Indiegogo Pilots New Program Allowing Crowdfunding Campaigns to Stay Open Indefinitely

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Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
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If you have a great thing going, why bust up the party?

That’s the idea behind a new pilot program unveiled by San Francisco-based crowdfunding platform Indiegogo today that allows campaigns to stay open even after their deadline has come and gone.

Typically, a project launches on a crowdfunding platform for a fixed amount of time. This new feature allows campaigns to stay open beyond that fixed deadline, essentially rendering the timeframe established for the campaign extraneous.

Related: 7 Secrets From the Man Who Turned a Kickstarter Flop Into the Most Successful Campaign Ever

The change in rules is a nod to what is increasingly being recognized as the most valuable benefit of crowdfunding: not the money raised, but the attention a campaign can draw to your product or cause and the feedback that backers provide.

“This turnkey pilot project reflects the increased use of Indiegogo by businesses, artists and activists who seek to attract and develop new audiences,” says Indiegogo in the blog post announcing the new option.

Campaigns that stay open beyond the expiration date can continue to collect money, but they can also continue to use the search traffic, analytics and communication forum with their earliest product backers that come as part of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

Related: What Does a Multibillion-Dollar Corporation Want With Crowdfunding?

Two existing Indiegogo campaigns -- both of which blew past their funding goals in their established timeframes -- are testing out the option already. The TrackR, a tracking device that can be attached to your valuables, raised $1,265,470 by its Aug. 8 campaign deadline, but is now continuing to accept funds. The other campaign -- sunglasses called Tens that essentially “Instagram” your field of view -- raised 366,943 pounds, or more than $600,000, by its July 5 deadline and will now remain open.

The new program gives Indiegogo even more of an edge over its East Coast rival, Kickstarter, in terms of funding options. Campaign owners on Kickstarter have one option: They reach their fundraising goal by the established deadline or they don’t get any of the money. On Indiegogo, campaign owners have the option for “flexible funding,” meaning that for a slightly higher commission to Indiegogo, they keep whatever they raise.

Still, while Indiegogo may be more flexible, Kickstarter continues to dominate the crowdfunding field, both in terms of dollars raised on the respective platforms and name recognition.

Related: Everything You Need for a Winning Crowdfunding Campaign (Infographic)

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