crowdfunding edtech education

17 crowdfunding sites for millions in higher ed donations


The Most Successful Crowdfunding Sites In General

Classy: Classy, a mobile-optimized fundraising platform offers peer-to-peer fundraising pages, fundraising event ticket and registration, as well as fully customizable for branding platform. For those organizations using Salesforce as their CRM, they easily integrate to keep all contacts in one place while adopting Classy into the online fundraising strategy. Classy has a tiered pricing structure, which you can find here.

Crowdrise: Crowdrise specializes in charitable giving, especially for event fundraising, such as for the New York Marathon, Boston Marathon and the Ironman Race Series. One special feature is Crowdrise Impact Points: with each donation, projects receive points that help to promote the campaign to the front of the site. Campaign leaders can also cash in the points for Crowdrise gifts, such as T-shirts. For free accounts, the site takes a 5 percent cut, or charges a monthly fee of $49 or $199 that lowers to 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

FirstGiving: is a long standing crowdfunding platform. The platform is specifically tailored to the needs of the nonprofit, including customization and extensive reporting. It offers peer-to-peer fundraising pages, event fundraising and registration, and event ticketing with an integration with Eventbrite. The site also has features for team fundraising as well that’s important to bigger fundraising events, as well as a direct donation button for an institution’s website. Along with the platform, FirstGiving offers educational material, including webinars, e-books and a fundraising blog for those organizations who are new to peer-to-peer fundraising or who are looking for more advanced strategies. FirstGiving charges $500 a year for nonprofits and an additional 7.5 percent payment processing fee. There is also an additional 4.5 percent charge for event registration.

FundRazr: A crowdfunding site that started out as a Facebook app, FundRazr is less about connecting to accredited investors and entrepreneurs, and more about others seeking funds from people in a social network. Institutions or projects have the chance to be featured on the site’s front page. Contributors pay no fee. Recipients pay a 5 percent FundRazr fee plus Payment Provider fee of 2.9 percent + 30¢ per transaction. There are no additional fees or penalties.

GoFundMe: This site is dedicated to more personal projects than business enterprises, such as raising money for a new mascot costume or someone’s retirement gift. GoFundMe has raised over $2 billion, and while it thrives off of these personal goals and relief efforts, the site also makes room for creative projects. GoFundMe deducts 5 percent from each donation and charges a 3 percent processing fee.

Indiegogo: Indiegogo made a name for itself by supporting one of the most iconic crowdfunding projects, “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum.” Indiegogo charges 5 percent in platform feed, but that’s refunded for fixed funding campaigns if the project does not meet its goal. There’s a 3 percent + 30¢  charge for third-party credit cards. Additional fees are applied to PayPal contributions.

Kickstarter: The Kickstarter model attracts backers who can pledge for specific rewards, such as early access to a discounted price of the product, or recognition as a supporter in some way. Submissions are reviewed by the team of 89 based in Brooklyn, who charge a 5 percent fee for successfully funded projects. The campaign must reach its goal or no money is awarded and backers are not charged for their donations.

Razoo: Founded in 2007, Razoo originally supported nonprofits with 24-hour online fundraising campaigns called “Giving Days” that included games and prizes to encourage donations. Through those campaigns on the platform, over 14,000 organizations had raised $165 million. On Razoo, campaigns have hourly goals, leaderboards and random prizes for backers. Razoo provides charitable gift receipts, electronic payments, no monthly fees or setup costs, a 4.9 percent platform fee, and a 2 percent + 30¢ payment fee, all on a fully PCI-compliant platform.

RocketHub: This project-based platform is similar to Kickstarter, but what’s unique is that it also has a Success School to teach institutions the basics, prepare them for launching and running a project, as well as how to manage funders. Pricing available via inquiry.

StartSomeGood: This site provides a funding platform exclusively for social good initiatives, no matter if it’s nonprofit, for-profit or unincorporated. All campaigns have to meet a “tipping point” in order to receive funds, but they do not have to reach their listed ultimate goal. The company charges the standard 5 percent fee. The platform also requires that projects offer backers rewards, but it can simply be an acknowledgement listing or a thank-you note.

YouCaring: YouCaring offers free online fundraising for a variety of industries. The site operates on donations, and institutions need only to pay 2.9 percent + 30¢ credit card processing fees. The site also offers real-time chat and coaching, as well as personal support.