Note: This is the 2015 update to our original guide to choosing your crowdfunding platform from a couple of years back, and the first in a series of in depth campaign fundamentals.

You've been thinking about this for a long time and now you've finally decided. It's time to take the plunge and make it happen by raising the money with a crowdfunding campaign. It's an exciting idea because you've seen other people pull it off. Why not you? But then you have a lot of questions, too, and without answers your project is going nowhere. How do you actually get people to come to your campaign page? How do you make a video that can really show the best of what you're going to do, with the budget you have and the people you know? But before all of that, before you can get started making your campaign page at all, there's one burning question that needs to be answered before the others. Do you go with Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

For years, if you searched for the answer to this on Google, the number one resource you were pointed to was our Kickstarter Vs Indiegogo guide right here on Crowdfunding Dojo. After answering literally hundreds of comments and questions about our original guide to choosing though, it became clear that despite being the number 1 on the subject, that we could do better. Since the guide was published, a lot has changed at both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Even more has changed in how people run a modern crowdfunding campaign, and strategies for standing out have never been more sophisticated. Many of them such as The Irresistable Pledge Funnel or the Zero Budget Paid Visitor Avalanche , depend on a feature that only one platform has.

So how do you choose? Will it be Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

Today, we're about to show you how to choose your crowdfunding platform with the most comprehensive guide on the internet. You're about to learn the 6 steps created from our client experiences and hundreds of comments and questions regarding the original guide. Let's take a look at those 6 steps now:

 

Pre-flight Check

Before starting step 1 though, we're going to assume that you've already figured out a couple of things. You should have considered what the main goals of your project actually are. Is it just the money? Is it about raising an audience? Or loyal customers for future projects? Or venture capital to expand after the campaign? Or do you want to launch a new career in a field you've always loved? Or a new business? Or just validate whether buyers actually exist for what you want to do?

All of these are subtly different goals, and you need to have considered which you would gladly sacrifice for one of the others. "All of the above" or even "most of the above" is way too vague.

Also, consider this: Who's going to fall in love what you're launching? What frustration are they desperately trying to solve? Click to tweet button

 

The Only Six Steps You Need:

Each of these steps goes in order, from the most critical first, to the fine details at the end.

  1. Check your projects eligibility
  2. Select your major strategies
  3. Determine cultural and personality fit
  4. Look for credibility display opportunities
  5. Evaluate platform costs
  6. Consider the individual platforms minor features

 So now that you know what the steps are, let's explain each one and how to put it into action:

 

1. Check Your Projects Eligibility

This is the obvious but most important one. FIrst up you need to check that what you want to crowdfund is actually allowed on the platform(s) you're thinking of using. The most common problems here are if you're in a country that Kickstarter doesn't support. At the time of writing, this includes Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway Sweden, The United Kingdom or the USA. If you're not in one of these countries, it *is* still possible to launch on Kickstarter by following our guide: Creating a Kickstarter in an Unsupported Country , Be aware though that it's slow, complicated and expensive compared to the other options.

The other common issue with Kickstarter is if what you're crowdfunding doesn't meet Kickstarter's guides for an eligible project. The key things here are that what you're doing creates something with a definitive end (eg, a film rather than sy, a business), and that you're not trying to create something that Kickstarter has banned (eg. medical devices, genetically modified organisms, weapons etc.)

If you're looking at Indiegogo, the rules are generally looser. Generally, you just need to be in a country supported by PayPal (204 at the time of writing) and to not be doing anything antisocial (eg fraud, hate speech).

 

2. Select Your Major Marketing Strategies

There are a number of major strategies that you can use to get people to your crowdfunding campaign. Most people only know of one - contact bloggers and ask for exposure, but whichever you choose, you need to make sure that the platform is not just compatible with your project, but also with your marketing plan. For example, Kickstarter works great for The Irresistable Pledge Funnel™ because people can change their pledge level at any time without being charged more than once. You can do it with Indiegogo, but people will usually think twice before being charged twice to increase their pledge. On the other hand, a Paid Backer Avalanche™ doesn't work with Kickstarter (but does with an Indiegogo flexible funding campaign) because Kickstarter doesn't pay you funds pledged until after the campaign ends. So what major strategies are you planning on using? If you don't know, you can browse through the available ones on this site (mainly under campaign strategy ).

There are many major strategies that you can use. If you have no idea where to start though, here's a few that you can start looking at to see if they fit your circumstances: Click to Tweet button

  • A blogger sweep
  • The Irresistable Pledge Funnel™
  • The Paid Backer Avalanche™
  • An Expert Tour
  • A pay per click campaign
  • A Community Star Project™
  • A public relations campaign
  • A Referral Giveaway™ campaign

 

3. Determine Cultural and Personality Fit

It's all very well knowing that you could do something, but it doesn't help at all if you won't. For example, generally people are more likely to be funded with an all or nothing model such as Kickstarter or Fixed Funding on Indiegogo. That said, some people won't do well with the stress of the pledges leveling off after the first few days, knowing that they may get nothing. So,if you're likely to give up when things get uncertain or stressful, then this type of project isn't a good match for your personality. If, on the other hand, you're the kind of person who thrives under pressure and the possibility of losing everything, then "all or nothing" is a great match.

Also, the culture of the different crowdfunding platforms varies somewhat. This isn't anywhere near as important as the two previous steps, but if your audience already has good experiences with one platform over another, then that can make a positive difference to your campaign. Familiarity lowers people's uncertainty and makes them 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, film makers, geeks and tech gadget makers at Kickstarter, while you'll see more small businesses, controversial ideas and mass manufacturing at Indiegogo.

The Elephant in The Room: Flexible Funding

Of course the big difference between Indiegogo and Kickstarter is that while both offer "all or nothing" funding, only Indiegogo offers "flexible funding" where you keep any money raised whether you reach your goal or not. This sounds great on paper, but usually results in most people actually raising less. For more details, go and read our original article comparing Kickstarter Vs Indiegogo which is largely about this.

 

4. Look for Credibility Display Opportunities

One of the most important parts to getting funded is to earn the trust of your audience. Mainly this is done by interacting with your audience and showing that you can create what they're after, however sometimes using one platform or the other can give you more opportunities to show it. For example, if you already have any successful campaigns on one platform, then both Indiegogo and Kickstarter will actually show it. When people click on your username and see that you've been successful with crowdfunding before (even on smaller projects), then that increases their confidence in your ability to make this project happen.

Similarly, Indiegogo, uses YouTube for all videos, which is public. This can work for you or against you. Do you have an audience who will share your video and comment like crazy? If so, then using Indiegogo will help show that off. If you really don't, then Indiegogo will show that more too, which can actually damage your credibility, although if you end up putting together a popular campaign, then the views generated on Indiegogo will actually boost your YouTube presence in a way that Kickstarter's closed system won't.

 

5. Evaluate Platform Costs

Depending on your country, project type and success, find what's going to be the cheapest for you. Consider your goal, the minimum you're likely to make and the most you're likely to make. Then figure out how many pledges you would get in each case, and roughly how many pledges of of each level you're likely to get. Then use the table below to calculate the level of fees for both platforms in the best case, the worst and a break-even goal amount case. You can do this manually, or you can download the spreadsheet we have to do this for you for free, by clicking the button at the bottom of this article.

Kickstarter:

Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway Sweden, The United Kingdom or the USA

 Successfully fundedUnsuccessfully funded
Australia

5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + $0.20 AUD per pledge of $10 AUD and over, 5% and $0.05 AUD for pledges under $10 AUD for payment processing.

Free
Canada 5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + $0.20 CAD per pledge of $10 CAD and over, 5% and $0.05 AUD for pledges under $10 CAD for payment processing. Free
Denmark 5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + kr3.00 DKK per pledge of kr100 DKK and over, 5% and kr1.00 DKK for pledges under kr100 DKK for payment processing. Free
France 5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + 0.20 per pledge of 10 and over, 5% and 0.05 for pledges under 10 for payment processing. Free
Germany  5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + 0.20 per pledge of 10 and over, 5% and 0.05 for pledges under 10 for payment processing. Free
Ireland  5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + 0.20 per pledge of 10 and over, 5% and 0.05 for pledges under 10 for payment processing. Free
Netherlands  5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + 0.20 per pledge of 10 and over, 5% and 0.05 for pledges under 10 for payment processing. Free
New Zealand  5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + $0.20 NZD per pledge of $10 NZD and over, 5% and $0.05 NZD for pledges under $10 NZD for payment processing. Free
Norway  5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + kr3.00 NOK per pledge of kr100 NOK and over, 5% and kr1.00 NOK for pledges under kr100 NOK for payment processing. Free
Sweden  5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + kr3.00 SEK per pledge of kr100 SEK and over, 5% and kr1.00 SEK for pledges under kr100 DKK for payment processing Free
United Kingdom 5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + £0.20 per pledge of £10 and over, 5% and £0.05 for pledges under £10 for payment processing. Free
USA  

5% of funds raised to Kickstarter, 3% + $0.20 AUD per pledge of $10 AUD and over, 5% and $0.05 AUD for pledges under $10 AUD for payment processing.

Free

You can also check for updates at Kickstarters own fees page here.

 

Indiegogo:

 Successfully fundedUnsuccessfully funded
Flexible funding 4% of funds raised to Indiegogo, 3-5% of funds raised for the payment processor, $25 USD if running a campaign in non  US currency and receiving funds in USD. 9% of funds raised to Indiegogo, 3-5% of funds raised for the payment processor, $25 USD if running a campaign in non  US currency and receiving funds in USD.
Fixed funding 4% of funds raised to Indiegogo, 3-5% of funds raised for the payment processor, $25 USD if running a campaign in non  US currency and receiving funds in USD. Nothing to Indiegogo, 3-5% of funds raised for the payment processor, $25 USD if running a campaign in non  US currency and receiving funds in USD.
Personal funding Free, via Indiegogo Life

You can also check for updates at Indiegogo's own fees page here.

Do you want a quick way to estimate your project costs? Then click the button below to download our free tool, and a bunch of equally helpful extras. If you're on our updates mailing list, you can download it straight from the link in your email.

 

6. Consider the Platform's Features

This is often the section that people obsess over, yet if you're paying attention, you'll notice that it's the last, and thus least important section. Why? Because while these features are generally fun to play with, they generally make very little difference to your funding outcome unless it actually enables / disables a major marketing strategy as seen in point 2.

 

KickstarterIndiegogo
Greater credibility with bloggers, media and influencers Accepts PayPal
A higher proportion of projects funded (43.4 percent vs 9.8 percent ). This varies by category though. Uses YouTube
Spotlight page (highlight your project and send visitors to another website after funding) More open rules
Integrates Google Analytics User referral tracking
More journalists monitor Kickstarter from interesting projects Free for personal fundraising
Lets people increase their pledge any time without being charged again or re-entering payment details Ability to feature a specific reward tier
 Payment accounts are frozen much less often, than with PayPal (who Indiegogo use) Flexible funding (keep whatever you raise with instant payment of funds pledged)
  Available in 203 countries
  Allows reward teirs up to $1 less than a billion (compared to only a few thousand on Kickstarter)
  Use HTML in project description
  Allows more than 10 of an item as a reward in any category. (Kickstarter limits in Design and Technology)
  Will often be prepared to extend the deadline of your project if asked
  Forever funding (funding without an end date - only to a handful test projects currently)

 

Making Your Final Decision:

So, you've figured out that your project qualifies for both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, which platform(s) fit with your major marketing strategies, which platform(s) fit with your personality an those of your audience, you've figured out which platform will let you show off your credability opportunities, you've calculated the fees involved (possibly with our free tool below) and you've looked at the minor features of both platforms. Usually by now, you'll have a pretty good idea, if not a rock solid one, of which platform is for you. If not, remember that the steps are in order of importance. go back and check in which, one platform comes out ahead of the other. Whichever step comes first is the one you should pay attention to. For example, if Kickstarter wins out on step 2, but Indiegogo on step 4 then go with Kickstarter. Likewise if Indiegogo wins in step 1, but Kickstarter in step 4, then go with Indiegogo.

If you still have any questions, thoughts or ideas of course, then leave them in the comments below. We'll use them to update this guide and make it better for everyone.

 

Do you want a quick way to estimate your project costs? Then click the button below to download our free tool, and a bunch of equally helpful extras. If you're on our updates mailing list, you can download it straight from the link in your email. Click to Tweet button
 

 

 

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