You can absolutely crowdfund without giving a percentage to an online organizer.
But honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Let’s go through the details.
Platforms like Indiegogo or Kickstarter, for example, charge what is essentially a “service fee” for using their platform to raise funds for your project. The best way to forego this “service fee” is to crowdfund on your own platform.
What this entails (considering an online crowdfunding):
- Creating your own website, including a way to collect contributions from people online
- Gathering an audience that is willing, able and eager to contribute to your project
- Finding a way to activate that crowd – get them to actually pull out their credit card and punch those numbers in on your website
This all sounds simple but I would NOT recommend doing this for the average Joe since there are additional difficulties along the way for each of those steps that crowdfunding platforms have gone ahead and “simplified”.
It’s difficult to create a pre-order site
It isn’t as easy as you think to develop a robust website to convince people to donate to your campaign AND be able to seamlessly collect that money. Also, imagine gathering a dedicated audience while trying to create that baller website and getting it to work as you need it to. That’s A LOT of time and money that you’ll have to spend.
Crowdfunding is hard work already
Just running a crowdfunding campaign ON existing platforms already will mean blood, sweat,
Think of it this way – the median household income in the United States is approximately $50,000.
And that’s for an entire year of work.
With crowdfunding, you’re trying to raise that same amount in just 30 days. That’s putting a full year of effort and work into 30 days. Oomph.
I’m not saying it is impossible (GlowForge did it and raised close to $30M), but creating your OWN site and trying to collect a dedicated audience and working to drive hundreds of thousands of visitors will mean a lot more than most people can handle.
The crowdfunding platforms have advanced so many layers of the crowdfunding experience to the extent that founders and entrepreneurs are typically happy to fork over that “service fee” so that they won’t have to deal with the headache of those additional difficulties. The fees between Kickstarter and Indiegogo are comparable, but there are other factors to help you decide between the two platforms.
And yes, this is what I’d recommend for most people, unless you have and are prepared to spend time and money to make the alternative happen.
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