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. The internet and crowdfunding websites make it possible for people to donate or pledge money to fund practically anything.​ Two popular platforms are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Both are great, but each has its 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

Kickstarter
  • US, UK, and Canadian applicants only.

  • All campaigns require approval.

  • All or nothing funding.

  • A 5% fee and a 3% to 5% processing charge.

Indiegogo
  • International applicants welcome.

  • Anyone can start a campaign right away.

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

  • Fees are between 4% and 9%.

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. It's only for creative projects like gadgets, games, films, and books. If you want to raise money for 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 is more open about the types of campaigns you can carry out. Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding site where anyone can raise money for film, music, art, charity, small businesses, gaming, theater, and more.

The biggest difference between the two platforms is that Indiegogo can be used for almost anything, whereas Kickstarter is limited.

Who Can Start a Campaign: Indiegogo is International

Kickstarter
  • Available in the US, UK, and Canada.

  • Anyone over 18 years old can sign up.

Indiegogo
  • Fully international.

  • People in most countries can start a 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 restriction Indiegogo has is that it doesn't allow campaigners from countries on the US OFAC sanctions list.

Application: Kickstarter Needs One, Indiegogo Doesn't

Kickstarter
  • All campaigns must be submitted for approval.

  • Campaigns are categorized by type of project.

Indiegogo
  • No approval required.

  • Start a campaign as soon as you create an account.

A Kickstarter campaign must be submitted for approval before it can go live. In general, the campaign must be centered around the completion of a project that falls under any of its categories. These categories 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 need to create a free account to get started.

Fees and Getting Paid: Both Come at a Price

Kickstarter
  • Fees are taken out of final earnings.

  • Charges 5% of the total raised.

  • A 3% to 5% processing fee.

  • Stripe integration for easier payments and payouts.

Indiegogo
  • Fees are taken out of final earnings.

  • A 4% fee on campaigns that meet the goal.

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

In exchange for using their crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter and Indiegogo charge its campaigners fees. These fees are taken out of the money raised during a campaign.

Kickstarter applies a 5% fee to the total amount of funds collected as well as a 3% to 5% payment processing fee. The company partnered with the online payment processing platform Stripe to make payments easy for creators and backers. You'll provide your bank account details when drafting your Kickstarter project.

Indiegogo charges a 4% fee on the total money raised if the campaign meets its goal. But if it doesn't meet its fundraising goal, Indiegogo charges 9% of the total money raised.

When You Don't Make Your Goal: Indiegogo is Flexible

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

Indiegogo
  • Choose between flexible or fixed funding.

  • Flexible funding allows the campaigner to keep what is raised.

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

Kickstarter operates as an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform. If a campaign doesn't reach its fundraising goal amount, existing backers aren't charged for the amount they pledged, and the project creators don’t get any of the money.

Indiegogo lets campaigners choose to set up campaigns in two ways. Flexible Funding allows campaigners to keep any money they raise even if the campaign doesn't reach its goal. Fixed Funding automatically returns all contributions to funders if the goal is not reached.

Final Verdict

Both platforms are great, and neither is better than the other. However, Indiegogo has more options than Kickstarter. These options include the 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 has excellent brand recognition in the tech startup and creative arts industries. If you plan to launch a ​creative project, Kickstarter could be the better crowdfunding platform for you despite having more limitations than Indiegogo.

You're also charged higher fees on Indiegogo if you don't reach your funding goal. Kickstarter campaigners don't pay anything if they don't make their goal (they also don't get to keep any of the money). This could be a big factor in your decision.

For more information, check out the Kickstarter FAQ page and Indiegogo FAQ page.