Crowdfunding platform tips?

by Ryan Wilcox1 min read13th Oct 202010 comments

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I'm volunteering for a young EA-aligned nonprofit and trying to put together a crowdfunding campaign. For this campaign, we'd like to pick a platform that's appropriate for a global health charity trying to expand its network and attract donors. Ease of use, high visibility and matching funds opportunities are also priorities. We hope to reach donors and accept donations from around the world -- especially UK, US and India. There are many fish in this sea, so it's a little hard to narrow our search based on limited information.

Does anyone out there have experience (positive or negative) with a particular platform that you'd care to share? What have your experiences been? Any reasons why you would recommend a certain platform? If anyone has done any kind of studies on any of these platforms, that would also be great to know.

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We used kickstarter when we did one. I think we were swayed by the possibility that Kickstarter might recognise how wonderful our project was and we might be selected as one of the projects that people see when they arrive on the main page. If you get this, it's essentially hugely valuable free publicity.

In retrospect, I think this was naive, and probably a mistake. Kickstarter takes (if I remember correctly) 5% of the funds, which is quite a bit.

Hi Sanjay, thanks for sharing your crowdfunding thoughts. I just put my first campaign together for Suvita (all about increasing immunization rates in India). www.gofundme.com/f/suvita. Feel free to share. It was helpful to hear your thoughts and check out your Kickstarter. I appreciate it.

Oh, and SoGive looks like a fantastic project by the way! I'm really interested in spreading a culture of effective giving, which it seems you are too. Let me know if you'd like to discuss some time. Cheers.

Thank you for the info, Sanjay!

Check out Lets-Fund.org/FAQ

I recommend Facebook, because of great social media integration and zero fees, but am surprised how many donors choose to use GoFundMe instead (maybe because they don't have FB). Facebook campaigns expire every 90 days though and it's not easy to collect contact details of your donors.

Thank you Hauke! I'm assuming Let's Fund does its own research and doesn't accept any form of applications from nonprofits, correct? I'm trying to help Suvita (suvita.org) with their promising work in vaccination uptake in India, but I don't think this would be the type of high-risk upstart Let's Fund is focused on. I'm open to ideas. Thank you for your thoughts.

Yes, correct, sorry we do not accept applications and only do independent research to find giving opportunities.

Hi Hauke, other than the contact info issue, can you think of any other shortcomings of Facebook crowdfunding compared to sites that focus more exclusively on crowdfunding (such as HipGive, Causes, etc.? Thanks again

Some people don't have facebook or don't like to give credit card information. You might consider setting up on both FB and GFM, where you try to get people to FB first, because it doesn't take any fees and then maybe either to PayPal, which also doesn't take fees, and only then perhaps to GFM, just make a website with your own aggregate donation count.

You might also want to check out Youtube's new crowdfunding capabilities.

Good luck! Suvita seems  like a great project.

Hauke, I wanted to thank you for your help here. It did make a difference in our decision making process regarding crowdfunding. Suvita's end of year campaign is now up on GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/f/suvita. Hope you're doing well and Let's Fund's is making progress. Let me know if you'd like to discuss our various projects. I'll be hosting some EA-related speaking events through my work in December, starting with Giving What We Can this coming Thursday. I'll send you links if you're interested. Cheers!