In 2008 Brad Damphousse had a unique idea to create a web-based, social savings account. His best friend Andy Ballester, who happened to be a talented programmer, understood Brad’s vision; Andy quit his job to help his best friend develop this new idea. In the beginning, their company was a subscription fundraising service for small charities. After reading through many inspiring, uplifting stories shared by users, Brad and Andy were truly touched—they felt a profound determination to improve and expand their services. After some important breakthroughs in the world of online payments, the team was finally able to relaunch the product of their dreams: GoFundMe. The best friend duo devoted much time and energy responding to user feedback in an effort to make improvements on the site. Their hard work is paying off—today GoFundMe is one of the world’s most popular crowdfunding site with over $5 billion raised, and they are the cheapest crowdfunding platform!
Fundable has helped thousands of founders raise in excess of $440 million in investment capital. At Fundable, the goal is to remove some of the critical obstacles that typical founders face when fundraising. The company focuses on deal presentation, investor identification, and outreach. Unlike some of its competitors, Fundable charges a flat fee. All proceeds from a fundraise end up where it is likely needed the most—with the founders.
Indiegogo was created by three individuals familiar with the hard work and frustrations that go along with collecting money—Danae Ringlemann was an MBA student struggling to open an Off-Broadway play; Eric Schell searched for funds for a Chicago theater company; and Slava Rubin started a charity event for myeloma cancer research in honor of his late father. Indiegogo was founded with the intention to revolutionize the flow of funding so it can reach and grow the ideas that matter. The company is certainly on the right track—they have 15M visitors each month and campaigns run by individuals residing in 224 countries and territories.
Stay Classy is a crowdfunding platform for social impact organizations raising funds to affect change in the world. Their main goal is to create a platform that makes fundraising easy for churches, non-profit organizations, charities, foundations, schools, and others seeking funds for causes ranging from educational advancement to health programs. Since its beginning in January 2011, Stay Classy has helped fund more than 1,500 organizations with over 130 million dollars in funds. Their platform gives social impact organizations the ability to make meaningful connections with potential donors.
Founded in 2009, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site devoted to gathering funds for creative projects. They support projects in many areas including films, games, music, art, design, and technology. Since their launch six years ago, 9.3 million people have pledged over $1.9 billion to fund 91,000 creative projects. Backing a project through Kickstarter is more than just giving money—it’s about supporting that person’s dream to create something they want to see exist in the world.
With over 6 years of crowdfunding experience and over 330 million dollars raised to date, Fundly.com provides a campaign platform to promote virtually any cause. They allow campaign hosts to utilize their Facebook, Twitter, and email contacts to reach a wide audience and drive support to a campaign. Fundly makes starting a campaign simple with the help of their Quick start guide as well as email customer support providing tips and campaign help throughout a campaigns launch.
Originally designed to support nonprofit fundraising, Razoo was created in 2006 with the desire to make online fundraising easy, fun and engaging for individuals, nonprofits, teams, and communities. The majority of funds raised through Razoo are for nonprofit organizations, but personal fundraising has been growing within the last several years as well. The name “razoo” comes from an Australian coin that holds little value on its own but becomes valuable when combined with many. This is the spirit Razoo brings to crowdfunding—individuals working together can change the world as they fund the causes they care about.
Established in 2010, CrowdRise is an online fundraising platform dedicated to raising money for charitable causes. Fundraisers can be set up to benefit a nonprofit organization or an individual. The company was founded by actor and activist, Edward Norton; producer and activist, Shauna Robertson; and internet entrepreneurs, Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe. The core principles of this impressive company are that “giving back should be fun, and that people have unprecedented power to leverage their personal capacity for good.”