Donations Welcome
Online platforms streamline fundraising by leveraging the power of the crowd
Tech / 16 Sep 2010
Kickstarter has given birth to everything from arts magazines and documentaries to community centers and skillsharing workshops. While the creative projects the site attracts lend it its cool clout, the site is a trendsetter in ways that go beyond its support of visionary ventures. Indeed, Kickstarter pioneered what has become a full-on crowdfunding revolution, with several similar sites now elbowing for attention in the space.
IndieGoGo: Those who give money to projects on IndieGoGo, a service where members can fundraise for creative, cause-related or entrepreneurial endeavors, are not reimbursed monetarily. But their generosity is acknowledged upon the project's completion via a gift pertaining to the end product, or sometimes even a producer's credit. But this is where IndieGoGo's resemblance to Kickstarter ends. Kickstarter campaigns that don't reach their goal by the project's deadline lose all of their pledges. On IndieGoGo, fundraisers receive all pledges, regardless of whether or not they meet their goals. Meanwhile, all potential Kickstarter projects must be vetted by the site, resulting in a carefully curated roster, whereas IndieGoGo's more democratic approach allows anyone to start a campaign. The only question is which one should we use to get our mobile coffee bar off the ground?
Crowdrise: As AdAge said in a piece featuring the service this summer, Crowdrise is "a new web platform for nonprofit fundraising...[that] is aiming to do for philanthropy what Zappos did for shoe-shopping online." Co-founded by brothers Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe (both of Moosejaw), and backed by actor Edward Norton, the site was inspired by Norton's success in using the web to raise money for his participation in last year's Maasai Marathon. Unlike the aforementioned platforms, Crowdrise is intended solely for charitable fundraising efforts and, for this reason, incentives (other than the ability to pat oneself on the back for being so generous) are not awarded to benefactors. Further driving campaigns is the Crowdrise Points program - when the Crowdrise community votes for a particular project, Crowdrise awards points to that project which can be redeemed for titular honors and even prizes like iPads. is an interactive platform that allows users to "leverage their social capital to raise financial capital." In other words, Facebook and Twitter members who've amassed networks of every person they've ever met can finally put their social promiscuity to practical use. Like those found on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo,'s projects run the gamut. Current projects span a diverse selection of disciplines, from a microbrew company looking to go commercial and a beauty queen trying to get to a pageant to a person who just really wants to adopt a pug and a couple seeking help producing their wedding. In other words, while the platform does have its share of innovative endeavors, it can also serve as a veiled method of hitting up your friends and family for money.
©The Intelligence Group