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
Rewards
3-5%
8.3

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.

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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42 Indiegogo Reviews

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  1. 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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  2. User Score

    0

    April 11th, 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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  3. 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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  4. User Score

    0

    March 13th, 2017

    Beyond myself. 12 emails later, not one penny.

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. User Score

    2

    January 18th, 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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    1

  8. User Score

    0

    January 5th, 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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    4

  9. 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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  10. User Score

    0

    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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    2

  11. User Score

    0

    December 31st, 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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    3

  12. User Score

    0

    December 31st, 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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    2

  13. User Score

    0

    December 30th, 2016 Granada Hills, CA

    They cheat people of their hard earned money by taking their share and ignoring backers request for refund when campaigns begin to go south. I’m out a couple thousand dollars due to undelivered perks from campaigns that have been shut down by indiegogo. I have proof indiegogo is the one who shuts these campaigns down. Meghan at indigogo is one individual who shut iBackpack down another one is Udayah Sinha that is in charge.

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  14. User Score

    0

    December 30th, 2016

    These allow for your funds to be stolen when you back a project that never ships out the goods for an entire year of waiting.

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  15. User Score

    1

    December 30th, 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

  16. User Score

    1

    December 30th, 2016 Phoenix, AZ

    They appear to little or no validation of the project ideas, backers or development plans. Once they disburse the money to the developers, they essentially wash their hands of the project. In my case, development went way longer than advertised. There was excuse after another. The developer finally just stopped responding, closed all the product’s social media pages. A small percentage of the backers got a few prototype items of the many items that were to be included. The rest got nothing. IGG wants no part of any complaints.

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    1

  17. User Score

    1

    December 30th, 2016

    I have backed a number of campaigns on IGG and I can safely say that I won’t back any more. While some of them have been pretty good and have been fulfilled, communication from the campaigners is lacklustre and updates are few and far between or confusing. What is worse though is when you have a problem with a campaigner and you contact IGG. Then you really see the lack of care they have for those who fund on their platform. They reply with “email the buyer” even though your complaint is that the buyer never replies. Or when clearly fraudulent campaigns spring up their reply amounts to not our problem, you aren’t buying a product you are investing in an idea.

    It’s a shame because I am sure there are some good ideas out there, but I also want to know someone has my back of the person promoting that idea has a different agenda than bringing that product to market.

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    3

  18. User Score

    0

    December 30th, 2016 Birmingham, AL

    Indiegogo is complicit with scammers that take good faith donations and deliver nothing. One particular product was 892% funded on 10/15 and has promised delivery for well over a year. The product will not be delivered as promised. Complaints and notifications of the scam has been passed on to Indiegogo yet Indiegogo has done nothing to address the scam and support the contributor. Another project was 637% funded 1/15 and that product has not been delivered. I will no longer contribute any funds using Indiegogo since they have not supported the contributor even when they have been notified of scamming and corruption.

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    3

  19. User Score

    0

    December 30th, 2016 San Jose, CA

    My first and probably last pledge that I will make involving Indiegogo, every support question I have, gets responded with a generic response. I pledged almost $400 for a product that turned out to end in a huge scam, Indiegogo has too many loopholes that allow these scammers to run off with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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    3

  20. User Score

    0

    December 30th, 2016 Phoenix, AZ

    No safeguards for customers. A company can get their money without proof of manufacturing and then run away with the money. Lawsuit waiting to happen.

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    3