Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe (2024)

Intro: Choosing Between Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe

Are you an artist looking to get your work recognized and seen by a larger audience?

Maybe you’re a musician with lyrics and melodies constantly flowing through your head, but you don’t have the funds to truly bring them to life.

You might be a designer with a revolutionary new idea for a product, or a software engineer looking to disrupt an industry.

It’s even possible that you’re looking for a quick and effective way to raise funds for a local charity, recover after a natural disaster, or help a neighbor in need.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an artist, or simply someone with a great idea, crowdfunding is a great way to reach a wide group of people and raise the necessary funds to get your project off the ground.

Even if you have the greatest idea in the world, your project won’t be able to get off the ground without the proper support. While great marketing certainly helps, a project’s success often depends on the strength of the chosen crowdfunding platform—and there are plenty of top crowdfunding sites to choose from.

Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe (1)

In fact, according to Huffington Post, there were over 2,000 crowdfunding sites available in 2016 alone.

With so many options available at your fingertips, how can you choose between Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo? Is GoFundMe or Kickstarter the best way for you to meet your funding goals?

What are the benefits and downfalls between using Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe? Will your project get the most visibility on IndieGoGo, GoFundMe, or Kickstarter?

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the top crowdfunding sites and create a crowdfunding sites comparison to show you the unique advantages—and disadvantages—of using Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe.

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Comparison Review List

The list below is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section):

  • GoFundMe
  • IndieGoGo
  • Kickstarter

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High Level Comparison Table

Top Crowdfunding Sites

Complete Funding Required?


GoFundMeNo5 percent platform fee

2.9 percent payment processing fee

$0.30 per donation

IndieGoGoFixed Funding and Flexible Funding options available5 percent platform fee

3 percent payment processing fee

$0.30 per donation

KickstarterYes5 percent platform fee

3 percent payment processing fee

$0.20 per pledge

$0.05 per pledge under $10

Top Crowdfunding Sites

Campaign Length

Best For

GoFundMeNo time limitsCharitable causes, personal causes, or life-event fundraisers
IndieGoGoRecommended length of 40 days or fewer

Extended campaigns available through InDemand

Creative, reward based projects with fixed and flexible funding goals
KickstarterMaximum campaign length of 60 daysCreative projects including technology, art, music, film, podcasts, etc.

Table: The above list is sorted alphabetically

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GoFundMe Review

Created in 2010, GoFundMe is the largest fundraising platform, boasting over 25 million donors and more than $3 billion raised.

When comparing Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe, there are a few features that make GoFundMe uniquely beneficial for those that use this top crowdfunding site.

How it Works

Perhaps part of why GoFundMe is such a popular crowdfunding site comes from how easy it is to get started.

After creating a fundraising campaign with photos and a compelling description, you can start sharing on social media to start raising funds. You can make changes, post updates, and send thank-you notes from the GoFundMe dashboard—all for free.

There are almost 20 campaign categories to choose from, making it possible to raise money for a variety of causes, like medical expenses, athletic teams, education costs, funerals, memorials, pets, and more.

You can withdraw money at any time and transfer funds to your bank account, which typically takes 5-7 days.

Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe (3)

Advantages— GoFundMe vs Kickstarter vs Indiegogo

As one of the top crowdfunding sites, GoFundMe displays a keen awareness of how social media can propel a campaign’s success.

The platform has built-in connections to Facebook, Twitter, and email, making GoFundMe one of the top crowdfunding sites for people planning on using social media to promote their campaign.

Perhaps the greatest advantage to using GoFundMe vs Kickstarter or Indiegogo is their dedication to letting fundraisers keep every dollar they raise, regardless of whether their goal is met.

You can keep every donation you receive, and there are no deadlines or goal requirements, making GoFundMe a much more relaxed platform compared to Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.

If you’re a newbie choosing between GoFundMe or Kickstarter, GoFundMe may be the best option in terms of user support. Users can use the Fundraiser Toolkit to learn tips and tricks for creating a winning description and how to best promote their campaign.

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Disadvantages— GoFundMe vs Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo

Compared to Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, users will find that GoFundMe does not have much of a sense of community support.

It’s also worth noting that many GoFundMe reviews describe problems with transferring funds and contacting customer support, suggesting that the process of using GoFundMe is more complicated than it seems.

Unfortunately, the accessibility, affordability, and popularity of GoFundMe does create the opportunity for scammers to operate. GoFraudMe, a blog run by journalist Adrienne Gonzalez, profiles fake GoFundMe campaigns, making new posts almost daily.

It’s also worth noting that, when comparing Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe, these campaigns often have limited audiences.

As a donation-based crowdfunding site, GoFundMe contributors donate without the expectation of receiving anything in return. For this reason, GoFundMe campaigns are typically more effective when sourcing from local communities, friends, or family members.

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IndieGoGo Review

IndieGoGo seeks to redefine what it means to be an entrepreneur, providing a forum for every creator to have a shot at greatness.

Campaigns can be found in 223 countries across the globe, and with 15 million monthly visitors, it’s safe to say that this best crowdfunding site is here to stay.

How it Works

As a rewards-based crowdfunding site, anyone contributing to an IndieGoGo campaign receives some sort of perk or benefit. A perk could be the product that you are planning to produce, a thank-you note or a contributor credit, or access to your podcast, show, or film.

There are no IndieGoGo fees for creating a campaign. IndieGoGo has plenty of categories to choose from, including Energy & Green Tech, Transportation, Art, Photography, Culture, and Animal Rights.

You can choose between fixed and flexible funding goals, a fact which sets IndieGoGo apart in the Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe debate.

If a fixed campaign does not meet its funding goals within 30 days, all backers will be refunded. Conversely, a flexible campaign allows you to keep the money you raised, even if you didn’t meet your goal.

When comparing IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe, creating an IndieGoGo campaign is a much more dynamic and involved process. Your campaign page can include the following elements:

  • Short pitch video (1-3 minutes)
  • Written pitch
  • Image, title, and description
  • Perks for contributors

Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe (5)

Advantages—IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter vs GoFundMe

Because IndieGoGo is a rewards-based crowdfunding site, it offers a unique way for contributors to connect to projects that inspire them. It also provides real incentive, which certainly marks a big difference between IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe.

If you have the actual product on hand, you can take advantage of the IndieGoGo Marketplace, which connects entrepreneurs to millions of shoppers looking for new and unique products.

What truly sets IndieGoGo apart when choosing between IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter or IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe is that the platform allows for equity crowdfunding. This means that new companies looking for capital can create an account to offer equity shares, revenue, or debt offerings to investors.

Additional benefits to consider when choosing between IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter vs GoFundMe include:

  • Marketing and promotion tools
  • Integrated analytics help fine-tune your audience
  • Additional perk options to meet a variety of campaign needs
  • Fulfillment support includes partnership with Amazon and Brookstone
  • IndieGoGo mobile app provides on-the-go account management

Disadvantages—IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter vs GoFundMe

Because there are so many similarities between Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo, many entrepreneurs find themselves trying to compare these crowdfunding sites.

Some reviewers have pointed out that choosing between IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter often comes down to average fundraising amounts.

For example, when comparing IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter, IndieGoGo has a much higher volume of posted projects and lower average funding. A ton of competition could become a disadvantage for some campaigns.

Lower average funding could also become a disadvantage for projects that need high funding amounts when choosing between Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo.

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Kickstarter Review

Kickstarter is a self-described “enormous global community built around creativity and creative projects.”

As one of the top crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter has helped thousands of artists, musicians, filmmakers, and designers raise money online to fuel their creative projects.

The platform offers a wide range of categories, including a few of their own making, like “Projects We Love,” “Nearly Funded,” and “Just Launched” to increase visibility for unique campaigns.

How it Works

All projects funded through Kickstarter are “all-or-nothing,” meaning that pledges will be refunded if the funding goal is not met. This is a huge difference between Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo, and a popular point of comparison between these two top crowdfunding sites.

Kickstarter explains that this funding model is beneficial because it offers lowered risk for both parties, and provides automatic motivation for backers to join a campaign. This model seems to be working nicely: once a project reaches 60 percent of its funding goal, it has a 98 percent success rate on Kickstarter.

As a rewards-based crowdfunding platform, creators offer incentives for monetary donations, which creators have complete control over.

All Kickstarter projects are subject to a set of rules to promote community values, like transparency, honesty, and ingenuity.

Advantages—Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe

When comparing Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe, one of the biggest advantages to choosing Kickstart comes from the platform’s strong sense of community. Project creators can find a wealth of support through the Creator Handbook

Kickstarter encourages communication with backers, including use of Kickstarter Live to create interactive promotional videos.

The platform also has a strong history of producing results, including:

  • Over $3 billion pledged
  • Over 130,000 successfully funded projects
  • More than 13 million backers

Disadvantages—Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe

Unlike IndieGoGo, Kickstarter does not allow for equity investments. Although nonprofits can list projects, the platform does not allow for charitable contributions, which is the biggest difference between GoFundMe vs Kickstarter.

It’s also worth noting that, depending on your personal needs or goals, the all-or-nothing funding model may be a disadvantage to using Kickstarter.

If that’s the case, you may be better off comparing IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe for your project instead.

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Conclusion: Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe

Are you hoping to raise extra funds to attend college, help a local charity, or provide extra income to a family in need? Do you like the idea of keeping a campaign open for as long as you want, with no restrictions on meeting your goal?

If so, you’ll want to pick GoFundMe when choosing between Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe.

Do you want access to marketing tools and fulfillment support? Would you prefer the option to create an all-or-nothing or a flexible campaign goal? Are you a small startup looking for exposure to millions of investors from around the world?

If so, then you’ll want to go with IndieGoGo when comparing Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe.

Are you hoping to reach a global audience filled with millions of potential backers? Would you prefer to work with an all-or-nothing funding model? Would joining a supportive community of entrepreneur’s help support your success?

In that case, you’ll want to consider Kickstarter while choosing between Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe.

As you can see from our crowdfunding sites comparison, choosing between Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe depends on a wide range of factors.

The key to getting your project off the ground running is to perform your own crowdfunding sites comparison to identify the best platform for your unique goals and needs.

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Kickstarter vs IndieGoGo vs GoFundMe (2024)


Which is better Kickstarter or GoFundMe or Indiegogo? ›

While both Kickstarter and Indiegogo excel in hardware-related campaigns, Indiegogo shines when it comes to intangible projects like software development. On the other hand, GoFundMe specializes in fundraising campaigns for various personal and social causes.

What is the number 1 crowdfunding platform? ›

GoFundMe is the trusted leader in online fundraising, connecting more than 150 million people and organizations through its mission of helping people help each other. The popular crowdfunding site is available in 19 countries and counting. GoFundMe has enabled more than $30 billion of generosity with Classy since 2010.

What is the most successful crowdfunding campaign? ›

This article uses bare URLs, which are uninformative and vulnerable to link rot.
RankProjectAmount raised
1EOS$4,100,000,000 (7.12 million ETH)
2Star Citizen$707,223,702+
46 more rows

Is there a better fundraiser than GoFundMe? ›

BetterWorld. BetterWorld tops the list of GoFundMe alternatives for several reasons. The first reason is its flexibility. In addition to hosting a crowdfunding campaign, you can also do a variety of other fundraisers, including online auctions, giveaways, peer-to-peer fundraising events, and monthly giving arrangements ...

Which fundraising platform is best? ›

Read on to discover which platform is best for you.
  1. Donorbox. Donorbox is a powerful all-in-one fundraising platform with a quick setup process and plenty of easy-to-use features. ...
  2. GoFundMe. ...
  3. OneCause. ...
  4. Handbid. ...
  5. Bonfire. ...
  6. Fundly. ...
  7. Soapbox Engage. ...
  8. 99Pledges.

What is the downside of Kickstarter? ›

One of the major risks of using Kickstarter to fund projects is the potential for failure. While it offers entrepreneurs and innovators an opportunity to secure large investments from a variety of sources, there is no guarantee that a project will be successful.

What percentage of GoFundMe campaigns are successful? ›

After analyzing the performance of a half a million GoFundMe medical fundraising campaigns over five years, 88% of GoFundMe campaigns did not meet their fundraising goals, and 16% of campaigns received no donations at all.

What is the success rate of Kickstarter? ›

As of January 2024, the success rate of fully funding a project on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter was 41.15 percent. In other words, more than four out of ten projects on Kickstarter were successfully funded, while roughly six out of ten projects were unsuccessful.

What is the most successful Kickstarter project ever? ›

In March 2015, Pebble's second smartwatch project completed its crowdfunding and publicity run with 20.34 billion dollars raised in Kickstarter pre-order funding, becoming the most successful Kickstarter project as of July 2021.

Who is GoFundMe's biggest competitor? ›

Top GoFundMe Alternatives
1. Fundly: The Best GoFundMe Alternative
2. Double the Donation: Best for Extending Fundraising Impact9. FundRazr: Best for Specific Wishlists
7. Patreon: Best for Recurring Support14. Onevest: Best for Entrepreneurs
5 more rows

What is the downside of GoFundMe? ›

While GoFundMe can be a helpful tool, raising the full amount you need is not guaranteed. Success depends on how well you can spread the word about your campaign and whether your cause resonates with people. Reaching your fundraising goal requires dedicated time and effort.

Can I run Kickstarter and Indiegogo at the same time? ›

Of course you can but I would say it will not be a good move for a start-up to run two campaigns simultaneously given the time and resources it would take to support and manage both in parallel. Preparing and launching a crowdfunding campaign is demanding. It requires a lot of work before, during and…

What percentage does Indiegogo take? ›

Platform Fee: Indiegogo charges a 5% platform fee across all crowdfunding campaigns. If you are in our InDemand program and ran your campaign on Indiegogo, your platform fee remains 5%.

What percentage of Indiegogo campaigns are successful? ›

The Indiegogo platform has a 9% success rate. However, Indiegogo is a flexible funding platform that lets you keep whatever money you raise, even if you don't meet your goal.


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