One of the first things people ask when they’re first learning about online giving is which platform they should use. There are so many great options, and picking the best crowdfunding site for you can be key. GoFundMe, one of the most popular platforms, has a community of 50 million donors who have contributed over $5 billion to various campaigns, companies, and projects. Kickstarter is another well-recognized name in the crowdfunding world, having raised $3.7 billion for 143,799 successful projects. But when it comes to picking the right platform, it’s not just about the numbers.
Who They’re Supporting
The biggest difference between Kickstarter and GoFundMe is what kind of projects they’re usually backing. GoFundMe specializes in personal fundraising, with people creating campaigns for medical bills, vacations, animals and pets, education expenses, sports teams, and pretty much anything else a private citizen might need to raise money for. Kickstarter, on the other hand, is specifically for artists who want to complete a specific project. So if your band wants to make a new record or you need some money to help you produce a film, Kickstarter will support you. Their goals are aimed towards actual, concrete projects rather than just raising general money for an artist or musician, so make sure you’ve got something physical you want to make using the donations.
What Your Goals Are
At GoFundMe, you keep every donation your campaign receives, minus the 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee for credit cards (or a 7.9% + $0.30 fee, if it is a charity fundraiser). Everyone on GoFundMe sets a goal for their campaign, but if you don’t quite reach it (or don’t come close) you still get the money that was donated. At Kickstarter, it’s a little trickier; you set a goal and only get that money if you reach it. If you don’t, your ‘backers’ will get their money back and will hopefully donate to your next project, but this model means you really have to prioritize getting the word out about your campaign. If you’re a creative with a vision, Kickstarter is the better option, but just make sure you’ve got a solid support base.
How They Make Money
GoFundMe doesn’t have any platform fees, so it’s free to sign up. They stay in business mostly by the support of their own donors and by taking a portion of each donation. For an individual fundraiser, GofundMe asks for Tips and then takes 2.9% for the credit card fees. If it’s a Charity fundraiser, they take 7.9% + 30 cents per transaction, although they aren't very transparent about these fees. Kickstarter takes 5% plus an additional 3-5% credit card fee, so in total it’s 8-10% fee if you meet your goal.
What They’re All About
GoFundMe prioritizes customer service. They provide 24/7 support from expert advisors and have a 100% donor protection guarantee, meaning that if anything goes wrong with someone’s donation, they get a refund, ensuring your donors that if they give you money, it’s being safely transferred to your cause.
One of the best things about Kickstarter, save their support for underground and aspiring artists, is that they have been a Benefit Corporation since 2015. This means that although they are a for-profit company, they “are obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on society, not only shareholders.” Not only are they dedicated to helping you as an artists, but society as a whole. Their charter states that they are committed to the arts, dedicated to supporting a “more creative and equitable world” and passionate about fighting inequality.
A Better Way to Give
GoFundMe and Kickstarter are two of the more recognized crowfunding options, but that doesn't mean they're the best options. Givebutter offers the lowest fees in the industry and has a strong emphasis on helping young people pursue their passions.
Contrary to many other fundraising sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, Givebutter's fees are completely transparent and covered by most donors, which means the average campaign pays only 0.5%. GoFundMe is not transparent with its fees, so sometimes donors don't know that their donation isn’t entirely going to the cause, but at Givebutter, donors and fundraisers know where every penny is going.
Givebutter is unique in its support for team fundraising, making it as easy as possible for multiple people to set up one campaign for their cause. This leads to campaigns being up to 10x more successful as just individuals each opening their own page on GoFundMe. So whether it's just a small group of friends or an entire community, if you're passionate about what you're raising money for, Givebutter can help.
Givebutter makes giving fun, and our donation pages are set up to be engaging, visual, and social, just like your Instagram or Twitter feed. Many crowdfunding websites, like GoFundMe, were created over 15 years ago, and it shows. Givebutter is set up like a modern social platform with an emphasis on giving you the best tools available to raise more money for your cause.
If you want to raise money for causes that you care about, check out Givebutter!