Choosing a crowdfunding platform that is best for you is certainly no small task. Although at first it may seem like popular crowdfunding sites are all but identical, you’ll see that this is far from the truth with a bit of careful examination.
Specific crowdfunding platforms work better for some than others as they meet or fail to meet the unique demands of any given campaign. Fortunately, knowing what to expect and look for in your next crowdfunding platform is all it takes to get started in the right direction.
The first step to choose the right crowdfunding site is to make sure that your idea, whatever it may be, will work with crowdfunding. People tend to pledge money for an idea if they can relate to your cause or message, connect to your presentation, or are interested in a reward for their participation. If your fundraising idea isn’t able to collect interest in at least two of these categories, you’ll want to reconsider using crowdfunding.
Need for Assistance
How much assistance will you need for the creation of your campaign? This is largely a question of if you would like to be completely autonomous or if you would like to be helped through the entire process of campaign design and creation. If you’re an experienced project manager, it may be simpler to go it alone because you may not need much assistance; however, if you have less organizational experience, getting step by step help can be a crucial aid to the success of your campaign.
Available Platform Features
Feature differences between crowdfunding platforms are often night and day. Some platforms offer Drupal integration or API (“Application Programming Interface“) access while others support Google Analytics and MailChimp. Most allow some form of “perk” which rewards backers for their participation.
Selecting the features that work for you is simply a matter of asking what it will take to effectively convey your project to your potential investors. After all, if you’re trying to create the next popular iPhone app, it wouldn’t make much sense to pick a platform that can’t show your campaign on mobile devices.
Types of Fees & Payment Methods
Crowdfunding platforms can be financially distinguished into four categories:
- reach goals
- processing fees
- payout methods
Reach goals are a predetermined amount of funding that has to be pledged in order for the project to collect any funding. This policy serves to protect both businesses and consumers. Commission is the cut of your total goal that your host will take from your earnings as remuneration for their services. This total can range anywhere from 4-15% and may also depend on if your reach goal was collected or not. Processing fees are mostly the credit card fees that are incurred when funding your campaign. These typically range between 3-5% and are not charged if your project does not collect funding.
Last but not least, there is Payout
Doing a bit of research when choosing a crowdfunding platform that’s best for you is a difficult but vital step. The right platform will help you to launch quickly, and allow you to save money while working towards achieving your goal.
Top Photo Source: Christophe Ducamp (http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopheducamp) under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Middle Photo Source: Lachlan Hardy
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/lachlanhardy) under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0