Crowd Funding in Australia: which website is right for you?

 

There are so many websites available for crowdfunding in Australia, it’s hard to know which one to choose from. Here at the Fundraising Directory, we’ve started the hard work for you! We compare 5 different crowdfunding websites as they relate to Australian fundraisers. As always, this is a general overview, so have a look at the current fees, terms and conditions, tax regulations, intellectual property and privacy policies etc before making a choice that’s right for you.

1. Chuffed

Who Qualifies?

‘Social Cause Projects’ – these can be created by a charity, group of friends, individual or even a business, but the project itself must be for the good of the community. Chuffed’s example is that you can start a campaign for refugees, but not for a holiday to London.

How it works

You can choose a fixed or flexible funding model. Campaigns are flexible by default, meaning that you receive whatever money you raise. If you choose the fixed model, you won’t receive the money until your target amount is reached.

Costs (click to confirm current fees)

There is a credit card fee charged to the donor of 2.0%-2.9% (depending on the country) plus 30c per transaction. This is done on top of the donation amount. Chuffed has no automatic processing fees of its own.

Upside

There’s no automatic processing fee for Chuffed, donors choose whether they’d like to include a donation to Chuffed.

If you are an Australian based charity with tax deductible status, they can issue tax deductible receipts (there are conditions to this of course, partly depending on what rewards you give for donations). In any case, the donor is issued with a donation receipt email with a PDF tax invoice.

The smallness of the website means that your project won’t get lost (as of 16/7/15 there were 40 campaigns in the community category).

Downside

With a small-ish website, it’s up to you, the campaign creator, to attract visitors to your campaign page.

 

2. Indiegogo

Who Qualifies?

Almost anybody! You can post any project excluding raising money for illegal activities, things to cause harm, or to scam others.

How it works

It uses both a flexible and fixed funding model – so you can choose to receive all of the funds (even if you partially succeed in reaching your goal), or only access the funds if you meet your fundraising goal. The difference in fees is listed in the costs section (below).
It’s kind of like Google – projects are posted high or low on each page according to how many people click the links and the quality of the content.

Costs (click to confirm current fees)

Reach your goal, there’s a blanket 5% processing fee.
Don’t reach your goal as a flexible project: 5% charged.
Don’t reach your goal as a fixed funding project: 0% charged. Donations are refunded and no transaction fees are charged.

Other charges

Credit card fees: 3% + 30c per transaction.

Paypal fees: 3-5%.

International wiring fee charged to the campaign maker: $25USD.

There may be other exchange currency charges, including to Paypal.

See here for more details.

Upside

Almost anybody can start a project and Indiegogo says 15 million people visit the site per month.

Downside

Almost anybody can start a project! You are one of many. Although the site has lots of traffic, unless you’re willing to put time into your project, there’s a good chance it will sink faster than a lead balloon.
As a US-based company, Indiegogo transaction fees may be higher for Australian campaigns because of exchange currency charges and international wiring fees.

 

3. Ozcrowd

Who Qualifies?

Ozcrowd is pretty flexible – individuals, organisations (including businesses) or families can make a campaign.

How it works

It has a flexible or fixed funding model. Ozcrowd is an Australian owned and run site. They promise to give personalised feedback.

Costs (click to confirm current fees)

Flexible campaign: 2.9% Ozcrowd fee + 2.5% Australian credit card fee + 30c transaction fee

Successful fixed campaign: 2.9% Ozcrowd fee + 2.5% Australian credit card fee + 30c transaction fee

Failed fixed campaign: 0%

Upside

The fees aren’t too high. The site isn’t large, so your project is less likely to get drowned out.

Downside

The smallness of the site means people aren’t likely to visit on a whim. You need to attract visitors to your campaign page.

 

4. Gofundme

Who Qualifies

Gofundme is pretty broad – it’s for people, events, business ideas, even pets and animals can have campaigns. They say most people use it to fund ‘life’s important moments’ – medical expenses, travel, or education. Large categories at the moment include appeals for the earthquake in Nepal, and rebuilding Ferguson, Missouri after the riots earlier in 2015.

How it works

It has both the flexible and fixed funding model. Registered charities can also sign up to receive ongoing, long term donations.

Costs (click to confirm current fees)

The fees vary between different countries. For Australians:

Flexible and successful fixed campaigns: 5% flat GoFundme fee + 1.75% to 2.9% Stripe fee + 30c per transaction

Unsuccessful fixed campaigns: 0% charged

For charities: 5% GoFundme fee + 4.25% fee from Firstgiving

Upside

It claims to be the #1 fundraising site on the net meaning there’s alot of traffic on the site.

Charities can set up an ongoing donation system over the web (see the fees though).

Downside

There are better fee offers elsewhere.

 

5. iPledg

Who Qualifies

Commercial, creative, charitable and community ideas can set up projects.

How it works

iPledg works on a slightly different funding model to the other websites listed here. It allows All-or-nothing projects (a fixed funding model), like most others. Instead of a completely flexible model, projects can choose to build in a ‘tipping point’. If they reach this mini-target, projects can access their funds, even if they don’t achieve their total target amount.  The minimum tipping point is 10%. For example, if your project had a target of $5000 and you had a tipping point of 10%, you’d have to reach $500 before the funds could be accessed.

Costs (click to confirm current fees)

No fees are charged until the project is successful, or hits the tipping point.

5.5% iPledg processing fee

Plus:

2.4% Paypal fee + 30c per pledge

Or

3.5% credit card fee + 30c per pledge

Upside

iPledg will send one reminder to donors if their transaction is dishonoured.

Downside

There are better fee offers elsewhere.

 

Have a look at our ‘What is Crowdfundraising?’ article for general advice about the types of campaigns that are allowed.

This information is current as of 15 July 2015. This is general information and it’s not intended to be personalised advice for your individual fundraising situation. Please check each crowd funding website for details about their fees, terms and conditions, as well as the ATO, for details about whether your project would generate tax liabilities.