So the chances are you've heard about Kickstarter. You probably have a pretty good handle on the basic pros and cons of this platform as well, but in the interests of being thorough, let's cover our bases and start at the beginning.
Today, crowdfunding is mostly synonymous with Kickstarter. It's the largest crowdfunding platform there is. It's also got a bunch of metrics that are happy to sing its praises: Kickstarter campaigns have already raised over US $ 2bln. It's hosted 95,000 successful projects, has a total of 9.7million backers – of which one-third support multiple campaigns. Over 100 (132 actually) have broken the US $ 1 million mark. A further 2355 campaigns have raised over US $ 100k. Need I go on?
This crowdfunding Goliath boasts 15 campaign categories. The film and video, music and publishing categories are the most popular (you'll find the majority of campaigns registered in one of these), but it's the games, technology and design categories that really excite backers. These last three are the most funded groups on the site (as a side note, Wednesday afternoon is the time when most backers put their hands in their pockets).
Impressed yet? Well, you might be a little less so when you learn that all those impressive stats only account for 36.69% of Kickstarter campaigners. The rest (over 60%) fail to achieve their goals.
But do not get disheartened, Kickstarter still has aces up its sleeve. With a reputation for launching whacky, innovative and down right wonderful ideas, Kickstarter gets a fair bit of coverage from the media and bloggers. One well placed article could win you a place in that top 37%.
Initially focused exclusively on independent films (since the name) Indiegogo started accepting projects from any category a year after its launch. Established to provide more opportunities to backers than Kickstarter, Indiegogo is typically perceived as a less strict platform. It is available in over 200 countries and provides more categories (24 vs Kickstarter's 15). It also gives backers control over whether they want fixed (all or nothing) or flexible (creator gets whatever amount they collect) models.
It might not be winning in the PR stakes, but Indiegogo certainly has more campaigns than Kickstarter. At any given point it has around 10,000 live campaigns (Kickstarter has 6,000) and hosts an average of 260 new campaigns every day. It also is not all that fussed with metrics (you'll struggle to find the kind of statistical data Kickstarter is happy to publish), but you will come across the odd estimate or three.
If Kickstarter reckons around 37% of its campaigners are successful, then the digital world puts Indiegogo's success rate somewhere between 8-9%. It sounds terrible, but it does have a few other things going for it. Its flexible funding scheme allows you to get the funding without necessarily reaching your goals, plus our successful Indiegogo campaigners also tell us that the customer support is second to none (not something Kickstarter campaigners tend to agree with). Add to that the fact that pledges are non-refundable, so the creator knows exactly how much they've raised (Kickstarter campaigns tend to drop 5-7% of backers – more on this later), and Indiegogo starts to look like a very attractive option.
It's also worth knowing that the culture of the different crowdfunding platforms varies somewhat, so it's important to clearly understand your audience. If they're more likely to opt for one platform over another, then you need to take that into consideration. Familiarity breeds confidence, and makes visitors more open to pledging.
So how do you know which platform is likely to be a better match for your audience? Generally speaking, you'll tend to find more artists, musicians, filmmakers, geeks and techy gadget makers on Kickstarter. You'll see more small businesses, controversial ideas, NGOs and mass manufacturing at Indiegogo.
The demographics between the platforms also vary. Indiegogo has a more female friendly audience and gets more traffic from Facebook than Kickstarter.
So, before your decision which platform to choose, carefully examine you project's category, marketing strategy, costs, appropriate funding schemes and goals.
Important to know
Remember that the platform will not do the job alone and you have to put the work in if you want to be successful. Explore our Blog to find out how.