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 in the world 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:
Considering the above statistics, if you have decided to start a crowdfunding website, you have reached the right place.
Moreover, you might also have questions like how to start a crowdfunding website? How to make a website like Kickstarter?
To answer all of your questions, we will provide a step-by-step process to create a crowdfunding website.
So let’s get started:
1. Define Niche for Your Crowdfunding Website
First and foremost, you need to choose a proper crowdfunding niche. Why? If you do not and start a crowdfunding website targeting all the business, 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 for different industries; for example, Kickstarter started by supporting small P2P projects, Pateron by supporting YouTube channels, etc.
Apart from this, it is good to choose a niche that has low competition. The reason being it increases your chances of becoming successful in the crowdfunding industry fastly.
There are various niches available in the market; you can choose a niche as per 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 have a look at some popular crowdfunding niches with some 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 Crowdfunding Model for Your Website
Besides choosing a suitable crowdfunding niche, the next most crucial thing is choosing a crowdfunding model for your website. Here, you need to choose 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 models. Let’s have a look at all of them in detail:
Donor-based is the simplest method that allows 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
Initially, this model was widely used in charity and politics. However, the trend is changed, and now it is used by everyone in the online world. To start such a crowdfunding website, you require a quick & simple payment solution for donation instantly to the project account along with calculation of funds obtained. Some well-known websites following this crowdfunding: GlobalGiving, GoFundMe.
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.
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 share to other investors.
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.
3. Decide the 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 for 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. In the model, 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.
It is not a well-known revenue generation model like commission-based. However, there is a specific segment of people who prefer a crowdfunding site with a membership fee.
For implementing 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. Moreover, when a campaign achieves the goal, the platform charges 0% for any future profits.
Loan Processing Fee
If you have established a crowdfunding website as per the peer-to-peer lending model, you should implement a loan-based processing fee model. Here, you need to focus on reducing 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 with the name Landbay charges only 1.5 to 2% for every new loan and 0.5-1% of the annual loan balance.
A vast number of crowdfunding campaigns will last on a website for an extended amount of time. Due to this, their listing will get 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. Other than this, you can also provide them a consultation for a nominal charge to make their campaign successful.
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 on your website. You charge them a specific amount for placing the ads and thus earn money.
4. Define the Core Features of the Crowdfunding Website
The next most essential thing you need to decide for your crowdfunding website is its core features. 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.
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, your crowdfunding website would be used by fundraisers as well as investors.
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, a commission earned. Also, detailed report generation should be a crucial feature of your website.
Image Credit: Crowd Ox
Along with these things, you should integrate analytics as it helps you to make changes in any projects without any hindrance. 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.
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 are providing. 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 of your site.
According to Investopedia, the world’s leading tradable currency is 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 you can 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.
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 setting 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.
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?
Because an MVP version helps you to test your website on users and get early feedback. Further, you can modify and integrate more features in your website as per the demand of users.
To create an MVP Crowdfunding website, you need to reach out to a professional website design & development company.
The reason being, a website development company has years of experience in creating crowdfunding websites. Hence, they can understand your idea and provide you the most relevant crowdfunding website based on your business goals and needs.
6. Launch Your Crowdfunding Website
After creating a crowdfunding website considering your future goals and visions, the last thing is to launch it for the public.
Before launching the website, you should have some people ready to launch their campaigns on your site. Initially, these people might be from friends or family. However, if you don’t have any campaigns, visit some online communities and urge people to launch their campaigns on your website.
By launching your website with some campaigns, you will get valuable traffic. Hence, your crowdfunding website might become successful in a short span.
Despite more competition, starting a crowdfunding website has become a trend among businesses and startups worldwide. Various crowdfunding sites started small and now 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.
WebY King offers professional website development services to businesses and startups worldwide. Therefore, we can understand your business idea and help you start a crowdfunding website.