Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are amazing in how they enable makers to rally early support, de-risk product ideas and fund the development of products which otherwise might not have been possible. Crowdfunding forces you to nail your sales & marketing early and win early supporters thereby helping you avoid the all-too-common trap of building something nobody wants nor needs. My buddy Gabe is running an Indiegogo now which has already raised over $30k for his graphic novel project – Amazing!! For all their benefits though these platforms have some downsides, namely:
- Fees: Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo take 5% of the funds raised on top of 3-5% for payment processing for a total of 8-10%.
- Not geared for software projects: These programs seem to be largely aimed towards physical consumer products- gadgets, art projects and such. This means unfortunately that…
- Distribution benefit is nil: if you’re seeking to fund a software project you’ll likely be using the platform for its crowdfunding functionality but end up being responsible to bring your own audience which means you’re not getting additional reach or exposure of their user base.
- You have to message backers via their system: which is less ideal than building your own email list.
- Funding model: In some cases it’s an all-or-nothing funding model. For example with Kickstarter if you set a $10k goal for your campaign and fail to raise that before the completion date, you get none of those funds. That force you to set conservative funding targets but can result in a bunch of work with zero return if you set the goal post too high (Indiegogo is different in that it allows you to keep whatever you raise).
- You’re subject to their rules: This may not be a huge deal but you’re at the mercy of their guidelines and their approval.
I explored building a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign as a way to de-risk and fund the development of the Charity Makeover v2 platform but couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger for the above reasons. But after researching these platforms I had an epiphany: use nocode itself to build a personal Kickstarter I control and run my campaign via that.
One day later I had built this app.
Design-wise it’s not going to win any awards but it’s a fully-functional crowdfunding system complete with email capture, Stripe integration, progress meter, CRM, donor wall and viral social media share widget on the thank you page. With this app you pay only Stripe fees, get all the emails AND they feed directly into any CRM that has a Zapier integration so you have all the control of being able to kick off whatever drip emails you need to indoctrinate your backers.
This gives you an option wherein you have the main benefits of those 3rd party crowdfunding platforms while keeping control of your own destiny and running it under your own Adalo and Stripe accounts. We’ve used it already to raise $1500 towards our $10k goal with this project for the new platform rewrite.
If you use this and derive benefit from it consider becoming one of the first 100 backers for the Charity Makeover launch sponsorship program at whatever level you believe represents the value you received.