Kickstarter vs. indiegogo

Soon to launch a crowd-funding appeal for my film projects. And I am wondering what the pros and cons of kickstarter vs. indiegogo are? honestly I can’t tell from the websites. This is of course, may mean I am not nearly so clever as I think…or maybe that there is fundamentally not much difference in these (and other) crowd-funding sites. You sign up…you ask people for money…you give them perks.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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61 thoughts on “Kickstarter vs. indiegogo

  1. at indiegogo you can continue to raise funds ongoing as long as you are listed whereas at kickstarter you are limited to 90 days. Their are both good and bad bits to this. With a 90 day cap fans do feel the need to promote you rather than just you promoting you; however, if you don’t reach your goal your done…no cash at all. with indiegogo you could be promoting for quite a long time as people are not as hurried to put some skin in the game.

    if your budget is less than 10k and your units are around 50-100 bucks i would use kickstarter and focus on the raise. If your idea is to raise more in smaller amounts i would use indiegogo.

    The one downside to kickstarter is that if you have to back to the well for more because of a planning error or complication….good luck….fat chance.

    good luck

    dave

  2. I think Kickstarter is still invite only in order to get a crowdfunding project on their site. You have to raise all the money you set as a goal or you get none. With Indiegogo, anyone can start a project and you keep the money that gets donated, whether or not you make the goal.

    Having said that, if you can get a project on Kickstarter, you’re appealing to a more active group of funders who sort of gamble on which idea will get funded by the end date. They’re only pledging the money and if it doesn’t make its goal, they get the money back. Gambling is more fun than donating.

  3. In my opinion the title says a lot about what type of crowd funding your doing and how you should align yourself. KickStarter/Spamy has a generic term to it, where as indiegogo/non-spamy suggest film or least suggest art of some kind. Ether way you still gotta find a way to drive traffic to your project and to me indiegogo has a lot more community presents. let’s be friends on indiegogo http://www.indiegogo.com/fansoffilm

  4. I recently raised over $6,000 in roughly 60 days on kickstarter for my film Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time. About $2,000 of that came in the last week because of the pressure to see the project succeed. Their deadline may look like a negative thing but it’s what got me to choose kickstarter. If you follow a few projects you’ll see that a huge percentage of projects get a big chunk of their funding in the last week or sometimes even the last day.

    Kickstarter is cleaner looking, has more diverse and interesting projects (my opinion) and will give you the ability to raise your funds faster. Kickstarter also helped me promote my project by doing interviews with me and posting my project on their home page and facebook page when I really needed it.

    that’s my two cents.

    best of luck!

  5. Ben:

    congratulations on the fund-raising. I agree with the site design comment for sure…much cleaner looking. Did Kickstarter seek you out for the interviews…that surely can’t be something every Kickstarter project gets!

  6. Hi folks,

    I’m considering using a crowdfunding site to get up-front monrey for my new business, but I already have a following of over 1000 on Facebook. What is Kickstarter going to do to promote my project that these fans won’t do? I want to use them but I’m not sure it’s worth the 5% that they are going to keep.

  7. Kickstarter doesn’t do much at all for that 5 percent. Unless you consider listing your project with approx 5000 other projects on hundreds and hundreds of pages. And a word to all, the sites get ranked according to how much money they are pulling in. If you have a slow growth you will be lucky if folks can find you at all. I saw on some other forum that both kickstarter and indiegogo are actually owned by big companies like Amazon and Craigslist.

  8. hmmm…I am pretty sure that neither Kickstarter nor Indiegogo are owned by big companies like Amazon and Craigslist. Can you share the link to the forum that says that? That is always a good idea, so that we can see where that info is coming from, rather than just repeating it as if it is fact. Thanks…

  9. You can check the IPs and owners. Kickstarter is owned by Amazon. (Which explains why they use Amazon for payments.)

    Indiegogo’s physical address is the Craigslist building (house) in San Francisco. You can use google earth to confirm the address and see a picture.

  10. Update…cause I appreciate facts….. A whois search reveals that Kickstarter is registered out of NY. This contradicts the other forum, but I remember seeing the info with my own eyes.

    A check of google earth on Indiegogo’s site does show it being in the Craigslist house.

    I will hunt for the Kickstarter info.

  11. and I asked Andy Baio of kickstarter who owns kickstarter,and he responded – Like most private companies, it’s owned by the founders, employees, and investors. 6:08 PM Sep 7th via web in reply to matt61schulte

  12. But McDonalds could say the same thing, except for the employees part. Is Amazon investing in Kickstarter? That would have been a good question.

    And also to ask about Indiegogo being in Craigslists house.

    I don’t care either way. I just want to warn people that both sites are getting huge and it is increasingly harder for projects to be seen because they are hundreds of pages beneath other projects. Even clicking on very vague words like “performing arts” or “dance” will pull up a sloppy variety of stuff. Indiegogo especially. But thanks for checking up on stuff.

  13. I just fundraised $2200 through IndieGogo for my film GASP! (http://www.indiegogo.com/Gasp). Before starting my campaign, I also was wondering about whether to go the Kickstarter route but one big thing was the deciding factor to go with IndieGogo: fiscal sponsorship . As far as I know, Kickstarter doesn’t have deals with any fiscal sponsors, whereas IndieGogo has a partnership with Fractured Atlas, which is my fiscal sponsor. This was appealing to me since giving donors the possibility of making tax-deductible donations is a big incentive to some donors.

    The way the Fractured Atlas workflow is integrated into IndieGogo is seamless. First you need to register your project with Fractured, once approved, you start your IndieGogo campaign. The service fee for the registration of your project with Fractured is $100 and they take 5 or 6% from the donations received (once your IndieGogo campaign is registered as a Fractured atlas campaign, the money is funneled to your FA account and then FA cuts you a check). FA takes their comission and that’s it. IndieGogo becomes the interface with donors and Fractured the legal entity that sends them their legit receipt for making a donation to a not-for profit.

    Overall I’m very happy with what I was able to do with my IndieGogo campaign. We didn’t meet our goal. But I went into this thinking: shoot, if I can make a couple of hundred bucks with this campaign, awesome. And in the end the campaign has generated $2700 so far (2200 through IG and 500 directly through FA). I hope this is helpful to some of you guys out there. Also, whichever site you go with, make sure you MAKE A VIDEO PITCH! This is how you hook the donors. Best!

  14. Wow, I am glad for you. That is the first thing. Second of all I am glad you didn’t choose Kickstarter because if you didn’t raise all the funds you wouldn’t get a cent. At least with Indiegogo you get to keep what you raise.

    People can also check out ME-Force.com

    I like it because it doesn’t have deadlines for projects and it seems like it will have a more sensible, orderly set up and no playing favorites.

    http://www.me-force.com

    I am glad that Indiegogo worked for you. I am wondering if you had really good contacts before going in or if you actually had a lot of traffic to your project. Either way, job well done.

  15. For those of you worrying about being lost amongst the thousands of projects on Kickstarter or Indiegogo – we just launched a new crowdfuding site called peerbackers.com – you won’t get lost on our site and we have all the same social media tools, etc built into our platform that these other sites do. It is also free to post so feel free to connect with us. Thanks

  16. Hey Drew,

    Only caught wind of your reply now. In response to your question: no, I didn’t really have really good contacts going in. I just had a e-mail list of 1300 people whom I had met over the years either via professional links or personal. I essentially used the IndieGoGo tool that links into my email contacts and emailed them all about the project. Then I created a Facebook group for the film and harnessed interest on the project there by having people join the group. Overall, it was the e-mailing and facebooking that got me the money. I had two 500 dollar donations from friends with more means and the rest were all donations of $100 or less. The e-mailing and facebooking generated over 600 views of my video and a percentage of those who saw my video donated. That’s how my campaign went. Let me know if you ahve any other questions.

  17. Stoked to find this thread!

    What I notice as a main difference is that IndieGoGo will host charitable and entrepreneurial endeavors in addition to creative/artistic ones. I’m also unsure of the final rate of payment to IGG.

    Thiago, I am also considering applying for Fiscal Sponsorship through Fractured Atlas. I was about to create my project on KickStarter and found the link to IndieGoGo on FA site. Did FA take 6% and IGG 9% of funds raised? There is some clause about a 5% rebate from IGG that I am unclear about.

    Thanks in advance

  18. I stopped reading a few posts up, so if this has been covered, my apologies.

    I currently have kickstarter project running (for about 3 more days) and kickstarter is very privately owned.

    Amazon payments is their payment method, but they are actively seeking other options for those who use their site. I am just checking out IndieGoGo.

    Thanks!

  19. Having dated one of the founders of Indiegogo, I can guarantee that they are not owned by Craigslist. The firm belongs to its founders, a truly passionate bunch of self-funded entrepreneurs.

  20. Hi Jewels, only found your question here today. So, I was only charged 5% (or was it 6%, I can’t remember now???) of funds raised through my IGG campaign but it was definitely not 5+9 or 6+9 percent. When you register your project with FA and then launch a IGG campaign, you don’t get charged once by each institution, only once by FA. Hope this helps. Overall I really recommend the IGG + FA path. IGG was easy to use and FA provides great services including live help if you call them. It’s good thing.

  21. I’m frustrated by how Kickstarter chooses the projects that appear on their home page. I emailed them and asked how it’s determined, and they replied with simply “Projects they find interesting”. They also said I should promote my project myself – no sh#t.
    I’d love the front-window treatment at Kickstarter, and I think they should rotate the projects at random, giving every project the same “air-time. My project is only to raise $2500 for funds to make a film festival run. I guess my project isn’t sexy enough because my film is already completed: http://kck.st/gEe2R9 (I self-financed and raised the money for that too).

    • Dan,

      ME TOO! I’m extremely frustrated with Kickstarter! They’re taking 5% of my $15,000 that I’m trying to fundraise for post-production funds for my film. I’ve gotten $9000 so far, I’ve got another 4 hours to go here! When I emailed them two days back to feature me on their homepage… they said, they only choose what they find interesting. Guess my project didn’t make the cut (and my project is GOOD and my video is GREAT, it’s just not whimsical/fun/unusual so it doesn’t appeal to them)(ps. not trying to have an ego, I just am confident in my project based on the 100s of responses I’ve gotten from people).

      So I’m supposed to give them 5%… so $750 of my hard-earned $25/person fundraising … for what? Giving me a formulaic page to post all my sh*t on? They haven’t done ANYTHING to help me except giving me a webpage to plug and play. Even their brand name doesn’t help as over 90% of my donors/funders had never heard of Kickstarter. I am the one who drew them to the page, second is my project, and that’s it – not the name of kickstarter.

      So 1. their name doesn’t help
      2. they don’t feature you or try to give fair air time to any projects
      3. they also asked me to stop twittering about it because I was being spammy. WHAT THE F*CK? I can’t even do @Kickstarter mentions as it “makes them look bad”

      I’m extremely upset with Kickstarter. It remains to be seen if I’m going to pull some magic out of thin air for the next few hours to get to my goal, but in general, I think Kickstarter is good for projects up to $3000 MAX, and keep in mind that even then $150 of your donations are going to just paying them (FOR WHAT?).

      If they don’t feature your project or blog/facebook about it, they have give you nothing. It’s nearly a scam.

      • Well I’m glad you got funded – but you did terrible marketing here – just right here – your name links to your site but i had to search for the link to kickstart – you didn’t post it here in your response – and the link on your blog was hard to find and you didn’t even make it clickable.

        You may have very well gotten more by using a link in everything you post – and make it easy to find.

  22. Pingback: RiceburnerFM » Feature » Crowdfunding: 5 Online Financial Resources for Artists, Bands And Musicians

  23. I think the concept of kickstarter and indiegogo is wonderful for many people. I recently added a project to the indiegogo site and i would really apprieciate it if someone could tell me, why my invention project isnt listed in the invention category, or the new projects this month. i mean its NO WHERE , why??

    thank you

  24. I was unsuccessful raising money for a book project once with Kickstarter and recently came across IndieGoGo.com — After checking both out, I feel much better about using IndieGoGo for further project because:

    1) IndieGoGo allows people to pay via PayPal or regular credit cards while Kickstarter relies on Amazon’s system. I lost out on many donations from people who didn’t want to register with Amazon’s system to make a donation. With IndieGoGo, you can just use any credit card or even mail a check.

    2) IndieGoGo lets you keep WHATEVER you raise. So if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t go back to zero like you do with KickStarter.

    The downside (or reason IndieGoGo is able to do this) is that they’ll take 9% if you don’t reach your goal. Personally, I’d rather raise a decent amount and lose the extra 4% than lose everything.

  25. I am still torn about which platform is better, because I have had success with both- meaning I raised my money both times. Kickstarter seems to have a “cleaner” presentation and much easier to navigate. Indiegogo has whip fast customer service, albeit I have been contacting them regarding how to find backer information on their site-still can’t find what I am looking for. But Indiegogo gave me a day on their featured artist page because of my efforts in reposting on facebook. That was nice of them. I am a Fractured Atlas sponsored artist, so during that relationship, I will be using Indiegogo, but I am still leaning towards Kickstarter. It is simply more user friendly. Just don’t hold your breath for their customer service to get back to you. Be ready to be on your own.

  26. From IndieGoGo.com:
    It’s completely free to sign up and create a campaign.

    4% IndieGoGo Fee: IndieGoGo charges a 4% fee on the money you raise when you meet your funding goal. (The fee is 9% if you do not meet your funding goal.)

    3% Third-Party Fee: Third party payment processors charge an additional fee of about 3%.

    From Kickstarter.com:
    What fees does Kickstarter charge?
    If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter will apply a 5% fee to the funds raised. If funding isn’t successful, there are no charges.

    Does Amazon charge any fees?
    Yes. When a project is successful, Amazon will apply credit card processing fees, which work out to roughly 3-5%. For details on how the fee is calculated, please view the Amazon Payments fee details.

    Does it cost money to list a project on Kickstarter?
    No, starting a project is free.

    Hope this helps.

    -Rocco

    http://www.hangdogthemovie.com

  27. I am looking for funding for a documentary I’m producing which will be pretty expensive to shoot for 5 months, so I’m looking for big money — about $250,000. Do any of these crowd-funding groups actually help people who have big budgets? It seems like a lot of the projects are looking for a few thousand bucks or maybe tens of thousands. I’ve been looking for corp. sponsors and underwriters, but getting a lot of door-slams. And I’ve been shot down on a few grants that took way too long. Has anyone out there raised really big money through any of these sites?

  28. Pingback: More about IndieGoGo « Crowding It

  29. I wish I have seem this page before I used Kickstarter as my fund raising platform. Don’t get me wrong, my $10000 goal project has just ended and the goal has been reached. So I should be happy right? No, I am facing another problem that has not be mentioned by any of you guys. Several of the large pledges didn’t get thought but Amazon payment has already charged me 4% for transaction fee. I emailed to Kickstarter and the response is they can’t ensure the backers will do the payment, it should be my own responsibility to talk to the one who has trouble person by person. :( And then if I am lucky, the backers willing to pay me again, Amazon will charge me again!!!!!!!! that’s 4%+4%.

    I have another project that will be up in a week time, I am definitely will check out IGG.

  30. does anybody that has rised money on kickstarter know how much aprox would you have to pay in taxes from the money you got? is urgent!!!!!! help please!!

  31. I am on a similar journey. I had projects at 8-bit funding, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo, but driving traffic has been really difficult, even though I have received considerable press.

    I think Indiegogo is better because you keep what you earn, but Kickstarter drives more traffic to your project, so if traffic is the issue, Kickstarter is good, but I recommend having projects posted at both sites. Make sure that your Kickstarter campaign ends before your Indiegogo campaign though. This way, if you see you can’t make your goal, you can post an update and your donors will migrate to your Indie Gogo project. Well… some of them will anyway.

  32. These posts were very interesting and helpful. The ONE thing that was not mentioned, and I think this is very important: how many donors were not directly connected to someone involved in the project. I asked my friend who successfully raised 10,000 on kickstarter. Out of 54 donors, only 1 was someone not directly related to the project. This suggests, that ultimately, the “traffic” and features did nothing to actually bring in money. Or course, it is good exposure and a good platform.

    And this does make sense. I ask you: how many projects did you discover on either kickstarter or indie and decide to donate without knowing anyone in the project. I have donated to several projects on both sites, but never to a project that I just ran across.

    Just wanted to throw that out there.

  33. From personal experience I no longer use Kickstartere because they froze a project because it had adult content, not porn but definitely “R” rated, no one form admin got back to me why this decision was made and since they DO seem to be backed by Amazon, I cancelled my account with them.

    I am not interested in competing with Disney or Nickelodeon so my interested will lie elsewhere for funding.

  34. Moved on to IndieGoGo, as my previous post mention, I have problem receiving payment from Kickstarter. I end up refund everything back to my backers and started a new one on IndieGoGo (www.indiegogo.com/XStylus-Crayon) Everything went well and I got the funding that I needed. In fact, I have just launched my second project on IndieGoGo, XStylus Touch for iPad, a stylus for the iPad. Please check it out,

    http://www.indiegogo.com/XStylus-Touch.

    For those who is interested in the All or Nothing funding scheme that offered by Kickstarter but not IndieGoGo, you really should go for IndieGoGo now cause they just have a small change and offer two type of funding scheme. Fix funding = all or nothing and flexible funding = the project owner takes all.

  35. Hi Elton: Glad your project was a success! We agree – our crowdfunding plaform, http://peerbackers.com, works the same way as Indiegogo (you get to keep what you raise – although we only take 5% not 9% if you don’t reach your full goal) and we prefer this approach. In fact, we are big believers in doing everything we can to support the success of our fundraising campaigns – we love crowdfudning! :-) It works as long as those posting do their part to promote their projects.

  36. I am really curious whether anyone has researched how many people contribute to a project on kickstarter or indiegogo which they had not previously heard of. If I simply post a donation site on my own website and appeal to my fans, I will only have to pay 3% for the online funding service. So the question for me is whether the extra percentage paid to one of the crowd-funding platforms would be recouped by increased visibility and additional donors, or whether it would only be folks on my mailing list donating anyway.

  37. You get almost nothing from kickstarter. Most of the traffic comes from YOU and YOU alone.

    What kickstarter does is maybe convince the people YOU bring of the professionalism of your project. Second, it does force you into a good model (the prize model). Simply asking donations doesn’t work nearly as well as giving people something in return for their small investment.

    Those are my 2 cents.

  38. I currently have a project on Kickstarter to raise 999$ in 30 days. I am 93% funded as of right now and have about a week left. Out of the backers I currently have I only actually know 3 of them and they account for only 175$ of my pledges. Most of the pledges seem to be coming from the Kickstarter community. I definitely could not have raised this much on my own. So far I’m saying it’s well worth the 5%.

  39. Forgot to add that before I launched my own project I backed a project by another painter whom I had never heard of before. I found his project just by browsing the site and thought his work was gorgeous and I wanted to own some.

  40. Why use either???
    They keep a percentage of YOUR money and don’t do much – except dilute your project by linking to thousands of others.
    If your project already has a website, you can add a paypal or other payment method “Donate” button easily using a code snippet.
    Then you keep all the money.
    If your project doesn’t have a website – get one!! You can put one together quickly using a number of free web services, or hire/convince a pro to help.

  41. Very interesting and I might add that as an employee of a company recently bought by Amazon, we are all under legal gag orders not to tell.

    Thanks for keeping the focus going and not letting mr admin change the course! I hope at this point you have all been successful!

  42. Okay, so say i have no contacts. No facebook friends. Could my project be found by donors on either platform? I can set up a website for my project, no problem. But after that am I just hoping that someone is bored and finds my project while browsing? Does anyone know of any helpful hints for promoting?

  43. Hello,

    I really do not like the approach that Kickstarter takes on which projects it chooses to publish. No offense or disrespect to any project, but I feel like Kickstarter is only about tree hugging hippy campaigns.

    As much as I love to see a million projects about an indy film on transgendered awareness in Ethiopia or a 100% biodegradable tampon made from recycled cans, it gets a bit frustrating to see the amount of good projects that are tossed because they are not “green” or have some “social impact” on some under respresented social political group.

    That is why I chose indiegogo.com instead. They let all projects in and really deserve credit for not being too involved in the political agenda of their website.

    Without being too obvious, please check out my campaign and show your support for a regular campaign with a great idea. And if you don’t…the terrorist win!

    http://www.indiegogo.com/collegehomeroom

    THX,

    Will

  44. The absolute downside to Kickstarter is that they add 1,000 projects per month and only feature about 12 so you have very little chance of having anyone, other than your friends, know about your creative endeavor. That is the truth and that is what sucks about Kickstarter.

    The only upside is that for the 5% they take for their profits, you get to make use of their website platform and that is helpful in raising dough from the people you know. That’s about it.

    It would be so much better if Kickstarter had their subscribers fill out a short survey and then Kickstarter could streamline their mailings each week to the people who care about certain projects. For example, I get mailings about comics regularly. I hate comics. Arg! I would like to get notices about interesting books but I have no way of making that happen at Kickstarter.

    Since, Kickstarter will probably do nothing on your behalf in regard to employing their subscriber base, I suggest that you get a PayPal account and create your own campaign to raise funds from the people you know. That’s what i would do if i ever do this again…

    Hope this is helpful.

  45. Hi there

    I’m looking to start my own campaign soon my self and I’m looking to go with IndieGoGo, I’m sorry to hijack the post, but anyone know anything about tax eligibility when it comes to these sites? Surely you raise 10k and it goes in personal account, you have to pay tax, right? Should you have a business account set up? What’s the best way to go about it?

    • Yes. All income is taxable, but you should operate like a business (frankly, form a real business, license, etc.) and deduct all legitimate expenses from the income.

      Personally I think you also need to collect Sales Tax appropriate to your location, if you are offering “goods” as a reward.

  46. Considering you select the flexable option with Indigogo payment options and you exceed your reserve price would they still charge the 9% premium or will it revert back to the 4%?

  47. i don’t see the benefit of only being featured on indiegogo’s homepage if you already have alot of attention…this seems backwards to me…at least if the benefit is meant for you. seems to me that would only benefit them.

    • nevermind…it’s late, and my mind is slow right now…seems that if you work hard to promote your campaign, they will too, as they count the times you share it via various social media.

      or was i right the first time?

  48. I chose indiegogo over kickstarter mostly because of the flexible funding. We just launched our comic campaign yesterday here’s to crossed fingers.

  49. Pingback: A List of Film Collaboration Websites « Making the Movie

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