IndieGoGo – Rewards-Based Crowdfunding – Sky’s the Limit
Though Kickstarter has a head start in the realm of crowdfunding campaigns, IndieGoGo isn’t far behind. It has a larger demographic reach than Kickstarter, because IndieGoGo isn’t restricted to the creative art niche, though it began in 2008 as a fundraising platform for independent films. From business funding to health-related community projects, IndieGoGo is the social Top Crowdfunding Platform without limits or restrictions on the type of project – or even on the creator’s country of origin (unless the country is on the OFAC sanctions list). Those who feel restricted by Kickstarter’s application and screening process will be happy to know that IndieGoGo has none of these requirements, nor the requirement of an Amazon account, because any valid bank account will work.
Nor is IndieGoGo restricted to Amazon for payment. While Paypal is the major platform for contributions, the major credit cards are also accepted. There are two funding options: fixed funding and flexible funding. The fixed funding plan is as strict as Kickstarter; if a project fails to meet the set goal by $1, all of the contributions are returned to the backers. The flexible funding plan allows the creator to keep the contributions, regardless of whether or not the intended goal is reached.
However, the fees may prove to be a barrier. While IndieGoGo allows for flexible funding, independence has a price. Instead of paying out 4% of the collected contributions, a project creator will pay an extra 5% for falling short of the intended goal, which means that IndieGoGo gets to keep 9% of the final amount. Also, there’s a $25 fee for campaigns begun outside the bounds of the United States (besides the currency exchange fees), and a 3% fee for credit card processing, regardless of the plan type. The major benefit of PayPal contributions is that the money is available immediately. Credit card contributions won’t be allocated to the creator until after the project deadline, and may take up to 14 days to arrive in the bank account.
The benefits of customer service may make these fees and delays worthwhile. Not only does IndieGoGo have an automatic algorithm that allows the shooting stars to sparkle on the home page, there’s also the incentives of built-in announcements, direct e-mail, and one-click integrated social media.There’s a Help Center with instructions ranging from campaign creation to raising nonprofit funds, webinars and livestream crowd chats, and a Customer Happiness team of real people who can answer questions within a 24-hour day.
IndieGogo consistently gets positive reviews on the responsiveness of its Customer Service team, and the site’s ease of use. However, creators should know that the average success rate is 20% for IndieGoGo (rather than over 50% for Kickstarter). There have also been complaints about some of the tools’ functionality, including comments about the seeming lack of consistency in the “gogofactor” that helps campaign visibility by promotion on the IndieGoGo page. While there are many success stories, the average amount raised is just over $8,500, with 700,000 visitors appearing on the site per month. (Kickstarter’s campaigns average $15,000 in contributions, with over 1.1 million visitors per month.) Again, crowdfunding campaign independence has its challenges, so it’s best to be prepared.