Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the Top Crowdfunding Platforms. But where do you go when the big two won’t do? Kickstarter is a rewards-based, all-or-nothing system. It is great for raising money for entrepreneurial purposes – and even for getting your toes into financial waters before actually laying out funds on a project. Indiegogo uses flexible funding, and is fantastic for things like road tours for musicians because the funds are immediately available – regardless of whether or not the campaign is fully funded. But that can leave you, the crowdfund manager, looking for funding to cover rewards – and you need the rewards ready to go immediately. Both of the Big Two say to start at least six months in advance of your crowdfunding campaign. So “Who you gonna call?” to borrow a line from Ghostbusters…you can call GoFundMe.
GoFundMe does not require rewards for contributors. It is set up as a way to collect funds for specific and personal reasons – such as funerals, dental work, an unexpected need for a car and similar expenses. Like Indiegogo, the funds are immediately available to the applicant. GoFundMe also allows collections for charity – such as runs for cancer, and similar events. Neither of the Big Two allow direct charitable contributions. The platform also has an option for an all-or-nothing campaign for those situations where the full amount is needed in order to be meaningful.
The kinds of campaigns that you can see on this platform include things like couples who need help with adoption fees, couples who need medical assistance in order to have a baby, funerals, weddings, car accidents, and special celebrations. It allows people to ask for money without personally knocking on doors. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some legwork involved.
One tutorial video that can be found on the GoFundme website noted that just signing up for a crowdfunding campaign didn’t guarantee instant success. It went on to add that campaigners who had never used the Internet would have a difficult time managing a crowdfunding platform, and generally communicating with contributors. The video goes on to add that campaigners should develop Facebook, Twitter and similar social networking accounts before beginning a crowdfunding campaign. It points out that even for people who have an extensive friend base – which takes time to develop – that only a very small portion of the people on that list will actually step up and contribute something.
Which somewhat begs the question, what can be done in cases of emergency – especially for people who have an emergency situation that calls for immediate action.
The campaign doesn’t have to be run by the person or the family that needs the money. Family, friends or organizations can step in and run a campaign on behalf of the person who is in need. In fact, if you look through the platform’s success stories, you will see several instances where an organization has picked up the cause of a person who has had accidental injuries or a family that has been left destitute by natural disasters, weather, or similar problems.
Of course, you can certainly run your own campaign. One successful example is a man who was planning is own DIY funeral. Diagnosed with colon cancer, he decided to relieve his family of the burden of paying for his funeral expenses. From his bed, he began organizing such things as his casket, investigating options for disposal of his remains – it seems that people who are diagnosed with cancer cannot be organ donors, but he was hopeful of donating his cadaver to a teaching college, and running his crowdfunding campaign. He commented that he had nothing else to do; and that if it saved his mother and other family members trouble and grief, he felt it was time well spent.
Every crowdfunding campaign has a story. GoFundMe campaigns might have more moving stories than most, since they allow backers to support the needs of friends, family and community. You can find a link to the platform on Best Crowdfunding Websites under the heading “Top Crowdfunding Platforms.” That part of the website is a great place to explore your options for the best crowdfunding platform for you and your cause. Every crowdfunding campaign has a lot of choices that need to be made – and selecting the right platform could be one of the biggest ones you will have to make. Certainly, for the success of your campaign, selecting the best for your purpose can make all the difference in the world between success and failure. May the platform you choose be the perfect one for you – the first time, and every time.