Crowdfunding For Causes: 8 Platforms to Get You Started | Milaap

Crowdfunding For Causes: 8 Platforms to Get You Started

So, the other day, I was having a conversation with my boss when he casually asked me, “what do you think of the crowdfunding landscape and how do you think this new phenomenon will affect our economy?” This got me thinking! Names like Indiegogo and GoFundMe come up pretty often, but do these fundraising platforms really turn awesome ideas into reality? This got me thinking some more and I wanted to see how big their impact has really been.Here, was a cool idea - build a floating swimming pool to allow New Yorkers swim in fresh water, but then again, with a colossal ambition in mind - in the middle of the East River running through the heart of the city. Through one of the crowdfuding platforms, the project has so far been able to raise a whopping $273,114. What began with the goal of cleaning up a river; with funds flooding in aplenty, soon transformed into developing technology to not only clean the river but also allow people to swim in it.Impressed? Let’s see…not yet! Well, then here’s another!Remember 3Doodler? Yes, the pen that draws 3D images in air appeared on our radar last year! After having a highly successful fundraise campaign with one of the crowdfunding platforms, the project which had initially sought just $30,000 ended up raising over $2.3 million - an overwhelming hit!Lying between donation and investment, if you are acquainted with the term ‘crowdfunding’, you will surely know that it is quickly snowballing into a major industry. In fact, a report has even predicted that by the end of 2014, crowdfunding will have generated 2, 70, 000 jobs and pumped in over $65 billion into the economy. This only highlights a new class of investors who wish to see start-ups grow and groundbreaking ideas and causes driven to the fore.Crowdfunding does come with a certain amount of risk, but it allows us to think that it is possible to make the world a better place. Take a look at the World Wide Web and you will find a plethora of crowdfunding websites, but all do not have funding successes under their belt, do they? This pops the question… where do I begin, which is the right platform for me?Here are 8 crowdfunding platforms to help you get started:

1. Go Fund Me

crowdfundingLaunched in 2010 and based in San Diego, GoFundMe addresses and allows people to raise money for medical expenses, education costs, volunteer programs, youth sports, funerals & memorials and animals & pets.A user can create his own website to describe what he is raising money for, share it with friends and family and get donations. GoFundMe generates revenue by deducting a 5% transaction fee from each donation a user receives.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Indiegogo

crowdfundingThis was one of the first websites to offer crowdfunding way back in 2008. It allows people to solicit funds for a creative idea, entrepreneurial venture or charity they care about. Indiegogo runs on a reward-based system. This means that donors and investors who donate receive a gift rather than an equity stake in the company. A user creates a page for their fundraiser, sets up an account with PayPal and creates buzz around the same on social media.Indiegogo levies a 4-5% fee for successful campaigns. For campaigns that fail to raise their target amount, users have the option of either refunding all the money to contributors at no charge or keeping the entire amount raised minus a 9% fee.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. You Caring

crowdfundingThis U.S. based crowdfunding website helps raise money for personal causes and life events - medical expenses, education and tuition assistance, adoption fundraising, pet expenses or animal rescue. Fundraisers need to set up their profile with images/videos or external links, get the word out to potential donors and start raising funds.Supported by contributors, You Caring does not charge a processing fee regardless of the amount of money raised. However, PayPal and Wepay, their payment processors charges 3% per transaction.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Causes

crowdfundingCauses is an online campaigning platform to support and organize campaigns and fundraisers around issues that impact you and our community.They connect people who support a common cause and empower them with the platform and required tools to take action together.A user can create a campaign, build a profile to show what causes they would like to support, reach out to family and friends who are ready to help, build a community with like-minded people and raise money for it.Causes charges nothing for donations made. However, the payment processors may charge a meagre transaction amount.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. GiveForward

crowdfundingThis is an online fundraising and donation website to help you raise money for a loved one in need.They are hugely popular as a fundraising site for medical expenses and are the only site with fundraising coaches who provide ideas and guidance on how to raise money online.A user needs to create a fundraising page, share the page with family & friends and get donations into a bank account or via checks.GiveForward operates as a for-profit company with a social mission. It charges 7.9% on all transactions including transaction fee charged by credit card companies.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

6. Crowdrise

crowdfundingCrowdrise uses crowdfunding to raise money and donate for various causes and charity.They are using social networking gamification and a reward point system for philanthropy. You create your online fundraiser, add images and videos for impact, share with anyone and everyone you know and start accepting donations.Personal causes: less than 1% (including credit card fee)Charity: 3-5% fee before funds are sent to the charity + credit card fee___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7. Fundly

crowdfundingThis crowdfunding site has enabled political campaigns, nonprofits and individuals to fundraise for their causes and candidates. To ease out the process of fundraising and enhance the experience, all campaigns come with guides, tips, insights and customizable social communications.They levy 4.9% on every donation raised up to $50,000 and also have special discounts for larger companies.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

8. Milaap

crowdfundingWith our mantra "Lend a Little, Change a Lot!", we enable people from across the globe to fund and impact communities in India who are in need of basic facilities like water, sanitation and renewable energy. We also offer skill development through vocational training programs for unemployed youth.But, over the years, we have realized that people want to fundraise for their own causes as well, causes that are not available via the main Milaap Causes platform. That's why, we now have Milaap Open. You can set up fundraisers and raise funds for causes close to your heart.We cover our costs by charging a flat 5% fees of the funds generated. We support Indian payment gateways. The payment gateway/card processing fees is 2.5% on our platform which needs to be borne by you.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Too much information to digest in one article? Here's a table to sort things out for you:


No matter what your goal to help a social cause is, these sites will cover most. Crowdfunding is the next big step toward impact investing and is sure making a wave. Get involved in your community and make someone’s life joyful.