Indiegogo is one of the many crowdfunding platforms you can find online. However, many still wonder what it is and what exactly it is good for. In this Indiegogo review, will go through all the basics of this widely used crowdfunding platform.
What Is Crowdfunding?
To understand what Indiegogo is, you first have to understand how crowdfunding works. This concept is not new to human beings. People have been taking money out of their own pockets to support businesses and causes that are close to their hearts for decades. Many see this as a charity, but there are also a lot of people who see this as an investment.
Many people use crowdfunding to find and support causes they care about. Others use them to find the support they need. In making things easier for both parties, crowdfunding platforms were made. Raising money and resources no longer need door-to-door engagement and can now reach any part of the world. All you need now is a stable internet connection and a few filled-out forms.
People, businesses, and charities all benefit from crowdfunding platforms. Individuals or organizations can invest in various sectors, each receiving different rewards by doing so. However, these “rewards” are more common on business-type of crowdfunding.
There are many crowdfunding platforms fit for different needs. This Indiegogo review goes deep into the strengths and weaknesses of the platform as a method of crowdfunding.
What Is Indiegogo?
As of 2020, Indiegogo is one of the world’s leading crowdfunding platforms. It is a hub for tech innovators looking for their big break but is also a place for art projects and social campaigns to flourish. We will review Indiegogo’s uses and features later.
California-based Indiegogo was founded in 2008 by Slava Rubin, Danae Ringelmann, and Eric Schell. Originally, the platform was for people looking to get their businesses started. Most of the campaigns on the sites were for innovative tech products, which need a lot of money and other resources to start production.
However, Indiegogo did not only help dreamers with an innovative idea. It has jumpstarted investors’ dreams too. Tech geeks and passionate individuals can look for causes that they want to help grow. By doing this, they help both themselves and their communities.
Indiegogo is a good medium for these two parties to meet and create something beneficial to the world.
People often praise the platform for the help they extend to budding businesses and campaigns. It now has over nine million backers. Thus, people joining this crowdfunding platform will need to meet the right qualifications to a T to succeed.
How Indiegogo Works
With Indiegogo, your campaigns do not have to be thoroughly checked to start raising money. Be that as it may, there are still qualifications you have to meet to run a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo:
- Age: 18+ or 13-17 with a guardian 18+
- Allowed Causes: for-profit; non-profit; product development; community campaigns that are not personal; educational campaigns
- Must have read and agreed to the platform’s terms and conditions
As one can imagine, millions of people flock to the website every day. It is in everyone and Indiegogo’s best interests to have a threshold of campaigns to accept. Thus, Indiegogo has partnered with another crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe, for clearer boundaries when it comes to raising money.
According to Indiegogo’s website, people who want to raise money for “personal causes” are encouraged to do so on GoFundMe. Indiegogo mainly focuses on raising money for the products of budding businesses or nonprofit organizations. Most people on the platform use their raised money for profit reasons, however.
Educational and community campaigns are also welcome on Indiegogo.
As one can imagine, people flock to Indiegogo for different reasons, offering different things in return. In keeping the crowdfunding platform safe and legal, Indiegogo makes a few things clear.
One of the most strict rules of the platform covers fundraisers’ project offers. These are what backers get in return for their investments. Unsurprisingly, the bigger the rewards, the more chances you have of getting backers.
This is a simple principle that can be abused if Indiegogo does not step up to the plate and implement rules. To make sure your crowdfunding does not get banned from the platform, below are the guidelines on Indiegogo’s Rules on Project Offers.
- You cannot offer any form of lottery or gambling in exchange for a backer’s investments. Raffles, for example, are not allowed.
- Direct offers of alcohol are prohibited. The only accepted way of giving alcohol-related offers is through vouchers or memberships, where people will pick up the alcoholic beverages themselves.
- You also cannot offer stocks or anything related to the treasury as a project perk. This includes bonds, debentures, and security-based swaps.
- Financial incentives are also not allowed. Under this would be debit cards, cash, and cryptocurrency.
- Weapons should never be a project perk for backers on Indiegogo. Firearms, gunpowder, and knives are examples of weapons you cannot give away. As with alcohol, memberships of weapon-related places such as firing ranges are allowed.
- Giving away vaporizers, pipes, and other drug paraphernalia is also not allowed on the platform.
- As long as you are not launching an airline or giving away unauthorized tickets, plane rides are allowed as project perks on Indiegogo.
There are three types of fees you should know about when using Indiegogo. For people planning to launch campaigns, know that Indiegogo charges a 5% platform fee. This remains the same whether you are a part of their InDemand program or not. (More on InDemand later in this Indiegogo review.)
However, if you are transferring your campaign from another crowdfunding platform to Indiegogo, the platform fee will change. It rises up to 8%. Other platform fee changes are possible depending on your situation, as agreed upon by you and Indiegogo.
Note that platform fees are not applicable to charitable campaigns. These mostly include community endeavors.
There are also transaction and transfer fees applied when backers’ payments are processed. These have everything to do with your currency, your bank account, and your credit card networks. The platform accommodates many currencies. This is why it is world-renowned among jump-starting businesses.
For the United States, bank processing fees can range from $0 to $0.30 or even higher. It is best to contact your bank before you transfer money from Indiegogo to your account.
If you have more concerns about the pricing and currency of your campaign, you can learn more on Indiegogo.
How to Use Indiegogo
Starting a Campaign
Starting a campaign on Indiegogo is easier than most people would think. In fact, Indiegogo reviews from users mention the platform’s flexible campaign practices and variety.
- To get started, you only need to visit the Indiegogo website and click on the “Start a Campaign” button in the site’s topmost corner. You will either need to log in or create an account.
- Next, you have to disclose whether your campaign is for a project or a cause.
- After choosing, you have to fill out a sheet providing basic information. Indiegogo will ask if you are an individual, a business, or a non-profit organization. If you are neither of the three, choose the closest option.
- Last, you have to choose your location. Since Indiegogo is a global platform, they have to know from where you are raising money and what currency you will be using. You have to disclose your bank in this section. From there, you can already start your campaign.
Fixing Your Campaign
Indiegogo has tools that help you market your campaign in the best light possible. From education centers to on-call experts, Indiegogo does its best to help you raise money. So, when you start a campaign, remember to optimize it with all the tools you have.
On the left-hand side of your screen, you will find a Create/Edit tool. Pressing this guides you through the steps in designing your project. These steps help you by choosing images, campaign titles, and campaign descriptions.
Do not worry if you feel unsure of your choices because Indiegogo has short pieces of advice on making your campaign. It also encourages you to share a campaign video or story so that your campaign garners more attention as time goes by.
As many people from the business industry know, going viral helps a campaign a lot. Thus, by adding these details, Indiegogo gives you the extra push you need to bring your campaign to the very top.
Campaigns on Indiegogo can fall under their InDemand team. Perks of being a part of this includes receiving money even after your campaign has reached its goal. However, to be a part of this, you need to first reach your goal and meet your campaign’s deadlines.
Important Things to Note
Campaigns fall under two types of funding: fixed or flexible funding. The former will not release money unless campaign goals are met, and the latter gives you freedom in deciding when to transfer money to your bank accounts.
Be careful in choosing your goal amount and currency, because these details cannot be changed once your campaign begins.
Indiegogo knows better than to attribute an entire campaign to one person. So, you can also opt to invite people to join your campaign team. All you have to do is add their email addresses. You can do this by filling out a “New Team Member Email” field.
Indiegogo Review: Services and Features
Campaigns are only as good as their mission. As mentioned above, there are many reasons why people would want to start a crowdfunding campaign. For Indiegogo users, these are mostly for business ventures.
Here are the categories you can start a crowdfunding campaign around. Almost all Indiegogo reviews mention that the platform is great for businesses, and with this much variety, you will see why.
Tech & Innovation Categories
- Camera Gear
- Energy & Green Tech
- Food and Beverages
- Health and Wellness
- Phones and Accessories
- Travel and Outdoors
- Innovative Products
- Dance and Theater
- Podcasts, Blogs, and Vlogs
- Web Series and TV Shows
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Writing and Publishing
- Other Creations
Community Project Categories
While Indiegogo suggests that all personal causes be launched on GoFundMe, there are community projects that you can still launch on the platform. Here are the categories you can choose from:
- Animal Rights
- Human Rights
- Local Business
What makes Indiegogo special is that applying for campaigns takes a shorter time compared to other global platforms. All you need to launch a campaign is to accomplish an application form.
Waiting times on other crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter, can be a huge roadblock for people. This is especially the case if they are trying to raise money in a specific amount of time. As Indiegogo knows it is most used by businesses with not much time or resources to spare, it makes campaign launching quick and easy.
As long as you fill out their forms, your campaign’s approval is automatic. Make sure you read through their terms and conditions first, though. You can see Indiegogo’s strict terms about their project offers above.
In this Indiegogo review, we’re most in awe of the crowdfunding platform’s Education Center. Here, Indiegogo can help creators market their campaigns to success. Everyone’s goal is to get on the Indiegogo landing page sooner than later. For businesses, time is gold, so Indiegogo makes sure their people get as much help as they can.
In the Indiegogo Education Center, you can find hundreds of articles about creating and managing your own campaign. There are several categories to choose from, each standing for a step in the campaign process. Learn about creating your campaign, developing your own products, and managing your campaign effectively. Marketing and PR is also a subunit of the Education Center feature.
For people nearing the end of their campaigns, Indiegogo also has guides on post-campaign practices. Those who choose to continue their campaigns through InDemand can also benefit from this section. Indiegogo wants its users to have a fair shot at getting backers. It is in their and their users’ best interests to have campaigns that prosper.
Seeing from the features above, you can deduce that Indiegogo extends as much help as it can to its users. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that our Indiegogo review praises the platform for its good customer service.
No one likes calling customer service. These calls are always made out of necessity. However, it does help if the people you are calling are open to talking to you. Even better: if they have solutions at the ready for you.
Indiegogo’s customer service has a large help section you can scroll to at any time. The crowdfunding platform’s help center covers almost all of Indiegogo’s features. Still, if you still have unanswered questions, you can opt to call their customer service representatives.
The people at Indiegogo are responsive and are quick to help. Visit the Indiegogo Help Center for more information.
Hand in hand with Indiegogo’s Education Center is their Experts Directory. The former is best for self-studying, but that can only teach you so much. Each campaign’s set of experiences are different, and this is where the Experts Directory comes along.
Here, you can link up with video agencies, legal assistants, and even production houses. All these experts will have experience in the field of crowdfunding. This will help especially those who have little to no experience raising money for a cause. One can even argue that this helps anyone who has questions about crowdfunding, regardless of experience level.
To get into the specifics, through the Experts Directory, you can use Indiegogo’s network of:
- Creative Services
- Legal and Financial Services
- Marketing Experts
- Packaging and Fulfillment Experts
- Prototyping and Production Teams
- Retail, Licensing & Distribution Teams; and even
- Website Development & eCommerce Services
Through this network, you can develop the best possible products for your potential customers. Moreover, you can get these products to as many people as possible.
You rarely find crowdfunding platforms going the extra mile to ensure the success of their campaigners. An Indiegogo review would be irresponsible if it does not mention that Indiegogo does what it can to help everyone on the platform.
However, by being open to as many campaigns and backers as possible, Indiegogo can sometimes be a platform for reward scams.
Indiegogo Review: Pros and Cons of the Platform
Indiegogo, like any other crowdfunding platform, has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. When deciding on what crowdfunding platforms to use, you should first weigh their pros and cons.
What We Like About Indiegogo
Indiegogo is the world’s leading crowdfunding platform for tech products and other innovative endeavors. The platform itself was built for these types of crowdfunding campaigns. Choosing Indiegogo, you will know that you are a part of a tried and tested system.
Moreover, Indiegogo is flexible with the type of funding you want to do. As mentioned earlier, Indiegogo has fixed and flexible funding options. You can either start an all-or-nothing campaign or a campaign that gets as much money as it can. Either way, most campaigns will have project offers.
This brings us to the next point: Indiegogo is not for personal causes. More often than not you will be getting something in return for your investments. With the platform’s InDemand feature, you can establish a reward system even after your campaign.
If you still have questions about why Indiegogo is a good crowdfunding platform, look no further than their customer service. They have a lot of tools to help campaigns succeed, starting with an extensive Education Center.
Last but not the least, Indiegogo does not have Kickstarter’s gruesome waiting times. Starting a campaign on Indiegogo is fast and simple.
What Falls Short
Because there is virtually no screening process for campaign starters, Indiegogo can be a platform for different scams. There are only a handful of ways campaigners and backers can talk to one another on Indiegogo. Thus, there are people who do not fulfill their end of the deal.
A common thread tying Indiegogo review articles is that not all backers get what they are promised. Defective and unfinished projects are common on Indiegogo. By that logic, there are hundreds of promised project offers that never push through.
For campaigners, Indiegogo’s Education Center is only as good as the number of backers there are on the site. Unfortunately, Indiegogo does not get as much traffic as crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter.
Crowdfunding Platforms Like Indiegogo
Kickstarter is Indiegogo’s biggest competitor. They are both global crowdfunding platforms that have project offer systems in place. Moreover, they also have the same target users: budding businesses and entrepreneurs.
For those who might not find enough backers on Indiegogo, Kickstarter is also your best bet. Its platform fee is also 5%, and it has more lurking backers on the website.
However, it is also important to note that Kickstarter has a longer application process. There is a screening process for all campaigns, so it may take more time out of your businesses’ schedules.
Many game developers find their crowd at Kickstarter. For example, in 2018, about $200 million was pledged to the entire gaming category on Kickstarter. This covers almost all types of game genres. This comes to no one’s surprise though, because independent games are taking the world by storm. There are so many indie games you are probably sleeping on.
Indiegogo’s partner platform is GoFundMe. This Indiegogo review has spared no words in discussing the difference between the two platforms: Indiegogo is best for businesses, and GoFundMe is for personal causes.
Both of these crowdfunding platforms have a global reach. They also both have a 5% platform fee. However, there is also a donation fee of about $0.30 cents per donation.
To give a better example, GoFundMe is a better platform for raising money for specific people that may need financial help. These people may be suffering from an illness, recovering from a natural disaster, or facing turbulent problems ahead.
Using GoFundMe makes you a donator and not an investor. However, there are services available on the platform. This is not as common as it is on Indiegogo, though.
Crowdrise (GoFundMe Charity)
Compared to Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there is less traffic on Crowdrise. However, this is another global crowdfunding platform that you should consider using. One of its biggest benefits was its low platform fee of 2.9%.
Smaller events can benefit from using Crowdrise because they need not compete with the big ideas plowing their way through platforms like Indiegogo. Most fundraisers on Crowdrise cover life events like birthdays, weddings, and scholarships.
If anything, Crowdrise’s biggest competitor is GoFundMe. However, the latter acquired the former a few years back. So, you can try your luck on both of these donation-based channels if you would like.
Another crowdfunding platform you should consider if you are avoiding too big of a crowd is Rockethub, which is now acquired by Crowdfuner. This is a global crowdfunding platform that mostly helps startups find their footing in the world of business.
What makes this platform interesting is that its processes are in line with business systems. For example, Rockethub used a “Funding Room” feature. This is a room where you can make a pitch to venture capitalists, much like you would see on the show Shark Tank.
Local businesses looking to get their start can benefit from using Crowdfunder. You can get access to the platform by subscribing. The price is a bit steep at $299 a month, but you get the professionalism you pay for.
For those looking to launch crowdfunding endeavors in the United States, consider using NextSeed. The platform only gets 1% of your total profit, so you do not have to shell out as much money as you would when using a global site.
This is best for people wanting to jump-start their businesses because NextSeed connects you with investors. Thus, NextSeed is a space for equity-sharing. Where Indiegogo would have project offers, NextSeed deals are focused on equity.
Based in Houston, NextSeed has helped local salons, spas, and restaurants thrive.
Indiegogo Review: Final Word
Crowdfunding platforms are a great way for people to reach the help that they need to make their goals a reality. These platforms have space for individuals, businesses, and even community projects of any size.
Indiegogo is one of the few crowdfunding platforms that reach a global audience. Because of this, the platform strives to keep getting better. These days, they have their own Education Center, Expert Directory, and intensive Customer Service website.
The help they extend to their users is impeccable: from giving them a network to collaborate with, to little-to-none campaign approval periods.
This Indiegogo review concludes that Indiegogo is a good platform for any business looking for a stepping stone. As long as you show up on your end of the deal, there is no reason for backers to not support your campaign goals.