Crowdfunding is changing the way people get their projects, businesses and pretty much anything funded. There are probably thousands of sites out there, all dealing in the different aspects of crowdfunding.
You could be pretty overwhelmed with that number of sites, and not all are right for your needs. Depending on what you want to achieve in your funding campaign, you should identify what sites would fulfill that goal.
To simplify things, though think of crowdfunding sites as classified into two groups:
Donation-Based Funding Site – A website that accepts donations for creative campaigns. Usually funders are given rewards or discounts depending on the level of financing they provide.
However, no profit or equity share is given out. This is usually used whenever you want to raise money for a cause you believe in.
Investment-Based Funding Site – A website that accepts funding in exchange for equity share or profits. In this kind of site, funders are treated as investors, and most likely need to be accredited investors.
Now that you know how they are classified, you should find useful the following list of crowdfunding sites covering both of these varieties.
1. KickStarter (kicktarter.com)
One of the very first pioneers in the crowdfunding space, KickStarter is a donation-based site that allows you to raise funds for your creative projects.
From art to technology projects, you can get funders to contribute to your idea and make it a reality. No businesses or personal funding here, though.
2. Indiegogo (indiegogo.com)
Indiegogo is one of the top competitors of KickStarter, though unlike KickStarter, it also offers crowdfunding for personal needs.
They do it through their Indiegogo Life product, which allows you to post your personal campaigns (for things such as medical or educational needs) and raise money from the Indiegogo community.
3. GoFundMe (gofundme.com)
GoFundMe is the go-to donation-based site to raise funds from your family and friends. You can publish your campaign via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail and through your contacts there, get funding and support.
Your friends and family can also share your campaign to their networks for wider support.
4. Quirky (quirky.com)
If you have an invention that you want to get funded, you can go to Quirky.com. It’s a donation-based site that specifically caters to inventors and tinkerers with unique ideas.
5. TeeSpring (teespring.com)
Design a shirt and sell it – while keeping all the profits: that’s the premise of TeeSpring. More like a pre-selling than a crowdfunding site, TeeSpring enables you pre-sell your designed shirts to a specific number of people while the TeeSpring team does all of the rest.
It’s a relatively simple way for t-shirt designers to make profits online.
6. Crowdfunder (crowdfunder.com)
CrowdFunder has one of the largest networks of investors in the investment-based crowdfunding space.
For accredited investors, CrowdFunder offers the potential to profit from the next billion-dollar crowdfunded company.
7. EquityNet (equitynet.com)
EquityNet is similar to CrowdFunder, but what’s unique about it is their use of a patented business and analysis software. The company claims that this makes it easier for businesses to create solid business plans that can engage busy investors and allow them to decide on their investment quicker.
8. RocketHub (rockethub.com)
RocketHub now offers a unique twist to the donation-based crowdfunding space – it has partnered with A&E Project Startup to get chosen projects featured online, on-air and in A&E’s magazine, “The Idea Book for Educators.”
It could also mean that A&E could potentially fund your projects.
Bonus: Invested.in (invested.in)
Can’t find a crowdfunding site to your taste? You could start your own.
Through Invested.in, you can launch your very own crowdfunding platform in minutes.
Featured photo credit: Crowdfunding/Simon Cunningham via flickr.com