GoFundMe Vs Kickstarter Vs Indiegogo: Comparing the Major Crowdfunding Platforms

comparing crowdfunding platforms

Choosing the right crowdfunding platform can be the key to your project’s success. Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo offer different advantages depending on your needs. Let’s compare.

Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model, meaning you must reach your goal to get any money. This creates a high-stakes environment but also assures backers that their funds will only support viable projects.

Indiegogo, however, allows you to keep the funds you raise, regardless of whether you meet your goal. This flexibility can be attractive but may also make backers more cautious.

GoFundMe stands apart by focusing on personal and charitable causes, relying on the power of personal stories and connections rather than the innovation of a project.

Understanding the fee structures, user support, and audience of each platform is critical to your campaign’s success. Kickstarter and Indiegogo cater to a crowd looking for creative or innovative projects, while GoFundMe appeals to those wanting to support personal or social causes.

When deciding where to launch your crowdfunding campaign, consider these differences carefully. The success of your project depends not only on your idea but also on the community and the rules of the platform you choose. Assess your project’s fit with each platform’s unique characteristics to enhance your chance of achieving your funding target.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo each have their own advantages and focus areas in the crowdfunding space.
  • Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model, meaning that you must reach your funding goal in order to receive any funds.
  • Indiegogo allows you to keep the funds you raise, regardless of whether you reach your funding goal or not.
  • GoFundMe is specifically designed for personal and charitable causes, while Kickstarter and Indiegogo cater to creative projects and a wide range of ideas.
  • Additionally, you can read: Top 9 Crowdfunding Platforms Overview: Which Should You Choose?

Understanding Your Project And Crowdfunding Goals

project planning and funding

To effectively tailor your crowdfunding strategy, it’s crucial to first identify whether your project is driven by personal causes, artistic endeavors, or a variety of campaigns. This will help you choose the right platform, whether it’s GoFundMe for personal fundraisers, Kickstarter for creative projects, or Indiegogo for innovative and diverse initiatives.

To set realistic funding objectives, examine the success rates and typical donations on each platform to estimate your chances of meeting your financial targets. Additionally, scrutinize the duration and adaptability of campaigns provided by each service to ensure they align with your project’s timeline and aims.

Project Categorization: Identify Whether Your Project Aligns With Personal Causes (Gofundme), Creative Ventures (Kickstarter), Or Diverse Campaigns (Indiegogo)

Have you ever had a great idea and wanted to bring it to life? Choosing where to ask for support is a big step. There are three main stages in this exciting journey, and each one has a special place where dreams and ideas grow.

Let’s meet the characters in our story: GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo.

First up, we’ve GoFundMe, a place where personal causes find help. Imagine you know someone who needs surgery but can’t afford it, or a friend who dreams of going to college but needs tuition. Gofundme is like a helpful neighbor, ready to support these personal missions.

Then, there’s Kickstarter, the stage for creative minds. It’s where artists, musicians, filmmakers, and inventors showcase their projects. Here, you must reach your funding goal to get any money – it’s all or nothing. Think of Kickstarter as a talent show, where the audience pledges money to see your idea take the spotlight.

Indiegogo is the wildcard of the group, welcoming all sorts of ideas. It’s the most flexible friend who doesn’t mind if your project doesn’t fit neatly into a category. Indiegogo helps both fixed projects, where you need to meet your goal, and flexible ones, where you keep what you raise no matter what.

Funding Goals: Define Your Target Funding Amount And Consider Platform Success Rates And Average Pledges To Understand Potential Viability

Setting a realistic funding goal requires analyzing platform-specific success rates and average donation amounts to gauge the potential feasibility of your campaign. To navigate this landscape effectively, you should:

  1. Investigate the all-or-nothing model versus flexible funding options, understanding that the former requires you to meet your funding goal to receive any funds.
  2. Scrutinize platform success rates, which indicate the percentage of campaigns that have historically reached their funding goals within each platform.
  3. Examine historical data on average pledges, to estimate the number of backers needed to achieve your target funding amount.

Utilizing these metrics allows for a technical approach in setting a funding goal that aligns with the statistical realities of your chosen platform, thereby optimizing your campaign’s potential viability.

Campaign Length And Flexibility: Compare Platform Timeframes And Funding Models (All-Or-Nothing Vs Flexible) To Match Your Goals And Timeline

Having established the importance of aligning your funding goal with platform-specific data, it’s equally critical to consider how campaign length and the choice between all-or-nothing and flexible funding models can influence the success of your endeavor.

Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing funding model necessitates reaching your fundraising goal within a set period to receive any funds, presenting a high-stakes scenario with a 40.62% success rate.

In contrast, GoFundMe’s keep-it-all approach affords campaign length and flexibility but risks obtaining only partial funding needed for your project.

Indiegogo straddles both realms, offering flexible and fixed funding options, empowering you to tailor the campaign to your risk tolerance and financial needs.

Thoroughly analyzing the differences between Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo is imperative to align your campaign’s structure with your project’s objectives and timeline.

Crowdfunding Platform Deep Dives

in depth exploration of crowdfunding

Now, let’s take a closer look at GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo to see how well they match up with your project’s specific requirements.

We’ll evaluate each platform’s fee structure, different funding models, and campaign rules so you can make a well-informed choice.

It’s important to grasp how each of these platforms caters to unique audiences and offers distinct features that could be beneficial for meeting your fundraising goals.


When exploring GoFundMe for crowdfunding, its key advantage is the ability to highlight personal narratives and boost community involvement.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to acknowledge the platform’s limitations, including the tendency for smaller contributions and the lack of sophisticated marketing features.

GoFundMe shines for initiatives that focus on health-related bills, philanthropic efforts, and individual aspirations, with the benefit of not charging fees on donations being especially appealing.

Strengths: Personal Stories, Community Engagement, Fee-Free Donations

GoFundMe excels at leveraging personal narratives and community involvement by offering a platform where fee-free donations amplify the impact of individual fundraising efforts.

  • Fee-Free Structure: Retain more funds without platform fees.
  • Personal Causes: Tailor campaigns towards life events.
  • Social Sharing: Utilize built-in tools for spreading personal stories effectively.

This technical approach maximizes your campaign’s reach, ensuring your fundraising resonates with a supportive community.

Weaknesses: Lower Average Pledges, Limited Rewards And Marketing Tools

Despite its strengths in community engagement, GoFundMe’s model tends to result in lower average pledges and offers fewer incentives for backers due to its limited rewards system.

The platform’s scant marketing tools constrain project creators’ ability to enhance campaign pages’ visibility. Consequently, the narrower scope for creative projects and the focus on personal causes may hamper campaigns’ outreach and funding prospects.

Ideal Projects: Medical Expenses, Charitable Initiatives, Personal Goals

Catering predominantly to personal causes, GoFundMe emerges as an optimal platform for individuals seeking funds for medical expenses, charitable projects, and various personal endeavors.

Consider these aspects:

  1. Personal Cause Orientation: Ideal for funding life events, education, and sports teams.
  2. Flexible Funding: No all-or-nothing requirement; retain all contributions.
  3. Network Reliance: Best suited for campaigns within personal and community networks.

Analyzing GoFundMe vs. other crowdfunding platforms reveals its niche in personal goals and charitable initiatives.


If you’re exploring Kickstarter, you’re likely seeking a platform that specializes in creative endeavors, one that’s known for its active and supportive community.

As you delve into it, keep in mind the all-or-nothing funding approach—it’s a high-stakes game that guarantees only viable projects get funded.

When evaluating Kickstarter, be aware of the higher fees and strict project criteria that could shape the direction of your campaign.

Strengths: Creative Focus, Loyal Community, Built-In Marketing Tools

Kickstarter consistently attracts a dedicated community of supporters by focusing on creative projects. This has resulted in a notably high success rate for campaigns in the arts and technology sectors.

  1. Crowdfunding platform designed for niche creative ventures.
  2. Projects on Kickstarter benefit from a loyal community eager to support innovation.
  3. Built-in marketing tools facilitate outreach, driving campaign momentum.

Kickstarter’s strategy yields tangible results for creators seeking funding.

Weaknesses: All-Or-Nothing Pressure, Higher Fees, Stricter Project Guidelines

Kickstarter is like a stage where creators show off their imaginative ideas, hoping to turn them into reality with the help of a crowd of supporters. Yet, this platform has a unique rule: if creators don’t hit their financial goal within a certain time, they don’t get any money. It’s all or nothing.

Let’s walk through Kickstarter’s world, step by step.

AspectsKickstarter’s Approach
Funding ModelImagine a game where you hit the target or you walk away empty-handed. That’s Kickstarter’s funding model.
FeesPicture handing over a slice of your pie; that’s the 5% fee you pay to Kickstarter, plus some extra for transaction costs.
Project ScopeThink of a club with strict rules about who can join. Kickstarter is that club, but for creative projects only.
Fund AccessibilityIt’s like a treasure chest that only opens when you find the exact key—the full funding target.
Approval ProcessGetting your project on Kickstarter can feel like an audition for a Broadway show—tough and demanding.

Imagine you’re a creator with a brilliant idea, and you’re standing at the edge of a diving board, the Kickstarter platform. You can see the pool of potential funding below, but there’s a catch. The rules of this platform are like a high-stakes game.

The funding model is unforgiving. You must reach your full financial goal or, just like a puff of smoke, the funding vanishes. No half measures here.

When it comes to fees, think of them as the price of admission to this exclusive funding fairground. Kickstarter asks for a 5% cut of your total funds, and then the payment processors take their share too.

The scope for projects is like a narrow path through a dense forest, limited to certain types of creative endeavors. If your project doesn’t fit the bill, you’re out of luck.

Accessing funds is an all-or-nothing deal. It’s like reaching for the golden apple; you either grab it, or you walk away with nothing.

Lastly, the approval process is like a guardian at the gate. It’s stringent and can be a real challenge to get past.

In this Kickstarter journey, every step is crucial. It’s a path woven with dreams, where only the most prepared and fitting ideas make it to the spotlight.

Ideal Projects: Creative Products, Artistic Endeavors, Innovative Solutions

Navigating through the intricacies of Kickstarter’s funding model and stringent rules, you’ll find that the platform is best suited for creative products, artistic endeavors, and innovative solutions that seek a community’s support to come to life.

  1. Creative Products: Kickstarter projects must culminate in a tangible format.
  2. Artistic Endeavors: The platform caters to a spectrum of creative industries.
  3. Innovative Solutions: Emphasis on originality and utilitarian design under different funding models.


Indiegogo offers flexible funding options that suit a broad range of projects, from innovative hardware gadgets to unconventional campaigns, which stands as a major advantage.

However, you should consider this alongside the platform’s relatively lesser-known status and the need for more marketing efforts to differentiate your project in a highly competitive arena.

For businesses with established operations looking to broaden their global footprint, Indiegogo is a promising option, offering various campaign types and access to an international audience.

Strengths: Flexible Funding, Diverse Campaign Types, International Reach

Indiegogo’s flexible funding options stand out as a key advantage, allowing you to retain your raised capital even if your campaign falls short of its original goal. Here’s why you might choose Indiegogo over Kickstarter:

  1. Flexible Funding: Keep all contributions, regardless of meeting your target.
  2. Diverse Campaign Types: Suitable for various industries and unique projects.
  3. International Reach: Attract backers globally, not just domestically.

Weaknesses: Lower Brand Recognition, Greater Marketing Burden, Higher Competition

Despite its advantages, Indiegogo’s lower brand recognition may require you to invest more in marketing to successfully compete for donor attention amidst a crowded field of campaigns.

Tackling the greater marketing burden necessitates a robust marketing campaign.

With the platform’s higher competition, due to lax entry regulations, your campaign faces the risk of being overshadowed without strategic brand recognition efforts.

Ideal Projects: Hardware Gadgets, Non-Traditional Campaigns, Established Businesses

When considering a platform for crowdfunding, Indiegogo stands out as a particularly effective choice for hardware gadgets, as its diverse campaign acceptance policy caters well to innovative tech-oriented projects.

  1. Hardware Gadgets: Indiegogo’s inclusivity supports the most cutting-edge technological ventures.
  2. Non-Traditional Campaigns: Flexible and Fixed funding options accommodate unconventional project needs.
  3. Established Businesses: The platform’s adaptability is ideal for businesses exploring creative engagement and funding avenues.

Comparing Key Features Of The Crowfunding Platforms

detailed analysis of crowdfunding platforms

When evaluating crowdfunding platforms, it’s crucial to delve into their fee structures and funding models. You’ll want to see how Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing approach stacks up against Indiegogo’s more flexible strategy and GoFundMe’s keep-it-all policy.

It’s also wise to look at the effectiveness of each platform’s community engagement and promotional tools, which can significantly boost your campaign’s visibility and help draw in supporters.

Additionally, it’s beneficial to examine their success rates and explore case studies to discern which platform is most compatible with your project’s specific goals and the sector you’re operating in.

This analysis will help ensure that your choice of platform is well-informed and strategically aligned with your objectives.

Fees And Funding Models: Analyze Platform Fees, Payment Processing Charges, And The Impact Of All-Or-Nothing Vs Flexible Funding

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo each adopt distinct funding models and fee structures that significantly affect the financial outcome for project creators.

You’ll encounter:

  1. Platform Fees: Kickstarter and Indiegogo charge a 5% fee, while GoFundMe’s fee varies.
  2. Payment Processing Fees: These additional charges are separate from platform fees and differ among services.
  3. Funding Models: Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing model contrasts with Indiegogo’s choice between flexible funding and all-or-nothing, while GoFundMe allows you to keep all funds raised.

Kickstarter vs Indiegogo is particularly relevant when considering financial targets. Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing approach can mean higher risk and potential reward, whereas Indiegogo’s flexible funding option provides greater assurance that you’ll retain funds, albeit usually at the cost of higher fees if the goal isn’t met.

Community And Promotion: Explore Each Platform’s Community Engagement Features, Built-In Marketing Tools, And Reach Potential Backers

Understanding the community engagement features and promotional tools of crowdfunding platforms is crucial in determining their potential to reach and attract backers.

Kickstarter highlights its built-in community specifically attuned to creative projects, offering project creators significant exposure. This platform’s success rate for fully funded projects underscores its effective promotion strategies and strong social media integration.

In contrast, GoFundMe’s user-friendly interface caters to personal causes, emphasizing the importance of shareable campaigns for community engagement.

Indiegogo’s diverse acceptance of campaigns and flexible funding options pair with robust campaign support tools, nurturing a dedicated community of backers.

Each platform presents unique marketing tools, from Kickstarter’s spotlight on creative endeavors to Indiegogo’s varied promotional resources, impacting their ability to harness a project’s community and social media presence for successful crowdfunding.

Success Rates And Case Studies: Analyze Platform-Specific Success Rates And Showcase Successful Campaigns Across Different Platforms

Imagine a world where ideas come to life because people support them. This is the world of crowdfunding platforms, where different websites help bring dreams to life. But each platform is unique, like characters in a tale, and understanding them can be like unraveling a mystery.

Kickstarter shines like a bright star with a 65% success rate for projects that get full funding. It’s a place that celebrates creativity, where the bar for success is high. To succeed on Kickstarter, a project has to stand out with something original and of high quality.

Now, picture Indiegogo as the friendly neighbor, offering flexible funding options. This site welcomes a variety of projects, not just the all-or-nothing type. Because of this flexibility, the success rates on Indiegogo can look different from those on Kickstarter.

Then there’s GoFundMe, which doesn’t ask for a set funding goal. On this platform, raising any amount of money is counted as a win. It’s like a community potluck—whatever you bring to the table is appreciated.

Choosing The Right Platform

platform selection for specific needs

To ensure your crowdfunding campaign thrives, it’s essential to align your project’s unique needs with a platform that can support them. Start with a decision matrix to systematically compare your project’s requirements—like the type of project, desired funding targets, and the resources you have at your disposal—with the features offered by different platforms.

By taking this calculated approach, you’re more likely to pinpoint the crowdfunding platform that will most effectively amplify your project’s chances of success. This strategy, while enhancing your project’s fit with a platform, also boosts your online visibility by emphasizing key aspects that potential backers are searching for.

Keep your language clear and engaging to ensure your message resonates with your intended audience.

Decision Matrix: Helpful Matrix To Compare Platforms Based On Key Factors Like Project Type, Funding Goals, And Available Resources

To effectively navigate the myriad of crowdfunding platforms, it’s essential to construct a decision matrix that evaluates key factors such as project type, funding goals, and available resources to determine the most suitable platform for your campaign. Here’s what to consider:

  1. Project Type: Assess whether platforms cater to creative endeavors, personal causes, or nonprofit initiatives. Some are tailored for specific niches, affecting visibility and support.
  2. Funding Goals: Platforms may offer all-or-nothing or keep-it-all models. Align your funding strategy with the platform’s policy to optimize your chances of meeting your goals.
  3. Available Resources: Examine each platform’s support tools, community engagement, and ease of use. A robust resource base can be a decisive factor in managing a successful campaign.

Remember to factor in platform fees and success rates as these directly impact the net amount you’ll raise and the likelihood of your project’s success.


In summing up, your project’s nature and goals dictate the ideal platform. Kickstarter’s stringent criteria ensure quality, fostering higher project success rates.

GoFundMe’s personal cause orientation leverages close networks for funding, while Indiegogo’s flexible approach caters to a broader project spectrum.

Assess each platform’s features against your objectives carefully; the right choice amplifies your campaign’s potential.

Make an informed decision by weighing these technical nuances to align with your strategic crowdfunding ambitions.


CrowdLift is a go-to author for anyone looking to learn about crowdfunding on the web. He breaks down the big idea of raising money online into easy steps. Crowdlift loves the industry and wants to help creators, entrepreneurs, and dreamers. Crowdlift is nspired by the big names in crowdfunding, such as: Sheridan Bartlett: He knows a lot about the best ways to run a crowdfunding campaign, and his advice has helped lots of projects succeed. Anna Makes Money: She focuses on teaching women about money and how to use crowdfunding. She's helped many women start their own businesses. Keep up with the newest trends to bring you helpful articles, detailed analyses of campaigns, and opinions from pros. Whether you've run a crowdfunding campaign before or are just thinking about starting one, Crowdlift is here to help you understand and succeed in the exciting world of crowdfunding.