GoFundMe Alternatives: 10 Sites Like GoFundMe For Business Funding
When you look at the key stats, GoFundMe stands atop the crowdfunding industry. Since its founding in 2010, GoFundMe has raised over $5 billion in crowdfunded dollars from over 50 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 GoFundMe alternatives you can use to fund your business.
Other Featured Options:
- Wefunder: Wefunder is one of the few crowdfunding companies with a track record of success in Regulation Crowdfunding. Startups with high growth potential have reason to take a closer look.
- Crowdfunder: If your startup 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.
- Ulule: Ulule does things differently than most of the crowdfunding sites on this side of the pond. More consultation, more guidance. Does this approach jibe with your needs? If your company produces things that have Continental appeal, give Ulule a closer look.
- Republic: An AngelList spinoff, Republic is already making waves in the equity crowdfunding world. If you run an exceptional startup and you come from a historically-underserved community, Republic wants your attention.
- Kiva U.S.: If you own a business, you need less than 10K, and you want a no-interest loan, Kiva U.S. is your only funding option. Assuming you can wait a while before seeing any funds, there's no reason whatsoever not to give it a shot.
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Here are the top 10 websites comparable to GoFundMe’s crowdsourcing platform.
Kickstarter needs no introduction, but I’ll write one anyway out of habit. Between Kickstarter’s 2009 launch and today, the company has become synonymous with rewards crowdfunding. Kickstarter has seen over $4.5 billion in funding pledged to its campaigns (more than any crowdfunding site besides GoFundMe). It currently boasts nearly 170,000 successfully funded projects with 17 million total backers. These numbers will almost certainly have grown by the time you read this.
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 helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality.
Thus reads Kickstarter’s About page. It sums up Kickstarter’s target audience: those in the business of creating things to share with others. For instance, Kickstarter almost single-handedly spawned the current “golden age” of tabletop games. Game makers found Kickstarter to be the ideal platform from which to launch their passion projects. Tech startups have hit paydirt on the platform as well.
How Does Kickstarter Work?
Kickstarter’s product on offer is its rewards crowdfunding platform. The details of the platform are as follows:
- Campaigns can be open for 30-60 days
- Campaigns are all-or-nothing — you either meet your funding goal by the time your campaign ends, or you get no funds whatsoever
- A 5% platform fee taken from what you raise
- A 3% + $0.20 payment processing fee taken from each pledge made to you
Kickstarter has five rules for projects:
- Projects must create something to share with others
- Projects must be honest and clearly presented
- Projects can’t fundraise for charity
- Projects can’t offer equity
- Projects can’t involve prohibited items
Pay special attention to the first rule. To host a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, you must offer rewards to your potential backers. It’s not optional. Furthermore, these rewards must be of your making and must relate to your project. They can’t just be whatever you have sitting around the house.
How To Start A Kickstarter Campaign
Go to the website, choose a category, enter the basic details of your project into the form, and confirm your identity. When you submit your project for review, you might pass the automated check and be able to start immediately, or your project might get flagged for additional screening, which can take up to three days. Kickstarter estimates that about 80% of submitted projects are accepted.
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. Their track record of crowdfunding success is second to none. It’s very competitive, though, so you best have done your due diligence before launching. If you have, who knows? Your project could take off on social media and become the next great cultural phenomenon, the next viral dream that captures the imagination of a generation. It could be the next RompHim.
I only pray that you experience such spiritual validation in your lifetime. Kickstarter: Catch the fever.
Indiegogo launched at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 as a crowdfunding platform for independent films. Soon after, Indiegogo expanded its mission and is now a leader in the crowdfunding industry. 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 lists fewer fundraising stats on its website than Kickstarter does. Nonetheless, the company does tout such facts as its 9 million backers and that women run 47% of the campaigns that exceed their funding goals.
Indiegogo appeals to a lot of the same entrepreneurs and creators as Kickstarter. Tech, games, and the arts (particularly movies, no surprise) are well represented in Indiegogo’s campaign listings. However, Indiegogo doesn’t curate its campaigns the way Kickstarter does, so a broader array of businesses can fundraise successfully with Indiegogo.
What if you’d like to continue raising money from the crowd on an ongoing basis after your campaign ends, and you’ve reached your funding goal? If this is you, Indiegogo InDemand may be for you. With InDemand, after your initial Indiegogo campaign, you can continue to raise money and stay in touch with your backers via updates to your campaign page for as long as you like. Your initial crowdfunding campaign doesn’t need to have been with Indiegogo for you to use InDemand to raise funds. After getting approval from Indiegogo, you can redirect visitors from your successful nonIndiegogo campaign page to your InDemand page to continue raising money indefinitely.
How Does Indiegogo Work?
Indiegogo’s rewards crowdfunding platform carries the following conditions:
- Campaigns can last up to 60 days
- 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
- 5% platform fee
- 2.9% + $0.30 payment processing fee (per pledge)
Indiegogo doesn’t restrict entry to its platform — you can start a campaign for just about any non-charitable purpose. Unless you’re later found to be operating a fraud or otherwise violating the terms of service, you’re good to go. And unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo doesn’t mandate that you offer rewards. They do highly recommend it, however. Campaigns that don’t offer rewards tend to fail.
How To Start An Indiegogo Campaign
Just go to Indiegogo’s website, click “Start A Campaign,” detail your campaign, and launch it!
Indiegogo’s welcoming approach and flexible campaigns make it an excellent crowdfunding choice for businesses and artists of all stripes.
Patreon may be a rewards crowdfunding site, but compared to the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Patreon is a beast of a different nature. Launch a Kickstarter campaign, and it’s a one-time deal. But with Patreon, your campaign is continuous. It 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. Founder and musician Jack Conte discussed his motivations in a 2013 article:
I’m releasing new things on a monthly basis. I have friends releasing material weekly. They’d have to almost invent an excuse to raise money after going on Kickstarter once. We’re saying, No, no. Don’t make up a new endeavor. Keep doing what you do best and let people pay you each time you do that.
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. From Chapo Trap House to Heather McDonald to everything and everyone in between, Patreon has been a boon to podcasters.
In the past, Patreon has allowed a certain degree of adult content, something that most crowdfunding sites don’t permit. Lately, Patreon has been changing its policy on this, much to the chagrin of adult-oriented creators.
How Does Patreon Work?
These are the terms of using Patreon:
- Funding duration is unlimited
- Can charge patrons per month OR per creation
- 5% platform fee
- ~5% payment processing fee
As long as you don’t violate the terms of service (which are more relaxed than those of many competitors), you should be fine.
How To Start A Patreon Campaign
Sign up online, fill in the form fields, and poof, you’re in!
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.
FundRazr refers to itself as “Canada’s leading crowdfunding platform.” Though that places it well behind the likes of Kickstarter in total money raised, FundRazr distinguishes itself by having an excellent reputation for a crowdfunding site among both donors and campaigners. I had a hard time finding comments from users upset with the product, which is not the case with most of the competition!
FundRazr hosts a wide variety of personal and charitable crowdfunding campaigns, though they host business campaigns as well (and not just in Canada). And here’s the kicker: Fundrazr does not charge a platform fee. The only fees taken out of what you raise will be payment processing fees.
Pretty much any business with something to offer backers can make use of FundRazr.
How Does FundRazr Work?
Here is what a FundRazr crowdfunding campaign entails:
- No mandatory time limit for campaigns
- Keep-what-you-raise OR all-or-nothing funding — your choice
- No platform fee
- 2.9% + $0.30 payment processing fee (per pledge)
FundRazr doesn’t prescreen campaigns, nor does it have any particular bent as to what sort of businesses it favors. And while business campaigns should offer rewards, it isn’t mandatory.
How To Start A FundRazr Campaign
Create an account, fill in the details, and you’re on your way.
FundRazr isn’t the most high-profile crowdfunding service in the business. Still, its exceptional reputation for treating people well makes it worth considering for the startup in need of funding.
The name resembles FundRazr, but this is a very different platform. Ohio-based Fundable is a crowdfunding platform exclusively for businesses. Fundable 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. It’s a system that favors serious startups and early-stage companies over small-time artists and creators.
Fundable has sent $571 million in crowdfunded dollars to businesses thus far. Not too shabby at all.
Fundable hosts crowdfunding campaigns for a wide variety of businesses, though tech, food service, and healthcare companies are particularly well-represented.
How Does Fundable Work?
Fundable lets you launch both rewards and equity crowdfunding campaigns, though not both simultaneously. Some businesses will start with a rewards campaign. Once successful, they use the campaign’s success to demonstrate the product’s viability in the market to investors, thus laying the groundwork for an equity campaign.
Here’s how Fundable campaigns work:
- No mandatory time limit for campaigns
- All-or-nothing funding (rewards campaigns only)
- $179 monthly fee
- 3.5% + $0.30 payment processing fee (rewards campaigns only)
Given the monthly fee and all-or-nothing funding, if your campaign is unsuccessful, you won’t just have raised nothing — you’ll have spent money to raise nothing. Try not to fail!
Though just about any business can apply to use Fundable, the company prescreens every campaign profile submitted before allowing it onto the platform. A poorly-resourced startup may have better luck using a site with no barrier to entry, such as Indiegogo, to crowdfund.
How To Start A Fundable Campaign
You need only fill out the online application, submit it, and wait for an answer from the company.
Fundable’s terms and fees can make it tough for the little guy. 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, well, 5% of $50K is a lot more than Fundable’s $179 monthly fee!
Wefunder has been an innovator in the equity crowdfunding space. A purely business-oriented crowdfunding platform, Wefunder hosts equity campaigns in which non-accredited investors can invest (this is known as Regulation Crowdfunding). The term “accredited investor” basically just means “rich person.” By allowing non-accredited investors (i.e., everyone) to invest, you’re casting a wider net in your hunt for investors.
According to Wefunder, 44% of all Regulation Crowdfunding dollars raised in 2019 have been raised via Wefunder — a funding volume equal to that of Wefunder’s three closest competitors.
Wefunder hosts funding campaigns for many different business types (particularly craft breweries), but equity crowdfunding is hard to pull off. Unless your project already has some resources behind it, Wefunder is best for startups whose high-profit potential is apparent to investors. Wefunder states that of the 174 companies that have hit their funding goal on Wefunder’s site, “many are alumni of Y Combinator.” The cream of the crop, in other words.
How Does Wefunder Work?
Wefunder offers equity crowdfunding under the following terms:
- A one-year funding limit
- All-or-nothing funding
- 7.5% platform fee
- 3.5% service fee charged for all investments (paid by investors)
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.
According to Wefunder:
We accept nearly any type of company, be it a brick-and-mortar restaurant or a high-tech software startup. However, we do not fund marijuana, porn, gambling, banking, or investing companies.
Wefunder recommends having at least one experienced investor endorse your campaign and set the terms of your raise, but that’s not a requirement.
How To Start A Wefunder Campaign
Just apply online through the website.
Wefunder is one of the few crowdfunding companies with a track record of success in Regulation Crowdfunding. Startups with high growth potential have reason to take a closer look.
The forgettably-named 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.)
$160 million in investment commitments have been made via Crowdfunder.
Crowdfunder has a specific target audience in mind:
Crowdfunder is designed for early-stage startups and more mature businesses raising seed stage, Series-A & Series-B funding. Our offering does not cater to inception stage companies at this time.
The platform accepts businesses that fall into a variety of categories including Tech Startups, Social Enterprises, Small Businesses, and Film & Entertainment.
How Does Crowdfunder Work?
Here are the details of Crowdfunder’s platform:
- No mandatory time limit for campaigns
- Keep-what-you-raise funding
- $299-$999/month subscription fee (depends on your subscription package)
- No payment processing fees (funds transferred offline)
Crowdfunder’s monthly subscription fees are high. No getting around it.
You can set up a profile for free, but to start your equity campaign, Crowdfunder will have to approve your plans.
How To Start A Crowdfunder Campaign
Sign up and apply through the website, silly.
If your startup 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.
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.
Ulule distinguishes itself with what it claims is the highest rate of successful campaigns for any crowdfunder: 65%. 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 29,048 successfully funded projects to date.
Any sort of business can campaign on Ulule, though art-related startups seem to do particularly well.
How Does Ulule Work?
Here’s the structure of Ulule’s crowdfunding campaigns:
- Campaigns can last up to 90 days (the recommended duration is 45 days)
- All-or-nothing funding
- Platform fees: 6.67% of all funds received via credit card, 4.17% of funds received via check or PayPal
- ~3% payment processing fee
Unfortunately, with Ulule, you don’t have the option of running a keep-whatever-you-raise campaign. Additionally, Ulule’s fee structure could stand to be less complicated.
Launching a Ulule crowdfunding project requires passing two validation stages. Ulule wants to make sure your plan is solid before letting you loose on the platform. If you are ultimately accepted, you’ll be assigned a “success manager” to help you with every stage of your campaign. Compared to most of the competition, particularly in the rewards crowdfunding space, Ulule is quite hands-on in its approach to campaigners.
How To Start A Ulule Campaign
Write Ulule an essay explaining why you think you’re worthy of its platform and send it to them in the mail.
I kid, I kid. Just apply online.
Ulule does things differently than most of the crowdfunding sites on this side of the pond. Campaigners receive more consultation and more guidance than other sites provide. Does this approach jibe with your needs? If your company produces things that have Continental appeal, give Ulule a closer look.
Republic is, like Wefunder, a Regulation Crowdfunding platform — an equity crowdfunding outfit open to all investors.
Founded by AngelList almuni and considered to be an AngelList spinoff, Republic stands out for its public commitment to social justice. The company’s About page details its intention to help level the playing field when it comes to capital by prioritizing women, minorities, and others whom the investing world has historically overlooked.
Republic may have egalitarian aspirations, but equity crowdfunding is nonetheless best suited to companies with uniquely high-profit potential.
How Does Republic Work?
Republic’s equity crowdfunding campaigns are structured as follows:
- One-year funding limit (campaigns usually last 30-60 days)
- All-or-nothing funding
- 8% platform fee (6% of the total funds raised in cash and 2% as a Crowd Safe)
- 3.5% payment processing fee for payments made via credit card
Companies applying to Republic undergo thorough evaluations before being allowed to raise funds. Republic considers the following factors:
- Experience of founders and management team
- Products, services, and market
- Revenue and growth
- Customer base and demographics
- Fundraising needs
- Offering terms
- Business plan
- Financial health
- Recordkeeping procedures
How To Start A Republic Campaign
Just apply online through the website.
Being an AngelList spinoff, Republic is already making waves in the equity crowdfunding world. Does its idealistic outlook match reality? The years to come should give us our answer. In the meantime, if you run an exceptional startup and you come from a historically-underserved community, Republic wants your attention.
10. Kiva U.S.
And now for something completely different.
Kiva U.S. doesn’t offer rewards crowdfunding or equity crowdfunding. What the heck do they do, then? They offer 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. If you need $10K or less for your business and are willing to wait a bit for your money, Kiva’s crowdfunded loans just might be for you.
Absolutely any sort of business can apply for a Kiva U.S. crowdfunded loan.
How Does Kiva U.S. Work?
Here are the details of Kiva’s crowdfunded loans:
- Borrowing amount: $25-$10K
- Term length: six to 36 months
- 0% interest
- Time to funding: one to three months
Kiva U.S. Rules
The only requirement to receive a Kiva U.S. loan is that you put the money towards business expenses.
How To Apply For A Kiva U.S. Loan
Yes, you apply online, but that’s only the first step to getting a Kiva loan. The entire process is as follows:
- Fill out an application online
- Enter the approval stage
- Enter a 15-day private funding period
- Enter a 30-day public funding period
- Get funds within five to seven days
The process takes a while — certainly longer than with other lenders — but then again, crowdfunding with rewards/equity is hardly an instantaneous process either.
If you own a business, you need less than 10K, and you want a no-interest loan, Kiva U.S. is your only funding option. Assuming you can wait a while before seeing any funds, there’s no reason whatsoever not to give it a shot.
Which GoFundMe Alternative Is Right For You?
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. Consider what makes sense for your business, then make the jump while you can! Your ideas won’t stay ripe indefinitely. Strike while the iron is hot!
A Last Look At Our Top Picks
Best For - 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.
Best For - Indiegogo's welcoming approach and flexible campaigns make it an excellent crowdfunding choice for businesses and artists of all stripes.
Best For - 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.
Best For - FundRazr isn't the most high-profile crowdfunding service in the business, but its exceptional reputation for treating people well makes it worth considering for the startup in need of funding.
Best For - Fundable's terms and fees can make it tough for the little guy. However, a startup with high growth potential stands to benefit from the absence of the 5% platform fee that many crowdfunding sites impose.
Best For - Wefunder is one of the few crowdfunding companies with a track record of success in Regulation Crowdfunding. Startups with high growth potential have reason to take a closer look.
Best For - If your startup 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.
Best For - Ulule does things differently than most of the crowdfunding sites on this side of the pond. More consultation, more guidance. Does this approach jibe with your needs? If your company produces things that have Continental appeal, give Ulule a closer look.
Best For - An AngelList spinoff, Republic is already making waves in the equity crowdfunding world. If you run an exceptional startup and you come from a historically-underserved community, Republic wants your attention.
- Kiva U.S.
Best For - If you own a business, you need less than 10K, and you want a no-interest loan, Kiva U.S. is your only funding option. Assuming you can wait a while before seeing any funds, there's no reason whatsoever not to give it a shot.