Indiegogo

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.

 

The Good

  • Model type
  • Fees
  • Fund type
  • Maximum allowed raise
  • Administrative work options

Model Type

Indiegogo uses a Rewards model. This means donators contribute to a campaign and are offered rewards for their contributions.

Users have the option of disconnecting their Facebook profile form from their Indiegogo account if they so desire. However, Indiegogo urges users to keep their Facebook and Indiegogo accounts connected so a user's online presence is legitimized in the eyes of potential contributors who may not be comfortable funding a campaign organized by a stranger. There are also extremely user-friendly apps available for download for both iOS and Android operating systems.

Indiegogo has also added a new website for those wanting to raise funds for charity purposes called "Generosity by Indiegogo". Non-profits can run 'free' on Generosity by Indiegogo, allowing them to keep everything they raise.

Fees

A great feature of their set-up process is how no fees are required initially. Some other crowdfunding companies, on the other hand, may charge fees during the set-up process or platform fees. The fact that they do not charge any of these fees, coupled with their effective online campaign editor tools, make their set-up process a convenient and stress-free task.

While other crowdfunding platforms may complicate fee structures, Indiegogo has gone the simple and easy-to-understand route: Whether you choose either a Flexible or Fixed Funding type, a 5% fee will be charged once you have reached your goal. There are also transaction fees of 3% plus 30 cents for a credit card transaction, 3-5% for Paypal, or a $25 charge for wire fees.
If you don't reach your goal, only flexible funding types will be charged the 5%. Fixed funding refunds all money donated and there is no fee.

Fund Type

Indiegogo offers what they call Flexible funding, where you can choose either 'Keep what you Raised' or 'All or Nothing' funding types. Flexible Funding means you keep all the money you raise, regardless of your goal; Fixed Funding means you have a specific funding goal that must be met, which can be a good choice for technology and products that require set funding to enter production.

Maximum Allowed Raise

There is no maximum amount of funds that you can raise, but Indiegogo recommends breaking very large funding goals into several series of campaigns. This may or may not be best for your situation, so having the option to do as you choose is a good crowdfunding feature.

Administrative Work Options

For everyday fundraisers needing help along the way, Indiegogo will answer questions and give you pointers on your campaign via email. They pride themselves on being able to contact customers in search of information within 24 hours. This is an incredibly fast turnaround time for a customer service department in a number of industries, especially crowdfunding. They also have online articles covering tips on how to run and contribute to a campaign.

One thing that sets them apart from other crowdfunding companies is the data driven insight they provide for their users. Especially since crowdfunding is a relatively new idea, it is extremely helpful for organizers to have access to important tips-such as which days to launch a campaign and what the ideal campaign length is-so they can feel empowered and make the best decisions possible.

Indiegogo also offers what they call an Enterprise Program. This program is for entrepreneurs who need assistance bringing their products to market.

Through this program, Indiegogo will:

  • Help you run a crowdfunding campaign to test and market a new product to early investors.
  • An Innovation Challenge to source ideas and activate Indigogo's community of entrepreneurs, makers, and innovators.
  • A curated, branded sponsorship program to support your campaign.
  • Real-time customer feedback before investing in manufacturing
  • Help entrepreneurs understand their customers by turning research from a cost into an opportunity for pre-sales and customer acquisition
  • Assist you with building awareness around your brand by helping you to effectively connect with and engage customers and their networks.

Another helpful and convenient feature offered is the automatic emailing of tax-deductible receipts for donations made to a U.S. 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. Separate receipts may also be issued from the beneficiary nonprofit, depending on the organization.

The Bad

  • Receiving funds
  • Deadlines

Receiving Funds

One thing that is less-than-exciting about Indiegogo is the fact that funds are disbursed within 15 days of the campaign's expiration. With some other crowdfunding sites providing funds within 48 hours, this is an area Indiegogo could definitely improve. To add to the slow delivery of donations, since funds are held until the campaign ends, users are also unable to access funds throughout the campaign. Here again, other crowdfunding sites allow early withdrawals in real time.

Deadlines

Indiegogo requires a campaign deadline. Campaigns can run for up to 40 days. For larger goals, it is recommended to break fundraising goals into chunks.

They recommend a campaign length of 40 or fewer days for the following reasons:

  • Momentum: Your campaign should be long enough that you have time to build interest and reach your audience, but not so long that it becomes background noise.
  • Engagement: The longer the campaign, the harder it is to continue to keep your audience engaged, excited, and contributing.
  • Urgency: Seeing that a campaign has just a few days remaining creates a sense of urgency for potential contributors, motivating them to act now, rather than later.
  • Resources: Take into account that you'll be closely managing the campaign through its duration; you may not want to dedicate 40 days to it.

Some other crowdfunding sites allow campaigns to be open indefinitely. This allows users to revisit accounts to collect additional, straggling contributions. Indiegogo users are currently being denied that opportunity. While this deadline is a negative to some crowdfunders, many platforms have encouraged this distinction of time to be made because it can actually increase the success of a campaign in a much shorter amount of time. The time limit can influence more funding to occur before a specific date, benefiting the owner of the campaign.

The Bottom Line

The greatest things about Indiegogo are the data-driven guidelines they provide for their users. Besides those pros, their fees are average, funds may only be accessed upon campaign completion, and the amount of time it takes to deliver funds can take up to 15 days. The good far outweighs the bad, and if you don't mind waiting that long to receive funds, we strongly recommend them for your crowdfunding project.

50 Indiegogo Reviews

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  • User Score

    0

    August 7th, 2017

    I've been waiting for a year for a 'perk' (Ergo Kiwi knife) - Indiegogo are ignoring all communications [via their website, facebook, twitter and email] and so is the guy who started the campaign. Over 70 comments from unhappy customers and counting. All people want is a response, good or bad, so that they know where they stand - how long should I wait?! Terrible website & company ignoring people who contributed hard earned money in good faith; would not advise to use it under any circumstances.

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  • User Score

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    August 6th, 2017

    after raising some small dollars after months i got a message that my account have been frozen with no reason...... it a scam .... they have taken my fund and telling me they will refund it ....

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    2 0
  • User Score

    0

    July 22nd, 2017 Anderson, CA

    It's been over a year since I contributed to the FretX campaign. Wish I would have seen all the bad reviews on the internet before, I contributed my hard earned money. I'm not even going to waste my time chasing these people. I'll just flame them on the web.

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  • User Score

    2

    June 19th, 2017 Madison, WI

    I love the Indiegogo concept and layout. However - I have invested in three campaigns and not one of these which I put money into have actually delivered to me what was promised. It seems that Indiegogo campaigns can take your money but have no accountability to actually deliver what was promised. As much as I continue to see new product ideas on Indiegogo that interest me, I no longer have confidence that I should invent my time or money in these projects.

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  • User Score

    1

    June 12th, 2017

    I tried to renew our campaign for infection prevention and control education for Africa and found out that either Africa or infection prevention and control were considered dodgy, so they closed our account. I am assuming they just run a keyword skimmer that looks for the word "Africa," and deactivate whatever they find. The search for competent companies continues.

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  • User Score

    0

    June 6th, 2017

    Indiegogo is a Ponzi scheme. Fancy Facebook ads for Smove. Collect buyers $$millions as a "donation." Products never delivered. Refunds impossible. Zero customer service. Impossible to contact. Worthless.

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    1 0
  • User Score

    0

    June 6th, 2017

    This is a criminal company that actively helps scammers while ignoring users and product reviewers! Over the last 3 years they did all to prevent communication, a campaigner can delete unwanted comments, private messages (user 2 user) are no longer allowed, the bank account country of the campaigner is no longer visible, they allowed the "InDemand" concept (campaign stays open after funding until the campaigner closes is), flexible funding, no validation of campaigners data (location, team etc can all be faked). All tickets getting closed with the statement "get in touch with the campaigner". Campaigner can prevent you from writing comments after the campaign is closed with simply refund you (they don't have you, it's simply a option on the IGG platform). etc. etc. etc.

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  • User Score

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    May 24th, 2017 Hartford, CT

    I paid for a Bakblade and never received it -I contacted company and they stated I had to fill out a survey through Indiegogo but I was not able to because The Indiegogo survey kept looping this is a total scam - the kickstarter programs etc all a big scam to take your money

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  • User Score

    0

    May 19th, 2017

    The worst crowdfunding site, full of scam campaigns. Indiegogo does nothing to help get you money back, or even to contact the campaign owners. Steer clear of this one!

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  • User Score

    0

    April 12th, 2017

    They have not got back to me for over a week as to whether I will be getting my funds. I have tried to contact them 5 times with zero replies. The bank info required for a canadian bank is confusing and lengthy. The fees are high.

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  • User Score

    0

    March 22nd, 2017

    I have been trying to get my campaign money, with no success, for over three months. There website is buggy and although I am in Canada, it registered my campaign in the US, which meant my Canadian bank details did not work. Three months of emails back and forth to their so called help department has not helped. So unprofessional and I am left owing money that I can't repay. Do not use them!!!

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  • User Score

    0

    March 14th, 2017

    Beyond myself. 12 emails later, not one penny.

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  • User Score

    0

    February 10th, 2017

    Hi... Don't trust what they said , they are scammer with the companies they working with ,,, I did contribute to get a wireless buds and never received it and sent off tens of emails to them and to the other company they were running the campaign for them and no replies ,,, they are just scammer. Thanks

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    0 1
  • User Score

    0

    January 23rd, 2017

    DO NOT TRUST YOUR MONEY WITH INDIEGOGO!!!!! I registered indiegogo while considering placing an expensive order. Before trusting my money with indiegogo and placing a "big" order, I decided to donate 10$ to a homeless' campaign, just to see how the process goes in indiegogo. A few days later I got a 10$ refund for campaign "null -void" (which means they removed the homeless' campaign. I assume they decided it wasn't legit) and my account had been frozen for "risky" activity history! So, they initially made the mistake of approving a non legit campaign, then removed it and locked my account for DONATING MONEY! So basically I was punished for their mistakes! I'm glad I tested their platform before placing an order, as their team doesn't seem to know how to identify a non legit campaigns (or legit users) and you may find yourself contributing money to a fraudulent campaign!

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  • User Score

    2

    January 19th, 2017

    I backed a project under IGG and it turns out a disappointment to us as a backers. They scam over 4000 people and get away with our money. Requested a refund, but no reply from the campaign owner. Their facebook and website is down. No news for the shipment. No news for the project. I should have make a google search before investing it. Doug M of iBackpack is known as a scam artist right before i put my money to their so-called backpack. Will claim a dispute on my bank and get a chargeback. Thanks Doug M and thanks Indiegogo for letting these people scammed us.

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  • User Score

    0

    January 6th, 2017 Oceanside, CA

    Did not release a disbursement until AFTER I sent 2 emails. Never received any reply except for the generic "did you read our help page?". Takes over a month after the fundraiser has ended to receive funds. Never will use again for this reason.

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  • User Score

    2

    January 3rd, 2017 Jefferson City, MO

    I've had only a 60% delivery rate on products pledged vs. delivered on Indiegogo. That's as compared to 100% on other platforms. And so far I've had a 0% resolution rate when trying to get things taken care of or issues resolved. The campaigners are able to disappear from contact and the platform does absolutely nothing to take care of those pledging for the items. Unless the campaign is being run for a purpose that has no deliverables (which should be CLEARLY stated up front), It would benefit those pledging if their money was held by the platform until certain milestones were met or the campaigner was able to meet certain expectations set forth by the platform. That way, the platform would have the ability to refund those pledging without a penalty to the platform itself. There is no way that Crowdfunding can succeed if those pledging don't feel that they can trust those campaigning for the funding.

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    December 31st, 2016

    Crowdfunding is ripe for easy pickings by fraudsters. Crowdfunding sites should have rigorous procedures in place to spot and stop fraud and refund victims of fraud. Indiegogo has none of these procedures. Use it, and you will get scammed. Indiegogo is by far the worst crowdfunding site out there. Others have better procedures.

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    December 30th, 2016

    I have funded the ibackpack,this was my 1st time backing any projects on Indiegogo, well this will be the last time I back something on Indiegogo. The people at ibackpack decided to take the money and run! I have contacted Indiegogo a few times & they won't help me out all in all they have told me it's not their problem and it's too bad I lost $600 on a scam

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    December 30th, 2016

    Lost over $280 on fraud campaign for the ibackpack. Where the creator made close to $1 million, before disappearing. None of the backers got a positive feedback from IGG, not even tried to help by anyway! I would never use IGG again!

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