Successful crowdfunding is a bit of an art. You have to win over the hearts of people enough that they are willing to open their wallets. There is no one-size-fits-all method.
What platform should you use? While it’s generally agreed that you should have a video on your campaign page to explain what you are doing and why it’s important, how long should your video be? What’s too long for a campaign to open for accepting donations? What’s too short? How many reward levels should you offer? There are many questions.
To provide some guidance for an admittedly malleable process, crowdfunding industry market research and data analysis company HiveWire partnered with e-commerce website-building platform Shopify to analyze the 400,000 completed crowdfunding campaigns that have run on the two best-known platforms -- Kickstarter and Indiegogo -- as of Aug. 7th.
Between the two front-running platforms, however, campaign owners on Kickstarter have raised about three times what campaign owners have raised on Indiegogo. New York City-based Kickstarter has raised $1.2 billion for its campaign owners, while San Francisco-based Indiegogo has raised $378 million.
In other words, Kickstarter is to crowdfunding what Kleenex is to facial tissue. And Kickstarter dominates news headlines, even more-so than the term “crowdfunding,” according to Google topic search data. And while Kickstarter drew more than 5.5 million monthly unique visitors in July, Indiegogo drew only 2.3 million, according to digital analytics company Millward Brown Digital.
All that name recognition and online traffic means higher success rates for Kickstarter’s campaign owners, too. Kickstarter’s success rates are markedly higher than Indiegogo’s: Where 43.4 percent of Kickstarter’s campaigns are successful, only between 9.5 and 17.1 percent of Indiegogo’s campaigns are. (The lower Indiegogo success rate is for those campaigns where the owner opts to elect for “flex funding,” where a campaign owner gets the amount raised even if he or she doesn’t reach the goal advertised. The higher Indiegogo success rate is for fixed funding, where a campaign owner opts to only get the money from backers if the campaign reaches its full established goal.)
While every crowdfunding campaign will have its own set of needs, here’s a look at some averages for successful campaigns: They last 35 days, offer 9 levels of rewards, have 8 updates from campaign owners, the founder of the campaign has an average of 923 friends, the average pledge is $87, and the average video lasts 3 minutes and 4 seconds.
Check out the infographic below for additional data on successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns, broken down geographically and by category.
Related Book: Cash From The Crowd