Indiegogo cuts out fees for charitable fundraising

Steven Loeb · December 15, 2014 · Short URL:

Indiegogo is differentiating itself from Kickstarter, which has not embraced personal campaigns

While Kickstarter seems to get all the headlines in the crowdfunding space, the simple fact is that there is a lot more to it than only the creative projects that are being funded on that site.

For example, I know many people who have turned to crowdfunding to help them pay their medical bills. Others use it to help pay for their weddings. And some people use it because they desperately need money and have nowhere else to turn. There is more to be funded than movies and smartwatches.

Indiegogo, is looking to corner that other side of the market with with the launch of Indiegogo Life on Monday. The new service allows users to set up campaigns for their causes, all without having to pay the usual 4% fee that typical campaigns have to forfeit.

Categories on Indiegogo Life include medical needs, emergencies, celebrations, memorials, animals, faith, sports, volunteer efforts and education,

"We’ve seen the profound impact personal fundraisers can have on individuals’ lives, andIndiegogo Life makes it easier than ever for people to fund what matters most. Whether it’s a wedding, medical emergency, pet needing veterinary care, or even college tuition, Indiegogo Life is here to help," the company wrote in a blog post. 

Indiegogo also promises features that include, one-on-one support, and "simplified set-up and sharing tools" in order to make fundraising "effortless and easy."

There are already a number of active campaigns on Indiegogo Life, including over $32,000 pledged to help the children of Eric Garner, the man killed by the New York City Police Department this past summer. Others include over $8,000 for surgery for a little boy who was attacked by a pit bull; over $100,000 for a billboard that says, "God loves gays"; over $115,000 for a campaign to save the Icelandic goat from extinction; and the biggest one of all: over $700,000 pledged to give Karen Klein, a bus monitor who was verbally harassed by a group of children earlier this year, a vacation.

"We feel it’s important for individuals to have all the funds they need, whenever they need, and it’s our mission to make this happen in the best way possible," Indiegogo wrote.

This is a pretty smart move frm Indiegogo. By actively pursuing the charitable and personal side of crowdfunding, the company is going a long way toward differentiating itself from its biggest rival Kickstarter. It's also proof that there is room for more than one kind of giving.

Launched in 2008 with the goal of democratizing the fundraising process, Indiegogo says that is has hosted more than 200,000 campaigns in that time, with more than 15 million people visiting the site every month.

The company has raised over $56.5 million in venture funding, including an undisclosed amount of funding from a group of high profile investors that included Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson; Affirm CEO Max Levchin; Yahoo's chairman of the board Maynard Webb; and Draper Fisher Jurvetson Founding Partner Tim Draper

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IndieGoGo is a collaborative funding platform. Anyone with an idea (creative, cause, or entrepreneurial) can create a campaign on IndieGoGo, offer perks and raise the funds needed for execution - all while keeping 100% ownership. Customers range from artists (musicians, writers, filmmakers, etc.) who pre-sell their work as a way to fund it, to people raising money on behalf of charities to small businesses offering limited edition items or access to fund their start-up capital.

IndieGoGo launched the beta in 2008 within the film vertical. By 2009 IndieGoGo became the largest online film funding platform and brand. In 2010, IndieGoGo focused on further developing its funding tools and opened the platform to more verticals. Recent growth has been excellent at IndieGoGo including:

* Revenue up 24x in last year
* Funding projects from 134 countries
* 11,000+ projects
* Webby Award Nomination (versus Flickr, Vimeo & Digg)