Getting the funds to start your own business, or bring an idea to reality, can be tough. For many of us, taking out a traditional loan is not an option and much-needed resources can be scarce. To make matters worse, the process of getting an angel investor, or funds from a venture capital firm can make promising entrepreneurs run for the hills.

#Crowdfunding is where a project or venture is funded by several contributions from a large number of people, and it’s really taking off as an effective way to fundraise. It's estimated that in 2015, $34 billion was raised worldwide via various forms of crowdfunding. Many ideas only require a small amount of money to get started and crowdfunding is a great way to test the waters for your idea and gauge interest.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Many individuals that have used crowdfunding are wildly successful and go on to bigger and better things thanks to these types of platforms. Take a look at this list of awesome crowdfunding platforms, and find the platform that best fits your idea.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter may be the most well-known of the group, but it is one of many crowdfunding options to choose from. Started in 2009, Kickstarter has reportedly collected over $1.9 billion in pledges from a jaw-dropping 9.4 million backers. All of these funds have helped over 257,000 creative projects from films, albums, comics, journalism, stage shows, startups and more! While there are some restrictions, such as needing a prototype and a manufacturing plan (where applicable) Kickstarter is a great all-around option to fund your creative endeavor.

Advertisements

Indiegogo

Launched in 2008, Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding site based out of San Francisco, California that boasts the ability for users to raise funding “for any idea.” Indiegogo is best known for its reward-based system where donors, backers, investors, or customers receive a gift for their monetary contribution instead of an equity stake in the company. One catch to note is that if the target amount of money is not raised, users can either refund the contributions or keep them for a higher fee. Unlike other crowdfunding sites, such as Kickstarter, funds are dispersed immediately.

GoFundMe

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard of the crowdfunding site GoFundMe. This particular platform allows users to launch campaigns to fund personal or professional ventures and many individuals have used it for a variety of charitable causes. From paying medical bills to funding startups this site is flexible and allows the user to rally their community to make things happen.

Advertisements

RocketHub

What makes RocketHub different is that it's partnered up with television network A&E. This means that a special few crowd funders get airtime, and are featured online and in A&E’s magazine, The Idea Book for Educators. That alone is a huge opportunity, however, A&E also invests in some of their RocketHub projects as well. If you think that your idea has great marketing potential this platform may be the best bet for getting your idea out to the public in a big way.

Crowdrise

Crowdrise is unique in the sense that it focuses exclusively on fundraising for charitable giving. So if you’re in the market to start a nonprofit or charity this may be the best fit for your idea. Their work “supporting positive social missions” includes a partnership with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Viacom, UNICEF, Red Cross, Ironman, Tough Mudder, and Huffington Post. Celebrity partners include artists such as Pearl Jam, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Kristen Bell.

DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose is a fundraising platform popular with teachers and educators looking to get funding for their projects. With educational budget cuts going strong, users can choose where they would like to donate their funds, and see the impact that their contribution can have. DonorsChoose was founded in 2009 by a high school teacher from the Bronx who saw the need for a platform to help educators create awesome classrooms with community involvement.

Kiva

Kiva is unique as a platform because it allows users to make loans as small as $25 to entrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries or areas that are less supportive fundraising-wise. These microloans mean that entrepreneurs that could not typically get a business loan are now able to get the funds they need for their startup. Kiva is available in over 80 countries and across numerous industries.

Fundable

Fundable boasts being the largest business crowdfunding platform with over $377 million in funding committed to date. Founded by a team who has experience managing their own startups, they loan their expertise to navigating the often intimidating process of fundraising. Working with them will help you connect with potential investors that may be interested in your idea. Fundable also allows you to choose whether investors receive rewards or equity in exchange for their investment.

Appbackr

If you’re in the process of building a #mobile app, or already have one up and running, then this is the crowdfunding site specifically for you. The catch here is backers get a slice of the profits and can buy as many copies of the app as they desire on the appbackr marketplace. How much of the profit they get is not fixed, but rather the price difference between their original purchases and the final sale price of the app.

AngelList

This self-proclaimed “badass platform for startups” has a lot of potential for a variety of ideas out there and connects users with others that have valuable experience. AngelList also caters to investors and job seekers so you can browse and connect to find what your startup needs. Established companies can also share information on their fundraising accomplishments for potential investors to view, and investors are also accredited. Most recently AngelList launched Syndicates which is a new feature that allows investors to partner up on funding a #new venture.

Whatever your idea is, chances are you can find the right platform to help you fund it. Each platform offers up its own success stories and interesting campaigns so it's worth checking them out to find the right one for you. Campaigns do not have to be startups [VIDEO] in every instance, but creativity can be a great advantage in any circle.