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12 Best Crowdfunding Sites for Smart Fundraising

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Published April 7, 2023 Reading Time: 10 minutes

Crowdfunding helps startups, nonprofits, researchers, and individuals in raising funds in the millions each year.

Once you’ve set and defined your project’s fundraising goal, you need to find the best crowdfunding website to serve and support your unique needs. The right fundraising tools can differentiate between a seamless crowdfunding experience and a headache for everyone involved.

Since the early-stage platform selection process can feel overwhelming, we’ve compiled a list of crowdfunding sites with the best success rates to guide your decision-making. Regardless of what types of crowdfunding your organization pursues, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of what each popular platform has to offer.

Best Overall Crowdfunding Site: GoFundMe

gofundme

GoFundMe is the world’s largest social fundraising platform for individuals, teams, and nonprofits, with a giving community of more than 200+ million individual donations worldwide.

The popular crowdfunding site is available in 19 countries and counting and has processed more than $20 billion in donations since its start in 2010. With a free sign-up process, hands-on customer support, and donor protection guarantee, GoFundMe proudly celebrates its reputation as a trusted leader in online fundraising.

More Reasons to Love GoFundMe for Crowdfunding

  • GoFundMe mobile app to fundraise on the go
  • Easy donation withdrawals at any time
  • No time limit on campaign length
  • Keep What You Raise payout model
  • Hands-on 24/7 customer support

Fees and Pricing Plans

For individuals and businesses:

  • 0% platform fee
  • 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee per donation

For charities:

  • 0% platform fee
  • 2.2% + $0.30 transaction fee per donation

GoFundMe Reviews

  • TrustRadius: 8.7/10 stars
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 stars
  • G2: 3.3/5 stars

Best Crowdfunding Platform for Nonprofits: Classy.org

classy-crowdfunding

Classy helps thousands of nonprofits worldwide tell powerful stories and inspire support for meaningful causes with customizable, conversion-optimized nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns.

Our global giving platform provides the crowdfunding campaign formats and flexibility needed to connect people to the causes they care about through engaging and intuitive giving experiences. A fundraising site supported by world-class design and engagement tools, we have helped nonprofit organizations raise more than $5 billion for good since 2010.

More Reasons to Love Classy for Crowdfunding

  • Customizable, personalized campaigns that allow you to keep your story at the forefront 
  • Embeddable donation forms
  • Mobile-optimized campaigns
  • Campaign activity wall to encourage real-time engagement 
  • Powerful reporting and analytics
  • Flexible payment options, including digital wallets, ACH, PayPal, and more
  • Thoughtful integrations and award-winning key performance indicators
  • Secure transactions (Level 1 PCI compliance and SSL Security built on Amazon Web Services)

Fees and Pricing Plans

Classy offers a comprehensive fundraising tech stack on a sliding cost scale. Our top priority is delivering high returns through our comprehensive solution priced according to customer needs. 

Our pricing is a combination of an annual upfront subscription, with a transaction fee associated with each donation.

Learn more about Classy’s custom pricing plans by connecting with a qualified member of our team.

Classy Reviews

  • TrustRadius: 8/10 stars
  • Capterra: 4.3/5 stars
  • G2: 4.4/5 stars
  • Software Advice: 4.33/5

Best Crowdfunding Site for Individuals: Fundly

Best Crowdfunding Site for Individuals: Fundly

Fundly is simple to use and scalable to any size fundraiser, providing individuals with the tools they need to have a successful campaign.

The donation platform is available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. to help nonprofits reach more donors through any fundraiser.

More Reasons to Love Fundly for Crowdfunding

  • No startup or hidden fees
  • Keep What You Raisepayout model
  • Fundly mobile app to manage campaigns from anywhere
  • Easy withdrawals at any time
  • Giving-level donor incentives
  • Donor heat maps
  • Powerful integration with Facebook

Fees and Pricing Plans

  • 4.9% platform fee per donation
  • 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee per transaction

Fundly Reviews

  • Capterra: 3.9/5 stars
  • G2: 2.9/5 stars
  • Fundly: 2.9/5 stars

Best Crowdfunding Site for Startups and Small Businesses: Indiegogo

indigogo

Indiegogo brands itself as the platform “where new launches,” which reflects its mission to fund clever, cool innovations and groundbreaking products before mainstream availability.

The platform makes it easier to support entrepreneurs with business ideas and new technology from its earliest stages of development. This helps startups and small businesses gain the freedom to choose a fixed or flexible funding goal, making it possible to customize experiences as needed.

More Reasons to Love Indiegogo for Crowdfunding

  • Expert support and exclusive partnerships
  • Pre- and post-campaign tools
  • Integrated analytics
  • Donor perks options
  • Fulfillment and manufacturing support
  • Indiegogo mobile app to simplify the fundraising process

Fees and Pricing Plans

  • 5% platform fee
  • 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee

Indiegogo Reviews

G2: 3.4/5 stars

Best Crowdfunding Site for Creators: Kickstarter 

kickstarter

Kickstarter is on a mission to help bring creative projects to life.

Since its launch in 2009, over 22 million people from every continent have backed a project on Kickstarter. The industry-leading platform leverages a rewards-based model that offers unique incentives to potential investors to make them feel like they get something in return.

Kickstarter has processed a total donation volume of more than $7.2 billion and tallied over 236,489 successfully funded projects. The platform is well on its way to bridging the gap between creators, backers, and the community.

More Reasons to Love Kickstarter for Crowdfunding

  • Only platform fully dedicated to building a community around creative projects
  • All-or-nothing payout model to incentivize backers
  • Flexible campaign duration of 1 to 60 days
  • Detailed creator resources, including a Creator Handbook

Fees and Pricing Plans

If a project reaches its fundraising goal:

  • 5% platform fee
  • 3% + $0.20 payment processing fee per pledge

If a project does not reach its fundraising goal, the creator pays no fees.

Kickstarter Reviews

  • G2: 3.7/5 stars
  • Trustpilot: 1.2/5

Best Crowdfunding Site for Education: DonorsChoose

Best Crowdfunding Site for Education: DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose makes it easier than ever to connect people to public schools. Over two million fulfilled classroom project requests shows just how effective the crowdfunding site is in raising the money teachers need for tools and materials to offer a great education.

The organization helps donors find a classroom project that inspires them. With the project fully funded, the DonorsChoose team purchases all required materials and ships them directly to the teacher. Donors even get a thank you note from the teacher, along with photos and reports of how each dollar made an impact.

More Reasons to Love DonorsChoose for Crowdfunding

  • Detailed project reports to see where every dollar goes
  • Hand-screening process prior to project approval
  • Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) giving options
  • Highest possible ratings on Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and GuideStar

Fees and Pricing Plans

  • 0% platform fee
  • 1.5% payment processing fee

DonorsChoose Reviews

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

Best Crowdfunding Site for Scientific Research: Experiment.com

expirament

Experiment.com helps fund the next wave of scientific research by bringing scientists and the public closer together.

The crowdfunding site centers on a public-funding model, which allows backers to directly support the projects of their choice without any overhead. Experiment.com is open to all scientists—labs, universities, individuals—and offers a free sign-up process.

More Reasons to Love Experiment.com for Crowdfunding

  • All-or-nothing payout model
  • Thorough content review and video interview prior to approval
  • Free to start a project
  • No institution overhead
  • Supports projects in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia

Fees and Pricing Plans

If a project reaches its fundraising goal:

  • 8% platform fee
  • 3-5% payment processing fee

If a project does not reach its fundraising goal, the scientists pay no fees.

Experiment.com Reviews

Experiment.com has no formal ratings or reviews.

Additional Crowdfunding Sites to Explore

The best fundraising efforts come from a deep understanding of the available technology. We’ve added bonus crowdfunding websites to explore to support a well-rounded selection process.

Great for Individuals: FundRazr

Great for Individuals: FundRazr

FundRazr is a multipurpose crowdfunding platform that offers advanced technology for effective organizational and individual fundraising.

Create state-of-the-art, mobile-friendly fundraising campaigns in minutes. Reach more potential donors with the platform’s “one-click” social sharing tool, and ensure a smooth donation experience with up-to-date payment tools, like PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and more.

Select from three pricing models, including:

  • Free: 0% platform fee 
  • Standard: 5% platform fee 
  • Pro: Custom pricing on your terms

There are no setup fees, monthly subscription fees, or contracts. Users can even assign different pricing models to multiple campaigns for convenience and flexibility.

FundRazr Reviews

  • Capterra: 4.6/5 stars
  • Trustpilot: 4.2/5 stars
  • G2: 3.9/5 stars

Great for Startups and Small Businesses: Fundable

fundable

Fundable exclusively helps companies raise capital from investors, customers, and friends. This online fundraising platform has received over $570 million in funding commitments since 2012, with a determination to help great companies succeed.

Entrepreneurs can create a profile, choose between a reward or equity-based fundraising campaign, and tell the world about their goals. It’s free to set up, and campaign owners can defer payment until they’re ready to launch.

Pricing structure includes:

  • $179 per month
  • No success fees

Fundable Reviews

Trustpilot: 3.8/5 stars

Great for Creators: Patreon

patreon

 

Patreon has changed the way we value art. By inviting their most passionate fans to support their creative work, artists can continue their craft.

On Patreon, creators let their fans become active participants in their projects by offering them a monthly membership. In exchange, supporters gain exclusive access to content, community, and insight into their creative process. 

This membership model helps establish stronger connections with fans and provides individuals with the resources they need to fully embrace their talents.

It’s free to get started, with only a small monthly fee on earned revenue. Creators have the ability to choose from three different plans, including:

  • Lite: Simple tools to set up recurring support from fans for 5% of creators’ monthly income
  • Pro: Everything needed to build a thriving membership for 8% of creators’ monthly income
  • Premium: Dedicated coaching, support, and advanced features for 12% of creators’ monthly income

However, keep in mind there’s an industry-standard payment processing rate included.

Patreon Reviews

  • G2: 4.1/5 stars
  • Trustpilot: 1.3/5

Great for Education: AdoptAClassroom.org

Great for Education: AdoptAClassroom.org

AdoptAClassroom.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit designed specifically for teachers. The crowdfunding platform helps fund anything from technology to musical instruments, textbooks, or uniforms. 

Its mission to advance equity in education has already been supported by over $65 million in donations, translating to roughly 6.4 million students receiving the tools they need to succeed.

Teachers begin by filling out a detailed online profile with a list of the items they need and why those items are essential to their students. Once donors find a project they’re passionate about, they can donate to a specific classroom, school, or fund. Educators then order the items themselves and thank donors with detailed updates on how they spent the money.

When people give to a classroom project, there’s a minimum $10 donation to AdaptAClassroom.org to assist in minimizing card processing costs. However, if you donate to a Spotlight Fund or directly to AdoptAClassroom.org, there’s no minimum.

Additionally, AdoptAClassroom.org includes the following fees:

10% fee deducted from each donation

AdoptAClassroom.org Reviews

Charity Navigator: 4 stars

Great for Scientific Research: MedStartr

medstartr

MedStartr is the first medical innovation crowdfunding site for inventors, early adopters, hospital leaders, clinicians, patient activists, and so many other leading minds. 

The platform’s goal is to help medical and health care projects, startups, and innovations succeed while improving how health care works for everyone.

Think of MedStartr like an Accelerator Platform powered by crowds and designed for health care. Rather than being funded by accelerators, people who want the innovative product or service for their loved ones, patients, or even themselves fund each project.

This crowdfunding site offers an all-or-nothing payout or a “Keep What You Raise” payout. Open to any health care project, like medical devices, drug development, and research, MedStartr brings all the stakeholders in health care, online and off, to drive the growth of new, innovative companies.

The fee structure on this crowdfunding platform includes:

  • All-or-nothing payout: 6% platform fee, if fully funded
  • “Keep What You Raise” payout: 9% platform fee

Additionally, the average transaction fee is about 3%.

MedStartr Reviews

MedStartr has no formal ratings or reviews.

Crowdfunding FAQ

What are the advantages of crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding can facilitate everything from personal fundraising and venture capital to financial support for business owners in early-stage startups with a new product. Any amount of money can become more attainable with crowdfunding. For now, we’ll talk specifically to the crowdfunding benefits for nonprofit organizations.

Crowdfunding puts your cause in the spotlight and gives you the opportunity to tell your story in a way that pulls in new and existing supporters to take action. Whether looking to power giving days, collect recurring donations, or support a timely need, crowdfunding gives your donors a choice on how they’d like to become a part of your mission. 

Wonderful crowdfunding use cases include:

  • Creating a social media giving campaign that’s easy to share 
  • Sharing a link to feature on podcasts or in livestreams
  • Providing organizations or corporate sponsors with a simple way to collect donations among employees
  • Calling on supporters in the wake of crisis and high demand for help
  • Raising awareness and funding for a specific project 

How does crowdfunding work?

The potential of crowdfunding relies on the experience supporters have when engaging with your campaign. That’s why crowdfunding sites should be evergreen, with microsites that bring your story to life through videos, images, and clean copywriting. 

Crowdfunding sites also give donors the power to select how much they’d like to give with a clear picture of what different gift sizes mean for your work. From there, they can access an online donation form on various devices and complete the transaction with a few clicks for the most flexible funding experience.

How do you set up a crowdfunding site?

The key to a successful crowdfunding site is experience. You want to think about how someone who’s never heard of your organization will navigate the fundraising page at every step. 

Here are a few points to consider for an excellent donor experience:

  • Greet new supporters with your brand and a relatable story 
  • Hook them with visuals and words that explain the importance of giving
  • Show the impact of a donation clearly (e.g., $50 feeds three families this month)
  • Include a clear call-to-action button that people can’t help but click
  • Give donors a donation form with minimal fields and helpful instructions
  • Offer payment methods people trust, from credit cards to PayPal to Venmo
  • Wrap it up with a thank you email that celebrates their decision to donate

Can you use more than one crowdfunding site?

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. However, keep in mind the importance of delivering a consistent experience and streamlining your reporting to maintain clean data. More power to you if you can do that through multiple platforms. We recommend simplifying your back-end management and ensuring a consistent experience for your donors by keeping everything on one site. 

Select Your Crowdfunding Site to Get Started 

Whether looking to fund a scientific breakthrough, introduce a new electric vehicle to the world, or provide aid and relief to victims of a natural disaster, knowing how each unique crowdfunding platform can support your efforts is critical.

Start your selection process by solidifying your fundraising goals, defining your budget, conducting thorough research on the functionality of each site, and doing your due diligence to confirm each donation platform’s track record and fee structure. 

Dedicating the time upfront to weigh all your options will set you up for success in the long run.

 

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