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Crowdfunding Tip Sheet

Indiegogo vs Kickstarter: You Make the Call

KickstarterCrowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. This practice gives people the opportunity to raise money for creative projects. By submitting an online donation, contributors are not allowed to become investors or shareholders, rather the project creators retain all control over products and services.

By the end of 2013, a cumulative $1.17 billion dollars had been raised using crowdfunding, and is projected to reach $4.35 billion by the end of 2015.

Indiegogo and Kickstarter are two of the most popular crowdfunding websites.



Indiegogo and Kickstarter are both successful funding platforms. When using either, the user posts a project, sets a financial goal, creates a timeframe to reach that goal, and the community pledges money to support the project. While very similar, both Indiegogo and Kickstarter have their own strengths.

Project Categories: Kickstarter only accepts projects in the specific categories of:

  • Art
  • Comics
  • Dance
  • Design
  • Fashion
  • Film
  • Food
  • Games
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Publishing
  • Technology
  • Theater

IndiegogoIn comparison, Indiegogo is more relaxed in terms of its project categories. Indiegogo will accept anything from trip fundraising to personal wishes.

Monetary Policy: Another difference between these two crowdfunding sites is their monetary policy.

Kickstarter enacts an “all-or-nothing” policy, meaning if a project does not reach its financial goal, the project doesn’t get any of the money pledged. Therefore, when using Kickstarter, it is important to set the goal at the bare minimum to increase your likelihood of reaching it. Kickstarter also charges a 5% fee if the project is successful.

In comparison, if a project does not reach its financial goal on Indiegogo, the user can still keep the money raised. In addition, Indiegogo only charges a 4% fee if the project reaches its goal. However, if the goal is not reached, Indiegogo will charge 9% of the funds raised.

Stats: Overall, Kickstarter attracts more traffic, accumulates more pledges, and has more dollars pledged than Indiegogo. When looking at success rates,

  • Kickstarter projects achieve success 43.4% of the time;
  • Indiegogo projects achieve success 9.8% of the time. But keep in mind even failed projects on Indiegogo get to keep the money raised.

The average crowdfunding campaign is $5,000 on Kickstarter and $3,700 on Indiegogo. The average visits per month on Kickstarter are 23 million and 13.4 on Indiegogo.

Website Design: Indiegogo seems easier to use but with a slightly more cluttered format. Indiegogo also links to Facebook and Twitter easily. Kickstarter has a simpler look, and has more options regarding individual formatting.



9 average no. of levels of reward offers

35 average length of campaign (days)

8 average no. of updates from successful founders

17 average no. of comments

$87 average pledge

$10- $25 most popular contribution reward level

3:04 average length of video (minutes)

609 average no. of words on campaign description

Advice for Communications / Marketing Students from a New Media Titan

Ryan Belmore, owner of What’s Up Newport  spoke with Suzanne McDonald about his career path, what his company might look for in recent graduates, and what aspiring new media practitioners should focus on.

Who is Ryan Belmore and What’s Up Newp?

What’s Up Newp is a hyper-local company focused on supporting and spreading the word about local businesses, restaurants, and entertainment in Newport, Rhode Island.

“I always say that with hyper-local social media, it’s not enough to play. I want to be the voice of the community,”said Belmore, the owner of the one-man company.

Belmore majored in fire-science in college, “which is the furthest thing from what I’m doing now with my life that you could possibly do,” he laughed. He then worked in administration management for the New England Patriots for eight years. After which, he did social media work for nonprofit organizations until he bought What’s Up Newp in 2014. He now runs the website, social media and radio show on his own with some help from freelancers.

What should communications & marketing students focus on?

According to Belmore, the most important things for students to learn include:

  • Strong writing skills
  • Work ethic
  • Creativity
  • Communication skills
  • Understanding your audience
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Basic coding skills
  • Social platform analytics
  • Website analytics
  • Business management – sales, accounting, selling advertising

He said that a lot of the drive to succeed has to come from within the student, rather than being something that could be taught. Belmore said that when you own a company, “you know everything relies on you. Success and failure, it runs directly through you. […] You know to be successful, you have to push it.”

What new media does What’s Up Newp rely on?

What’s Up Newp has a website run on WordPress, as well as a radio show on every weekday. As for social media, followers can get updates on local news on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Belmore said he recently began a Youtube channel, as well, to showcase interviews, and Belmore is looking to expand on Google Plus.

What’s Up Newp could have a page on every platform, he said, “but as a one man company, I can’t possibly update and keep them all running. What I do, I want to do well.” He said as the company grows and he continues to learn about new platforms, the company’s sites will grow as well.

What would a company like What’s Up Newp look for in potential employees?

Belmore said it’s important for recent graduates and potential employees to really study the social media world that they want to work in. If they want to be in a hyper-local company like What’s Up Newp, then they should understand the community and what companies right now are doing well and could be doing better.

He recommended looking at sites like Street Fight or getting daily emails from places like Fanpage Karma to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the business. “You have to be open to always learning what’s going to be new,” he said.

Finally, while Belmore warned students to be careful what they post on social media while in college, he added that there’s great opportunity to use social media to their advantage before they graduate. “Start to connect with people in your area who are movers and shakers and tweet them,” he said. “Let them know you’re out there, and once you graduate, once you’re looking for a job, hopefully you have a little bit of a relationship started with them.”

What do you think students should learn now to get jobs?”