Crowdfunding is a process in which individuals pool money and other resources to fund projects initiated by other people or organizations. Crowdfunded projects may include creative works, products, nonprofit organizations, supporting entrepreneurship, businesses, or donations for a specific purpose (e.g., to pay for a medical procedure). Crowdfunding usually takes place via an online portal that handles the financial transactions involved, and may also provide services such as media hosting, social networking, and facilitating contact with contributors.

Funding models

Crowdfunding is donation-based fundraising for businesses or creative projects, typically via an online funding portal. Some but not all crowdfunding projects offer contributors rewards, which may differ based on the amount of money donated. Rewards can include copies of a creative work, products created with the funding, special or personalized incentives (such as autographed works or promotional merchandise ), or public recognition.

In equity crowdfunding , a crowdfunding approach is used to raise investment capital and contributors receive equity in the resulting business. Contributors may act as investors and receive shares directly, or the crowdfunding service may act as a nominated agent . [2]

Donations and/or Rewards

There are two basic models provided for – some sites offer a choice between them:

  • All or Nothing (AoN) – When the fund-raising period is over, money is only collected from the contributors if a pre-determined minimum amount of money has been pledged. If the goal is not met, no money is collected.
  • Keep it All (KiA) – Whether the project goal is met or not, all of the funds collected (minus commission) are handed over to the entrepreneur. If he or she has insufficient funds to meet the objectives, then it is up to the recipient to refund them to the contributors.
Name Funding
Focus Country Notes
ArtistShare KiA Musicians US Has own record label.
CentUp KiA Ongoing transactions and Social Impact US Decentralized crowdfunding linked to specific pieces of content.
ClassWish KiA Education crowdfunding for school and teacher supplies US Allows tax-deductible support of any school and any teacher in the U.S.
CommonBond KiA Student loans US Funded by crowdsourcing and large investors.
Community Funded KiA Platform Creation for Universities, Nonprofits, and Faith-Based Organizations US Allows for white-labeled integration on existing websites
Fig (company) Equity, Rewards Video Games US
FundAnything KiA Funding for any kind of project - business, creative, arts, personal, charitable. US Fundraising backed by major celebrities such as Donald Trump.
FundedByMe AoN Equity and rewards Sweden, Finland, Norway, Italy, Germany, Denmark Only platform offering equity and reward based crowdfunding in combination with European-wide cross-border investments.
FundRazr KiA or AoN Personal, charitable, entrepreneurial, creative, and political causes Canada Lets you embed your campaign on Facebook, blog or website using easy to use Widgets. Offers Live Chat and Personal Coaching.
Fundly KiA Personal, charitable, and political causes US Available as an app for a Facebook page. Charges a per credit card transaction fee.
GiveForward KiA Online fundraising website to raise money for medical expenses. US Provides personal fundraising coaches.
GlobalGiving KiA Nonprofit fundraising for registered organizations in 160+ countries US, UK, Worldwide Provides 501c3 equivalency for non-US organizations
GoFundMe KiA or AoN Non incentive-based crowdfunding website. Set up to allow for donations to personal causes and life events. US Provides 5-minute customer email support.
Headstart AoN Entrepreneurs Israel
ICrowdFund KiA or AoN Donation and Reward Ireland Non-profit and individual crowdfunding with donation and reward options.
Indiegogo KiA or AoN Allows a broad range of projects US
JustGiving KiA Social good causes and campaigns UK Non-profit and individual donation crowdfunding.
Ketto KiA Funding for any kind of project India
Kickstarter AoN Creative projects US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg [3] Highest funded projects to date
LaunchGood KiA or AoN Allows a broad range of projects US, Canada, France, Russia, Brazil, and 15 other countries Largely faith-based, focused on the worldwide Muslim community
Milaap KiA All kinds of projects. USD donations accepted India
Mobcaster AoN TV shows US
Myfreeimplants AoN Cosmetic surgery US Focused on breast augmentations. International
Offbeatr AoN Pornography US Inactive. Projects were to get enough votes from users before being open for funding AoN UK Attached to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Piggybackr KiA Young children, students, and teams US Young students may raise money. Compliant with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act AoN or KiA Allows a broad range of projects Russia
PledgeMe AoN Allows a broad range of projects New Zealand
PledgeMusic AoN Musicians Spain, UK, US
Pozible AoN Creative Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, US Bitcoin can be used, Self-hosting can be used, One-on-One help KiA Medical, educational, charitable, creative, entrepreneurial, and political causes US, Germany
RocketHub KiA US
Sellaband AoN Musicians Germany
Sponsume KiA UK KiA or AoN Any goal US Offers both a consumer product and enterprise solution for brands.
YouCaring KiA Medical expenses, memorials and other personal and charitable causes US, UK, Western Europe Does not charge any fees, other than payment processing
Weeve KiA Nonprofits Canada Inactive site once operated a "freemium" model without transaction fees

Donations only

Some services invite people to donate to projects for the pleasure of giving. Philanthropy based services usually have other benefits such as tax credits or rebates.

Name Funding
Focus Country Notes Number of Donors Donated Sum
DonorsChoose AoN Education US 1,974,461 AoN Scientific research US Formerly called Microryza 19,266 $5 Million
Givology AoN Education in developing countries 22,443 $500,969
Kopernik AoN Distributing basic technologies in developing countries

Money for business ventures

Crowdfunding can be used to raise capital (equity) or borrow money. While organized informally, they typically involve large numbers of small investors or lenders:

  • Equity crowdfunding – Investors receive equity in the company or entrepreneur that is raising funds.
  • Debt crowdfunding – The entrepreneur or company borrows money and must repay it (typically, with interest).
  • Property crowdfunding - Investors receive interest in the property from an owner who is raising funds.
  • Other crowdfunding – There are a number of other schemes in use which are generally unique to particular services, e.g., perks, publication, or rewards.
Name Funding
Focus Country Notes Number of Investors Invested Sum
Angels Den Equity, Debt, Donations All businesses UK
AngelList Equity, Debt Start-ups US Currently serves only accredited investors $104 Million
BnkToTheFuture Equity, Debt, Rewards small businesses and new start-ups crowfunding CYM
CircleUp Equity Consumer products and retail US Currently serves only accredited investors . $50 Million
Companisto Equity European companies, Investors from all over the world; Crowd Investing + Venture Loan [4] Germany, Switzerland / Europe 58,000 €30 Million
Crowdfunder Equity, Debt Small and medium-sized businesses US Currently serves only accredited investors 12,000 $100 Million
CrowdCube Equity, Rewards start-ups, small businesses, growing businesses UK 167,384 £80 Million
EarlyShares Equity US
Emerging Crowd Equity, Debt SMEs in emerging and frontier markets UK
EquityNet Equity, Debt Startups and mature companies US Launched crowdfunding platform for Reg D offerings in 2005 $200 Million
Fig (company) Equity, Rewards Video Games US
Fundable Equity, Rewards Seed stage businesses US $164 Million
FundedByMe Equity, Rewards Entrepreneurs Sweden, Finland, Norway, Italy, Germany, Denmark 61,592 €16 Million
Funding Circle Debt Small businesses UK, US, Spain, Netherlands, Germany 39,738 £1,000 Million
Gambitious Equity Game development Netherlands
Innovestment GmbH Equity auctions Germany €2 Million
Invesdor Equity and debt Startups and growth companies Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and UK First fully licensed and fully passportable (MiFID) equity crowdfunding platform in EEA €10.6 Million
InvestedIn Equity USA $47 Million
Invest Next Door Equity Small Businesses US Currently serves only accredited investors
Kiva Debt Entrepreneurship in developing countries non-profit organization 1,286,412 $703 Million
Lendico Debt Small and medium-sized businesses Germany
Lending Club Debt USA $9 Million
LendingCrowd Debt Small and medium-sized businesses UK First Scottish peer-to-peer lending platform £1.2 Million
LendInvest Debt Property Development Entrepreneurs/ Mortgages UK First live peer-to-peer lending platform specifically for residential and commercial mortgages £308 Million
Lending Works Debt UK
MicroVentures Equity Tech Startups & High Growth US Currently serves only accredited investors 28,000 $70 Million
Optimize Capital Markets Equity Canada
OurCrowd Equity Israel
PledgeMe Equity New Zealand
Prosper Marketplace Debt USA 2,200,000 $6,000 Million Debt All businesses UK
Return on Change Equity Early and growth stage startups in critical industries USA
SecondMarket Equity, Debt Late stage start-ups and privately held companies at a pre-IPO or pre-acquisition stage USA
SeedInvest Equity Early stage technology startups USA Currently serves accredited investors and Regulation A public rounds. 100,000 $50 Million
StartEngine Equity Early stage technology startups USA Currently serves accredited investors and Regulation A public rounds. $17 Million
Seedrs Equity Seed-stage businesses, Investments from £10+ UK & Europe First equity crowd funding platform to be approved by the FSA in the UK. 30,000 £100 Million
Seedups Equity Early stage tech startups UK, Ireland, USA & Canada
Symbid Equity, Rewards Start ups and business ideas, entrepreneurs, small businesses, accelerators, incubators, crowd investors, angel investors Netherlands Responsible for one third of the Dutch crowdfunding market in 2012 33,500 €321 Million
SyndicateRoom Equity Growth businesses UK £37 million Revenue sharing Books Netherlands
ThinCats Debt Small businesses UK £110 Million
Trillion Fund Equity environmental and social projects UK 7,000
TrustLeaf Debt Small businesses US Friends and family crowdfunding 1,600 $41 Million
TubeStart Equity Video production US
Unbound Rewards Books UK Acts as both a crowdfunding platform and a publisher. Launched Terry Jones ' Evil Machines , the first book to be financed by crowd funding.
Upstart Debt Loans for recent college graduates US Currently serves only accredited investors
Wahooly Equity Tech startups US Rebranded to in May 2013, closed in September 2014
Wefunder Equity Startups US 45,000 $13 Million
Zencap Debt Small and medium-sized businesses Germany, Spain, Netherlands
Zopa Debt UK

Continuous funding

Some services allow for a continuous funding model as opposed to a one-time donation. These tend to apply to, but are not limited to, art projects such as music, YouTube videos, podcasts, web-comics, etc. — anyone who makes content on a regular basis. They differ mainly in the frequency in which payments are charged to the funders.

Name Frequency Focus Notes
Bountysource Monthly or one-time donations Open-source software developers Money can be withdrawn via PayPal, Check, Bitcoin, and Ripple or used to post software bounties within Bountysource.
Patreon Monthly or every time new content is released Musicians, Podcasts, Vloggers, Youtubers, Webcomics Subscribing to a project allows to view and post on its content stream. Patreon allows to set a monthly maximum to avoid going over a set budget.
Subbable Monthly or one-time donations Web series (both entertainment- and education-oriented) The money that users spend goes into a "perk bank" and can be redeemed for creator-determined perks. Free subscriptions are available.

Post-creation services

Some services invite people to reward creators after they already published their work.

Name Method Focus Notes
Flattr Flattr button display along the content Content creators