Crowdfunding Platforms Review
Why Use Crowdfunding Platforms?
With the growing popularity of crowdfunding for both personal and business reasons, many people, companies and entities are not only using those sites but also creating their own online crowdfunding platforms. Nonprofits and universities can set up campaigns for a variety of causes, projects and departments on a single website. Companies interested in starting their own crowdfunding endeavors can start investment-based equity crowdfunding sites as well, complete with built-in regulations and available escrow accounts.
For this site, we looked at software and services that allow you to set up your own site to raise funds. These sites do not run campaigns but offer support to those who wish to facilitate and manage a platform where they or others can create campaigns, donate or invest. If you are looking for actual campaigns where you can list your own cause or donate or invest, take a look at our reward-based crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding or fundraising sites such as Crowd Valley, Community Funded and Invested.in.
Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For
When creating your own platform, you have many choices because services offer a broad range of options. Some services only offer equity crowdfunding, while others offer any sort of campaigns. The way you set up your platform and level to which you can customize will vary depending on the site, and different sites offer different payment options. The following are features we deemed important to consider when choose crowdfunding software to create your own platform.
Some sites have specific eligibility based on your crowdfunding goals. Many sites offer platforms for objectives as diverse as personal fundraising and equity crowdfunding, but some sites only offer one specific purpose. For those niche sites, certain requirements may also apply, such have a registered business or certifications.
When you create an account, you’ll have a dashboard where you can manage your account. The best crowdfunding platforms offer features beyond management. Some offer CRM and user analytics. Mobile access is a useful feature some services offer as well.
Payment options and methods will be a large consideration as well. Most of the services we looked at have specific payment providers with whom they work, such as PayPal, WePay and Stripe. Keep in mind that these services charge fees outside of the platform providers’ fees.
Some services allow you to customize everything from the basic layout to the font and colors. Other services, sometimes called white-label software, have templates where you simply update your logo, content and graphics. If you want complete control over the look and layout, avoid white-label software. Alternatively, if you care more about getting the site up and running and less about the aesthetics, white-label software could be a better choice.
Most services offer the choice of a custom URL, so your crowdfunding site remains independent of the provider. If you prefer, some services assign you a subdomain from their main domain. A third choice is the ability to integrate your platform with your current website. If you have a preference, make sure you understand which services offer which options.
These platform software applications allow you to create and control a crowdfunding environment. This means you can manage the site, set parameters and standards for campaigns, and even start a new business venture in providing a place for others to raise funds for their causes.