How to pick the best Crowdfunding model for you

You have your project ready to go live

but where should you post it?

Assuming you do not wish to go it alone on your own site (see my previous post) how do you choose -

are all crowdfunding platforms the same?

what questions should you ask?

1. Are you an individual, a non-profit, a business startup or creative enterprise/project?

List of UK crowfunding platforms.

The platforms around the world are too numerous to list here but have a look at this extensive list on the Marketing of Innovation site or this global directory of crowdfunding sites or Crowdfund Insider Directory.

An individual: - seeking funds for personal cause (health, education etc) cannot use Kickstarter but can use other platforms such as IndieGoGo, StartSomeGood

Non-profits: due to their constitution non-profits will be looking at the donations - based platforms and in rare cases debt-based. They should look carefully at the guidelines on Kickstarter but also look at IndieGoGo, Buzzbnk (UK), PeopleFund.It (UK) and more. If you are in education there is Sponsorcraft (UK) and if you are looking to develop community building or space then SpaceHive (UK) could be for you. There are sites for sport

Creative one-off projects are perfect for Kickstarter, Indie GoGo, Sponsume etc.

Startup and business: if you have a tangible product which works well as a reward then a donations model is possible. Have a look at Kickstarter’s guidelines for for design and technology projects. If it is science and technology based then have a look at FundaGeek.

However if you are seeking finance for a sustainable business model or service then you should look at equity based crowdfunding which is possible in the UK.

Have a look at the UK platforms for equity-based crowdfunding.

Join me at a seminar on equity-based crowdfunding Manchester January 22nd.


2. What crowdfunding model are you seeking?

Most platforms operate an-all-or-nothing model (you get nothing if you do not reach your target) but if you want to take the risk and can make up the funds to complete the project if you fail then try the all-you-raise-you-keep operated by IndieGoGo and Sponsume. Think from the investor’s viewpoint - if it’s going to happen anyway why should they donate?

Some like StartSomeGood and Buzzbnk operate a tipping point (all-or-nothing) and if this is reached you can keep everything more that you raise.

3. Where are they based?

If your networks are primarily within your country then chose one that deals in your currency.

4. What is their specialism?

  • Some specialise in social and environmental impact, creative, student-run or science.
  • Their expertise might help you develop your pitch.
  • There might be migration of donors from one campaign to another.
  • If you are are a charity or social enterprise you might want to look at Buzzbnk which is the only platform that allows you to add money that you can prove you have raised offline to your total without paying fees on it. Other platforms for the third sector or non-profits include PeopleFund.itStartSomeGood and SpaceHive.

5. How easy is it to navigate around the site?

Though most people will be directed to your landing page is it easy to find your project if someone only knows the platform address.

  • Is there a clear category that fits your project.
  • Are there easy accessible update and Forum tabs.
  • Is it easy to make donations via PayPal or credit card

6. What support do they offer campaigners

Talk to the founders - make personal contact - do you want to work with them?

If possible talk to previous campaigners who have used the platform about their experiences.

  • Can you do a dry run on the site - test it before it goes live (when you
  • Do they offer support for your pitch before you post.
  • How do they promote campaigns once live.

7. What is the success rate?

Ask them. Though the lack of success depends on the campaigners rather than the platform it is worth asking.

Join CrowdfundUK

for workshops on crowdfunding


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