This article is part of a larger series on Business Financing.
The best crowdfunding sites should provide your business with an opportunity to raise funds, either to start a business or to provide the necessary funding to expand and grow. Crowdfunding involves offering rewards, giving up equity in your company, taking on debt, or receiving donations.
Once you decide which type of crowdfunding best fits your business needs, one of these providers can help you through the fundraising process. Some sites even allow you to continue earning after a campaign ends or can help set you up for larger fundraising efforts such as venture capital financing.
Here are the 11 best crowdfunding sites, with links directly to the provider websites:
- Kickstarter: Best overall crowdfunding platform for consumer-facing products
- GoFundMe: Best donation crowdfunding site for owners with large following
- Patreon: Best crowdfunding site for creatives
- Indiegogo: Best for women-owned businesses
- StartEngine: Best for equity crowdfunding for seasoned entrepreneurs
- Funding Circle: Best for debt crowdfunding options
- WeFunder: Best for scalable startups
- MicroVentures: Best for internet companies including gaming and mobile
- Fundable: Best for tech startups
- Crowd Supply: Best for manufacturers with new products or innovations
- MightyCause: Best for nonprofit fundraising
Best Crowdfunding Sites at a Glance
Limit to Length Of Campaign
5% on funded campaigns
3% plus 20 cents per pledge
Owners with large following
2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
5% to 12% of monthly income
2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
5% on funded campaigns
3% plus 30 cents per transaction
Equity crowdfunding for seasoned entrepreneurs
$4,000 to $10,000 Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF); $50,000 to $100,000 Regulation A+ (Reg A+)
None for Reg CF; Up to 3 years for Reg A+
Loan rates 5% and up
Up to 7 years
Loan APR 8.75% and up
7.5% of amount raised
Up to 6 months
No additional fee
Internet companies including gaming
5% commission plus escrow fee
2% equity plus one-time fee of $5,600 to $8,500
From $179 per month
90 days or less
3.5% plus 30 cents per transaction
Manufacturers with new products or innovations
Approximately 12% of amount raised
2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
$59 per month Essentials; $99 per month Advanced
Up to 2.2% plus 29 cents per transaction
Kickstarter: Best Overall Crowdfunding Platform for Consumer-facing Products
With more than 230,000 projects funded for more than $7 billion, Kickstarter is our choice for the best crowdfunding website. It can help you raise money for your business with its competitive fees and a large pool of potential backers.
You can use it to raise money if your business falls into one of these project categories: art, comics, crafts, dance, design, fashion, film and video, food, games, journalism, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater.
The company uses an all-or-nothing model—when you set your funding goal, you must raise at least that amount to get funded. Your project can last up to 60 days; however, Kickstarter states that projects lasting 30 days or fewer have the highest success rate. Our guide on how to crowdfund your small business can help you prepare for your campaign.
In addition, of the more than 230,000 successfully funded projects, approximately 150,000 had a goal of less than $10,000 raised. Only 700 campaigns raised $1 million or more, so Kickstarter isn’t the best platform for large fundraising projects.
It charges a fee of 5% of total funds raised, plus payment processing fees of 3% plus 20 cents per pledge. There are discounts for processing fees on pledges of $10 or less.
Kickstarter is primarily used for consumer-facing products. You cannot raise money for charity on the platform, and you cannot offer equity in your company through your campaign.
Despite its drawbacks, with a large base of potential donors and a strong success rate, it’s an excellent choice for an alternative funding option to startup business loans.
GoFundMe: Best Donation Crowdfunding Site for Owners With a Large Following
GoFundMe is a donation crowdfunding site where people have raised over $25 billion from more than 200 million individual donations. This means there’s no equity to give up, no debt to repay, and no rewards to ship. Also, GoFundMe only charges transaction fees when you receive the funds. However, getting your campaign noticed may be difficult because of the volume of projects and causes on GoFundMe.
Most organizers can withdraw funds from their project once they come through the donation page. Some crowdfunding sites hold funds for up to seven days, so GoFundMe has a big advantage in this area.
Unlike Kickstarter, which limits your campaign to 60 days, there’s no timeline or deadline for campaigns on GoFundMe. You also keep every donation received—it isn’t all-or-nothing, similar to Kickstarter.
GoFundMe is best for businesses that can gather supporters to fund their campaign, even though there’ll be no repayment. This isn’t a great option for startups unless their owners have a large following; however, a struggling business important to their community often raises funds successfully.
Some reviews mention limited or poor customer service with GoFundMe. You also have to give your Social Security number to withdraw funds, which might be less than ideal for businesses.
Patreon: Best Crowdfunding Site for Creatives
Patreon brings a unique take on rewards crowdfunding. Rather than promising products sometime in the future to backers, businesses can get paid as they deliver content, which is why Patreon is best for creative businesses like podcasts, artists, and other entertainment where content is produced regularly. This is especially true if the content you produce is typically free and you want to let people support it or you offer additional content behind a paywall.
Businesses on Patreon have raised more than $2 billion. Payment is received for every episode, photo, or time period in which a creator produces content. Patreon has an estimated $24 million in monthly payouts, according to Graphtreon. There are more than 220,000 creators with at least one patron.
Patreon offers three tiers with increasing levels of products and support:
- Lite starts at 5% of monthly income.
- Pro plan is 8% of monthly income.
- Premium is 12% of monthly income.
You can switch between Lite and Pro anytime while Premium requires a minimum three-month commitment.
Businesses that aren’t involved in creative ventures or don’t produce regular products for their supporters may want to consider other types of crowdfunding.
Indiegogo: Best for Women-owned Businesses
Indiegogo is best for businesses making consumer products that can be shipped as rewards. Besides getting some much-needed capital, you’ll be able to build a community of users that love your product and are invested in seeing you and your company succeed.
Companies at any stage are welcome; however, backers often like to see at least working prototypes available. Nearly half of Indiegogo’s successful campaigns are from women-owned businesses. Like Kickstarter, your campaign is limited to 60 days.
One big advantage of Indiegogo is that you can continue raising funds after your campaign has ended with the company’s InDemand program. This can allow you to continue to grow your business and receive ongoing exposure on Indiegogo’s website. To qualify for this program, you must meet your campaign goals by your deadline.
Indiegogo charges a 5% fee on all funded campaigns, and you’ll be responsible for a transaction fee of 3% plus 20 cents per transaction. This is comparable to other rewards crowdfunding sites, with the added benefit of a large network of potential backers.
You can choose an all-or-nothing funding method with fixed funding, or you can keep whatever money is raised with flexible funding. However, if you use flexible funding and fall short of your goal, you must still ship your rewards, even if they were based on your fundraising goal. So, you may have to cover the difference yourself.
On Aug. 11, 2022, Indiegogo announced a partnership with StartEngine to help entrepreneurs access capital to grow their businesses after their Indiegogo campaigns end.
StartEngine: Best for Equity Crowdfunding for Seasoned Entrepreneurs
StartEngine is an equity-based crowdfunding website for startups looking for larger sums of money. Generally, it also prefers seasoned entrepreneurs with previous equity crowdfunding experience.
As of January 2023, it has raised more than $650 million from more than one million investors. Of the companies that try StartEngine once, 50% return to raise money with them again.
StartEngine allows you rolling closes on the platform, which lets you withdraw funds during the campaign to use immediately for business expenses or for reinvesting in the campaign. You will have to raise at least 120% of your minimum funding goal and wait a three-week Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-mandated cooling period before collecting funds as you go.
You can choose Reg CF or Reg A+. Reg CF is limited to $5 million but comes with little to no upfront costs. Costs for this crowdfunding range from $4,000 to $10,000. This can be launched in four to six weeks. Meanwhile, Reg A+ crowdfunding can raise up to $75 million but costs $50,000 to $100,000. It takes at least six months to complete this funding method. There are also additional fees with both types of crowdfunding of 3.5%.
Either way, there will be legal documents needed with StartEngine that you won’t need with other crowdfunding sites, which gears this toward incorporated businesses. If you self-certify your financials, you can raise up to $107,000. Otherwise, you will need some level of audit to raise more money.
On Oct. 27, 2022, StartEngine announced it was purchasing SeedInvest, another large equity crowdfunding site. SeedInvest raised more than $470 million from 700,000 in its 10-year run. Combined with its partnership with Indiegogo announced in August 2022, StartEngine is becoming the dominant force in the market for equity crowdfunding.
Funding Circle: Best for Debt Crowdfunding Options
Funding Circle offers small businesses debt crowdfunding and has lent over $19.4 billion successfully to more than 130,000 companies. Loans go up to $500,000.
To qualify for any small business loan, you’ll need good credit and recent business growth with good annual revenue. Funding Circle may also require collateral for some loans. Repayment is either biweekly or monthly in a term of between six months and seven years.
There are no application fees and no prepayment penalties. Total cost of the loan will vary depending on the borrower’s creditworthiness. Interest rates start as low as 5%, with APR as low as 8.5%.
Loans can be approved in as fast as 24 hours, with funding in as little as 48 hours after approval.
FundingCircle is a good option for small businesses that need a quick loan without the burden of an extensive crowdfunding campaign. Applying only takes 10 minutes; however, you’ll need at least a 660 credit score to qualify, with an average score of 700 for approved borrowers.
You’ll also need to have been in business for at least two years and with at least $120,000 in annual revenue. Because of the higher credit, time in business, and revenue requirements, this might not be the best option for newer companies looking for a startup business loan.
Read our guide on how to get a small business loan for the process and what to expect after applying.
WeFunder: Best for Scalable Startups
WeFunder is one of the largest and oldest equity crowdfunding sites, covering every business from technology to retail and entertainment, with more than $5 billion raised from 1.65 million investors. It’s a good choice for startups coming out of the early stages of their business life, but not quite ready to look into venture capital funding.
According to CrowdWise, WeFunder raised $172.8 million from more than 140,000 investors in 2022. It also had the highest market share of Reg CF fundraising in 2022, at 35%. StartEngine was second at 26.4%.
However, raising funds for a brand new company may be difficult, given that WeFunder’s most successful projects have demonstrated growth, government contracts, or major accomplishments. It’s best for startups like breweries, smartphone apps, and combustion engine innovations—all of which emphasize scalability and demonstrated growth. Most companies on the platform also bring roughly 50% of their own investors to the campaigns, which can be difficult if you have a smaller business without a substantial online following.
WeFunder charges 7.5% of funds successfully raised, which includes payment processing fees. There are no other fees charged, and you pay nothing until you successfully raise money.
Like all other equity crowdfunding platforms, there are legal requirements with equity crowdfunding that might not be worth going through for smaller startups looking for smaller sums of money. However, if your business wants to raise large capital, possibly before looking into venture capital products, WeFunder is a good option.
MicroVentures: Best for Internet Companies Including Gaming & Mobile
MicroVentures is an equity crowdfunding site for early- and late-stage startup funding, with over $450 million raised. Most businesses can qualify; however, only accredited investors can invest, leaving fewer investors in the pool for your company.
Projects take about eight weeks to get funded. It takes approximately six weeks from application submission to final approval and actual funding date. Once fully funded, you should receive funds within two weeks.
Upfront costs start at approximately $5,600, with legal fees, Form C fees, outside financial reviews, and an associated fee for notice filings with your state of operation. Optional additional costs can include outside marketing and video production.
Closing costs include a 5% commission and 2% equity. In addition, there is an escrow fee of $1,000 or 35 basis points of the total amount raised, whichever is greater.
MicroVentures is best for internet companies, including gaming, mobile, social, and software, which need at least $150,000 in funding. Typically, businesses already generating sales and are fast-growing have a better track record of successfully raising funds on the platform. Most of the projects that have met their funding goals were consumer-facing businesses.
Fundable: Best for Tech Startups
Fundable is a crowdfunding site for small businesses dedicated to getting funding through rewards and equity. Businesses using its platform have raised more than $570 million since 2012. There are no fees for a successful equity round and only merchant processing fees are required for rewards fundraising.
However, posting a campaign isn’t free and requires a monthly subscription. The company says the fees are “as little as $179” per month but doesn’t state the maximum fees. Check with Fundable before starting a campaign to clarify potential fees.
There are two types of fundraising with Fundable. You can choose self-managed or guided fundraising. With self-managed, Fundable will host your fundraiser to collect investor commitments from your network. You determine your target funding amount. Once you have reached the funding you need, you can close the deal and begin receiving funding.
With guided fundraising, Fundable will build your pitch deck. Its research team will go through hundreds of thousands of potential investors to create a targeted list for your company’s project. Fundable will also help you create initial outreach emails, coach you on presenting to investors, and help you understand the process.
Fundable is best for tech startups making anything from drones and medical equipment to diagnostics software. Completed projects tend to have high dollar amounts and typically are companies that are ready to scale or deploy their products to a larger audience from various industries.
Crowd Supply: Best for Manufacturers With New Products or Innovations
Crowd Supply helps small businesses manufacturing hardware get rewards crowdfunding for their projects, with more than 90% of projects funded. It’s best for hardware manufacturers with new products or innovations ranging from coffee presses to laptops or individual components.
Backers are offered rewards, and you’ll get assistance with logistics, project execution, a supporting community, and ultimately delivering on your project. Crowd Supply stands out as it allows companies to raise funds for new and completed projects.
Additionally, it has shipped 100% of backed projects and it even supplies the shipping and warehouse space needed to support the logistics of backed companies. The average successful project raises over $60,000.
For successful projects, Crowd Supply will place its own order of 50% to 100% of the amount raised by backers to add more funds to your project. You should start seeing funds within two weeks of the campaign close.
Crowd Supply charges 12% of product sales during the campaign, making it one of the more expensive fundraising providers on this list. However, when considering the matching funds it provides to successful campaigns, and the ability to get continued shipping and logistics help after the campaign, you may find the extra costs worth it.
MightyCause: Best for Nonprofit Fundraising
For nonprofits looking for an all-in-one fundraising platform, MightyCause is a great choice. It’ll set up a year-round page for your company with support, metrics, and engagement. You can encourage backers to give either a one-time donation or set up recurring support.
You can have unlimited peer-to-peer, team, and event fundraising. It even lets you have backers text-to-give fundraising. Also, it can set up an embeddable donation form and donation widget on your website.
The donation page has many powerful tools, including real-time donation reports and CRM donor management. You can also get detailed fundraising analytics and volunteer management through the site.
There are two tiers of fundraising packages available. The Essential tier is $59 per month if billed annually while the Advanced tier is $99 per month if billed annually. Those prices go up if you bill monthly.
Both include unlimited fundraising and peer-to-peer campaigns, team fundraising, website support, real-time reports and recurring donation management, among other features. The Advanced tier also offers event fundraising, full-service CRM, text-to-give features, several software integrations, and data integration with more than 1,000 apps.
Payment processing is capped at 2.2% and 29 cents per transaction. But on average, it is 1.2% plus 29 cents per transaction, lower than many other providers on this list.
In addition to the higher fees if you bill monthly, some key features are only available in the Advanced tier. Also, some donors believe the site is too confusing to use. Nevertheless, MightyCause is a very solid crowdfunding option for nonprofits.
Choosing the Right Crowdfunding Website
There are different types of crowdfunding available for small businesses. Each site often specializes in one particular type; however, each may offer multiple ways for you to reward your supporters. Crowdfunding can be a viable alternative to other methods of business financing, particularly for businesses with a great pitch or hook to entice supporters.
Four types of crowdfunding most often available to small businesses are:
- Equity crowdfunding: Businesses give a share of their company to investors. This crowdfunding type is typically best suited for businesses that can grow and scale quickly.
- Debt crowdfunding: Similar to a traditional business loan. However, rather than owing the bank, borrowers owe payments to individuals. Funds are raised at a predetermined APR. This option is best for businesses with strong revenues and credit histories.
- Rewards crowdfunding: By offering backers a reward, you can avoid repaying debt or giving up equity in your company. It’s ideal for businesses with a product they can ship and/or need funding before generating revenues.
- Donation crowdfunding: The most difficult option for raising funds but doesn’t require repayment. It’s best for businesses that can get support from their local communities to fund their campaign.
Our guide on how to crowdfund your small business will help you through the entire process.
Choosing a crowdfunding site can be a complicated process. First, you must decide which type of crowdfunding you intend to use, whether it is equity, debt, rewards, or donation-based. Once you choose a type of crowdfunding, choose one of the providers on this list that offers that type of crowdfunding. How much you intend to raise, whether you want it to be an “all-or-nothing” campaign, and what your product or service will be can also determine which provider is best.