Nothing for Nothing: Kickstarter vs. IndieGoGo

Crowd-sourced fundraising sites have been getting a lot of attention recently: we hear success stories about organizations putting up projects on these online tools, and spreading the call for funding through their networks, friends, and their friends' networks. There are two main tools out there, which are nominally similar, except for a single, important detail.

First up is Kickstarter, which we’ve previously talked about, a website to find funding for arts, music, video, and other creative projects. You post your project, along with your goal, and a timeframe, and the community pledges money. Typically the projects will offer little rewards or thank-you gifts to donors, depending on how much is pledged ($1, $10, $50, and so on). Projects link quickly to Facebook and Twitter, making it easy to bring your network of friends and supporters to the existing and very active Kickstarter community. It’s good that they’re active, because all Kickstarter projects are all-or-nothing.

That’s right, if your project doesn’t meet its goal by the deadline, you get zip. While being generally annoying, this policy does light a fire under your supporters to actually pledge, spread it to their friends, and maybe be a little more generous than they would otherwise be. The important trick to Kickstarter is to figure out what the bare minimum you need to fund your project, and post that as your goal, so you increase your chances of at least getting enough. If you aim too high, and your project doesn’t succeed, you’ll end up with no funding. Because the community is very active, and organizations like YouTube and Vimeo promote projects that meet certain criteria, it’s quite possible to exceed your goal. While free to use, Kickstarter will take 5% of what you raise if your project is successful.

Similar to Kickstarter is IndieGoGo; the main difference is that with IndieGoGo, you get to keep the money pledged if your project fails to meet its goal. While the all-or-nothing policy leads to motivation on Kickstarter, there’s something nice about getting any money as opposed to none. While both are arts-oriented, IndieGoGo seems more lax on what sort of people and projects are allowed. IndieGoGo charges a 4% fee if your project succeeds (if you don’t meet your goal, it rises to 9%).

How do you feel about this? Would you put in all the effort to set up a project, promote it, stress over it, and end up with nothing because you're a few dollars short of your goal? Or are you a gambler?

Anyone have any success/horror stories?


Used Both, Kickstarter Generates More Funds

 Hello! I've done both campaigns for similar products and kickstarter users accounted for almost 40% of the funds in the first campaign while indiegogo provided 0%. They don't give any traffic to your project unless a lot of people are already behind it. Other crowdfunding blogs also seem to pick up your project when it's on kickstarter. I'm launching another book with a DVD soon and I'm definitely going with kickstarter. 

Good luck everyone!




While both sites seem

While both sites seem suitable for different reasons, Noise4Good is a crowdfunding platform which allows artists and their fan base to come together and support a cause that they love, making an impact in the world of philanthropy.  My friends have been raving over this site for a while, take a look...


I find that trying to use Indegogo to fund a starter company is extremely confusing. Some links don't work, soime aren't always shown, and what you get for your money is never clear. Do start-ups really want the public's first exposure to their product to be this disfunctional? I don't think so.....

crowdfunding help

Very interesting comments on crowdfunding.   I just started a campaign on Indiegogo*.  After reading some of these comments, I won't get my hopes up, but I have been continually amazed (for years now!) at the real lack of support most promising enterprises or businesses get these days.   Everyone complains about needing jobs, but when a business with great potential comes along, no one seems interested in helping!

I've run an ad on Craigslist for a long time looking for an investor or partner with no real results.   Will post a link if anyones interested.

I am an old school person, so all this internet stuff including blogging, crowdfunding, social networking is pretty hard for me to wrap my mind around!   I found this: and am absolutely staggered at the amount of links that seem to do everything but have no idea what they are about or how they might be of help!!!

Isn't there a quote something like "Oh brave new world, with nothing in it I understand"?  

LOL  That's about how I feel!

*My campaign (come pain?):

Criminy - I'd think savvy investors (i.e people with $$ looking to invest it to make more $$) would be scouring these crowd (cloud, crude, clown, crewed, chewed -lol) funding (finding) sites looking for opportunites.

While both sites seem

While both sites seem suitable for different reasons, Noise4Good is a crowdfunding platform which allows artists and their fan base to come together and support a cause that they love, making an impact in the world of philanthropy.  My firends have been raving over this site for a while, take a look...

I thought it was going to be

I thought it was going to be some exhausting old post, however it truly made up for my time. I will present a connection on this page on my web journal. I am certain my guests will find that extremely helpful. ukuemtchl

Kickstarter more honest and upfront

 Hello, I actually started a campaign on both sites.  I unfortunately ended up launching on Indiegogo because their set up was easier.  Then after ten days they froze my account with no warning and asked for a ton of documentation.  In actuality, it was what we had already done to set up the Kickstarter campaign.  So, other than the absurd unprofessionalism it wouldn't have been a big deal.  Also, there is absolutley no chance for stranger donation with Indiegogo, the only way to move up on their list of projects is to have thousands of people flock to your site and donate.  IF you had that why would you use a crowdfunding campaign?  I begged them for ways to move up.  I even paid for ads and then they freeze my accoung!  Kickstarter is up front, professional and there is a chance they will pick your project to move up.  Please, please avoid Indiegogo.  If you do go with them, I beg you to please directly ask if they need anything else from you before you launch the campaign or they may stab you in the back.  Good funding!

I appreciate the more stringent policies of KickStarter...

I appreciate KickStarter's more stringent policy guidelines. As a backer, I also tend to find more projects that I am interested in backing on KickStarter.

Gogo factor.. ?

Reading most of these reviews, it seems to me like both Indiegogo and Kickstarter are equally popular although from personal experience, I would agree with some that Indiegogo's policy of "you get to keep the money even if full funds haven't been reached" will probably attract a majority of grenuine campaign owners looking to actually fund their project. Although you also have to watch out. Being a current campaign owner myself, I did nearly get ripped off by people reaching out to me and my campaign and claiming to 'help boost your campaign and get donations flowing in.' - Do NOT fall into it! 

WATCH OUT PEOPLE - these are scams. As simple as that. And the fact that Indiegogo don't warn users of these potential scams is even scarier.

For everyone's interest, here is my campaign:

Indiegogo nightmare

Their unique algorithm as they call it the gogo factor is just to grab a few random campaigns and place them in search results . Unless you are among the lucky few to randomly be picked the site is useless you will not even show up in a country search for your product. All traffic driven is done by the crowdfunder. So might as well just place a campaign on your own site and keep the 4 or 9% It's crazy. I personally have spent hundreds of dollars on linking their website to others and hired full time staff to promote for absolutely no avail. Feedback is customers are scared of the site. They want to just buy the product or invest in something that they get a real return on. I intend to make it my soul mission to spread the word of this scam they call indiegogo crowd funding. We have had hundreds of dollars donated to only be refunded to the donator by them because they had not used the proper credit card yet they still deducted and kept the fees for the donations. This in itself is a fraud and the last I looked was not legal. Let me be clear I do care that my campaign has been abysmal but If it fails I want to know it was because it was a bad idea not because I got involved with a shaddy operation.

 You are right! In no way

 You are right! In no way they help you raise money. I believe that only a few customers of these sites will raise money, and the majority will not. If you can raise money without them, you will raise money with them. I cannot believe that someone will start campaign, tell friends to donate and in the end if the target amount is not reached, the money will be left for the owners of the site? It may be legal, but it is not ethical in any way. They know that most campaigns fail. The more campaigns fail, the more money they steal legally.

they dont keep the money. the

they dont keep the money. the money is returned if the campaign is not successful. think and read before you type.

dobri, please check again,

dobri, please check again, indiegogo does not keep the money if a campaign fails...

Think and read carefully before ranting

JUST TO BE CLEAR. There are 2 FUNDING MODELS on indiegogo. There is fixed and flex. flex is when you set a goal, and if you dont reach it then you still get the money raised but then the 9%fee applies (where 9% is taken for indiegogo). Then in the fixed option, if a goal is not met the funder does not receive any of the money. Does indie keep money in this situation? Yes, 4%.


Get it? Got it? Goood

Indiegogo fees

Author here:

I'm glad to see such an active discussion here. While this blog post did a good job of informing the uninitiated about the basic differences between Kickstarter and Indiegogo thiree years ago, it's not going to be a definitive guide to which one to use.

If you are looking to choose a crowdfunding platform, I'd recommend our article, A Few Good Tools for Peer to Peer Fundraising, , recently updated in November 2013. This article has a detailed breakdown of the fee structures for both Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Thanks for reading!


A great success story.

One of the great soon to be success store on kickstarter has got to be the mutator.
A simple device that does what the "mute" switch on our smartphones sometime fail to do.

Such a small device yet one of those things where you say to yourself "why didn't i think of that!?"
Going to be manufactured and mineraled entirely in rust belt areas and  has great potential.


Check it out here

Crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Wish Upon a Hero)

Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo are tremendous platforms and have helped thousands/millions.

Wish Upon a Hero is a "pre-funded" platform that is currently undergoing a complete technology re-build to fit into the specific nice of "social helping / peer to peer giving".

There is room for all of these wonderful platforms and they each help in their own unique way. after Kickstarter Rejection

 I applied at KickStarter as my cousin had success of $18,700+ 4 her Documentary "Finding Kukan"... But I was Declined as follows... However got the same project up at so not too bad... Gonna do a Documentary & Re-Apply on KS since they like that stuff & I'm funding & documenting my project regardless anyways!



Hi there,

Thanks for taking the time to share your project with Kickstarter.

We review projects to ensure they meet our Project Guidelines (, which define how Kickstarter can be used. They express our commitment to being a platform for projects in the creative arts.

Unfortunately, this project does not meet our guidelines. This isn't a judgment on the quality of this project, just a reflection of our focus.

We wish you the best as you continue to pursue this endeavor. If you have future projects that meet our focus, we hope you'll consider Kickstarter again.



If you feel that your project meets the Kickstarter Project Guidelines, you can submit an appeal for reconsideration:

Please do not reply to this email, as it does not receive incoming mail.



The same. Our project more belongs to Technology, also their are some kind of art and design too. Kickstarters declined our project menthioned as it is reflection of their focus. Also validating took us more than 10 days. At Indiegogo I put our project in two hours.  

Check out our project of revolucionar trimaran if you'd like so:

experiences with Indiegogo so far

We are in the middle of  a Indiegogo- fundraising. I have to say it is all about building a comunity, better before than during the campain. with Indiegogo you have to be much more trustworthy to your audience than with Kickstarter (if there is not enough money the project will not be made), that means a lot more persuasive power.


Our campain can be found at Fell free to coment on it.

My experience...

I tried Kickstarter and was tremendously frustrated with the "approval" process.  They made me change my campaign, which made it difficult to get the project started in time for a trade show we attended.  At the tradeshow, only other filmmakers or members of the media knew what kickstarter was.  My partner and I were educating everyone about it - and I felt like I paid for a booth to advertise Kickstarter more than my movie.  We had put it up before the video was done so we could get a url for the trade show.  BIG mistake.  Kickstarter takes a look at your campaign right away, if they don't make it one of their "chosen" campaigns, you don't make the front page and no one in that community sees your project.  Without our video, we didn't stand a chance (even though we added it a couple days later). 

All that being said, I ended up cancelling my Kickstarter campaign and restarting on Indiegogo.  I had a url before I launched the campaign (a big bonus!) and wasn't worried about being "perfect" as their front page projects are chosen by an algorithm instead of their staffers. 

If I have to educate everyone in my circle of peers about crowd funding, then I may as well go with the platform that's easier to use and causes less stress.

If you'd like to see my campaign, please visit:

If it's still active, please share it on FB, twitter or wherever!  Thank you!

Like us on Facebook!

I wonder

Indiegogo is the way to go go!

I had been planning a kistarter campaign to launch in August, but after a last minute opportunity to promote my project on the evening news presented itself in July I found that I only had a the weekend to finish my campaign and launch.  Once I started going down the Kickstarter launch I found that I ran afoul of some of their "rule".  For one thing, the profits from the music CD I am producing are going to fund music education scholarships.  After reading the fine print I found out that ickstarter did not allow campaigns that help charity either directly or indirectly.  Anyway, I plowed forward hoping I would fly under the radar.  I had all the Amazon payment systems in place, but once I hit SUBMIT I found out that my application would have to be reviewed and I would be notified when my campaign was approved for launch.

With a spot on the evening news coming on Monday, and it being Sunday, I was a little miffed that I would have no way to accept donations.  That is when my sax player told me about Indiegogo.  After a little editing of the promotion video, I filled out the form, provided my PayPal account, and hit submit and I was LIVE before the end of the day Sunday.  Not only that, Indiegogo only takes 4%, so I get more of my money. 

My campaign was fully funded with 7 days left.  If you want to help support music education and the campaign is still active, you can pledge your support here.

Kickstarter vs. Indie Go Go

As someone who's been involved with indie film since the 90s I know how difficult it could be to raise money for a project. And weather it's a PSA, Music Video, Short Film or Feature, the first step is always financing. Those of us who've been at it for a while may have sources to tap for funding. But what if this is your first baby? I think sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are great to get things rolling. And with a little effort, especially with Indie Go Go, you may end up with at least some seed money to keep moving toward the goal. Anyone who thinks it's a quick and easy trip needs to find another passion fast. But once you've  raised that budget, that's when the real work begins. Enjoy!

Kickstarter vs Indiegogo

 I find that kickstarter has better results with technology and gadgets while indiegogo is better for films, the arts and causes.  However, if someone has a kickstarter project that almost reaches its goal, and they don't find a way to help it get fully funded, they are pretty foolish, if not outright stupid. No person that stands to lose thousands of dollars should not try to find a few people to kick in the remaining funds needed to reach their goal, even if they have to promise to pay them a steep return on their contribution, privately.  It is better to get something than nothing, but the problem I have with that is that if a project promises to give donors a certain reward for their help, and the project fails to fund, what do the donors end up getting?  At least with kickstarter, when it reaches the goal, the project is expected to make good on their promises.  


About my comment posted earlier.

While I do find IndieGoGo's terms and other phrasing a bit messy and vague in various areas, it's dawned on me that they must use a relatively expensive service for transferring funds (and not all of my contributors used PayPal). Apparently, it does not cost them any money to refund contributions, but it does cost them money to pay out funds. And indeed, IndieGoGo not only takes out money for itself, but pays out "Project Funding less 3rd party processing fees", and the 3rd party processing fees must have been considerable in this particular case (likely depending on which country you're in).

While I understand that, IndieGoGo could be a bit clearer about it.

Typically offer rewards?

 Reading on another site it sounded like Kickstarter required all projects they accepted to offer these.

Indie Gogo is the One to use!



Kickstarted our doc film...20k goal 700 donated which went back to the funders! Zero for all that hard work and we worked hard on teaster trailer facebook twitter. Lesson learned. IndieGoGo. Some production funds are better than none, and it is transparant for the world to see, hard to hide your project or risk being called a flake.


I do thank Kickstarter but all or nothing is for the birds, I'd be surprised if they didn't ditch that to compete with IndieGogo.

Kickstarter is more successful

 Kickstarter probably doesn't feel it needs to change its all or nothing policy to compete with IndieGoGo because they are far more successful than IndieGoGo. You'll also see astronomically successful campaigns on Kickstarter (yes, many or for electronic gadgets) for documentary films and independent projects while they are fewer on IndieGoGo. A person has to wonder if this is just a marketing variance, the popularity of Kickstarter, or if it does in fact have something to do with the challenged presented by having to make the goal or lose it all. Many say the challenge forces the project to focus much more clearly, motivate the funders, and put the heat under the feet of the individuals seeking the fund to involve their community more greatly.



I really do not like the approach that Kickstarter takes on which projects it chooses to publish. No offense or disrespect to any project, but I feel like Kickstarter is only about tree hugging hippy campaigns.

As much as I love to see a million projects about an indy film on transgendered awareness in Ethiopia or a 100% biodegradable tampon made from recycled cans, it gets a bit frustrating to see the amount of good projects that are tossed because they are not “green” or have some “social impact” on some under respresented social political group.

That is why I chose instead. They let all projects in and really deserve credit for not being too involved in the political agenda of their website.

Without being too obvious, please check out my campaign and show your support for a regular campaign with a great idea. And if you don’t…the terrorist win!



One big thing you're

One big thing you're forgetting is that Kickstarter is only open to people residing in the US(with some exceptions) whereas IndieGoGo is open to anyone who has a valid bank account or credit card anywhere in the world. This alone makes IndieGoGo better than Kickstarter to everyone outside the US.

IndieGoGo > Kickstarter


We actually tried to use Kickstarter for crowd funding our project. We made the video, built a website and got everything down on paper (Gift for contribution and mission statement). Then we submitted to Kickstarter. Less that 5 hours later we got the most basic of basic responses.

"Thank you for taking the time to share your idea. Unfortunately, this isn't the right fit for Kickstarter. We receive many project proposals daily and review them all with great care and appreciation. We see a wide variety of inspiring ideas, and while we value each one's uniqueness and creativity, Kickstarter is not the right platform for all of them. We wish you the best of luck as you continue to pursue your endeavor.

Best,  Kickstarter"

We were so confused because we had seen worst projects semi simular to ours on their site.

We asked them why. Another basic responce. You see kickstarter doesn't really ask you what they want to know - you are left guessing - when you fill out their project idea application. 

Then we found IndieGoGo. Everyone is automatically accepted and they ask you/give you tips on what people want to know. Another plus is everyone on your project (there are three of us) has their own profiles and are linked to the project page. 

But the biggest perk is you get to keep whatever you make. We have worked very hard and are still going to do the Dreamer Project even if we don't make our goal, so it makes since that a little money is better than none.

I would choose IndieGoGo over Kickstarter any day and if you do you won't regret it.



Too much upfront effort

   I was recently approved for a kickstarter campaign and I created no website and no video.  I simply entered info into the up to 250 character fields they asked for and supplied some links to pre-existing stuff I had on the net, which wasn't directly related to my project.

 Now that I'm approved I'm creating lots of content.  Lesson for the readers - you don't need to spend more than 30 minutes to create an acceptable submission.

nothing for nothing

I've heard lots of sad stories from friends about barely missing their goals and not receiving the funds on Kickstarter.  For this reason, I think that people should give IndieGogo a try, and will refer my friends there from now on.  However, I do know a lot of lazy friends who will simply take the money and never get their projects started, so Im not sure about this one.

 <a href=""> email marketing software</a>.

With IndieGoGo you dos NOT always get to keep the funds

I just had my first campaign on IndieGoGo, and it seemed to work fine. I was not receiving a lot of money, but I had clearly stated where the money would go if I didn't meet my goal and that was perfectly fine. In the meantime, I started focusing on two new campaigns with much better goals.

A week after the campaign ended, I received a message from IndieGoGo saying that IndieGoGo had decided not to pay out, apparently as not enough money had been raised. The people who contributed may not get refunded what they contributed because of exchange rate fluctuations, and I may incur extra charges too (too soon to tell). Apart from that, contributors received the message "Either at your request or at the request of the campaign administrator, we are refunding your contribution." This can make you lose goodwill with contributors.

I just checked, and whereas IndieGoGo says here and there "Remember you get to keep the contributions", its agreement states the following:

"Indiegogo makes no guarantee regarding ... the amount of any Project Funding payment to be made to you or the Project Entity under this Agreement."



Prefer Kickstarter Model

As someone who gives to charities and invests through things like Kickstarter, I prefer the Kickstarter model.  I don't want to give money to a project that will fail due to insufficient funding.  Knowing that my money will be used only if the project recieves enough money to meet its' viability threshold makes me much more likely to give.

Going with Indiegogo myself in a couple months

Saying that a business will fail if it doesn't reach its funding goal, all black-and-white, is ignorant as it doesn't always apply to all cases.  Startups with high intial capital needs (fixed costs) will struggle for sure.  But in the era of ecommerce and JIT production, highly-variable-cost businesses are beginning to become more common.  Ideally reaching a funding goal will help reduce cost of goods (i.e. buying in lots of 100 vs 1000 can drastically affect COGS), which would mean the business is still proftable, maybe just not AS profitable if it only partially reaches its fundraising goal.  Businesses only fail when they are NOT PROFITABLE AT ALL.

I also like the more open platform that Indiegogo is promoting.  Crowd funding is such a new concept that immediately pigeonholing yourself into a niche (which is usually the resort of latecomers) seems a bit premature for Kickstarter.


I totally understand that people would rather have a little money than none at all. As a funder, my perspective is quite different - I want to see the thing happen right, as originally planned. If that plan doesn't fly, so be it. I don't want to fund not-quite-there compromise projects. I've funded quite a few ideas on Kickstarter and will personally stick with them. 

Mostly Agree

 I can see cases where the project should be pulled without proper funding - absolutely, but if I have the funding and would rather try to get someone else to pay for it or perhaps use raised funds to make it better - then the all or nothing sucks.


 Agreed.  I've both donated to Kickstarter and had a project run on it, and I prefer the all-or-nothing mentality.  I can, however, see how IndieGoGo could be really good for like general operating funds and the like, where any contribution could help.  But for projects and initiatives, it seems like aiming for "full funding or else" not only inspires donors but also forces the people raising the money to make the extra effort.

Depends on strategy

Both tools are helpful if non-profits go in with the right strategy. It takes a lot of time and work to make campaigns successful. One of the downsides to Kickstarter is that you have to be a creative project -- which knocks out plenty of non-profits. One of the plus sides is that it makes the project owner try a lot harder :)

I'd encourage non-profits to look at CauseVox if they want to preserve their brand and have their own crowdfunding platform instead of using a 3rd party site.


I looked closely at both sites and ultimately decided on Kickstarter for my project - a game called RoXzai

When it came down to it Kickstarter seemed to have generated more awareness for themselves in the media and more traffic. Granted most of your pledges will come from friends and people you bring to the party. But Kickstarter does have a fair amount of built in "lookers" - and we've benefited from that.

With another two weeks to go the jury is out but I think I'll reach my modest goal - and I'll be a happy camper.

(Of course I wouldn't mind if anybody wants to take a peak at my game!


Buck Howdy

 This is the very thing I'm

 This is the very thing I'm curious about - would you have a ballpark idea of what percentage of supporters were not already on your own distribution list?  If it's a very small percentage, I'm thinking why not just fundraise through my own website?  If it's a larger percentage, it seems worth it to engage one of these crowdraising platforms for the increased visibility.

One more thing....

Great post Kyle - just wanted to clarify one thing about IndieGoGo.  The reason why it seems we are more "lax" with our campaigns is because we have a completely open platform.  Anybody can create a campaign, about anything (creative, cause, entrepreneurial), from anywhere in the world.  We have over 25K campaigns in over 170 countries.  This varies from some other platforms where you may have to apply to submit a project, be part of a specific niche, or be located in a certain country.  Just wanted to make that clarification! 


I think there's a lot of intergrity at Kickstarter compared to Indiegogo.  Not only does Indigogo take all the donor money up front regardless, but they take more if it fails.  Not only do they get paid on EVERYTHING, but they TAKE MORE when it fails.  That further hampers a project that is already underfunded to begin with. 

Kickstarter does not charge anyone unless it's funded, and the money sits in ESCROW which I believe is why they use Amazon, since I don't think Paypal offers it.  It's a pain to code the site do work that way and I'm sure kickstarter would make more money if they used the Indiegogo method.  I think Kickstarter is showing a lot of integrity by walking away from $$ to ensure that projects are well funded and has a real chance to fulfill its obligations to its investors/contributors (I say investors because many times the contributors are prmoised something tangible that they won't get if the project isn't completed).  I think all of this gives EVERYONE more confidence to contribute and also creates more momentum and forces projects to really work hard to promote the project in the first place.

Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo vs The Consumer


As a contributor to mainly Kickstarter projects, but a few Indiegogo ones too, I still do not like the idea of giving money upfront to a project, and then if it fails, loosing said. As the "consumer" I'm left empty handed, and in many some cases the pledge can be rather large. So...Who is taking all the real RISK here? I am (the consumers), not Indiegogo or the Project contributors...Kickstarter at least provides the consumer with some assurance if goals aren't met.

I could not agree more. As a

I could not agree more. As a responsible campaign owner on KickStarter I carefully calculate the minimum it would take to successful deliver everything promised therein and then I add a "Safety Cushion" (usally 10-20% more than needed). If for some reason my campaign was not fully funded I would be sitting here with not enough funds to fulfill my campaign promised and thus the only ethical thing to do anyways is.......return the funds.

As a backer, I agree with you even more. There is still risk the campaign owner will face a unforeseen challenge and thus the backer may loose out, however, with the way KS does things that risk is far less than a IFF campaign who did not each their goal yet their backer's still were charged.

Is it called "Open Source" web..

Is it called "Open Source" web...