As crowdfunding becomes a more popular way of funding projects, the industry has become inundated with multiple platforms, over 4,500 at the last count.
These platforms can be big and powerful or weird and wonderful. Sometimes the latter may be better for your campaign – in this article we explore some of the more nuanced platforms that you might be interested in.
The first aspect you need to know is that there are different types of platforms. For example, equity, debt based, charitable donor based /backed etc. These are further explained in our blog, The Power of the Crowd in Crowdfunding. However, for this blog, we will be focusing on just reward based crowdfunding platforms.
Why are we writing this? Well, because the success of a crowdfunding campaign is strongly linked to the audience resonance, so in theory, more targeted audiences means better outcomes, right? Let us dig a bit deeper…
What Is Reward Based Crowdfunding?
Reward based platforms are when backers receive a ‘reward’ for investing money in the organisation. This can be in several forms, physical or non-physical. It may include a gift such as a t-shirt or e-book, a discounted price on a product not yet launched, or a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Our pick of some more unknown reward crowdfunding platforms to consider:
Great For: Authors
Having scoured the internet, there are quite a few platforms that are dedicated to new book/ literary ideas. However Unbound is one of the bigger and simpler platforms to use. They also offer articles and blogs around writing tips and tricks.
Once you have successfully funded your book and then published it, Unbound then offers itself up as a platform for you to sell your book directly. It helps you in every step of your book journey.
A potentially considerable downside however of this site is that it does charge a success fee of 50% of your net income. So you do loose out on half the total money you raise.
Example of an Unbound Success Story
[Source: crowdfunding page]
This book in short is a biography of a video gamer from before the internet was the thing it is today, and how he adopted and evolved with with technology. They managed to gain 7371 backers and raised 1538% more than their original target goal.
Great For: Fashion and Design
This platform is all about innovative clothing ideas and projects. Such as yoga pants for work or Hawaiian shirt prints. If you have an idea for clothing or a pattern you want to develop then this is the platform for you.
When becoming a designer on this website you do need to be aware that they have a fairly hefty fee structure applied depending on how successful the project is:
High-level designers (contributing sketches, flats, patterns, marketing etc) will receive a commission of 10% of all net sales (price at time of sale minus discounts and returns) for the first 1000 units, 5% on the next 1000 units, and 2.5% on the following 1000 units sold on www.betabrand.com within 2 years. No sales via affiliate sites will be included. Designers have the option to accept a onetime fee to be agreed upon in place of the commission.
FAQ from Betabrand.com
Name: Straight-Leg | Gray Dress Pant Yoga PantsReached: 100,534% of goal
This product is all about being comfy in the work place by creating suitably attired yoga pants. Unfortunately, the website does not state what the target goal of a project is. However even if it was £1 for this project it still would have raised £100,534 which is an admirable amount. Clearly work yoga pants are in fashion!
Great For: Female Entrepreneurs
Woman power seems to be the main aim for this platform. They help woman and gender diverse teams with great ideas to ‘change the world’. They have created an inclusive ecosystem of investors and influencers. So, if you’re a woman with a great idea then this is right up your Plumalley.
It’s both inclusive and exclusive at the same time. A strange combination but somehow, they make it work. They require 5% of earning from completed campaigns as a success rate. Then for transaction fees you would need to pay 2.9% which is definitely not the worst percentage in the crowdfunding industry.
You will also have to pay a membership fee ranging from $1000 to $5000. However, this means that you benefit from your audience knowing you are the real deal, and have been vetted to a degree by the platform – averting some of the very current challenges of creator authenticity on some better know platforms. Everyone is deemed ‘legit’ and says who they are.
Name: Bella Minds
Bella Minds is a group of hands-on education centres outside major U.S. metro areas designed to train and equip women with marketable technology skills. They give women the opportunity to learn and enhance their minds through meetups and training programmes. This project helped them fund the pilot programme to start their business. It has now progressed to meeting points all over the US with international meetup planned.
Great For: Sports
If you are a sports club or athlete and need funding to go to an event or get new equipment, then this could be the place for you. You can also fund club or sport ideas you have. This platform is free to use and according to the website is easy to set-up and launch (we haven’t tested it yet).
It currently has 50,000 daily visitors but only has 236 successful campaigns. Transaction fee is an average 5% with a 3% transaction fee through PayPal.
[Source: crowdfunding page]
MRU Elite is a local high school soccer (Note: football for us Brits) team in California. One-year a similar aged soccer team flew over from Spain to share their passion for the sport and learn about each other’s cultures. The MRU team wanted to go over to Spain to visit their friends they made and create deeper cultural links.
Unfortunately, as stated above, they didn’t manage to raise their target goal. However, they still managed to go to Spain through the money raised on this website and from their local community. So, even though their campaign didn’t get them all the way it was a tactic that was used to add as they still get to keep all the money if they don’t succeed.
As each of the above are reward platforms, backers will get something for giving. For unbound you can get an eBook, Rally me you would get a signed copy of a T-shirt. It all depends on what the campaign is. If none of the above platforms take your fancy then there are still over 4,497 others to look at (however, to save you some time, look at this link for the top 20 crowdfunding campaigns, according to Godaddy).
A helpful website for comparing platforms is Crowdsunite. It’s a simple easy to use site that also stated transaction and success fees plus lots of additional information about each site.
If you would like to talk more about which platform is right for you, feel free to message us on Twitter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org… or just pick up the dog and bone to talk crowdfunding.