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May 6, 2013

Four Crowdfunding Sites to Fund Your Online Business

Many small businesses looking for alternative funding sources are turning to crowdfunding, a phenomenon that has hit the Internet in the past few years.

If you have a great dream or an idea that you think deserves funding, you can ask an online community for help – provided you can convince them that it’s a great idea. If you have a brilliant idea for a videogame or a movie, or you need help funding a music album or even a potentially revolutionary social media tool, there may be people out there willing to donate money to help you turn your dream to reality.

And where can you find such generous communities? Let’s take a look at some of them.

1. Kickstarter
Kickstarter is the biggest crowdfunding community out there, especially suited for creative projects. So far, the site has launched a whopping 61,000 projects and has raised $220 million. At any point in time, there are thousands of people looking through the projects seeking one they think deserves funding. According to the site’s guidelines various creative projects can be listed on the site (barring scholarships, charities and awareness campaigns).

If you have a great business plan such as the Crabby Wallet that started with the gift of a sewing machine and made $103,000+ of its $10,000 goal with 5,400 backers, or a Chapbook for your home printing business, Kickstarter is the place to go.

You sign up, fill in your project details and wait for people to like it. You will also have to create a small reward for your backers, which will be claimed only if the funding goal is reached. If the funding is successful, Kickstarter keeps five percent of the funding raised.

2. RocketHub
RocketHub provides a ‘launchpad’ for your project in three simple steps. When you’ve uploaded your project, you can track the progress of the funding and the status of the project. There are two kinds of programs that you can use: the FuelPad or the LaunchPad.

FuelPad is the crowdfunding program which will raise money just like Kickstarter. But the special feature of RocketHub that sets it apart from other crowdfunding sites is LaunchPad.

LaunchPad makes it possible for members to work with large companies and brands to appeal to public interest and source opportunities in the future.

RocketHub charges four percent of the fund raised if the project has been successful. If you start a project and it ends without reaching its final goal, you are charged eight percent. A credit card processing fee of four percent is also added.

3. Indiegogo
Indiegogo is for ‘independent’ projects that need a boost to make them ‘go-go-go’  — that’s where the name of the site comes from. The layout and features are very similar to Kickstarter, however, unlike that site, you can fund almost any kind of personal or professional project including charities.
Whether you are a U.S. resident or not, you can receive funding through Paypal. Usually you receive the money only if the full funding needed is realized. Indiegogo charges four percent.

If you still want to receive the money whether your goal is met or not, you can do so through the ‘flexible funding’ program, in which Indiegogo will charge you a nine percent fee.

4. Crowdfunder
If you’ve been through the crowdfunding sites and not found enough funding for your project, you can turn to angel investors to help. Crowdfunder  will put you in touch with angel investors across the U.S. and Mexico, and allow you to sell your securities based on debt and revenue or by selling equity. At the same time, you can attract venture capitalists and angel investors to invest in your business. This is suitable for small start-up businesses.

Simply create a company profile, and then prepare yourself for live pitch events and other online challenges to catch the eye of investors in your region. Currently there are active profiles in Austin, New York, the Bay Area, Houston, Utah, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Miami. It’s a very new website and a concept that is bound to see great success in funding some great projects.

Collins Paris writes content that snaps, crackles and pops on a variety of topics related to web based business and working from home from SEO and Web marketing to writing and eCommerce. To find out more sizzling content, visit him at