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.

 

Rank Chart
Model Type
Fee Range
Our Score
#1
Donation
3-5%
8.8
#2
Donation
2.9%
8.5
#3
Donation
5%
8.1
#4
Indiegogo Logo
Rewards
3-5%
8.0

The Good

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

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.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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16 Indiegogo Reviews

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  1. User Score

    0

    November 21st, 2016

    Really poor at refunding failed enterprises. They provide you with the email address of the product manufacturer and that’s it. They then don’t reply so basically you lose any money you invest and you don’t receive your perk. I’ve lost out so many times that I know only go with Kickstarter. Indiegogo is a pile of crap.

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  2. User Score

    0

    November 15th, 2016

    Indiegogo are the biggest SCAMMERS with legal papers !They want only to catch your money and final you receive NOTHINGH. I was cheated and donate them money; now they reffuse to reimbourse the money back and accuse the developer .
    How is that possible in USA ?!
    Why the protection is 0 ?
    ANSWER
    Because big names are involved in this SCAMM, like Pay-Pal and some politicians too.

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    4

  3. User Score

    1

    November 5th, 2016

    Indiegogo does not do the necessary due diligence required to minimize the visible fraud that goes on their Crowd Funding platform and when it is brought to their attention they respond slowly and sometimes not all. Indiegogo is focused on their bottom-line and not protecting the funders against fraud. They have lost my trust for the immediate and long term. Many other sites in play that are more focused on the interest of the funder and do a better job at policing their platform.

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    5

  4. User Score

    2

    October 27th, 2016 Maple Shade, NJ

    Ok, I have been supporting people on Indiegogo for more than 4 years now and honestly I have completely forgotten about what I have given money for until I actually got an update for something I ‘bought’ in May 2016. The email said- expected – July 2016- and it is October 2016. So of the four things I have supported since 2012, I have received nothing! what gives? I should have shampoo balls, green tea soap, and a vegan food package from Oregon. I have received no updates on any of these things amazingly! If people ask for money and are supposed to deliver on something, they should at least keep you updated. This has soured my excitement of helping others from far away…. too bad…..

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    4

  5. User Score

    0

    October 8th, 2016

    Indiegogo is an absolute stockpile of ripoffs. Don’t bother with Indiegogo “campaigns”.. I don’t know the ratio of people who purposefully rip off investors vs. the stupid people who think they can do what they imagine and deliver what they imagine but can’t and don’t. Very few deliver on time. Many that do deliver, deliver crap and/or deliver months or years past the date they promised or estimated. Many don’t deliver at all. I know because of the years and thousands of dollars I’ve wasted.

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    6

  6. User Score

    0

    September 7th, 2016 Miami, FL

    I echo what others are saying here. I also bought an item on Indiegogo’s site and it was never delivered. I tried contacting Indiegogo and the campaign owner for a refund with little success. Indiegogo withdraws the money immediately and will not refund whatsoever. They rather you try and sue them in court than do the right thing. NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THIS SITE. You are better off setting your money on fire.

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    6

  7. User Score

    0

    August 27th, 2016 Sarasota, FL

    Started a campaign for 90 days. It was free until we launched, then got over 30 emails from In GoGo staff that I had to spend more to be successful. Did NOT do it ….after campaign closed on July 30 I am still waiting for my $1,000 refund….they don’t seem interested in doing so. In GoGo is a NO NO! Basically a SCAM!

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    5

  8. User Score

    0

    August 25th, 2016 Bloomington, IN

    2 yrs ago and after many many emails from Indigogo saying the item would be sent, nothing. Now i’m trying to get a refund but can’t seem to get anywhere with their web site. Its a total scam and I’m out a big chunk of cash. Can’t believe BBB hasn’t gotten a hold of these scam artists.

    Rick Davis

    ****

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    6

  9. User Score

    0

    August 5th, 2016

    This is from a customers perspective, so I bought a product through Indiegogo from a startup.

    What I learned: refunds will not happen, never. As a customer there is zero protection (even is you think you’re protected through creditcard insurance etc.) Refund through Indiegogo is not possible, even if you’re in the right about an issue with the startup.

    You pay to Indiegogo, so you have to communicatie about an issue with them. They are not obliged to refund anything, as you pay for an idea (crowdfunding) and not a product (pointed out in the conditions). As I paid with my creditcard through Indiegogo, chargeback automatically involves Indiegogo (and not the startup behind it), and they can always tell you refund is not an option. The creditcard company can’t do anything, as Indiegogo is in the right based on the conditions. In the meantime, the startup answers all my emails with long explanations, but also does not refund (for this issue they are really in the wrong). Conditions of the startup have no meaning at all because the startup can just easily hide behind Indiegogo as the cash flow from me is only connected to Indiegogo, and not directly to them.

    So this way, no one is responsible, and everyone points at each other (well, till the point legal assistance is called). In the end: the cusomter has to pay for.. clouds rather can crowds.

    Even startups should take responsibility and act like grown-up companies. But with Indiegogo, a shield is given for financial liabilities. It doesn’t seem right.

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    5

  10. User Score

    0

    August 2nd, 2016 Kansas City, MO

    I made a purchase for my grandson on Indiegogo on May 24, 2016. To date I still do not have the item ordered with no end in sight. I have had several contacts from the “Happyness Team” and they are anything but. They are dead set against providing a refund to me for the item and have not received nor likely will ever receive. When I filed a complaint with my card company I got a pretty quick response only to be told it will like take another 75 days to process. This company it nothing but a bad idea. I have used Kickstarter several times and it has always worked out great. This one not so much. Steer clear!

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    5

  11. User Score

    1

    July 24th, 2016 Los Angeles, CA

    Indiegogo generosity

    Its criminal how long they hold the money from the people trying to raise the funds. they charge money for each donation plus 30%. I’m pretty sure what they are doing is not legal. you can’t charge people and then hold the money for as long as they do, so they can move it around and do what they want with it. either charge people a fee and give the money right away. or hold it and not charge any thing. This website should have in bold letters that they hold the money for a very long time. but I’m sure they won’t do that cuz then no one would use this site. Its sad that the people that are using their fund raiser are most likely needing the money ASAP for surgery or time sensitive things. you guys are taking advantage of the system.

    BEWARE if you what to start a fundraising page. it will take months to get your money from them.

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    6

  12. User Score

    1

    June 25th, 2016

    Indegogo support fraud and do not take items knwn to be fraud down

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    4

  13. User Score

    1

    May 27th, 2016

    Be careful all when backing a campaign on Indiegogo. IT MAY BE A RIPOFF product of something already existing, like the KAISR ‘Original’. I backed this campaign and then found out there is an identical cheaper product called a LAYBEANY and the Kaisr people are being taken to court for copying it. And now ‘backers’ are not receiving their Kaisr’s for this reason, and not being refunded either. Indiegogo says to contact them, they deny refunds. This is a travesty of the whole concept of sharing economy and backing new ideas. I am disgusted and will never back another campaign. Better give money to charity

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    8

  14. User Score

    0

    May 25th, 2016

    I have waited for a few months for the projects that i backed in this site and never got the item until now. (I paid for 2 items in indiegogo).

    Since they do not allow me to refund so i decide to raise dispute from paypal, it bounced.
    And change my contribute status to potential charge back.

    And now i can’t see any status update of the project yet my money is not refunded.

    Tried to contact Indiegogo but there is no response. This is a total disappointment, i was expecting Indiegogo to response instead of receiving some auto reply email.

    Personally this is a bad fundraiser platform for us backer. You should think twice before try to back the project in this site.

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    7

  15. User Score

    1

    May 11th, 2016

    I STILLL have had no response from these people
    I have bought about 36 items from kickstarter and received them, yes 97% of the products were delayed but I always got updates
    I have purchased just a few items from your corporation and I get bupkis nothing from your campaigns I reckon it’s a scam and should be bought to people’s attention
    I CANT BELIEVE YOU GUYS ARE SO BAD AT THIS, I HAVE NOT RECEIVED 1 ITEM YET FROM ANY OF THE CAMPAIGNS YOU GUYS HOST
    I want my money back

    i.e. i have purchased 6 items still
    nothing
    kickstarter wayyyyyyyy better

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    7

  16. User Score

    1

    April 13th, 2016 Lilburn, GA

    Generosity by Indiegogo really SUCKS! My donations have been held for over 60 days now. They keep passing me from department to department to no avail. I am so happy I moved my fundraiser to Go Fund Me which is working beautifully. This crowdfunding platform is just not worth it!

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    9