How to Start a Crowdfunding Website?

Create Crowdfunding Website

Crowdfunding has become a well-known method of raising capital among startups and businesses for the development & launch of new products/services. Over the years, many new platforms have come into existence with the support of crowdfunding.

Kickstarter was the first crowdfunding website launched worldwide that became heavily successful. After this, various new crowdfunding websites have been coming into existence.

In 2020, the covid-19 pandemic caused a lot of losses in various businesses worldwide. However, it hasn’t affected crowdfunding platforms. They have grown exponentially even during the tough times. Let’s quickly skim through the latest crowdfunding statistics:

  • As per Statista, $17.2 billion is generated every year via crowdfunding in North America.

  • On average, 22.4% of crowdfunding campaigns. become successful.

  • As per Statista, the global crowdfunding market size is anticipated to reach USD 25.8 billion by 2027.

If you have decided to build a crowdfunding website, you have reached the right place. Moreover, you might also have questions like how to start crowdfunding website? How to start a crowdfunding platform? How to make a website like Kickstarter?

To get answers to all of your questions, be with us till the end. Here, we will provide a step-by-step process to create a crowdfunding website.

Before we get ahead with the process, let us go through some basics.

What is a Crowdfunding Website & How Does it Work?

Crowdfunding means raising a specific amount of money from a lot of people to finance a project, cause, or business. A crowdfunding website helps people raise sufficient funds based on the business concept or the end purpose of the project.

After understanding the basic definition of a crowdfunding website, let us move on with how it works.

It is a two-sided marketplace. Fundraisers or the creators are present on one side. Donors or backers are there on another side.

Any person possessing a business concept, charity, or personal need can initiate a campaign on the website by uploading project details, the business plan, and images of the upcoming product on the platform.

Donors then invest in the project if they think it is valuable.

Must-Have Features in Your Crowdfunding Website

Before you build a crowdfunding website, it is necessary to decide the core features of your crowdfunding website. Here, we will walk you through some of these features, without which your crowdfunding website would be incomplete. So, do not forget to include these features on your site.

Quick Sign Up

You should integrate a quick sign-up process through name, email ID, and password so that users can instantly sign up. To provide even faster sign-up, you can integrate third-party sign-up platforms like Facebook, Google, etc.
Quick Sign Up

Efficient Account Management

One of the essential features of a crowdfunding website is account management. Your crowdfunding websites should have an easy-to-understand account management system. All the users should quickly identify things like the campaign, the total amount of money crowdfunded, members in a campaign, etc.

Your account management feature should provide various details like charts, transactional records, withdrawals, recharges, and more.

Here you should integrate as many features as you can. The reason being fundraisers & investors will access your crowdfunding website.

Fundraisers have the right to create a campaign, track it, and control it periodically. A crowdfunding website has to continuously keep a watch on people & organizations initiating a campaign.

On the contrary, investors love to keep an eye on a specific campaign’s progress to check where their money is going.

Backend Project Management

After creating a crowdfunding website, you will become the owner of the website. Hence, you should receive rewards for the work, and all the things should work seamlessly.

It would help if you gave utmost importance to rewards, revenue generated, and a commission earned. Also, detailed report generation should be a crucial feature of your website.

Backend Project Management
Image Credit: Crowd Ox
Along with these things, you should integrate analytics as it helps you make changes in any project efficiently. Also, you should be able to handle things like donors, updates, money credited, funding timeline, etc. A standard user interface of a crowdfunding website should consist of the following tools in the backend:
  • An intuitive dashboard showing the number of pending users, projects, and donors.
  • Total users and the amount credited.
  • Complete details about funds.
  • Payment logs along with safe gateways.

Payment Gateway

The entire crowdfunding business relies on payments and donations; hence, there is a need for an easy-to-use and secure payment gateway.

It would be best if you kept in mind that different payment gateways serve different businesses.

Therefore, whether you are making a site like Kickstarter or a unique one, you should explore what competitors provide. However, you should not blindly trust the payment gateway used by the competitors because it might not be suitable for your business.

Depending on your revenue model, you should choose a payment gateway. Moreover, you need to go with a payment gateway that supports multiple currencies. Why?

Because accepting multiple currencies will help you attract a broader audience to your crowdfunding website. Moreover, this will increase the trust in your site.

Payment Gateway

According to Investopedia, the world’s leading tradable currency is the USD. Therefore, various people globally will invest dollars. However, there will also be people who can’t invest in dollars.

Therefore, you should integrate a payment gateway that accepts multiple currencies such as Rupees, Euros, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars, Singapore dollars, and more.

Some of the popular payment gateways supporting multiple currencies are PayPal, Stripe, Ayden, Amazon Pay, and Braintree.

Social Media Sharing

After initiating a campaign on a crowdfunding website, the owner faces difficulty in discovering the crowd that supports it. The best way to support campaigns on your website is by offering social media sharing options to users.
The features allow users of the website to share the campaign details on various popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, etc. Due to this feature, more people will know about a campaign and support it. Ultimately, the campaign will reach its goal effectively.

Security

As you are starting a crowdfunding website, it is highly crucial to cross-check the identities of the investors and comply with KYC & AML Laws.

There are many identity verification solutions available in the market using which you can handle money-laundering attempts.

KYC stands for know your customer. It is a set of guidelines that allows you to validate the identity of your users to make sure their identity is genuine. Moreover, these guidelines help set up a customer’s identity and protect them against money laundering and identity theft.

Moreover, this verification gives a general thought of every user’s transactional behavior and actual behavior and stores it in the database.

AML stands for anti-money laundering. These are a set of laws, regulations, and processes that aim to protect criminals from illegally collected money.

To prevent your website from any scams, you should provide a FAQ that makes all the things transparent for the users. Moreover, you can also publish blogs on your site and give awareness to users on such topics.

How to Create a Crowdfunding Website?

There are a lot of things involved in making a crowdfunding website. Here we have given a streamlined process to create a crowdfunding website.

So, let us start:

1. Define Niche for Your Crowdfunding Website

First and foremost, you need to choose a proper crowdfunding niche. Why? If you do not choose a niche and start a crowdfunding website targeting all the businesses, you will face stiff competition among leading sites worldwide.

Moreover, you need to invest a lot of money in creating such a crowdfunding website and later marketing it.

Therefore, it is better to go for a specific niche. Several leading websites worldwide started small and then expanded their horizon. The Kickstarter website is one such example. It began by supporting small P2P projects. Another example is Pateron, which started by supporting YouTube channels.

Apart from this, it is good to choose a niche that has low competition. The reason is that it increases your chances of becoming successful in the crowdfunding industry fastly.

There are various niches available in the market; you can choose one according to your goals and requirements. Many crowdfunding platforms are popular based on the region. Hence, you can also select a crowdfunding niche based on your location.

Let’s look at some popular crowdfunding niches with several well-known platforms for your inspiration.

Business & Startups: SeedInvest and Fundable

Agriculture: AgFunder and HarvestReturns

Real Estate: Fundrise and CrowdStreet

Social Causes: CauseVox

Musicians and Artists: Patreon

2. Choose the Right Business Model for Your Crowdfunding Website

Besides choosing a suitable crowdfunding niche, the next most crucial thing is choosing a crowdfunding model for your website. Here, you need to go with a model that helps you gain campaign creators and donors.

Apart from this, selecting a model will directly impact the cost of a crowdfunding website as the specific model requires particular interfaces and functionality. Therefore, you need to choose a Crowdfunding model wisely.

In general, there are four popular types of crowdfunding business models. Let’s have a look at all of them in detail:

Crowdfunding Model

Donation-based

Donor-based is the simplest model that involves donating to specific ideas or causes without wanting anything back. In other words, the donation-based model is the method of sourcing a massive amount of money for a project by asking various contributors to donate a small amount.

Initially, this model was widely used in charity and politics. However, the trend has changed, and now it is used by everyone in the online world.

To start a donor-based crowdfunding website, you require a quick & simple payment solution.

Hence, users can donate to the project account, and funds are calculated in real-time. Some well-known websites following this crowdfunding: GlobalGiving, GoFundMe.

Reward-based

Reward-based crowdfunding model opted by new startups or organizations to boost funds for their product or service.

In this model, donors can get rewards for supporting a particular idea. The rewards depend on the amount contributed by a supporter and are generally decided by the campaign owner. For example, an artist raising funds to initiate a new gallery can provide artwork, prints, etc., to the investors.

Some of the popular crowdfunding sites following the reward-based model include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc.

Equity-based

Equity-based crowdfunding is also known as crowd-investing. In this crowdfunding, small to medium-size businesses raise funds to launch a new business or grow their existing business.

All the people who invest in the companies become co-owners or the shareholders of the business. Further, the people have an option to sell their shares to other investors.

Several well-known equity-based crowdfunding platforms are FundersClub and Seedrs.

Debt-based

Debt-based crowdfunding is one of the fastest and the most effective methods of generating funds for individuals and businesses for a project.

Here, the campaign owner raises funds with the promise to return funds with interest to the donors after a specific time. The debt-based model is popular among businesses that want to gain capital and pay funds back without giving any equity.

There are several kinds of debt-based fundraisings, such as peer-to-peer, peer-to-business, or business-to-business.

Some of the most popular debt-based crowdfunding platforms are Lending Club and Kiva Microfunds.

3. Decide Monetization Model for Your Crowdfunding Website

After choosing a suitable crowdfunding model, the next and the most important thing you should focus upon is the monetization model. Here are some of the well-known ways you can generate revenue for your crowdfunding website.

Commission from the Amount Raised

It is the most well-known type of crowdfunding revenue model among fundraisers. You provide complete software and support to a fundraiser for the success of the campaign. Here, you only take a commission from the fundraiser if the project becomes successful.

For instance, Indiegogo takes 5% for every crowdfunding campaign that becomes a success. However, they don’t charge a fee for a campaign involved in charity.

Membership Fee

It is not a well-known revenue generation model like commission-based. However, a specific segment of people prefers a crowdfunding site with a membership fee.

In this model, a crowdfunding website charges a monthly fee to start any campaign. This model is highly suitable for all people who have different projects or are running a massive campaign.

A simple example of this model is Fundable which charges $179 per month for any business to list their project and raise capital for it. Also, when a campaign achieves the goal, the platform charges 0% for any future profits.

Loan Processing Fee

If your crowdfunding website works according to the peer-to-peer lending model, you should choose a loan-based processing fee monetization model.

Here, your aim should be to reduce the bridge between the lenders and borrowers to get better revenue.

Based on this revenue model, the crowdfunding website charges a fee from the borrower and lender to finalize the deal.

There is also an exception where a crowdfunding site charges a specific amount from borrowers and nothing from lenders.

For instance, a well-known buy-to-let mortgage lender called Landbay charges only 1.5 to 2% for every new loan and 0.5-1% of the annual loan balance.

Promotional Campaigns

Many crowdfunding campaigns will last on a website for an extended time. Due to this, their listing will go down, and they might not achieve their goal on time.

Hence, you can provide them an option to get featured on your site at a specific place for a fee. Besides this, you can also offer them a consultation for a nominal charge to make their campaign successful.

Advertisement

One of the most simple yet effective ways to generate money through your crowdfunding website is advertising.

Here, you provide space on your website to companies who want to advertise their products or services. You charge them a specific amount for placing the ads and thus earn money.

4. Select the Best Web Design & Development Agency

After deciding on the business & monetization model for your crowdfunding website, you should choose a suitable web design & development agency.

We recommend you hire a web design & development company from India. They have years of experience in developing websites for clients worldwide. They are also cost-effective.

The development agency will understand the project requirements at the initial stage and then define all the necessary things for your crowdfunding website. They will further create a crowdfunding website with which end-users easily get familiar.

5. Create MVP Version of Your Crowdfunding Website

After defining the core features of the crowdfunding website, the next important thing is to create an MVP version. Why?

MVP stands for a minimum viable product, and it helps you test your website on users and get early feedback.

By this, you don’t need to invest a massive amount in one go. Hence, it saves a lot of your money. Besides this, you get an opportunity to test it among the audience.

The web design and development company you hire will understand your requirements and budget and create an MVP version of your crowdfunding website.

6. Test and Launch Your Crowdfunding Website

After your crowdfunding website is made, it is time to take it live. But before that, you should test your website. The development agency you hire will test & resolve any bugs in your crowdfunding website. In short, they will make it error-free before launching online.

Now, it is time to launch your crowdfunding website. You should launch your crowdfunding website in online communities and other popular places to get traffic. You will also obtain feedback from the audience and update the website accordingly.

Wrapping Up

Despite more competition, starting a crowdfunding website has become a trend among businesses & startups worldwide.

Various crowdfunding sites started small, and now they have become a go-to destination for getting funds for converting an idea into reality.

We hope that now you have understood how to start a crowdfunding website.

If you have queries like how much does it cost to start a crowdfunding website? How to create a unique crowdfunding website? Then don’t hesitate to contact us.

WebyKing offers professional website development services to businesses and startups worldwide. Therefore, we can understand your business idea and provide a free quote for your crowdfunding website.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost to develop a basic-level crowdfunding website is around $10,000-$15,000. Further, the crowdfunding website development cost will depend on the project complexity, the total number of features & functionalities, the technology used, etc.

Here is the list of challenges that you should consider building a crowdfunding platform.

  • Finding a suitable niche
  • Selecting a proper crowdfunding model
  • Deciding an appropriate monetization model 
  • Establishing trust among the audience
  • Deciding features of the MVP version
  • Building an effective marketing campaign