26 Best Crowdfunding Sites for Business, Personal, & Charitable Fundraising

100 years ago raising money for a new business, invention, or even a loved one in need was hard.

In order to successfully find and raise “real money” you typically had to know the right people…

And depending on where you lived and who you were, knowing the right people wasn’t always possible.

Luckily, in 2017, the situation isn’t so grim.

Ever since the inception of online crowdfunding, it’s become easier than ever before to raise boatloads of cash (for any cause) in a relatively short amount of time.

However, with the so many crowdfunding sites to choose from, the task of finding the right crowdfunding site for your specific needs can feel overwhelming.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve compiled a list of the 26 best crowdfunding sites from around the web.

Whether you are looking to build a school in Africa, raise capital for a new startup, or just need some help paying for your child’s medical expenses, we will help you find the platform that will fit your needs.

Let’s dive in.

Crowdfunding sites for any cause

26 Top Crowdfunding Sites

1. Kickstarter

If you are familiar with the crowdfunding world, then it should come at little surprise that Kickstarter is at the front of our list. Founded in 2009, Kickstarter was created to “Help bring creative projects to life.” And during their short tenure in business, they have accomplished this goal admirably.  

Kickstarter has been the proud home to many impressive projects from innovative smartwatches to gaming platforms to “smart” sleep technology.

But one of the coolest features of Kickstarter is how they enable campaigns to raise money.

In lieu of traditional fundraising, Kickstarter allows you to offer unique “Investor Perks” in exchange for funding.

So, for example, if you decided to use Kickstarter to help fund a new coffee machine that you designed, you would offer investors tiered perks ranging from a handwritten “Thank You” card all the way up to a limited edition machine with a custom made design.

Who Should Use Kickstarter?

A quick scroll through the “Popular” section of Kickstarter’s website will tell you everything you need to know about who their ideal user is.

Their website is filled to the brim with creative new gadgets, compelling novels, stunning photography projects, and exciting new video games.

Basically… If you have a creative idea but lack the funds to help it see the light of day, Kickstarter is perfect for you.

And if you aren’t a creative-type? Then you should probably keep reading through this list.

They expressly prohibit fundraising for any charity, political campaign, agricultural products, medical technologies, and non-inventive personal projects.

What Are the Fees and Funding Process Like?

You know the old saying “Better to shoot for the moon and hit a stump than to aim for a stump and miss”?

Yeah… You should probably ignore that advice when using Kickstarter.  

With Kickstarter, your projects operate on an all or nothing basis. Meaning that if you set the goal of raising $25,000 in 30 days and you only raise $24,999… You don’t keep a penny.

As far as fees are concerned, Kickstarter takes 5% of everything that you raise (the industry average) and their payment processor takes another 3-5% depending on the amount in question.

Funding high cost of funerals

2. GoFundMe

Launched in 2010, GoFundMe is the world’s largest social fundraising platform boasting 40+ million users and over $4 billion in total capital raised.

Whereas Kickstarter is the perfect platform for blossoming geniuses and soon-to-be prolific creatives, GoFundMe is ideal for anyone with a charitable cause or personal need.

Unlike Kickstarter, GoFundMe doesn’t rely on creative perks and ethical bribes to raise money.

Their platform is built entirely upon compassion and storytelling.

If you have a genuine need and know how to share it in a compelling way, GoFundMe can help you raise more money in a month than most people could earn in a year.

Who Should Use GoFundMe

GoFundMe is, first and foremost, a charitable fundraising platform.

This fact was well illustrated when, only four short days after the Las Vegas massacre, GoFundMe users banded together and raised almost $10,000,000 to support the victims of the tragedy and their families.

And while GoFundMe has raised billions of dollars for charitable organizations they have also become well known in the industry for charitably serving individuals.

GoFundMe has helped families raise money for their children’s cancer treatment, funded the rehabilitation of public parks and nature reserves, and even helped send a World War II veteran on a trip around the world.

What Are the Fees and Funding Process Like?

Like Kickstarter, GoFundMe charges a 5% fee, their payment processor charges another 2-3%. However, unlike Kickstarter, GoFundMe doesn’t have an “All or Nothing” policy; even if you do miss your goal, you can still keep the funds that you raised.

3. Plumfund

While this might be shameless self-promotion, we have worked hard to build the world’s best FREE online “crowd-gifting” platform, and we are pretty darn proud of it!

We designed our platform to ensure that people could make their dreams happen without paying ridiculous fees, and since we launched Plumfund a few years ago, we have helped people raise more than $500,000,000 in charitable crowd gifting!

Who Should Use Plumfund?

Plumfund is designed for anyone who is looking to raise money for a project but doesn’t love the idea of directly asking friends, family, and next door neighbors for a donation.

With our platform, you can set up your own Plumfund in a matter of minutes to raise money for birthday parties, anniversaries, honeymoons and charitable projects.

If you want a crowdfunding platform that has a proven track record, is free to use, and makes giving and receiving FUN, then Plumfund is the site for you.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Plumfund is completely free for all users and the only thing you have to pay for is the 2.8% + $0.30 payment processor charge.

You don’t have to hit any goals in order to keep your funds either. What is yours is yours, and with Plumfund, it stays that way.

Funding for business or personal causes

4. Indiegogo

Founded one year before Kickstarter in 2008, Indiegogo has raised more than $1 billion from more than 11 million contributions and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

The great thing about Indiegogo is that they don’t really have one particular specialty.

Kickstarter is great for new inventions, GoFundMe is great for personal and charitable support, and Indiegogo is great for either one!

Successful Indiegogo campaigns have included biometric door handles, funding for community animal shelters, and (my personal favorite) the upcoming movie, Super Troopers 2.

Who Should Use Indiegogo?

Although Indiegogo is technically a jack of all trades, I have noticed that the most successful campaigns tend to be very innovative in nature.

Sure they showcase plenty of charitable campaigns for community projects, human rights, and even environmental conservation, but their bread and butter lies in the world of technology and art.

If you are trying to launch a new product or idea but can’t find the funding for it, Indiegogo allows you to do so without having to hit a specific deadline (which we will talk about in a minute).

If you are trying to raise money for a personal or charitable reason, you certainly shouldn’t count Indiegogo out, but I would strongly recommend looking into a platform like GoFundMe or Plumfund first.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo doesn’t have a stringent “All or Nothing Policy”. Instead, they offer two types of campaigns, fixed and flexible funding.

Fixed funding is used whenever you have a specific amount of money that you must raise in order to keep your promise to donors (e.g. you need a set amount of capital to cover production costs and deliver a product)

Flexible funding, on the other hand, allows you to create a campaign where you keep all of your money so long as you can send donors the promised perks.

Regardless of the campaign that you use, you will be charged a base fee of 5% to use Indiegogo’s platform and you will be charged an additional processing fee of 3% plus $0.30.

However, if you are creating a campaign for charitable purposes, you can use Indiegogo’s platform “Generous” to create a fundraiser with a 0% platform fee. 

5. Crowdrise

Unlike the other crowdfunding sites we have discussed so far, Crowdwise is completely dedicated to charitable giving.

Under the GoFundMe umbrella, Crowdrise is partnered with more than 30,000 different charities and has raised billions of dollars to help support people in need.

Who Should Use Crowdrise?

Crowdrise is for anyone interested in or involved in the non-profit and charitable giving worlds.

Whether you or your corporation is looking to raise money for a cause, Crowdrise makes it easy to create and launch any charitable campaign in a matter of minutes.

What Are the Fees and Funding Process

With Crowdrise, you don’t have to abide by any deadlines or hit a certain amount of money for your funds to go to the charity of your choice. Instead, you will pay a modest 3-5% fee plus a 2.9% + $0.30 processor fee.

Sites for inventors

6. RocketHub

RocketHub is possibly the most interesting crowdfunding website on our list, not because their platform directly offers anything wild or unique, but because of their partnership with the A&E TV channel.

Because of their partnership, A&E regularly selects projects that will be featured on the air, online, and in their magazine, The Idea Book for Educators. In addition to all of this, A&E also invests in select projects making them a potential powerhouse for up and coming entrepreneurs.

Who Should Use RocketHub?

RocketHub is a platform created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. They offer a service known as an Elequity Funding Room, where entrepreneurs can pitch their business ideas and then receive custom feedback and guidance for creating the ideal funding campaign on RocketHub’s platform.

If you have a small business idea or a plan for growth, then RocketHub is where you will want to be.

What are the Fees and Funding Process

Rocket Hub’s funding process and fee systems are simple. If you reach your funding goal, they charge a 4% fee plus a 4% processor fee. If you don’t, they bump their fees up and additional 4%.

7. JustGiving

Founded in 2001, JustGiving has been helping people raise money for great causes for over 16 years, and during their impressive business tenure, JustGiving has connected more than 22 million individuals who have raised over $4.5 billion dollars for causes in over 164 different countries.

Who Should Use JustGiving?

JustGiving is designed for people who want to raise money or donate to a charitable cause or person in need.

Campaigns range from paying for expensive chemotherapy to supporting hurricane victims to providing relief to families after tragic events.  

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Much like Indiegogo, the funding process for JustGiving is pretty straight forward. There are no deadlines and you don’t have to hit a certain goal for the funds to go to the cause of your choice.

However, JustGiving charges a 5% fee and their payment processor charges another 1.25-2.90% making them more expensive than other personal/charitable companies like Crowdrise or Plumfund.

Help for personal causes

8. YouCaring

Living up to their tagline of “Compassionate Crowdfunding” YouCaring is one of the only crowdfunding fundraising websites that is completely free to use.

Since launching the project back in 2011, YouCaring has generated more than $550 million in donations from 7.5 million supporters.

Who Should Use YouCaring

YouCaring was created to help people and companies raise the most money possible for causes that they care about.

If you’ve been dying to donate money to a cause or friend in need, but you just can’t bring yourself to pay the 5% processing fee charged by other platforms, then YouCaring is the solution that you have been looking for.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

YouCaring is supported entirely by their users and charge $0 and 0% in fees.

Their payment processor only takes 2.9% + $0.30 allowing you to use almost 97% of all the money you raise on their platform.

9. Patreon

Founded in 2013 by YouTube musician Jack Conte, Patreon pays homage to the royal patrons of the renaissance by allowing artists, musicians, and other creatives to receive financial support to pursue their artistic endeavors instead of being paid in exchange for their work.

For example, if you are a budding musician who can’t land all of the high paying gigs that you need to pursue your passion full time, you can create a Patreon account where your followers provide you with a monthly subscription fee in return for behind-the-scenes access to your new recordings, tickets to your upcoming shows, and even live Google hangouts where you unveil some of your epic music making secrets.

Whereas Kickstarter is primarily focused on raising money around an idea, Patreon allows you to raise money around your talents.

Who Should Use Patreon?

Patreon is the ideal platform for anyone with an artistic flair who wants to support their creative endeavors in an equally creative way.

Whether you want to create a new podcast, publish a new album, paint a new public mural, or build your very own online TV show, Patreon gives you the tools you need to make it happen while enjoying the process.  

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Patreon allows users to collect monthly subscription charges from their patrons and charges the industry average 5% fee. The payment processing fees are an additional 2-3%.

Funds for business startup & growth

10. Fundable

Designed to help entrepreneurs all over the world raise the capital they need to launch and grow their companies, Fundable has helped raise more than $377 million to support new and innovative companies across the U.S.

They are one of the fastest growing business crowdfunding sites on the planet and their unique monthly payment structure helps you keep more capital in your pocket (or rather in the company’s pocket).

Who is Fundable Right For?

Fundable is for entrepreneurs and innovators who have great ideas, businesses, software, and solutions, but lack the resources and connections to raise capital on their own.

They have a vast network of investors and mentors who can help you bring your business to life or scale it at a speed that you previously thought impossible.

What is the Processing Fee?

Fundable doesn’t charge the traditional 5% fee, instead, they charge users a monthly fee of $179.

While this might seem pretty steep, when you actually crunch the numbers, you will quickly realize that this flat fee could save you thousands of dollars.

For example, if you used Fundable to raise $25,000 for a new SaaS startup, you’d have saved $1,071 that would have otherwise gone to the crowdfunding platform.

If you opt to use one of their rewards campaigns (allowing you to offer investor perks instead of equity), then you will be charged an additional 3.5%+ $0.30 processing fee.

11. Fundrazr

Launched in 2010 with a small team of 5 people, Fundrazr has quickly grown to become one of the most prominent and well known crowdfunding platforms on the web.

Similar to Indiegogo, Fundrazr approaches crowdfunding with a “Wide not Deep” mentality, and they allow almost anyone to quickly raise funds for almost anything.

In the past 7 years, Fundrazr’s projects have generated more than $110,000,000 from people and companies all around the world.

Who is Fundrazr Right For?

While they allow you to crowdfund for just about anything, the most successful campaigns tend to be personal or charitable in nature.

If you are looking for support with medical bills, building an animal shelter, or paying off your college tuition, then Fundrazr should be one of the biggest blips on your radar.

Although you can use Fundrazr for an entrepreneurial endeavor, most of these projects end up raising only a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, and for those of you looking to break into markets with a high barrier to entry, you’d be better off opting for something like Fundable or RocketHub.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Fundrazr, like most crowdfunding platforms charges a 5% fee plus a payment provider fee of 2.9% + $0.30. However, there are no additional fees or penalties if you don’t hit your funding goals or deadline.

Animal rescue

12. Razoo

Founded in 2006, for the purpose of offering service to underfunded non-profits and people in need, Razoo has raised more than half a billion dollars during their 10+ years in business.

Their teams offer an incredible level of support for nonprofits and donors to ensure that everyone has the tools they need to make the fundraising project a success.

Who Should Use Razoo?

Like many of the platforms on this list, Razoo is devoted to supporting charitable and personal causes only. They give people and charities the opportunity to raise money for any worthy cause and they provide a seamless and easy to use platform to help you accomplish your goals.

What Are the Fees and Funding Process?

If you are raising money for a charity or nonprofit Razoo charges a 4% fee and their processor charges 2.9% plus $0.30. If you are raising money for a personal cause, Razoo increases their fee by 1%.

There are no deadlines to meet and no penalties if you don’t reach your goals.  

13. Experiment

Experiment is a niche crowdfunding platform dedicated entirely to funding the next wave of scientific research.

Operated by a team of engineers and scientists located in New York City, Experiment has raised more than $7,000,000 and funded more than 734 different projects.

Who Should Use Experiment?

While it is true that Experiment is built around the scientific community, you don’t need to postulate a groundbreaking new theory or have some sort of supercomputer prototype to get funding.

Projects vary wildly and range from analyzing the correlation between personality and religious views to discovering the dietary effects of Chinese herbs to researching possible breast cancer cures.

To maintain the integrity of their platform, they do have stricter project requirements than many other websites and require that users clearly record and report all data.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Experiment, like Kickstarter, is an all or nothing platform. If you don’t raise all of the money that you need to thoroughly conduct your experiment, then you funds are returned to the donors and you are left to hypothesize about how you can improve your next campaign.

Unlike the Charitable fundraising crowd, the scientific community needs money to power all of their high-intensity lasers and 3D printers… which is probably why Experiment charges a hefty 8% fee in addition to the 3-5% fee charged by their payment processor.

Funding business


14. EquityNet

Marketed as “The only patented business crowdfunding site in the world”, EquityNet provides entrepreneurs and investors with an intuitive and easy to use platform where they can either pitch or invest in new businesses.

Founded by a small team of entrepreneurs in Fayetteville, Arkansas, EquityNet has grown its reach and impact over the past decade and has helped fund more than 10,000 businesses receive funding from over 4,000 investors.

Who Should Use EquityNet?

EquityNet is designed for only two kinds of people.

The first are entrepreneurs who are looking for extra capital (specifically in the form of a business loan or equity investment).

The second are investors who are looking to find and invest in promising new businesses.

Their screening process is nowhere near as stringent as some of the other business crowdfunding companies on this list which can be both a blessing and a curse.

While their leniency does allow some amazing businesses (who don’t have amazing numbers) to get funding, it also makes it much more difficult for potential investors to decide where they should allocate their resources.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Since EquityNet is not a registered broker-dealer, they are not allowed to charge commissions for any transactions that take place on or because of their website. And while many of their basic features are free, for the more serious entrepreneur/investor, premium subscriptions start at $300 a month.

15. CrowdFunder

CrowdFunder was created to offer the same experience, deals, and terms as traditional venture capital firm through an online crowdfunding platform.

To date, they have generated more than $160,000,000 in committed funding and helped fund more than 100 deals at an average of $1.8 million per deal.

Who is CrowdFunder For?

CrowdFunder is for serious entrepreneurs only.

Not only do they charge a premium monthly fee (which we will discuss in a moment), but the platform caters to serious investors who are looking for an alternative to traditional VC. The entire purpose of the platform is that you can sell actual shares in your company to accredited investors and CrowdFunder takes special care to vet and analyze every business before they are allowed to pitch their deal.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

As with most of the startup-related crowdfunding programs that we have talked about, CrowdFunder isn’t a registered broker-dealer and therefore doesn’t charge any commission fees. Instead, they require all users to pay a monthly premium that starts at $449.

Funding for the arts

16. Seed & Spark

Seed & Spark is possibly one of the most unique crowdfunding platforms on the market because, at their core, they aren’t just a crowdfunding company.

In addition to their traditional crowdfunding platform, Seed & Spark marries crowdfunding and streaming services in a beautiful way.

The concept is simple, every user pays a monthly fee comparable to Netflix and a portion of that fee goes to various projects. While you don’t get to directly decide which projects receive funding, every month, users are sent poll where they have the option to choose which project they want to fund.

The winners of the poll win the funding for that month.

Who Should Use Seed & Spark?

If you have ever dreamed of creating and starring in movies or TV shows, Seed & Spark is here to give you a fighting chance.

In addition to their ingeniously designed crowdfunding + subscription platform, Seed & Spark also offers a traditional crowdfunding platform where you can make pledges to support specific projects that pique your interest.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

A monthly subscription to Seed & Spark only costs $6.99, however,  if you want to pledge money to a specific project, Seed & Fund charges 5% and their processor charges $0.30 plus 2.9%.

It should be noted that all donors are given the option of covering the 5% fee at checkout and many of them choose to do so.

Seed & Spark claims that the average campaign will keep around 95% of the money pledged (roughly 2-3% more than other platforms).

And although they are not technically an all or nothing platform, you only get to keep your funds if you hit at least 80% of your goal.

17. GoGetFunding

GoGetFunding was created in December of 2011 with the simple goal of disrupting the crowdfunding industry and providing people with an easy and flexible way to generate money for any cause.

They provide their users with ongoing access to their funds, a “keep it all” policy, and deadline free projects so that anyone in need can start raising and using money today.

Who Should Use GoGetFunding?

While GoGetFunding promotes their platform to just about anybody interested in raising money, their most popular and successful campaigns tend to be related to personal, medical, and charitable projects.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

GoGetFunding uses a “Keep it all” model and gives users access to their funds on a rolling basis. They charge a modest 4% in addition to their processor fee (typically $0.30 + 2.9%)

Crowdfunding for the UK

18. CrowdCube

UK based investment crowdfunding platform CrowdCube is one of the most successful business crowdfunding companies in all of Europe.

They have raised more than $450,000,000 (or $357,000,000 pounds) since their inception and are backed by several big names like Balderton Capital and Numis.

Who Should Use CrowdCube?

If you are a UK based entrepreneur or business who is unable to use any of the aforementioned services on this list, CrowdCube is your saving grace. They have been behind 578 successful raises and have an impressive user base or nearly 500,000 people.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Because of the legal differences in the UK, CrowdCube is able to charge a success fee on all fully backed projects. They charge a 7% fee for successful raises in addition to the processor fee which, as usual, charges 2.9%.

19. Pledgie

While they were founded in 2011 (around the same time as many of the bigger companies on this list), Pledgie’s growth has happened at a much slower pace.

However, just because they aren’t as popular and well known as many of the other sites doesn’t mean that they don’t offer an equally awesome service.

Their lower fees and “Keep it all” campaign option makes Pledgie an excellent alternative to many of the bigger platforms.

Who Should Use Pledgie?

Pledgie allows users to raise money for a wide variety of different causes however, the most popular that I have seen tend to pertain to education, charitable causes, and artistic endeavors.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

In addition to the PayPal fee, Pledgie takes a modest 3% out of every dollar raised on their site.

They allow people to select from one of two campaign types, “All or Nothing” and “Everything Counts”.

The “All or Nothing” campaign is designed for users who need to raise a certain amount of money to hit a goal, and are unable to settle for anything less.

The “Everything Counts” campaign, on the other hand, allows you to create a campaign that is free from goals or deadlines.

Your donations are processed on a rolling basis, and, while you might be able to raise more money, Pledgie will not promote your campaign as heavily as they would with an all or nothing campaign.

20. FlashFunders

Operated by Brian Park and Vincent Bradley, the business crowdfunding platform FlashFunders offers the perfect balance between the stringent regulations of companies like CrowdFunder and the enjoyable crowdfunding process of companies like Kickstarter.

Who Should Use FlashFunders?

FlashFunders biggest selling point is their flexibility. They provide lenient investor regulations and investors can take part in any deal for as little as $50. If you are looking to fund your business on FlashFunders, all that is required is a social security number and a verified LLC (or similar document).

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

For anyone who successfully hits their funding goal, FlashFunders charges a 5% fee at the time of closing. In addition to the basic 5%, there is an additional 4% processor charge and an annual $500 service fee to compensate the company for handling basic shareholder services.

Water for hurricane relief

21. Fundraise

As the name implies, Fundraise is a crowdfunding company dedicated to fundraising activities. Designed to simplify the fundraising process for charitable organizations and individuals, Fundraise makes it easy for you to create an account and start raising money in a matter of seconds.

Who Should Use Fundraise?

Fundraise is designed for individuals trying to raise money for a charitable event, cause, or organization.

What Are the Fees?

Fundraise charges a 5% fee and their payment processor charges an additional 2.9% plus $0.30.

22. artistShare

The original crowdfunding platform for artists, artistShare was founded in 2003 long before any of their competition and they boast an impressive track record of supported projects. Since launching their company, artistShare has supported more than 29 Grammy nominated projects and 10 Grammy-winning projects among countless other award-winning compositions.

Who Should Use artistShare?

artistShare is for any artist who is looking to take their craft to the next level. Kind of like Kickstarter for performing artists, artistShare allows musicians, creative writers, painters, and other artistic individuals to receive funding for their work in exchange for tier-based rewards.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Not looking to break through into any new territory, artistFund charges the customary 5% plus the 3% payment processor fee. There is no “All or nothing” policy and you get to keep everything that you raise on their site.

23. NextSeed

NextSeed is designed to bring incredible investment opportunities to the general public. Unlike many of the companies listed in this article, NextSeed does not require individuals to be accredited investors.

Anyone can use their platform and profit from the carefully vetted companies listed in the NextSeed portfolio.

Because of their leniency with who can invest, they were also forced to change how their customers can invest offering Term and Revenue notes as the primary form of investment.

Who Should Use NextSeed?

NextSeed is for any U.S. citizen looking to fund or invest in a new company. With NextSeed, you don’t have to have a certain income or net worth and anyone with a credit card can start investing in businesses today.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

NextSeed charges investors a 1% convenience fee on every transaction and they charge all new businesses a 10% fee on all funds and one time $500 escrow setup fee.

Fundraising for new uniforms

24. Piggybackr

Launched in 2011, Piggbackr is designed to help the little guys get into crowdfunding… Literally. Piggybackr is the only crowdfunding platform I’ve seen that is specifically marketed towards a younger audience, specifically children under 13 looking to raise money for school events, projects, and sports equipment.

Who Should Use Piggybackr?

While they are certainly marketed towards a younger user base, Piggybackr allows anyone to raise money for the right cause.

Whether you are the coach of a little league baseball team or a player on that team, Piggybackr was created so that everyone from children to adults can raise money for the causes that are most important to them. They allow their users to raise funds for sports, education, personal projects, and charities.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Piggybackr charges 4% in addition to the 2.9% plus $0.30 charged by their payment processor.

25. Fundly

Despite raising an impressive $330 million and offering one of the most supportive crowdfunding processes on the planet, Fundly is still one of the lesser known additions to the charity/personal need-based sites. However, with their impressive track record, “no raise requirement” policy, and supportive team, Fundly is also one of the best platforms for a crowdfunding fundraiser.

Who Should Use Fundly?

As I already mentioned, Fundly is primarily designed for individuals and nonprofits looking to raise money for a specific cause or need. But that doesn’t preclude users from raising money for other causes. If you want, you can use Fundly to raise money for a trip around the world, a new creative project, or a community event.

However, it should be noted that while you can raise money for these types of projects, funding is notoriously sparse and you would be better served by using something like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Indiegogo.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

Fundly offers a “no raise requirement” meaning that you don’t have to hit any specific goal or deadline in order to keep your funds. Fundly charges users a 4.9% fee in addition to the 3% charged by their payment processor.

26. SeedInvest

With more than $70 million invested and more than 195,000 investors currently using their platform, SeedInvest is one of the fastest growing investment crowdfunding platforms on the market. Founded in 2012 by Ryan Feir and James Han, SeedInvest has radically simplified the funding and investing process for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Who Should Use SeedInvest?

SeedInvest is for serious entrepreneurs and investors only. Their platform accepts fewer than 1% of the companies that apply and only accredited investors are allowed to invest in those companies.

What are the Fees and Funding Process?

SeedInvest has a pretty impressive track record considering that they’ve been in business for only five years, but this track record comes at a price.

For entrepreneurs, you are charged a 7.5% placement fee on the total amount raised, another 5% warrant coverage or equity based on the total amount raised on SeedInvet in the round, and another $0-$10,000 due diligence, escrow, marketing and legal expenses.

Investors, on the other hand, are only charged a 2% processing fee.

Get everyone involved


Whether you are trying to launch the next big tech startup, donate to a charity, pay your way through college, or receive funding to pursue your latest artistic passion, crowdfunding gives you the tools to raise the money you need faster and easier than ever before.

However, half of the battle is simply knowing which platform is best suited to your needs.

Equipped with this list, you have everything you need to know to find the perfect platform for your goals and start raising money for your dream… Today!

What do you think of the sites on this list? Are there any crowdfunding sites that you have used that aren’t on the list? Let me know in the comments below.

How to Fundraise Online Successfully in 2017

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where funding professionals share their best tips on fundraising tactics.

Raising money for a good cause online this year? Here is how to use digital tools, great content, and social media to help you take your fundraising game to the next level. Here’s to reaching those fundraising targets in 2017!

Set out your fundraising aims

Whether you’re an individual with a target to meet, or you are in charge of raising funds for a project – setting out clear goals and targets is step one of online fundraising.

  • Targets make donating more fun – online trackers and progress reports mean people can get involved in the project and see the amount climb higher and higher. Goals create momentum and drive, and will keep your campaign from stalling.
  • Select a fundraising goal that is realistic and specific – use something actionable and measurable as your target (building a new school, putting someone through college etc.). A target that’s too ambiguous or vague will struggle to attract committed donors.
  • Know when to push hard for the best results – most of online giving is concentrated around the year end. Factor in seasonality when mapping out fundraising targets.

Plan your moveHave a content strategy

In order to encourage people to donate and give generously – make sure you create content that gives them a reason to.

What kind of language should you use? It’s best to be clear, concise, and use emotive (but direct) language.

  • Blogging? Create a series of articles that explain why your cause is so important, and how people can get involved and help. Rather than focus on big picture stuff and the figures, zoom in on individual people and stories to have a more emotive impact.
  • On social? Mix up the content formats in order to connect with as many people as possible. Design suitable social graphics for maximum engagement and attention.
  • Emails? Learn how to grab people’s attention with your subject lines – that’s all you get sometimes.
  • Have an editorial calendar mapped out so that you can jump in on relevant seasonal events, awareness days, and hashtags. Great content comes from great planning.

Find advocates

Go down the crowdfunding route

What could be better than getting a whole online community behind your cause (and donating)?

Crowdfunding sites and platforms are the perfect way to raise money, and it’s a super easy way to encourage other people to get involved.  The sites do all the hard work – you just have to make sure that your cause tells a compelling story.

  • Crowdfunding isn’t just for Silicon Valley startups – it’s the perfect nonprofit fundraising strategy. Focus on creating a really compelling value proposition and grabbing people’s attention.
  • Relationships matter – make sure you engage with donors and investors with personalized messages. Remember to thank donors after the dust has settled – share how the money made a difference.

Get everyone involved

Get everyone involved

Social media is an amazing online tool that allows you to create a virtual community around your cause. It’s also one of the best ways to harvest user-generated content for your nonprofit (who could forget all those priceless ice bucket videos)?

Use your social media channels as a place to engage with people, and share your progress with followers on a regular basis. Make social an integral part of your fundraising campaign.

  • Social is all about sharing, but don’t just settle for awareness (though that’s great too); be clear on the fact that you need actual funds to get this thing off the ground. Liking and sharing is easy – now you’ve got to make not donating hard.
  • Thank donors publicly on social media – it’s a great way to identify potential advocates.


A great way to create a buzz around your cause is to do something a bit different.

  • Whether you have a funny tale to tell, or a shock tactic video – getting people’s attention is half the online battle. Don’t expect (or count on) something that you do to go ‘viral’. Yes, some campaigns gain traction that way, but virality is hard to manufacture. Just focus on creating something shareable instead.
  • Videos and animations can really help you up your engagement levels, so don’t rule out video. Putting a video together isn’t as expensive as it used to be, and you can easily upload a campaign on a video sharing site like YouTube. YouTube for Nonprofits helps nonprofits collect donations straight from YouTube.
  • Urgency in the form of flash fundraising can encourage people to donate there and then. You might be better off investing in more frequent, shorter online campaign, rather than one that runs on and on.
  • Whatever method you go for, always have a clear call to action that connects with your cause. Keep it simple and direct.

Meaningful gifts for donating

Retail therapy

Give people options when they shop online – make donating to you more fun.

  • Shopping and giving to charity all in one go is the best kind of retail therapy. Ecommerce is a growing nonprofit income strategy – it’s easy to get set up with platforms like Shopify, and you can pretty much sell what you want (think branded tshirts, phone cases, greetings cards, chocolates, hampers etc.)
  • AmazonSmile is a great ecommerce fundraising option – Amazon donates a percentage of sales to people’s chosen charity. Get yours signed up today.
  • Online auctions are another great way to make fundraising more fun for donors – think of it as the logical evolution of the yard sale.
  • Make donations into meaningful gifts. Offer a generous thank you pack to encourage people to gift their donation.

Make it easy

Online fundraising is all about making things easier for nonprofits, fundraisers, and donors.

  • Collecting donations? Make sure users have a clear path to follow. Give them multiple ways to get involved (various amounts etc.), and don’t put people off with over complicated forms. Offer simple payment options and don’t ask for too much commitment too soon – it’s a conversion killer.
  • As well as making things easy, you need to build trust with online donors. They might never see you in person, so focus on building up their confidence. Always put your best foot forwards with great copy, messaging, and visuals. Don’t be sloppy – nonprofits should be just as brand proud as other companies. Include payment trust signals on your online payment portals. Reassure people about where their money is going.

Donate online now

Target advocates

In order for the word to spread online, you will need some high-profile advocates to share your content or fundraising page.

  • These advocates don’t have to be anyone new – it could be that a regular patron or trustee can lend their online brand to the cause. If you do need to find new cause advocates – start with bloggers who are likely to have a vested interest in your mission. Explain to them what you’re trying to achieve (and how they can help).
  • Look for people who have a sizeable online audience themselves. Anyone who donates or engages with the campaign – get talking to them – they might be your next advocate.
  • Donation matching is a great fundraising tactic that leverages another organization’s or individual’s public profile.

Embrace the digital world to help you fundraise better, but don’t forget the core ethics of accountability, transparency, and relationships. Online, your campaigns have the potential of reaching millions and changing lives, but don’t be disheartened if your achievements seem modest in comparison. It’s important to remain focused on what you do and keep doing it well – don’t always contrast and compare. What online resources have helped you fundraise?

Looking for a great tool for online fundraising? Plumfund offers free online crowdfunding opportunities.

Bio: Kayleigh Alexandra, Content Marketer & Startup Specialist

Passionate about writing for the startup and entrepren eurial audience, I have recently been part of setting up an exciting project at MicroStartups.org. We donate all our website profits to charities that help people reach their full potential. Find out more on Twitter.






















3 Easy Ways Nonprofits Can Raise More Money with Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding, or any form of group fundraising, has been around for decades. The term used to refer to startups and entrepreneurs looking for investors (à la Shark Tank). More recently, online crowdfunding sites like Plumfund have erupted in popularity.

These fundraising pages allow individuals and organizations to create an online giving campaign where friends and supporters can pay right on the page using the site’s credit card processor. Because of its accessibility and ease of use, online crowdfunding has become popular amongst individuals raising money for personal causes such as medical funds, home renovations, honeymoons, celebrations and more.

It’s more important than ever for nonprofits and charities—organizations that follow traditional event fundraising models—to capitalize on these new revenue opportunities.

In 2015, the crowdfunding industry raised $34.4B, and 30 percent went to social causes. The World Bank estimates crowdfunding will reach a whopping $90B by 2017 if it continues growing at its current rate. Needless to say, the iron is hot!

Crowdfunding is goal-specific, fast-paced and fun. Could your nonprofit benefit from the trend?

Crowdfunding for Nonprofits

Here are 3 quick ways nonprofit organizations can use crowdfunding to raise more for their causes.

1. Create project-specific goals

Crowdfunding is perfectly suited to project-based, short-term goals. People looking to make a powerful, immediate impact with their dollars may even be more willing to give to crowdfunding campaigns than a general monthly fund. Here’s a few timely projects your organization can consider:

        • Seasonal or milestone fund: A winter holiday giving campaign is a mainstay for many charities, but you can center campaigns around other special milestones as well. Think anniversaries, organization milestones, election campaigns, big sporting events, municipal holidays and more) year-round. Make an annual giving campaign more dynamic by adding crowdfunding to the mix.
          • Emergency relief fund: Perhaps sudden flooding has caused damage to your building and suspended operations. Or your city is experiencing extreme weather, and your organization wants to provide shelter, medical services and hot/cold beverages to the elderly and people without homes. Create a site demonstrating the urgent need using dollar and time specific goals (i.e. “Will you help us raise $10,000 in the next 2 weeks to provide shelter for 100 families?”).

Note: If your nonprofit holds fundraising events, you’ll notice that crowdfunding sites follow the same principles of an in-person Fund a Need or Cash Appeal. For example, if you’re raising money to fund a certain piece of equipment or program that costs $1,000, you’re already familiar with the strategies behind project-specific crowdfunding campaigns.

Expert tip: Want to run a successful Fund-a-Need at your next event fundraiser? Click here to try out Checklist Builder, a charity event organizer created by our friends at Winspire.

Checklist builder

2. Utilize social media

Crowdfunding platforms let you engage new donors, educate them on your cause and extract more funds for your mission.

Remember the viral “ice bucket challenge” of 2014? The ALS Association successfully raised $115 million in 8 weeks—including countless donors who had never heard of ALS before.

How were they able to strike crowdfunding gold?

First, they used a completely unique – and fun – idea. (See: America’s Funniest Home Videos’Ice Bucket Fails” compilation.) Never before had we been challenged to either dunk ourselves with a bucket of cold water and/or donate $100 to ALS. The challenge expertly tapped into people’s competitive and social nature.

They also kept the ask level relatively low. The challenge was as much about raising awareness as raising critical dollars for ALS research. While $100 was recommended, people were free to complete the challenge and give as much or as little as they wanted. Even those who weren’t able to donate could feel good about being part of the ripple effect.

More importantly, the challenge tapped into the viral nature of social media in a way we have not seen before or since. What nonprofits can do to expand their reach online:

            • Create a sense of community. Crowdfunding sites make donors feel like they’re contributing to a bigger purpose. They can read comments from backers around the world and leave their own mark on the cause. This can create a very powerful connection with each donor.
              • Get the support of a few key donors (even if there’s just a few!). It takes just a few clicks for supporters to share a crowdfunding site link with multiple social networks. With the power of social media, you never know how far the right campaign could spread.
                • Offer customizable giving options. Let donors decide how much they want to give, and emphasize that no donation is too small – every dollar counts. This will encourage more people to give and share freely.

3. Tell your story

The ability to customize text and host visuals to tell the unique story of your organization is a huge advantage of crowdfunding sites

                    • Story t8imeVisuals: Make sure they’re high quality and impactful. Keep videos short (under 2 minutes) and simple.
                      • Written stories and testimonials: Stories must be concise an
                        d urgent with a clear beginning, middle and conclusion. Quotes from beneficiaries of your services, statistics and stories of change are all great options to feature on your site.

For more practical tips on telling your nonprofit’s story, see “The Power of Storytelling During Nonprofit Events.

Encourage supporters to become “evangelists” for your cause by creating their own sites. Facebook, for example, has a new feature, “Fundraisers,” that will allow people to raise money for their favorite nonprofits (501(c)(3) organizations in the U.S. that have registered with Facebook for this purpose). Many other crowdfunding sites will allow supporters to create their own personal fundraising pages.

Two common uses of personal fundraising pages:

                          • Celebrations. Special occasions where we typically give gifts, like birthdays and weddings, are the perfect opportunity to highlight charitable causes. Studies show millennials in particular are growing tired of having more “stuff” and want to make a difference in the world. Make it easy by providing a default description of your organization on these sites.
                            • Team and peer-to-peer fundraising events. This works great for 5K runs, relays, walk-a-thons and other events in which participants are raising money for a goal. Teammates and participants write about their personal connection to the cause, upload pictures and share the link on social networks and by email. The more personal the ask, the higher the likelihood friends and family will give.

Choose the crowdfunding platform that’s right for you

Stick to crowdfunding sites designed specifically to help nonprofits raise money. In addition, find a nonprofit crowdfunding site that allows customizability, but still a user-friendly, sleek and professional template to save you time.

The site should make it very easy to accept donations. Check if they charge for creating campaigns; some (like Plumfund) are free to host and only charge a processing fee on credit card donations (typically around 3%). Finally, the site must have ample options for sharing via social media.

To find the best fit for your organization, take advantage of the free trial period most sites offer.

Bottom line: Crowdfunding need not replace normal fundraising activities like annual events. Instead, online crowdfunding can become part of your development strategy year-round. When used correctly, project-specific and timely crowdfunding campaigns can amplify event revenue to record-breaking heights.

Today’s blog comes to you from Summy at Winspire, a provider of unique, big-ticket travel packages charities can use in their fundraising auctions and raffles. As Fundraising Editor, Summy brings hands-on experience in nonprofit development, event fundraising and publishing to their blog, Winspire News. Click here to sign up for weekly articles, time-saving templates and other resources designed to help organizations meet and exceed their fundraising goals. (As an added bonus, you’ll be entered to win over $1,000 in donated auction items for use in your next fundraiser!)

Introducing the Plumfund Giving Widget

Feature Your Plumfund Campaign on any Blog or Website

Do you have your own blog or website where you want to feature your Plumfund campaign? Use this code on any web page!

It’s easy:

  1. Click the </> button on any Plumfund campaign.
  2. Click “Copy code”
  3. Paste the code in the HTML of your blog or website. Alternatively, email the code to the blog owner or webmaster.
  4. To embed in an online article or news site covering your cause, email the code to the journalist or webmaster.

Crowd Gifting 101 – Tips to Crowdfunding Success

Our goal at Plumfund has always been to make giving feel good – it’s actually one of the main reasons why Josh and I created Plumfund. This mantra is also instilled in the way Plumfund operates – it is totally free to fundraisers and donors and there are no transaction fees for organizers or contributors, and no setup fees. We believe that online giving should be as natural and tasteful as possible and our vision is to help everyone give and receive freely, which is why we provide our services without fees.

Sign UpIf you’re new to Plumfund don’t feel overwhelmed, or nervous. Whether you’re celebrating a friend or loved one, or raising money for something you believe in, the fact that you’ve taken this step is really great, and we applaud you for it. In fact, we’ve picked up some helpful tips over our 10 years of gift giving experience, and since we’re always here to help in whatever way we can, we hope that they can help you just as much.

The More, the Better

Our tools make it so easy to start a campaign but it’s important that people know what your campaign is all about. This means being honest and open about your goals and intentions for your fundraiser. You’d be surprised how much you can make your profile pop just by being yourself and highlighting what cause your campaign will be benefiting. Giving really does feel good and people are always more inclined to support you if they can see that your intentions are genuine – so when it comes to your description, don’t be afraid to hold anything back.

Express Your Gratitude

Your supporters are able to write comments on your page so always remember to show that their support means something to you. If you’re able to, consider sending thank you cards or a personal letter. You can even use your social media to spotlight supporters and thank them.

Social Media Thank You Shout Outs

Spread the Word

The most important aspect to your campaign is to share it: no one will be able to help you if they aren’t aware of your campaign. Our sharing tools make it really easy to spread the word – your own customized link, e-mail, social networking posts, and even the option to create a printable flyer. The more you share your campaign, the greater chance you have for supporters. If you’re crowd gifting for someone as a surprise, be sure to strategically keep track of how you’re going to promote so that you don’t give yourself out. A huge key to reaching your funding goals is to keep your campaign fresh in people’s minds. Don’t be afraid to share information, milestones and links to your campaign daily to keep up the momentum and provide people reminders!

Keep Going

Maybe you set your campaign for a couple months or maybe you discovered that it might take a little longer to raise your goal than the time originally set. Whatever the case may be, always stay positive and if you have to extend your goal time frame, that’s okay. If there’s one thing we’ve really learned and love about crowd gifting it’s that it is the gift that keeps on giving. Maybe you’ve inspired a supporter to create a campaign for a cause that is important to them or maybe one of your supporters shared your link to an audience that you might have never been able to reach before. Continue staying positive and extend the time if need be – and don’t ever be discouraged if you fall into a stagger or don’t raise your goal in the original time because your commitment to start the campaign should make you more proud than anything.