Who needs banks? Crowdfunding websites can help you find a community of small investors to fund your business, without the risks of traditional financing.
Here is a list of crowdfunding sites. Some sites focus on funding creative projects, others sites focus on meeting specific needs in the marketplace or community. So don’t let access to capital hold you back — let the crowd fund you.
13 Crowdfunding Websites
- 33needs. 33needs enables everyone to invest, make a social impact, and earn financial rewards. Promoting business-led solutions to our world’s biggest needs, it provides crowdfunding for social entrepreneurs, social enterprises and companies with a social mission. Ventures are organized under these categories: the planet, education, community, health, opportunity, and sustainable food. Investment dollars are exchanged for rewards offered by crowdfunded companies, as well as points to redeem for special offers.
- appbackr. Appbackr is a wholesale marketplace for mobile phone apps. The developer posts an app or app-in-development to the appbackr marketplace. Backers can purchase a bulk of apps wholesale, and the developer receives immediate payment. Backers can view monthly sales reports and the daily run rate of purchased apps on the appbackr dashboard. The developer must be a registered Apple or Android developer.
- ChipIn. ChipIn is a web-based service that simplifies the process of collecting money from groups of people. Embed the ChipIn widget into your website, or on MySpace, Typepad, Blogger, Netvibes, or any web page where you can paste a few lines of HTML. Your contributors can track your progress on the widget and chip in directly to your PayPal account. ChipIn is free. Transactions are subject to PayPal payment processing fees.
- Cofundos. Cofundos crowdfunds open-source software projects. Open source software ideas are submitted and discussed. Requirements are defined. Specialists offer estimates on completing the project. Bidders select the specialists and donate bid amounts.
- FansNextdoor. FansNextdoor is a platform for all creative professionals to promote and fund their projects together with their fans. Create your project, its financing goal and deadline. If the financing goal is met or exceeded by deadline, all contributions are transferred to your PayPal account. If the financing goal is not met, all funds are returned. FansNextdoor is currently free, but lists a fee target of 3 percent. Transactions are subject to PayPal fees.
- IndieGoGo. IndieGoGo offers anyone with an idea — creative, cause-related, entrepreneurial — the tools to build a campaign and raise money. Project categories include gaming, film, design, education, mobile, and technology. Integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Offers a widget to showcase your campaign on your website. Unlike many crowdfunding sites, you keep all the money you raise, even if you don’t meet your goal. Track contributions with the analytics tools and stay on top of fulfillment with the dashboard. There is a 4 percent fee on the money you raise when you meet your funding goal. Third party payment processing fees also apply.
- Kickstarter. Kickstarter claims to be the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Kickstarter grabbed the crowdfunding spotlight after the open source Facebook alternative Diaspora raised more than $200,000 on the site. Kickstarter projects must be fully funded before funding time expires or no money changes hands. Project creators are required to offer rewards — products, benefits, and experiences — to project backers. Integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and offers a widget for your website. Kickstarter charges a 5 percent fee, in addition to third party processing fees.
- MicroVentures. MicroVentures targets companies that are creating technologies, products and services in core areas, such as business products, consumer products, electronics, online technology, and more. Submit your business plan and $100. If you are approved, your business will be listed on the website for investors to fund. MicroVentures charges 10 percent of the offering amount, if the offering is completed.
- peerbackers. Peerbackers is for business owners to raise capital from their peers — in small increments — in exchange for tangible rewards. Create a personal and venture profile. Share your story through social media share buttons on your project page. Once your campaign is launched, send updates on your progress. If you reach at least 80 percent of your funding goal by deadline, your funding is released to you. Peerbackers charges a 5 percent fee, in addition to third party processing fees.
- Pozible. Pozible is an Australian crowdfunding website. Post your project and presell tangible and intangible rewards. Each project has a funding goal and a time limit set by the creator. If your funding is successful by the deadline, all funds are transferred. If your funding is not successful, all funds are returned. Pozible charges a 5 percent fee for invitees, or 7.5 percent for standard users, on top of third party processing fees.
- ProFounder. ProFounder is a crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs to raise investment capital from their communities. With ProFounder tools, you plan your fundraising, create your pitch, and offer terms. You choose how much revenue to share and how long (the number of years) you’ll share it. Because this is not a loan, your payments to your investors are not fixed, and depend only upon your success. And because this isn’t equity either, you give up no control or ownership of your company. Each quarter throughout the investment term, ProFounder helps you calculate payments that each investor is due and manage the distribution of funds owed. Profounder charges up to a 5 percent fee of the total funding.
- Quirky. Quirky offers product designers and inventors the chance to bring their products to market. Submit your idea for $10. If your idea is selected and brought to market, you’ll earn a share of the revenues. Influence the communal product development process and you’ll also earn a share of the revenue.
- RocketHub. RocketHub is a community for “creatives and fuelers” — those with projects and those who contribute. Submit your project to the “Launchpad” for fueling. Users earn rewards and badges, designed to display dedication, enthusiasm, experience and success. Keep any money raised. RocketHub charges a flat 8 percent if your venture meets its financial goal, including payment-processing fees.