarter charge upwards of 8%!
Overall, Crowdrise is your best bet for raising donations in a time-conscious manner. While not quite as popular as some of its competitors, this platform holds the advantage of a focused audience and quick fund transfers.
IndieGoGo provides an attractive alternative to KickStarter for creative fundraising. From new talented artists with zero followers to known talents looking to work outside of an oppressive industrial system, IndieGoGo provides a less stressful option for online fundraising.
Unlike the fixed make it or break it style of KickStarter projects, IndieGoGo allows you to decide how to run your fundraising project. Two models are available to IndieGoGo users: flexible funding and fixed funding. Throughout the fundraising process, IndieGoGo will take a 9% processing fee off of your raised funds, but once you reach your goal a full 5% is refunded to your account to make for an overall cost of 4% of the funds you raised.
If you choose to do fixed funding, backers will be given their donations back if you do not reach a goal. On the other hand, if you decide to do flexible funding, you can keep the donations you have received whether you meet your goal or not. However, the 5% refund does not occur when you fail to reach your goal in the flexible funding model, and you will end up having a full 9% deducted from your funds.
IndieGoGo is by far one of the most popular online fundraising sites out there for creative types, so if you are looking to get that film you’ve been dreaming of made, this platform is your best bet. Even well-known celebs, directors, and franchises have funded projects on IndieGoGo when studios refused to take the financial risk. In 2013, for example, cult fans of the canceled TV show Veronica Mars helped fund a big-screen sequel to Veronica’s story. Even subversive filmmakers such as Spike Lee have been able to fund important film projects that studios were too afraid to fund.
Creative acts are not the only beneficiaries of the IndieGoGo platform, however. In fact, two of the most successful projects ever funded on the website were innovative tech products. One, the Skully Smart Motorcycle Helmet, raised an impressive $2,446,739 on IndieGoGo. Given that the original goal of the project was simply $250,000 this nearly two and a half million dollar success speaks volumes about what IndieGoGo has to offer anyone looking to run a successful online fundraising campaign.
If you have a product or art piece that you know will impress the public, IndieGoGo provides your best bet for online fundraising. With its massive audience, hip donators, varying funding options and beautiful user interface, this platform can help you make your dreams come true.
GoFundMe is by far the most popular website for online fundraising on a personal level. With over $1.1 billion raised since its launch in 2010. The focus on personal needs is what sets this site apart from its competitors.
While fundraising is often more targeted toward big causes/events or projects that play to a niche audience, it also has an important potential role in helping individuals overcome difficult life obstacles. Whether the need is life-threatening, such as a medical operation, or quaint, like a wedding celebration, GoFundMe can help you raise the necessary funds.
Online fundraising is notable due to its convenience and visibility. Sure your family may be willing to donate some funds for your wedding ceremony, but without a clean and simple to use platform, simply acquiring those funds from them can be next to impossible. Thankfully, with its easy to use interface and online location, GoFundMe provides the perfect way to easily receive funds from Grandma Jones.
GoFundMe is completely free to sign up for, and only requires that 5% of each donation is deducted for using their platform. Additionally, the site takes these out automatically with its donation, which alleviates the user of any stress that may be caused by worrying whether or not they provided the proper payment to the website. Convenience is key at GoFundMe, and this quality provides another example of why it continues to be the #1 online fundraising site for personal causes.
No deadlines or goal requirements are applied to projects posted on GoFundMe, which makes it simple for anyone to raise at least some funds toward their cause. This gives GoFundMe a major advantage over more stressful, goal orientated sites like KickStarter that aim to weed out less successful projects. Additionally, GoFundMe never puts in place penalties for missing goals. The site runners at GoFundMe understand that every penny counts in many of the projects posted on their website, so these features are extremely useful.
GoFundMe provides a much-needed alternative to other more consumer based fundraising sites. For online fundraising targeted at loved ones of people who can sympathize with your needs, there truly is no better option.
These and other online fundraising sites are helping to provide a more varied and democratized experience for entrepreneurs, creatives and activists around the world. Before the innovative approach to fundraising these sites now provide, fundraising was left mainly for the privileged communities of our world. Thankfully, with sites like IndieGoGo, Crowdrise, and GoFundMe, we live in a much different world today.
If you have a cause or project you believe in, do not hesitate to start building an online campaign today using one of these three innovative and user-friendly platforms. When you are sitting in front of your computer a short time from now, filled with excitement as you stare at a reached fundraising goal on your computer screen, you will be glad that you took this useful initiative.
Posted by Mark Contorno