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GoFundMe Alternatives 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.

    Shannon Vissers
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Chelsea Krause
  • REVIEWED BY

    Chelsea Krause

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

GoFundMe alternatives can be useful for individuals trying to raise money for their small businesses through crowdfunding.

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.

There are plenty of reasons why an entrepreneur looking to crowdfund a startup or a small business might look for alternatives to GoFundMe. Indeed, many crowdfunding websites are better suited for business fundraising.

Let’s go over the best websites like GoFundMe that you can use to fund your business.

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  • Rewards crowdfunding for creators
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • 5% platform fee
  • Rewards crowdfunding for creators
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • 5% platform fee

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  • Equity crowdfunding for high-growth startups
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • 7.9% platform fee
  • Equity crowdfunding for high-growth startups
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • 7.9% platform fee

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  • Debt crowdfunding for any small business
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • 0% interest
  • Debt crowdfunding for any small business
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • 0% interest

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  • Rewards crowdfunding for creators
  • Choice of keep-what-you-raise or all-or-nothing funding model
  • 5% platform fee
  • Rewards crowdfunding for creators
  • Choice of keep-what-you-raise or all-or-nothing funding model
  • 5% platform fee

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  • Rewards or equity crowdfunding for startups
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • $179 monthly fee
  • Rewards or equity crowdfunding for startups
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • $179 monthly fee

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  • Rewards crowdfunding for content creators
  • Keep-what-you-raise funding model
  • 5-12% platform fee
  • Rewards crowdfunding for content creators
  • Keep-what-you-raise funding model
  • 5-12% platform fee

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  • Rewards crowdfunding for any small business
  • Choose all-or-nothing or keep-what-you-raise funding model
  • 7.9% platform fee
  • Rewards crowdfunding for any small business
  • Choose all-or-nothing or keep-what-you-raise funding model
  • 7.9% platform fee

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  • Equity crowdfunding for high-valuation startups
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • 8% platform fee
  • Equity crowdfunding for high-valuation startups
  • All-or-nothing funding model
  • 8% platform fee

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Types Of GoFundMe Alternatives For Businesses

The following types of crowdfunding platforms can be suitable GoFundMe alternatives for small businesses.

  • Rewards Crowdfunding: Donors to your campaign will receive some sort of (digital or physical) reward.
  • Equity Crowdfunding: Your campaign backers act as investors, receiving equity in your company.
  • Regulation Crowdfunding: A subtype of equity crowdfunding in which non-accredited investors can back your campaign.
  • Debt Crowdfunding: Your campaign backers act as lenders, which means you will have to repay them at some point.
  • All-Or-Nothing Funding: You will not receive any money from your campaign unless you meet your goal.
  • Keep-What-You-Earn Funding: Even if you do not meet your goal, you will be able to keep however much money you raise with your campaign.
  • Free Business Crowdfunding: Some crowdfunding websites—like GoFundMe—do not charge a platform fee or monthly fee to use the service. However, GoFundMe and other free GoFundMe alternatives still charge a payment processing fee that is typically deducted from each donation.

Crowdfunding platforms can fall into more than one of these categories. For example, some business crowdfunding services let you choose between equity crowdfunding and rewards crowdfunding.

Best Alternatives To GoFundMe

There are GoFundMe alternatives for all business types, from creators to local businesses to high-growth startups. The best websites, like GoFundMe for businesses, have a low platform fee and an entrepreneurial focus. Let’s learn more about these alternatives to GoFundMe to find out which is best for you.

Kickstarter: Best For Creators Developing A Shareable Product

Kickstarter


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Pros

  • Most popular business/creative crowdfunding site
  • Great for creative entrepreneurs with an innovative product idea
  • Suitable for both small and large businesses

Cons

  • Only for companies that produce and distribute a product
  • A competitive platform means many projects don’t get accepted or funded

Why We Chose Kickstarter For GoFundMe Alternatives

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 $7.56 billion in funding pledged to its campaigns (more than any crowdfunding site besides GoFundMe). While most Kickstarter 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 Pricing

Kickstarter campaigns can be open for 1-60 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 (a discounted micropledge fee of 5% + $0.05 applies to pledges under $10).

Get Started With Kickstarter

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Wefunder: Best For Equity Crowdfunding

Wefunder


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Pros

  • Suitable for high-growth startups that can attract venture capital investment
  • Popular with craft breweries
  • Accredited and non-accredited investor campaign options

Cons

  • Not suitable for the average startup company
  • Requires two years of financials, a CPA Review Statement, and other documentation

Why We Chose WeFunder For GoFundMe Alternatives

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 Pricing

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 7.9% platform fee if your campaign is successful. The 7.9% platform fee seems a bit high when compared to the likes of Kickstarter, but Regulation Crowdfunding is a more complex beast than rewards crowdfunding.

Get Started With Wefunder

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Kiva U.S.: Best For Crowdfunding A Microloan

Kiva U.S.


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Pros

  • 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)

Cons

  • Small borrowing amounts
  • You don’t get any money if you don’t meet your goal
  • Somewhat rigorous vetting process

Why We Chose Kiva For GoFundMe Alternatives

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.

Kiva U.S. Pricing

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 typically be required to solicit between 5 and 35 backers from your personal network before your campaign can go public.

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.

Get Started With Kiva U.S.

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Indiegogo: Best Kickstarter Alternative

Indiegogo


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Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Less site traffic than Kickstarter
  • Campaigns that don’t offer rewards aren’t usually successful

Why We Chose Indiegogo For GoFundMe Alternatives

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 Pricing

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 3% + $0.20 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 InDemand, 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 in a bit).

Get Started With Indiegogo

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Fundable: Best For Startups That Can Offer Rewards Or Equity

Fundable


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Pros

  • No platform fee
  • Suitable for a variety of business types
  • Choose from rewards or equity crowdfunding

Cons

  • High monthly fee
  • All-or-nothing funding model

Why We Chose Fundable For GoFundMe Alternatives

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. Fundable is a great choice for serious startups that can offer either rewards or equity.

Fundable Pricing

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!

Get Started With Fundable

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Patreon: Best For Content Creators With Large Followings

Patreon


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Pros

  • A continuous source of income for creators
  • Good for podcasters, musicians, and writers with large followings
  • Fewer content restrictions than other crowdfunding platforms

Cons

  • Fees can be high
  • Not for crowdfunding one-time projects
  • Hard to succeed without an existing audience for your work

Why We Chose Patreon For GoFundMe Alternatives

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 Pricing

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.

Get Started With Patreon

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FundRazr: Best Free GoFundMe Alternative

FundRazr


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Pros

  • No time limit for campaigns
  • Can keep whatever you raise
  • No platform fee
  • Can choose to pass on payment processing fees to supporters

Cons

  • Supporters are asked for an optional donation on the free plan
  • Relatively small crowdfunding platform

Why We Chose FundRazr For GoFundMe Alternatives

FundRazr hosts a wide variety of personal and charitable crowdfunding campaigns, though it hosts business campaigns as well (and not just in Canada). 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 Pricing

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. FundRazr uses PayPal and Stripe for payment processing, and you will be charged the standard fees from those processors. If desired, you can choose to pass on some or all of these processing fees to your supporters.

Get Started With FundRazr

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Republic: Best For High-Valuation Startups

Republic


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Pros

  • 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 a 90% success rate
  • One year to hit your funding goal

Cons

  • Exclusive platform with a rigorous vetting process
  • Not for small startups

Why We Chose Republic For GoFundMe Alternatives

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 Pricing

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 a 9% platform fee (7% of the funds raised in cash plus 2% as a Crowd SAFE) and an approximately 1.5-2.5% payment processing fee for payment made via credit card. Companies applying to Republic undergo thorough evaluations before being allowed to raise funds.

Get Started With Republic

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Our Methodology For Choosing The Best GoFundMe Alternatives

To choose the best GoFundMe Alternatives, we evaluated all of our crowdfunding platform reviews to determine their suitability. In particular, we looked for crowdfunding platforms that are similar to GoFundMe in terms of their public reputation, online reach, and affordability but that offered more business-specific features.

We also endeavored to include a diverse list of crowdfunding platforms to suit different types of businesses, including small businesses, creative professionals, and high-growth startups.

GoFundMe Alternatives: FAQs

Is there a free GoFundMe alternative?

FundRazr is a free crowdfunding site similar to GoFundMe. FundRazr can be used for charitable causes or business crowdfunding.

How can I raise money for a business?

There are numerous crowdfunding platforms businesses can use to raise money for their business. Some types of crowdfunding for businesses include equity crowdfunding, rewards crowdfunding, and debt crowdfunding.

Can a business use GoFundMe?

Yes, businesses can use GoFundMe to raise money for expenses. However, as GoFundMe is a charitable giving site, you are not allowed to offer anything in return for donations.

What are the best GoFundMe alternatives for businesses?

The best GoFundMe alternative depends on your business type. Kickstarter is best for creators, while a site like Fundable is better for a high-growth startup.

How To Choose The Right GoFundMe Alternative

If you’re looking for a crowdfunding site with more business-specific features than GoFundMe, the eight 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)
  • Small Local Businesses: Debt crowdfunding or Charitable crowdfunding (Kiva or FundRazr)
  • High-Growth Startups: Equity Crowdfunding (Wefunder, 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 small 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.

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!

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Shannon Vissers

Shannon Vissers

Lead Staff Writer: Payment Processing at Merchant Maverick
Shannon has been writing for Merchant Maverick about small business software and financing since 2015. She started writing professionally about business topics in 2005. Shannon has been featured in the Washington Post, Reader's Digest, US News, MSN, Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, and other publications. She has a bachelor's degree in English from San Diego State University and currently resides in San Diego, California.
Shannon Vissers
View Shannon Vissers's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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