GoFundMe Alternatives: 10 Websites Like GoFundMe For Small Business Funding
The best fit depends on the nature of your business, its potential, and whether you want to offer rewards, equity, or debt payments with interest to your potential backers.
When you look at the key stats, GoFundMe stands atop the crowdfunding industry. Since its founding in 2010, GoFundMe has raised over $9 billion in crowdfunded dollars from over 120 million donors. No other crowdfunding platform has been able to match GoFundMe in terms of transferring money to those who need it. What’s more, GoFundMe has eliminated its 5% platform fee. The only fees taken out of donations to a GoFundMe campaign now are payment processing fees (currently 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction).
However, there are plenty of reasons why an entrepreneur looking to crowdfund a startup or a small business might look for an alternative to GoFundMe. While people can and do use GoFundMe to fundraise for businesses, the vast majority of campaigns on the site are personal campaigns for need-based causes, often to cover medical expenses. Human need, not commerce, is the focus of GoFundMe’s brand.
I’ll walk you through some of the sites like GoFundMe that you can use to fund your business.
|Company||Best For||Next StepsBest For|
| ||Best for high-growth startups with high profit potential.||
Best for high-growth startups with high profit potential.
| ||Best for creative entrepreneurs developing a shareable product.||
Best for creative entrepreneurs developing a shareable product.
| ||Best for crowdfunding a creative project of any type.||
Best for crowdfunding a creative project of any type.
| ||Best for content creators with large followings.||
Best for content creators with large followings.
| ||Best for any small business with something to offer backers.||
Best for any small business with something to offer backers.
|Show More Options|
| ||Best for serious, early-stage companies that can offer rewards or equity.||
Best for serious, early-stage companies that can offer rewards or equity.
| ||Best for early-stage and seed-stage ventures seeking large investors.||
Best for early-stage and seed-stage ventures seeking large investors.
| ||Best for creators with rewards to offer & European market appeal.||
Best for creators with rewards to offer & European market appeal.
| ||Best for exceptional, high-valuation startups.||
Best for exceptional, high-valuation startups.
| ||Best for community-minded startups that need a small loan.||
Best for community-minded startups that need a small loan.
|Show Fewer Options|
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Table of Contents
- Best Alternatives To GoFundMe
- How To Choose The Right GoFundMe Alternative
- In Summary: Best Alternatives To GoFundMe
Best Alternatives To GoFundMe
Here are the top GoFundMe alternatives for all business types, from creators to local businesses to high-growth startups:
Let’s learn more about these GoFundMe alternatives and find out which is best for your business.
- Suitable for high-growth startups that can attract venture capital investment
- Popular with craft breweries
- Accredited and non-accredited investor campaign options
- Not suitable for the average startup company
- Requires two years of financials, a CPA Review Statement, and other documentation
A purely business-oriented crowdfunding platform, Wefunder hosts equity crowdfunding campaigns in which non-accredited investors (i.e., anyone) can invest — this is known as Regulation Crowdfunding. By allowing anyone to invest, you’re casting a wider net in your hunt for investors and can bring in up to $5 million per year in venture capital with Wefunder. Wefunder can also facilitate campaigns that accept funding from accredited investors (high net-worth individuals), through which you can raise an unlimited amount on the platform.
Wefunder hosts funding campaigns for many different business types (particularly craft breweries), but equity crowdfunding is hard to pull off. Thus, Wefunder is best for startups with high-profit potential that is apparent to investors. To give you an idea of the kind of company we’re talking about, Wefunder has funded several startups that are now worth over $1 billion.
Wefunder has an all-or-nothing funding model, which means that you only receive funds if you meet or exceed your funding goal within the one-year funding limit. Wefunder charges a 7.5% platform fee if your campaign is successful. The 7.5% platform fee seems a bit high when compared to the likes of Kickstarter, but Regulation Crowdfunding is a more complex beast than rewards crowdfunding.
- Most popular business/creative crowdfunding site
- Great for creative entrepreneurs with an innovative product idea
- Suitable for both small and large businesses
- Only for companies that produce and distribute a product
- A competitive platform means many projects don’t get accepted or funded
Hobbyists, tech geeks, and superfans continue to demonstrate their willingness to spend money on crowdfunding projects to get in on The Next Big Thing. Kickstarter is the best-known place to do just that. Between Kickstarter’s 2009 launch and today, the company has seen over $6.2 billion in funding pledged to its campaigns (more than any crowdfunding site besides GoFundMe). It currently boasts more than 200,000 successfully funded projects with 20 million total backers. Kickstarter says that while most campaigns raise less than $10,000, hundreds of companies have raised more than $1 million on the platform.
Kickstarter embodies the concept of rewards crowdfunding: crowdfunding in which backers support campaigns and receive rewards in return, typically in the form of the proposed product. Kickstarter’s target audience includes those in the business of creating things (digital or physical) to share with others. In fact, to host a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, you must offer rewards to your potential backers. Furthermore, these rewards must be of your making and must relate to your project.
Kickstarter campaigns can be open for 30-60 days, and campaigns are all-or-nothing — you either meet your funding goal by the time your campaign ends, or you get no funds whatsoever. If your campaign is successful, a 5% platform fee is taken from what you raise. A 3% + $0.20 payment processing fee is also taken from each pledge made to you.
- Can choose all-or-nothing funding or keep-it-all funding
- Can run an ongoing crowdfunding campaign after your initial campaign succeeds
- Fewer restrictions than Kickstarter
- Less site traffic than Kickstarter
- Campaigns that don’t offer rewards aren’t usually successful
Indiegogo appeals to a lot of the same entrepreneurs and creators as Kickstarter, including creators in tech, games, and the arts. However, Indiegogo’s rewards crowdfunding platform is more flexible and less exclusive than that of Kickstarter, as Indiegogo doesn’t prescreen projects before they launch. Many startups have found success on Indiegogo after being rejected by Kickstarter.
Indiegogo’s rewards crowdfunding campaigns can last up to 60 days, and you can choose a keep-what-you-raise campaign (you keep what you raise whether you meet your funding goal or not) OR an all-or-nothing campaign. The service has a 5% platform fee and a 2.9% + $0.30 payment processing fee (per pledge). Indiegogo doesn’t mandate that you offer rewards but does highly recommend it. Campaigns that don’t offer rewards tend to fail.
Indiegogo also has a service called IndieGogo Demand, which lets you continue to raise money and stay in touch with your backers after your crowdfunding campaign ends, similar to Patreon (more on Patreon next).
- A continuous source of income for creators
- Good for podcasters, musicians, and writers with large followings
- Fewer content restrictions than other crowdfunding platforms
- Fees can be high
- Not for crowdfunding one-time projects
- Hard to succeed without an existing audience for your work
If creation is your business, and GoFundMe doesn’t quite fit what you do, give Patreon a try. Its innovative brand of continuous rewards crowdfunding provides a means of monetizing your work. With Patreon, your campaign doesn’t end unless you end it. Patrons sign up to support you on a recurring basis (either per month or per creation), somewhat similar to a subscription service. In return, you provide your patrons with exclusive content.
Those in the business of creation will find Patreon an ideal crowdfunding platform. Game designers, journalists, musicians, comic book artists, and YouTubers all use it, though podcasters have had particular success on the platform.
Patreon charges a 5% to 12% platform fee, depending on which Patreon subscription plan you’re on. Additionally, the platform charges a 2.9% +$0.30 processing fee for donations over $3. A micropayment rate of 5% + $0.10 is charged for donations of $3 or less.
- No time limit for campaigns
- Can keep whatever you raise
- No platform fee
- Can choose to pass on payment processing fees to supporters
- Supporters are asked for an optional donation on the free plan
- Relatively small crowdfunding platform
FundRazr isn’t the most high-profile rewards crowdfunding service in the business, but its exceptional reputation makes it worth considering for the startup in need of funding. Also, it’s for everyone, from charities to businesses and everything in between. FundRazr doesn’t prescreen campaigns, nor does it have any particular bent as to what sort of businesses it favors. And while business campaigns are encouraged to offer rewards in the form of “perks,” it isn’t mandatory.
FundRazr hosts a wide variety of personal and charitable crowdfunding campaigns, though it hosts business campaigns as well (and not just in Canada). And here’s the kicker: Fundrazr has a free plan with no platform fee. The only fees taken out of what you raise will be payment processing fees. However, donors are asked to leave a tip on this plan. You can also choose from a plan with a 5% platform fee where donors are not asked for a tip.
FundRazr has no mandatory time limit for campaigns, and you can choose between keep-what-you-raise OR all-or-nothing funding. Payment processing fees are 2.9% + $0.30 per pledge. If desired, you can choose to pass on some or all of these processing fees to your supporters.
- No platform fee
- Suitable for a variety of business types
- Choose from rewards or equity crowdfunding
- High monthly fee
- All-or-nothing funding model
The name resembles FundRazr, but this is a very different platform. Fundable is a crowdfunding platform exclusively for businesses and hosts both rewards and equity-based funding campaigns. Fundable recommends that those looking to raise under $50,000 try a rewards campaign, while those trying to raise over $50K go for an equity campaign.
Rather than charge a platform fee to users, Fundable charges a monthly fee of $179 to all campaigners. There’s also a 3.5% + $0.30 payment processing fee for rewards campaigns only.
Fundable hosts crowdfunding campaigns for a wide variety of businesses, though tech, food service, and healthcare companies are particularly well-represented. It’s a system that favors serious startups and early-stage companies over small-time artists and creators.
Given the monthly fee and all-or-nothing funding model, if your campaign is unsuccessful, you won’t just have raised nothing — you’ll have spent money to raise nothing. However, a startup with high growth potential stands to benefit from the absence of the 5% platform fee that many crowdfunding sites impose. After all, if you raise $50K, a 5% cut is a lot more than Fundable’s $179 monthly fee!
- Keep what you raise
- No platform fee
- No payment processing fees
- No time limit on campaigns
- Only for high-value ventures
- Small-time investors cannot donate
- High monthly fee
Crowdfunder is unapologetic about being an equity crowdfunding platform for “high-impact ventures” only. Crowdfunder’s equity campaigns are open to accredited investors only. That means you’ll be drawing from a smaller, richer, and likely more selective pool of investors than with Wefunder. (Note that the British rewards crowdfunding site named Crowdfunder is an entirely different company.)
If your early-stage or seed-stage company has boundless potential in the eyes of investors, Crowdfunder is a very intriguing prospect. Though the monthly fees are high, they’ll be worth it in the end if you raise a significant sum, as Crowdfunder campaigns don’t carry a percentage platform fee.
Crowdfunder has no mandatory time limit for campaigns, and you can keep whatever you raise. Besides having no platform fee, there are no payment processing fees either. However, there is a $299 to $999/month subscription fee, depending on your subscription package.
- Campaigns include personalized coaching
- Low platform fees
- You can require a minimum order number before starting production
- Not a popular platform in America
- All-or-nothing funding
- Multistage screening process
Headquartered in Paris, Ulule is one of Europe’s largest rewards crowdfunding platforms. It’s not widely known in the US, but if you’re in North America and your project appeals to the European market, it’s a crowdfunding site to consider. Any sort of business, small or large, can campaign on Ulule, though art-related projects seem to do particularly well, as do beauty and fashion products.
Ulule distinguishes itself with a high rate of successful campaigns, ranging from 65% to 70%. The company attributes this to its focus on personalized coaching, which it provides to all campaigners. Indeed, Kickstarter’s success rate is approximately half that of Ulule. In terms of total numbers, Ulule has birthed more than 30,000 successfully funded projects to date.
Ulule’s crowdfunding campaigns are all-or-nothing, but campaigns can last up to 90 days. Ulule campaigners can set a funding amount as their goal, or you can set a defined number of pre-orders you must receive before getting funded. The pre-order option is useful if you are offering a specific product and need a certain number of pre-sales to start production. Platform fees are 4.17-6.67%, depending on whether funds are donated through credit card, check, or PayPal. There’s also a ~3% payment processing fee.
- The platform allows non-accredited investors to back your campaign
- Can crowdfund on Republic before, during, or after VC funding
- Campaigns on the platform have an 89% success rate
- One year to hit your funding goal
- Exclusive platform with a rigorous vetting process
- Not for small startups
Republic is, like Wefunder, a Regulation Crowdfunding platform — an equity crowdfunding outfit open to all investors. If you run an exceptional, high-valuation startup, Republic wants your attention. As mentioned previously, equity crowdfunding is best suited to companies with uniquely high-profit potential. Republic’s average raise is $500,000 from 1,500+ investors, with an impressively high success rate of 90% since 2016.
Republic’s equity crowdfunding campaigns are structured with a one-year funding limit (campaigns usually last 60-120 days) and an all-or-nothing funding model. There’s an 8% platform fee and an approximately 2.5% payment processing fee for payment made via credit card. Companies applying to Republic undergo thorough evaluations before being allowed to raise funds.
10. Kiva U.S.
- Loans have 0% interest
- No time-in-business or business revenue requirements
- Weekly or monthly repayments (as opposed to daily or weekly for most short-term loans)
- Small borrowing amounts
- You don’t get any money if you don’t meet your goal
- A somewhat rigorous vetting process
And now for something completely different. Kiva U.S. doesn’t offer rewards crowdfunding or equity crowdfunding. What the heck does it do, then? Kiva U.S. offers debt crowdfunding, otherwise known as crowdfunded loans. Kiva U.S. is a nonprofit entity, and the crowdfunded loans it offers carry 0% interest. Not bad, eh? It may be the only platform in which lenders stand to make no profit whatsoever. Kiva’s mission is to open up the lending world to businesses that would otherwise struggle for funding. In that sense, Kiva can also be considered charitable crowdfunding.
If you need to borrow $15,000 or less for your business and are willing to wait a bit for your money, Kiva’s crowdfunded loans might be for you. Absolutely any sort of business can apply for a Kiva U.S. crowdfunded loan. Unlike traditional business loans, Kiva loans do not have any business revenue or time-in-business requirements. However, you will need to solicit between five and 35 lenders from your personal network.
After the initial approval stage, Kiva has a 15-day private funding period during which you solicit backers from your friends and family, business contacts, etc. Then, you’ll enter a 30-day public funding period. If you meet your goal, the funds should be in your account within a week. Kiva’s crowdfunding model is all-or-nothing, so you do not receive any money if you don’t meet your goal. Since Kiva loan backers don’t receive interest or other benefits in exchange for backing your loan, the types of startups that do best on this platform tend to be nonprofits, socially responsible businesses that give back to their community, or businesses with a heartwarming backstory.
How To Choose The Right GoFundMe Alternative
If you’re looking for a crowdfunding site with more business-specific features than GoFundMe, the ten companies I’ve mentioned are all solid possibilities. The best fit depends on the nature of your business, its potential, and whether you want to offer rewards, equity, or debt payments with interest to your potential backers.
Answer Some Questions About Your Business
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you determine which of these GoFundMe alternatives is best for you:
- How much capital are you looking to raise?
- Can you offer rewards or equity in your company?
- Are you a creator with a tangible or digital product that you produce?
- What type of investor do you think your company could attract? (For example, a casual investor looking to back a good cause or a business person looking to make a profit.)
- Do you run a small local business or a high-growth, Silicon Valley-type startup?
- Does your business give back to the community in some way?
Best GoFundMe Alternatives According To Business Type
Generally, the following types of businesses should choose these respective crowdfunding types and related GoFundMe alternatives:
- Creators: Rewards crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, Ulule)
- Small Local Businesses: Debt crowdfunding or Charitable crowdfunding (Kiva or FundRazr)
- High-Growth Startups: Equity Crowdfunding (Wefunder, Crowdfunder, Fundable, Republic)
Best Crowdfunding Alternatives For Businesses
If none of these crowdfunding options sound quite right for your business, then you might want to consider applying for a business grant or a business loan. In many cases, you can apply for a business grant or a loan online just as easily as you would apply for crowdfunding. Here are a couple of resources to help you find a business grant or loan online:
- Small Business Grants: Get Free Money Through These 8 Grant Resources
- The Best Small Business Loans For 2021: Top Picks For Every Type Of Business
Make The Jump
Consider what type of funding makes sense for your business, then make the jump while you can. Your ideas won’t stay ripe indefinitely, so strike while the iron is hot!
In Summary: Best Alternatives To GoFundMe
- Wefunder: Best for high-growth startups with high profit potential.
- Kickstarter: Best for creative entrepreneurs developing a shareable product.
- Indiegogo: Best for crowdfunding a creative project of any type.
- Patreon: Best for content creators with large followings.
- FundRazr: Best for any small business with something to offer backers.
- Fundable: Best for serious, early-stage companies that can offer rewards or equity.
- Crowdfunder: Best for early-stage and seed-stage ventures seeking large investors.
- Ulule: Best for creators with rewards to offer & European market appeal.
- Republic: Best for exceptional, high-valuation startups.
- Kiva U.S.: Best for community-minded startups that need a small loan.