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Crowdfunding is a method where capital is raised through the collective effort of people, be it family, customers or random individual investors who are all share a common interest. Below you’ll find a list of the best websites around right now that showcase crowdfunding.
Perhaps the site that is thought of most when the term crowdfunding site is mentioned and for good reason. This site was the place where a few popular products got their first bit of limelight and showed signs of great interest being developed, products such as the Pebble Watch, Ouya game and a refreshed take on the classic show Reading Rainbow. Entrepreneurs seeking funding from potential investors will publish a goal along with a timeframe for money to be pooled together before it runs out. As part of the plan to get potential investors further interested in the project, the entrepreneurs behind the campaigns will design a variety of exclusive rewards at different levels of funding. Perhaps one of the coolest things about the model that Kickstarter uses is that it removes a lot of risk from the equation for the funders, it does this by only making charges on their credit cards after the projected goal is reached.
Indiegogo is similar to Kickstarter in concept but different in the execution of its funding strategy. Unlike the all in play of Kickstarter where no money gets released until the goal is met, Indiegogo works on a flexible funding model that emphasizes that any bit of funding helps to move the project along. You’ll find a lot more of a focus on initiatives vs actual physical products on Indiegogo. There’s also a pretty cool benefit for funders through the site’s partnership with popular retailing brands like Amazon and Brookstone along with other integrations with business leading partners like Vimeo and Amplifier. Many successful projects can point to Indiegogo as being the reason for their growth and evolution into what they are today. Projects like “An Hour of Code for Every Student”, the “Jolla Tablet” and the Bluesmart carry-on luggage.
It may seem like crowdfunding platforms are only for gadgets and for all things tech related but that is far from the case. If social change and advocacy is more up your alley then GoFundMe is one of the perfect alternatives. It has been used to raise money for a variety of reasons, from funding for families who’ve lost people they love or their homes thanks to tragedy to funding for supporting the relief campaigns for disasters and medical research for advancements in that field. It has even been used for funding by the wellwishers of newlywed couples. Recently campaigns raised $5 million to relieve the pain of the families who were affected in some way by the mass shooting in Orlando and $600,000 was contributed by funders to further efforts in developing research into a little known but terrible type of cancer, synovial sarcoma.
This platform is like GoFundme but is even more focused on helping out people who are affected by various unfortunate circumstances of life. YouCaring has grown into being a massive force in supporting families and individuals who are in need during their times of sadness. It features similar goal and level based funding for users to set up on their YouCaring page while also operating on a system where anything that potential funders can give is appreciated. There is also a handy feature for users where they can access funds daily if needed, something that may seem insignificant at first thought but when there is a need to deal with with pressing medical bills and other major expenses it is anything but that.
5). CROWD SUPPLY
Crowd supply is a bit more niched focused than some of the other sites on this list, with a sharp focus on ideas that may never be found on the other crowdfunding platforms. It could even be considered a Kickstarter aimed at hackers. The projects found on Crowd Supply can fall into the category of uber-geeky and certainly not among the run of the mill gadgets or trinkets. If projects like a budget-based stick PC or perhaps the greatest hacking keyboard mankind will ever see, then Crowd Supply is the right place for you to check out.
Now you may have bigger interests than funding the next waterproof floating pet jacket with USB charging ports, and you want to embrace your inner venture capitalist then this is the site for you. The more money you put up the bigger your share of the pie, literally that is, bigger stakes in the company. With that said, for such a big claims to the results of a successful project, Crowdfunder requires a lot out of its investors. There is a minimum required investment which is not for those who are not ready to part with their money, this minimum can be thousands or in the tens of thousands depending on the project. The upside to this of course being that if you are savvy enough to pick and invest in the right project you can reap some rather large rewards.
Just maybe you don’t care about the outcome and simply want to experiment, then this aptly named website might be right up your alley. Experiment has the all or nothing funding model baked in so you funds are safe if the goals of the project are not met. You can also relax a bit and invest in whatever you want as every project that is posted to the site must be approved by the admin. The website states that anyone is invited to submit their proposal but it will only be approved if the project is viable and the science behind it is proven. Another nice perk is that you can enjoy the view of what happens behind the scenes as the project takes off, the whole scientific effort has to be made transparent to anyone who decides to back it. An approach that seems to be working as more than 20 scientific papers have been published through the efforts of campaigns done through Experiment.
Non-profit fans may be wondering where is all the love for nonprofits, if you’re among them you can stop worrying. Chuffed was built from the ground up specifically for projects and groups that want to draw attention to social issues. A similar play to the above requirements of Experiment are involved here, anyone can submit their project but again must be approved by the staff of the site. There is a request for the project pitch to be summarised into 50 words or less which seems to be there to increase the speed in the approval process. A project that can be explained completely in such a small word count shows the amount of thought that went into its conception and how committed they are to making it a success.
As social platforms like YouTube continue to evolve with people being able to express their creative skills, it was only a matter of time before a platform like Patreon emerged. It was founded in May 2013 and provides a way for creators and artists to be supported by their fans while working on the things they enjoy. The funders of creators are called patrons and every time a creator publishes something new, a set amount that is pledged by the patrons is released. A cool factor is that the platform allows the patrons a certain amount of interaction with their favorite creators in a way that was not necessarily possible before.
This crowdfunding platform is especially popular among college students and really embraces the social movement that is being pushed in so many mediums today. It was built with a focus on being used on mobile devices and for small groups. As with any areas that have built a following, bigger brands like ESPN have tried to get in on the action and hit making DJ duo the Chainsmokers were even able to pull off a fan funded tour that sold out in two hours with the first college on the stop being sold out in 20 minutes. Tilt as a platform that unified the the social dynamics of the web with the traditional practices of commerce.
There you have it, ten of the best crowdfunding websites out there. As time goes on they may remain on the list or be replaced by new contenders but for now these are the cream of the crop.
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