Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo: Which One Should You Choose?

Which online crowdfunding platform is right for you?

Crowdfunding is a form of fundraising for projects and causes. Now thanks to the internet and the convenient crowdfunding websites that are now available, people from all over the world can donate or pledge money to fund practically anything.​

If you’re familiar with the idea of crowdfunding, you probably already know that two of the most popular platforms are of course Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Both are great options, but each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Read through the following comparisons to find out whether Kickstarter or Indiegogo is right for your crowdfunding campaign.

Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo

Overall Findings

  • US, UK, and Canadian applicants only.

  • All campaigns require approval.

  • All or nothing funding.

  • 5% fee and 3-5% processing charge.

  • International applicants welcome.

  • Anyone can start a campaign right away.

  • Flexible funding options that pay if your goal isn't met.

  • 4-9% fees.

The first thing you need to know about Kickstarter is that it's only for creative projects like gadgets, games, films, and books. So if you want to raise money for something like disaster relief, animal rights, environmental protection or something else that doesn’t involve the development of a creative product or service, you can’t use Kickstarter. 

Indiegogo, on the other hand, is much more open about the types of campaigns you can carry out. The biggest difference between the two platforms is that Indiegogo can be used for almost anything, whereas Kickstarter is much more limited.

To sum them each up in simple terms:

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.

Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding site where anyone can raise money for film, music, art, charity, small businesses, gaming, theater and more.

Who Can Start a Campaign: Indiegogo is More International

  • Available in the US, UK, and Canada.

  • Anyone over 18 years-old can sign up.

  • Fully international.

  • People in most countries can start their campaign.

With Kickstarter, only permanent residents of the US, UK, Canada (and more) over the age of 18 can start a campaign.

Indiegogo recognizes itself as an international platform, so it allows anyone in the world to start a campaign as long as they have a bank account. The only real restrictions Indiegogo has is that it does not allow campaigners from countries on the US OFAC sanctions list.

Application Process: Kickstarter Needs One and Indiegogo doesn't

  • All campaigns must be submitted for approval.

  • Campaigns are categorized by type of project.

  • No approval required.

  • You can start a campaign as soon as you create your account.

Kickstarter campaigns need to be submitted for approval before they go live. In general, the campaign must be centered around the completion of a project that falls under any of their categories, which include art, comics, dance, design, fashion, film, food, games, music, photography, technology, and theater.

Indiegogo does not have an application process, so anyone can go ahead and start a campaign without needing to get it approved first. You just need to create a free account to get started.

Fees and Getting Paid: Both Come at a Price

  • Fees taken out of final earnings.

  • 5% of total raised.

  • 3-5% processing fee.

  • Stripe integration for easier payments and payouts.

  • Fees taken out of final earnings.

  • 4% fee on campaigns that meet their goal.

  • 9% fee on campaigns that fail to meet their goal.

In exchange for using their fabulous crowdfunding platforms, both Kickstarter and Indiegogo charge its campaigners fees. These fees are taken out of the money you raise during your campaign.

Kickstarter applies a 5-percent fee to the total amount of funds collected as well as a 3 to 5-percent payment processing fee. The company has partnered with online payment processing platform Stripe to make payments easy for both creators and backers, so all you'll need to provide is your bank account details when you're drafting your Kickstarter project.

Indiegogo charges just 4 percent in fees on the total money you raise if you end up meeting your goal. But if you don’t meet your fundraising goal, you are charged 9 percent of the total money raised.

What Happens if You Don't Make Your Goal: Indiegogo is More Flexible

  • All or nothing. If the goal isn't met, backers aren't charged.

  • Choose between flexible or fixed funding.

  • Flexible funding allows you to keep whatever is raised.

  • Fixed funding returns money to backers when the goal isn't met.

Kickstarter operates as an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform. In other words, if a campaign does not reach their fundraising goal amount, any existing backers will not be charged for the amount they pledged and the project creators don’t get any of the money.

Indiegogo lets campaigners choose to set up their campaigns in two different ways. You can choose Flexible Funding, which allows you to keep any money you raise even if you don’t reach your goal, or you can choose Fixed Funding, which automatically returns all contributions to funders if the goal is not reached.

Final Verdict

Both platforms are great, and neither one is better than the other. Indiegogo has a lot more options than Kickstarter, including types of campaigns you can launch, flexible funding in case you don’t reach your goal and no application process to set up your first campaign.

Kickstarter, however, has excellent brand recognition in the tech/startup and creative arts industries, so if you’re planning to launch a ​creative project, Kickstarter could be the better crowdfunding platform for you despite having more limitations than Indiegogo.

You also take a bigger hit with the fees on Indiegogo if you don't reach your funding goal, whereas Kickstarter campaigners don't have to pay a cent if they don't make it (but also don't get to keep any of the money). This could also prove to be a big factor in the decision-making process.

For more information on both, check out Kickstarter’s FAQ page and Indiegogo’s FAQ page.