Here we’ve listed those and a few crowd-funding alternatives that you can use to fund your photo, video and documentary projects.
Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform for creative projects. Anyone can use it, as long as they follow the guidelines. In exchange for donations, backers get something from the project’s creators. You set your funding goal and your deadline, but if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t get anything. If a project gets funded, Kickstarter keeps a fee, 5% of the funds collected. An estimated 44% of projects get funded. So far, people have donated $837 million, and funded 50,000 creative projects. The creators keep 100% ownership of the rights to the project.
With Indiegogo, just like with Kickstarter, you set your own goals and offer rewards to backers. The big difference is that if you don’t reach your goal, you can still keep any money raised for your project. If you reach your goal, Indiegogo takes 4%. If you don’t reach your goal and give back the money, Indiegogo keeps nothing and reimburses your backers. If you don’t reach your goal and keep what you raise, Indiegogo takes 9%. Indiegogo helps you spread the word by using a unique algorithm they call “the gogofactor.” If you use their sharing tools and raise enough money, they will feature you on their homepage. You keep 100% ownership.
With Rocket Hub, you keep what you raise. It has no upfront cost. If you reach your goal, there is a 4% commission fee and 4% credit card handling fee. If you don’t reach your goal they take an 8% fee. They have partnered with A&E, which means that your project could be featured on the television network, and may even get funded by it. You keep 100% ownership.
Ulule is run out of France and is better known in Europe, but can be used by anyone and anywhere. You need a European bank account, otherwise transactions can be made via PayPal. It’s free to register and free to create projects. To register, you have to sign in with a Facebook account. Unmet goals do not receive pledged funds and backers don’t get charged. Ulule’s fee is a 5% commission on the collected sums, plus transactions fees at 3%. Ulule asks you to break down your budget and to be completely transparent to your potential backers. Campaigns can last a maximum of 90 days. You keep 100% ownership.
Spot.us labels itself as a nonprofit platform for “community powered reporting.” It is meant as a tool for the public to support journalists or newsrooms, to cover any particular topic that is being overlooked in a community. Spot.us has partners with many news organizations to distribute stories under appropriate licenses. Although most of the stories funded are written, it could also be successful for photo and/or video reportage.
FundRazr is a crowd-funder used to back personal projects, organizations, communities, or creative projects. FundRazr requires you to sign in with Facebook or Google+, and transactions are made via PayPal. It is is free to sign up, but there is a 5% fee on funds collected, plus PayPal’s transaction fees, approximately 2.2%.
Haricot is very similar to Kickstarter. You propose your project and determine the amount and duration of your funding campaign. You develop a list of rewards in exchange for pledges desired, and you promote your project. If you meet or exceed your goal you receive your funding – if not, it doesn’t cost you anything. All projects are evaluated by Haricot before they are posted online and they can decide to approve it or not at their own discretion. Haricot receives 5% of funded projects. Transactions are made via PayPal.