By Tiffany Crouse
Do you have the best idea ever, but are low on cash? Crowdfunding is one of the oldest ways to fund a project, and with the internet there are unlimited ways to put your project out there.
There are a number of crowdfunding websites. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe are a few of them. All three sites have the same basic idea.
You make an account for free, tell people what you want to be funded for and why, then launch your campaign.
All sites encourage the user to post their campaign on social media to spread the word.
“There is something magical about Kickstarter. You immediately feel like you’re a part of a larger club of art-supporting fanatics,” said Amanda Palmer, who gained the support of 25,000 people for her album and tour.
The largest difference between the three sites is the directed audience. Kickstarter seems to attract artistic projects; producing albums, art works for galleries, and funding for dance shows.
It does have projects for personal travel and technology, but it is dominated by artistic works.
Kickstarter is clear that any artistic works put up by an individual will remain the property of that individual.
They also do not follow up to see if projects are completed.
If a “backer,” a person who funds a project, supports a project that falls through, the backer does not get refunded the money donated.
For all three sites the person is not libel for finishing the project presented. Kickstarter takes 5 percent of the total pledges a campaign receives plus another 3 percent and 0.20 cents per pledge.
To put a project on Kickstarter it cannot be for or posted by a non-profit. Unlike Indiegogo, who gives non-profits a 25 percent discount.
Indiegogo has a variety of projects from artworks to a memorial for loved ones, to funding a million dollar TV show.
Indiegogo, unlike GoFundMe, has a deadline of 0 to 60 days on its projects.
“We don’t have the normal story of how we conceived our first child, but we do have a miracle story, one that involves hundreds of people from all over” said Jessica and Sean, proud parents of the first crowdfunded baby.
Indiegogo, like the other two websites, is free to set up.
Indiegogo is different in that it has two payment plans for a for-profit campaign starter. You can choose a fixed rate or a flexible rate.
If you meet your goal with either category, Indiegogo will subtract a 4 percent fee from your total.
If you do not reach your goal and you have a flex plan, 9 percent of what you raised will go to Indiegogo. The rest will go to you. If you have a fixed plan, all of your backers will be refunded and you don’t keep any of the money.
GoFundMe is the most expensive of the three sites.
Almost eight percent of funds raised along with 0.30 cents from every donation goes to the site. GoFundMe is a site with an audience more directed towards medical expenses, education costs, and volunteer groups. They do not have any deadlines or goals placed on campaigns.
One success story: Ken Wayne Broskey, 70 and suffering from terminal cancer. When Broskey died, he said, he did not want to leave his daughter and granddaughter without a home.
So when he should have been in hospice he was out working against the clock hoping to make enough money before time ran out. Broskey received $102,338.
Whatever your financial need, head to one of these sites and see who can help you, or who you can help.