Indiegogo vs Kickstarter: Choosing Crowdfunding Sites

Posted on: by Michael Tringe

If you’re raising money through crowdfunding, the first question you’ll need to answer is which crowdfunding platform to use: Indiegogo vs Kickstarter? Here are three major differences as you choose crowdfunding sites.

When I started my first crowdfunding campaign, I remember the first major hurdle was looking at the crowdfunding sites and figuring out which one made sense for us. We were raising money for a short film– a drama about a haunted Chelsea Hotel. The short was designed to help us to promote the financing of a feature film, and ultimately we ended up choosing Indiegogo because we weren’t completely sure how much we would be able to raise through our network, and we felt more comfortable with the flexible funding option. We were able to raise enough to get the short film off the ground and ultimately, we were pretty happy with the crowdfunding site we chose. Choosing crowdfunding sites is an important decision and a personal one, so here are the main things to consider when deciding between Indiegogo vs Kickstarter.

1. Flexible Funding: Indiegogo allows you to use any money you’ve raised regardless of whether or not you meet your goal, whereas Kickstarter only allows you to use the money if you reach your goal.

2. Ease of Transaction: Indiegogo accepts PayPal, whereas Kickstarter does not accept PayPal. For first time users, PayPal is a simple way to make a quick payment rather than having to type in all your credit card information – and also offers some credibility to the payment system.

3. Rules: Kickstarter has an acceptance process with rules that requires your project to be “creative” where as Indiegogo allows you to have more flexibility around the kind of project that you do.

Overall when considering crowdfunding sites and comparing Indiegogo vs Kickstarter, Indiegogo is a more flexible quicker and more forgiving of campaigns that don’t reach their goal, whereas Kickstarter provides strong credibility for creative projects. Ultimately, in comparing crowdfunding sites, pick one that is right for both you and your project, depending upon the type of project that it is and the risk you are willing to assume. Play it safe with Indiegogo and you’ll at least have something to use towards your project, but if you’re feeling bold and want to go for the gold, maybe the pressure of reaching your goal on Kickstarter will help push you and your fans to reach it more effectively.

Here are the tips in the words of our teacher Justin:

“Today I’m going to tell you about some of the differences between Kickstarter vs Indiegogo. And to start, the crowdfunding landscape has changed so a lot more people know what Kickstarter or Indiegogo are. First, there’s the difference between fixed funding vs. flexible funding. Kickstarter only allows you to do fixed funding. For example, if you say you’re going to raise $100K, you have to raise that amount in order to keep the money. So if you ask for $100K, and you only get $20K, then you don’t get to keep anything. Wheras with flexible funding, which is something that Indiegogo allows you to do, if you ask for $100K, and you raise $20K, you get to keep the $20K. So for example, if you say you need $100K to make a product, and to provide the boxing and the manufacturing and so on, and you only raise $20K, and you can’t actually provide the product without the full $100K, then you shouldn’t be taking that money. On the other hand with flexible funding, sometimes it is nice – so if you’re making a web series or a movie, where you’d like $100K, but you can still make it for $20K, I think that’s okay as long as you provide what you say you’re going to give.

There’s also some different tools between Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo, One of those differences, is that Indiegogo allows you to accept PayPal, and a lot of people like that because it feels a lot safer to people, and you don’t have to pull out your credit card, it makes it faster to register and get through the signup process. So Indiegogo allows you to PayPal, but Kickstarter does not.

The next major difference between Indiegogo vs. Kickstarter is that Indiegogo really has no rules. Indiegogo you can press “submit’ and you’re live as fast as you want.  With Kickstarter, you’re going to need a few days to get it ready. You’re going to need time for Amazon to accept them into your payment system, and confirm your taxes. You’re also going to need Kickstarter to check over your page and make sure that you’re following the rules. So Indiegogo you can instantly put something up, they don’t care what you do, they’re just happy for you to be there – with Kickstarter on the other hand, it has to be a creative project. Just know that it’s going to take a few days before you’ll even be allowed to launch a project. They might say with Kickstarter that you can or you can’t do something – you can’t for instance, market a charity on Kickstarter, but you can on Indiegogo.”

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy:

How to Kickstarter in 2 Hours

Successful Crowdfunding Strategies

Four Rules to Reach Your Crowdfunding Goal



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Written by Michael Tringe

Mike Tringe earned his MFA in Film Production from USC and has worked at Creative Artists Agency Film Sales (Paranormal Activity, Black Swan), Vuguru, Michael Eisner's multi-platform studio, (The Booth at the End (Hulu), Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Snag), Little Women Big Cars (AOL), and Blip Networks (300 million monthly views, Smosh, Annoying Orange, Nostalgia Critic).

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