If you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign, you’re probably thinking about launching on one of the big household names like Kickstarter. But, have you stopped to consider what other options are available?
There are plenty of niche crowdfunding platforms out there, each with their own individual benefits. It might seem risky to fund through a platform that’s less well known, but doing so could actually help your campaign. We’ll show you how in this article…
Did you know a survey found that the top 4 crowdfunding sites according to user reviews are all niche crowdfunding platforms? Kickstarter came in at a lowly 5th place. So why are the niche crowdfunding sites so popular?
Seems like niche crowdfunding sites can out-perform Kickstarter, if you know which one to choose. After all, only one third of Kickstarter campaigns actually reach their funding goal. Could your campaign do better elsewhere?
Why choose a niche crowdfunding site?
Kickstarter may be the big name in the business, but it’s not suitable for everyone. Think about it, niche platforms often work so well because they’re tailored to a specific group or need. They have close-knit communities where everyone shares a common interest or need. It’s often the case that the backers know the campaign creators and visa versa. There’s a higher level of trust, making it much more likely backers will commit to funding your campaign.
Cruzu is a crowdfunding platform just for wine making. Doesn’t get much more specific than that. You’re more likely to meet people interested in your campaign on a specialist site. On Kickstarter, backers have to wade through pages of campaigns or use complicated searches to find what they’re after. Niche sites deliver the goods upfront.
How do I choose the right niche crowdfunding site?
You shouldn’t blindly rush into creating a Kickstarter campaign, just because it’s a name you’ve heard of. Investigate your options and work out which platform is best for your campaign. Depending on what your campaign is, it could get a higher rate of success on a niche platform.
But which one? There are lots out there, and they’re all different.
Probably the second most well-known crowdfunding site in the business is Indiegogo. It’s not a specialist interest platform, in fact, pretty much anything goes here.
Indiegogo is much less restrictive than Kickstarter. Any project is welcome here. Indigogo has many more campaign categories than Kickstarter. Plus, you don’t have to reach 100% of your funding goal to get your hands on the cash. There’s an option to keep what you’ve fundraised, even if you don’t hit your target. Another plus point is that Indiegogo don’t manually curate which projects are promoted across the site, like Kickstarter do. Promotion is based on a custom algorithm.
The fact that Indiegogo is less restrictive when it comes to what kind of projects are posted makes it very popular. Compared to Kickstarter, Indiegogo get a lot more projects posted. There are tons of campaigns for backers to wade through before they find yours. You’ll find the quality of projects is often lacking, due to the lack of restrictions. This can be a turn off for serious backers.
Seed&Spark have a bold claim to make: they have the highest funding success rate in the crowdfunding business – 75% of their campaigns get funded. They’re a specialist crowdfunding platform just for film and TV. They want to help artists get their projects off the ground, when conventional methods just won’t work. If your project is film or TV based, this could be the platform for you.
They’re a specialist interest site, and a community that’s 100% invested in the arts. They’re super supportive to their community, offering things like workshops on how to get funded. They help you to build a network too. They want you to get fans, not just backers.
They have a nifty wishlist feature, where, instead of money, backers can donate equipment that you need. For example, a backer could loan you that all important camera you need, or donate time in a studio.
Their fees are low. Just 5% on all cash raised. They understand the film industry. They know that films often need to raise in stages, so this kind of funding is allowed.
Crowdfunder is a general fundraising platform, much like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. You can launch any kind of campaign there. However, the design and feel of the platform is more corporate than other general crowdfunding sites. For this reason it’s perfect for startups and small business ideas.
It’s UK only, so hard luck if you’re based abroad. But, for those located in the UK and looking to raise it’s perfect.
Just like Seed&Spark, they offer a flexible approach to funding. You can keep what you raise, even if you don’t hit your target. Plus, you have the option of selling equity in your company, which suits startups and small businesses.
If you reach your funding goal, there’s the possibility of getting some extra funding through them. They offer extra money from their Plus Funders. It’s up to £10,000, so not to be sniffed at. You need to meet certain criteria to be eligible, though.
A common trait of niche crowdfunding sites is they’re eager to reach out and personally help their members. Crowdfunder is no different. They have coaches on hand to help you through the fundraising process, which can be very reassuring.
Crowdcube has been named the market leader in investment crowdfunding. Here we have another example of a niche crowdfunding site outstripping the big names in their specialist area. They have a funding success rate of 59%.
They’re a platform just for startups and early stage businesses looking to raise capital. They aim to make investing accessible to all, with the everyday public investing alongside angels and VCs. The difference with Crowdcube is that backers will eventually get a return on their investment when your startup exits.
Crowdcube is tailored to investment, and offers some unique funding options. As with traditional investment, you can let your backers become shareholders in your startup. Or, you have the option to let Crowdcube be the only registered shareholder.
Crowdcube is based in Europe only.
What do I need for a successful campaign?
Here’s a checklist of things you’ll need for a successful crowdfunding campaign no matter which site you choose to launch on:
- Campaign video
- Campaign video screenshot
- A brief description of your campaign (often under 200 characters)
- A long, in-depth pitch complete with graphics and images
- Campaign length (most platforms cap this at 60 days)
- Target amount
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