Top 5 crowdfunding sites

With crowdfunding more popular than ever, we explore the top five options for funding-hungry entrepreneurs

Projects launched on websites such as Kickstarter have raised more than $20,000 solely through online funding, and some start-ups have gone on to become multi-million dollar corporations.

However, each sites caters to different projects, so it’s worth doing some research before deciding which best suits your business idea.

Kickstarter is a huge global online community built around creative projects, including art, design, fashion, journalism, music, photography and technology. Over 10 million people, from every continent, have backed a Kickstarter project. Every project developer has the opportunity to share their work with backers, who then choose the amount they would like to fund the project, depending on whether they think it will be a success. The pros are that payments are quick and easy, with funds raised going straight into the project developer’s PayPal or bank account. Although funding is international, the site only allows projects based in the UK or US.

Indiegogo focuses on the launch of innovative campaigns from across the world. Popular campaigns include technology, smart home gadgets, drones, phone accessories and products for pets. The site is easy to use, with no complicated application process. Indiegogo encourages users to use the all-or-nothing plan, where four percent of the funds of successful projects go to the website. On the flexible funding plan, Indiegogo charges four percent if you reach your goal and nine percent if you do not reach your goal. Transaction fees are an additional three percent. Financially, the website is a risk if you are not confident your campaign will be successful and backed by enough supporters.

RocketHub works with governments, educators and communities to assist the expansion of start-up projects. The international site has so far helped thousands of artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and social leaders raise millions of dollars. A limitation of the site is that it doesn’t have as much traffic, and thus not as many backers, as sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. However, it does provide a ‘Success School’, which offers tools for building better projects and businesses. Four percent of the costs of a completed campaign go to RocketHub, eight percent for partially completed campaigns, and transaction fees are four percent.

FundRazr is a Canadian crowdfunding site and Facebook app. It is dedicated to raising money for personal causes for non-profits and entrepreneurial projects. Collectively, the site has raised £45m and has assisted thousands of projects. FundRazr is different to other crowdfunding sites in that it has a built-in live chat where project developers receive support and coaching. It also has built-in sharing features to “lift campaigns above all the noise on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin and email” – according to its website. Every campaign is free to create, but once users reach more people and begin funding, a small free is deducted from each contribution.

GoGetFunding is a London-based fundraising site that can be used to raise money for any personal cause. Although it isn’t specifically designed for start-up projects and businesses, many use the site to fundraise their campaigns. Sections include medical and healing, volunteer and travel, animals and pets, charity and non-profit, and personal causes. The platform is easy to use, and is appealing to both public and private enterprise projects. It is available internationally and offers funding in every major currency. A cost of three percent goes towards the site, which provides a keep-what-you-raised model, plus a 2.9 percent transaction fee.

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