GoFundMe may get most of the press as one of the pioneering crowdfunding platforms, but the popular fundraising site is far from the only game in town.
Over the years many GoFundMe alternatives have emerged, while – at the same time – GoFundMe absorbed, via acquisition, a few of its rivals.
Whether you are looking for investors for your new idea, buyers for your latest product or donors to a worthy cause, there are plenty of similar fundraising platforms that can help you raise the money you need.
If you’ve not come across crowdfunding before, it’s a way of getting many people to contribute small amounts of money in order to reach your funding goal. To help attract funders, crowdfunding usually means offering each person who backs your idea or project some form of small reward.
Deciding which fundraising site is the best for you means looking at all the factors involved, from the fees the site charges - to the reputation it enjoys among its users - to the amount of support businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals can expect when they use it.
When you need to raise money, it is important to look at all the options you have available, including popular alternatives to the GoFundMe site.
Read on to discover the similarities and differences amongst the most popular crowdfunding platforms so you can confidently decide the best platform to host your fundraising project.
Indiegogo is one of the better known sites for gadgets and inventors, and one of the most interesting. Hailed as an incubator for entrepreneurs and inventors with great ideas, Indiegogo has already made its mark in the crowdfunding world. If you have a great idea, a great product or a unique invention, Indiegogo is the place to go.
Unlike some of its competitors, the Indiegogo crowdfunding site is truly international in scope. To date Indiegogo has helped entrepreneurs, inventors and business owners in more than 200 countries around the globe. That makes Indiegogo a great platform for those outside the North American market, but this business-oriented crowdfunding site is the perfect choice no matter where you live.
Entrepreneurs and inventors can use Indiegogo to raise capital for almost any purpose. If you need funds to build a working prototype of your new invention, you can put the plans on Indiegogo and start raising money. If you want to launch a new product, you can use Indiegogo to build buzz and make sales. No matter what your business needs, the extensive network at Indiegogo can make it happen.
Indiegogo is the closest thing to Kickstarter a crowdfunding platform can get without actually being Kickstarter. The two platforms work in a very similar way, and so users of one platform will feel at home quite quickly if they switch to the other.
The big difference between the two is how funding goals work. Kickstarter’s rules mean that if a project doesn’t attract enough backers to meet the fundraising aim set at the beginning of a campaign, then the person trying to raise the money gets nothing. Indiegogo’s rules mean that if a campaign fails to meet its goal, they will still pay the person who owns the campaign the money they’ve been able to raise.
You can learn more about Indiegogo by visiting their website at indiegogo.com.
This popular crowdfunding site charges a flat 5% platform fee plus a 2.9% + $0.30 fee for third-party credit card processing.
Find out from Indiegogo some of the misconceptions about crowdfunding and how you can use their platform to realize your dreams:
Related Indiegogo Content:
Kickstarter is another popular option with a loyal following and a solid reputation for results.
Kickstarter, the US-based crowdfunding platform, has seen more than USD$5,089,025,769 in pledged funding from more than 18 million different people. Together, those people have helped fund more than 184,219 different projects, helping turn the dreams of the people behind comics, music, technology products and food ventures into reality.
Kickstarter has long been a haven for creative types, from visual artists trying to fund their next art installation to filmmakers raising funds to bring their latest screenplay to the big screen.
To put it simply, Kickstarter helps creative individuals turn their dreams into reality, and there are millions of people ready and willing to help them fulfill their potential. From the tiniest projects to the most ambitious, Kickstarter is the preferred platform for filmmakers, artists, designers, songwriters, musicians and other creative people.
The Kickstarter website is truly global in scope, allowing visual artists, musicians and other creative individuals to raise the funds they need no matter where in the world they are located. Kickstarter is one of the largest and most well known crowdsourcing pioneers, with millions of users and a long history of successful project funding.
Artists as diverse as De La Soul and Marina Abramovic have used the site successfully, and thousands of lesser-known but excellent artists are currently raising funds for their artistic endeavors through the Kickstarter platform.
You can learn more about the Kickstarter philosophy and platform by visiting their website at Kicktstarter.com.
Kickstarter charges a 5% fee to cover the use of its platform, plus fees ranging from 3% to 5% for credit processing.
Related Kickstarter Content:
The FundRazr platform is well named and is quickly gaining fans and making inroads in the competitive world of crowdfunding. FundRazr bills itself as the simplest way to raise money online, and its many fans feel that it lives up to those claims.
Using state-of-the-art technology and expert guidance for social media users, the founders of FundRazr work hard to make fundraising as easy and painless as possible. Whether you want to raise money for a Facebook friend who has fallen on hard times or raise funds for a cause you believe in, the FundRazr platform makes it fast and easy.
One of the biggest benefits of FundRazr is its easy social media integration. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are powerful platforms for fundraising, and the easy integration of FundRazr makes social sharing that much more powerful. What’s more, the extensive reach and large network at FundRazr work together to ensure the widest possible reach for all your fundraising efforts.
Thousands of people have already used FundRazr to reach out to friends, raise money for worthy causes and spread the word about important issues. Creating a new campaign at FundRazr is completely free, and individuals can use words, pictures and even videos to tell their story and make their case.
You can learn more about the FundRazr platform and how it works by visiting their website at Fundrazr.com.
The fee structure is one of the most flexible in the crowdfunding industry – users can choose the keep it all option to access their funds immediately or choose to charge supporters only after the final goal has been achieved.
Either way, there are no extra fees or penalties. For FundRazr's most updated fees, see their pricing and fees page here.
The Fundly platform is useful for individuals and nonprofits alike.
Whether you want to raise money to help your neighbor rebuild in the wake of a fire or help your organization raise funds for kids in need, you can do it through the popular Fundly website.
Fundly is simple and easy to navigate, and the site creators have even provided helpful fundraising ideas for creative projects, children, medical issues, memorials and funerals, animals and much more. If you know that you want to raise money but do not know where to start, then Fundly is perfect for you.
Fundly lets individuals and nonprofits tell a compelling story in words and pictures, making it easy to connect with donors and reach the wider community. Every fundraising page on the site comes with its own video and photo gallery, so would-be donors can see exactly what is needed and what they can do to help.
With its blog-like updates features and comments, the Fundly community really feels like family. The ability to reach out and reach people where they are is very important to effective crowdfunding, and that is one thing the Fundly platform does better than most. Fundly is mobile-friendly, so donors and campaign creators can check their status no matter where their travels take them.
The fee structure for Fundly campaigns are simple.
There are three charges to be aware when a transaction takes place:
- the Fundly “platform charge”; which is 4.9% per transaction
- the credit card processing fee, i.e. Stripe; which is 2.9% +USD$0.30 per transaction
- In sum, considering the above three fees, final cost per transaction is “Total of 7.8% + $0.30”
You can learn more about the Fundly by visiting their website at Fundly.com; and checking out their webinar below:
GoGetFunding came on the scene about a year after GoFundMe. Launching in December 2011, GoGetFunding claims they, "empower you to raise money for anything that matters to you. From personal causes and events to projects and more. We’ve helped people from all over the world raise millions online."
This global crowdfunding platform currently enables crowdfunding in 23 currencies. Unlike Kickstarter, GoGetFunding allows you to collect the money donated to your campaign even if the funding goal is not met, what they call 'keep-it-all' - meaning, you get all the funds raised, minus platform fees, of course.
The site has made inroads in crowdfunding for the following categories:
- Medical & Healing
- Volunteer & Travel
You can use the platform to fundraise anything, though the bullets listed above are the most popular categories on this platform.
Unlike most other platforms, you receive your funds immediately when they are donated via PayPal. For funds collected using Stripe or GoFundMe card payments there is a 7-day clearing period before the funds are released to your bank account.
On the GoGetFunding platform, like most other sites, it's free to set up a page and fees are charged on funds raised. For funds raised, there is a USD $0.30 "handling fee" applied to each individual donation collected. Additionally, there is a 2.9% card processing fee, and a 4% platform fee.
Funds can be collected via PayPal or Stripe.
So in total, the fee is 6.9% (4% platform and 2.9% card processing) of funds raised and the 30 cent handling fee per each transaction.
Patreon is an effective way that content creators can set up reoccurring funding, similar to a subscription model, where supporters can pledge a certain amount of money each month.
Patreon's crowdfunding model is focuses on creators and allows fans to support, podcasters, Youtubers and other content creators with a monthly membership fee.
This funding helps make sure you continue making your content.
There's no lower limit on how much can be pledged, which means the all-or-nothing funding rule that Kickstarter has is avoided.
If you are a creator looking to support yourself from a your fanbase, Patreon may be for you. Also worth checking-out, if this crowdfunding model is a fit for you, is Kevin Kelly's 1,000 True Fans concept.
Patreon charges a fee of 5% for every donation that's made to a content creator at their basic level, there are also Pro (8% fee) and Premium (12% fee) levels, for more details about what you get for the different percentages look here.
Related Patreon Content:
If the money you need to raise is for an arts-based idea, then heading to the crowdfunding platform that has the highest concentration of arts fundraising projects is a good place to start.
Be careful though: Ulule, like Kickstarter, only funds campaigns if they achieve their fundraising aim.
Not as well known in the English speaking crowdfunding world, Ulule launched in France in 2010, and has hosted more than, "22k creative, innovative or community-minded projects have been funded thanks to more than 2m users from all over the world."
Ulule takes pride in Europe's 1st crowdfunding website.
For the latest stats on how many projects have been funded on Ulele, check out Ulele Statistics page.
Ulule charges 8% in fees, which is made up of 5% of your fundraising total, plus additional technical and transaction costs. Fee schedules also shift dependent on the total amount raised and VAT fees "depends on the project creators country location."
Details about Ulule fees can be found here.
Fundable's platform allows campaign creators to offer both rewards and equity - a form of business ownership - to people who back their ideas.
While Kickstarter is considered a hub for creative projects, business ventures that seek profits and growth rarely fit comfortably on that platform.
Fundable bridges the gap between creativity and business.
Fundable is different because it fits in the category of equity crowdfunding.
Well, it is similar in that rewards campaigns are possible but, for the right projects, backers can receive an equity stake in the business raising capital on Fundable via equity fundraising.
Fundable is also slightly different in how its fees are structured.
You can raise as much money as you want to, and only pay $179 per month for an equity crowdfunding project. The fees aren't linked to how much money you raise. There are no success fees just the monthly flat fee. Simple.
For Fundable users participating in Rewards-based raises, there is a merchant processing fee of 3.5% + $0.30 per transaction, which is similar to many of the other platforms covered in this article.
Updates for Fundable fees can be found here.
More and more people are exploring the art of the possible at the popular Pozible crowdfunding platform.
The idea behind Pozible is simple to understand and very effective – the founders of the site seek to champion great ideas no matter where they originate, helping to spread the word, raise much needed funds and connect communities with their creative potential.
With a high success rate and a strong and growing following, this Australia-focused alternative to GoFundMe is a popular choice for all kinds of creative projects. More than 15,656 projects have already been launched through the Pozible platform, and many thousands are still to come.
The Pozible platform may be best known to residents of Australia, but it has raised funds from all over the world. To date, the Pozible crowdfunding site has raised money from more than 105 countries, making it truly a site for everyone.
With Pozible, creators are able to present their ideas to the widest possible worldwide audience. If Pozible users love the idea, they can pledge their money and their support. Creators can then reward their donors in a variety of ways, each tied to the amount of money given.
The Pozible platform fees are some of the lowest around, just 3% of funds for projects over $500,000, 4% for projects over $100,000 and 5% of projects from $1 to $100,000.
Better still, these fees are assessed only when the fundraising target is met.
There is an additional fee of 2.4% plus 30 cents to cover the cost of credit card payment processing.
At the StartSomeGood crowdfunding site, the name says it all.
StartSomeGood is all about doing good and helping donors make a real difference in the world.
StartSomeGood bills itself as the crowdfunding platform for changemakers, and the site is all about making positive change and making a real difference. By harnessing the power of community and bringing donors and worthy causes together, the founders of StartSomeGood are dedicated to seeing everyone succeed.
To date the StartSomeGood platform successfully funded more than 1100 projects and raised more than USD$11 million.
StartSomeGood also boasts a satisfaction rating of 96%, one of the highest in the crowdfunding industry. Even more, they have a 53% project success rate for cause crowdfunding - the highest success rate in the industry.
From putting an end to human trafficking to helping young people fund trips for their sports teams, the StartSomeGood platform has played host to a wide range of worthy causes and helped thousands of individuals and organizations reach their fundraising goals.
You can learn more about the StartSomeGood crowdfunding concept by visiting their website at Startsomegood.com.
When you are ready to dive in and get serious about raising funds on this platform, you'll want to check out StartSomeGood's free Crowdfunding Academy for the latest strategies, concepts and tactics to ensure you get the most our of your crowdfunding effort.
The StartSomeGood fee structure is reasonable, and the platform fee is collected only if the project reaches its original fundraising goal.
The platform imposes a 5% fee on successful projects, based on the final total of the fundraising efforts, plus a separate fee to cover credit card payment processing fees.
11. Snowball Fundraising
Snowball Fundraising focuses on 501 (c) (3) non-profit donations and fundraising. The platform follows a SaaS model with some unique features that sets it apart from the rest of the crowdfunding sites on this list.
Snowball launched in 2011, it's founder John Killoran has been been involved in many entrepreneurial endeavors - if you watch the video below, an interview with him - you'll see he is hands-on with the Snowball product and open to add features that help non-profits become more effective fundraisers, adding a layer of transparency in the funding process for donors.
Snowball software helps non-profits be more effective in their fundraising efforts with tools too increase conversion, maximize donations and manage their donor tracking.
A few standout features include the following:
- Text to give, collection donations with text messages and a mobile phone
- Ticketing, manage fundraising events and galas
- Donations page, create online pages to collect donations via forms on the internet
- CRM, track donors and make sure you follow up with supporters
- Fundraising Thermometers, visualize your fundraising progress and increase donations
From the above feature set, it's clear that this option is a great donation management tool for non-profits and much different than most of the web based funding platforms covered in the rest of this list.
Snowball Fundraising Fees:
The Snowball generosity machine comes in three flavors.
- Enterprise, begins at $999 per year
- Premium, $549 per year
- Essential, $0 per year
To figure out which of the above subscriptions is best for your non-profit, check out the details of the three tiers on the Snowball Fundraising site here.
The feature here is a donation widget that can be added to an organizations website.
Not feature rich. Actually, this tool made me mad. Why?
Because there is not much info on the site. There isn't even an about page.
The site claims to be: "The first truly free fundraising software." This statement is arguable. I'd say Stripe could just as easily take the place of this tool.
And with competitive fees for non-profits, Stripe may actually be a cheaper option for non-profits when compared to the fees you will incur with WePay, the payment processor used by Donate Kindly. My guess is that WePay actually owns this 'free tool'.
The Question of Donate Kindly is Really a Question of Stripe vs WePay Fees
Stripe's standard fees are transparent at 2.9% + $0.30 for card-not-present transactions. WePay fees pricing starts at 2.9% + $0.30 per donation when used with Donate Kindly.
If you are a registered 501c3 non-profit, then you get a better deal using Stripe: you can contact Stripe at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the US, the stripe nonprofit discounted rate is typically 2.2% + $0.30, which is better than what you get with the Donate Kindly/WePay offer.
Another drawback of Donate Kindly is no international currency is accepted; WePay/Donate Kindly is only supported in USD. With Stripe, a Donate Kindly alternative, you can accept international currencies.
Donate Kindly Fees:
No platform fee. Only fee is the credit card processing fee, which is deducted in real-time for each transaction.
It is not necessary to be a 501(c)(3) to use the donations widget, but you will incur more cost from the processing partner WePay. See the Donate Kindly pricing page for more.
As argued above, Stripe has the same features as this tool and is cheaper for non-profits. Conclusion: Go with Stripe, with it you can just as easily accept donations on a website.
A new platform–established in June 2017–Social.Fund claims to charge no fees because they believe “fundraising shouldn’t cost you money”.
Social.Fund is similar to GoFundMe in that they allow for funding of a personal nature like medical bills. They seem to be targeting the nonprofit sector, though, it remains unclear whether those nonprofits are actually attempting too raise fund on the site.
At the time of this articles latest update (June, 2020) Social.Fund had listed only 54 active fundraisers on the site. We like their tag line ‘The Internet Used For Good’, whether that translates into a popular fundraising platform that can compete with the above listed incumbents, well, we’ll wait and see.
Time will tell how this platform fares. Will they attract enough attention to benefit from network effects; we like their fee structure, i.e. free, but it’s remains hard to keep in operation when with such a business model.
This allows Social.Fund to offer PayPal’s donation service as a payment option which is missing from many other competitors, like many of those listed above.
Bonfire enables teams, individuals, schools, non-profits and other organizations to make custom apparel - like totes, hats, & mugs - and use it to fundraise for their cause.
Founded in 2012, this operation lets you customize to the max.
For verified non-profits, Bonfire will reduce your card processing percentage from 8% to 3.5%. For updated fees including shipping, check out Bonfire Pricing & Fees here.
15. Custom Ink
Custom Ink tee shirt fundraising is the nonprofit fundraising division of Custom Ink, one of the leading providers of custom t-shirts.
What sets Custom Ink apart is it combines traditional crowdfunding with t-shirt sales, perfect for many types of organizations such as school groups, church groups, and sports teams.
Custom Ink began in 1999 - in 2013 the original t-shirt fundraising site booster.com was launched - as a subsidiary of Custom Ink. In September 2017, booster.com became fully integrated as a part of Custom Ink and makes up the Custom Ink tee shirt fundraising site you see today.
Each campaign can feature up to five different products and also allows donors to skip buying a t-shirt and instead just donate to the campaign.
Custom Ink Fees:
It’s completely free to launch and run a T-shirt fundraiser campaign!
Since Custom Ink fundraising combines traditional crowdfunding with t-shirts, part of what individuals contribute goes towards the t-shirt they’ll receive.
For straight donations the fee is 2.9% of the contribution.
Wrapping UP: Top Websites Like GoFundMe Provide Options
The crowdfunding concept has taken off in a big way, and individuals, artists and nonprofits have all benefitted from the worldwide reach of these platforms.
For years, the GoFundMe platform has been one of the most well known of the crowdfunding sites, but now that we are approaching a matured crowdfunding market in 2020 it is by no means the only platform to consider.
The success of the crowdfunding model has given rise to a number of worthy competitors, each catering to a specific audience and each providing individuals, entrepreneurs, business owners and nonprofit organizations with their own unique benefits.
Whether your fundraising idea is to bring your new product to market, build a working prototype based on your invention, or sell finished products to consumers, there are entrepreneur-oriented platforms that can help.
The 15 fundraising sites highlighted above are our top picks and have already helped thousands of creators, small business owners and entrepreneurs reach their funding goals, and they are growing every single day.
The same growth pattern can be seen in GoFundMe like fundraising sites that cater to artists and other creative individuals with fundraising ideas. These platforms are connecting artists, musicians and filmmakers with the funds they need to bring their vision to life, and creative individuals are no longer limited to GoFundMe.
Caring individuals who want to raise funds for friends and family members in need can also go beyond the GoFundMe model. There are many excellent crowdfunding sites out there these days, so you can raise the funds your loved ones need while simplifying the process and keeping fees to a minimum.
No matter what your goal, there are many reasons to look beyond GoFundMe, and the alternatives listed above are your 80/20 guide to narrow your search so you can get started and reach your goals ASAP. With so many ways to raise money, Good luck!
Bonus: Deprecated GoFundMe Competitors
This section is for crowdfunding geeks only.
For a walk down memory lane, Idea Plotting - in our endless quest to keep up-to-date - continually updates this post so it remains accurate.
Since, the first fledgling GoFundMe Alternatives post was published years ago we have witnessed GoFundMe absorb competitors.
For our own reference and to document the changing crowdfunding landscape over time, we've moved crowdfunding platforms that have been swallowed by GoFundMe - and were formerly on this list - to this deprecated GoFundMe Alternatives section.
YouCaring Acquired by GoFundMe in 2018
The YouCaring website was not as well known as GoFundMe, but this unique fundraising site quickly gained traction as one of the top alternatives.
What set the YouCaring concept apart from the typical crowdfunding model was its focus on compassionate crowdfunding. While other sites are designed to help entrepreneurs bring their products to market, the aptly-named YouCaring site had a much different mission.
The mission of the YouCaring founders was one of empowerment. The goal of YouCaring was to rally support for worthy causes without the high fees charged by other fundraising sites.
With more than 4.5 million users, you might say that YouCaring was a well-kept secret, but the word quickly got out.
The YouCaring website had raised more than $800 million for worthy causes around the world.
YouCaring Fees Were:
YouCaring charged a 2.9% + $.30 credit card processing fee. And while they didn’t charge any mandatory platform fees, they asked donors to contribute up to an additional 10% directly to YouCaring to help fund the YouCaring platform.
You can learn more about You Caring by taking a look at their introductory video about “How it works” below:
GiveForward Part of GoFundMe via YouCaring Acquisition 2018
The pay it forward concept is at the heart of the crowdfunding model, and it was put to good use through the popular GiveForward platform. GiveForward provided donors with many different ways to help – and fundraisers with the worldwide reach they needed to meet, and exceed, their goals.
No project was too large, or too small, for the GiveForward platform, and during its time - the site hosted many different kinds of fundraising efforts. From help with educational expenses and medical costs to assistance for veterans and aid with home repair, the GiveForward platform had seen it all.
The GiveForward platform was the perfect place to start when someone you cared about was facing a challenging situation. Whether they needed to rebuild their home in the wake of a fire or natural disaster, pay medical expenses for a loved one or pay for transportation to visit a hospitalized relative, the GiveForward site matched willing donors with worthy recipients from all walks of life.
Interested individuals can learn more about the Give Forward concept by visiting the website here (links to internet archive updated 2020).
GiveForward Fees Were:
Creating a project on the GiveForward platform was totally free, and there were no monthly or annual fees to pay.
The Give Forward platform collected a flat fee on each transaction (which was 7.9% + $0.50 per transaction), simplifying the process and making sure recipients received the most for their donated dollars.
See how Give Forward Worked in their Vimeo video below:
CrowdRise Acquired by GoFundMe in 2017
From employee giving to marathons and more, CrowdRise had carved out a space for themselves as a top site for charity fundraising.
Solely focused on charitable issues, this platform was not the place one would visit to launch a product. On the other hand, when you wanted to take initiative and lead a community event, relief or other giving back focused project, this was your place to connect with a like minded audience.
Something that was notable on this site, you could’ve launched and raised as much or as little as needed–and, like Indiegogo, funds would be released whether you reached the funding the goal or not as there were no goal requirements.
CrowdRise Fees Were:
There were three fee structures on this platform divided into 1) Starter, which has a 6% transaction fee and a 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee; 2) Premium, which comes with a more favorable 3% transaction fee and a 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee; 3) Enterprise, fees unknown. For all tiers of involvement Crowdwise points out that you can elect to have “Donors cover fees”.