Crowdfund your next project yourself
If you are looking for alternative ways to crowdfund your next project, you might give WordPress a chance. There are many different plugins, apps, and themes that work along with WordPress to help you get the most out of crowdfunding. By using WordPress, you can quickly tell people what you are doing and inspire them to contribute to your campaign.
Most people don’t know that they don’t have to rely on a third party site that takes a cut or high fees, and while the disadvantage is you have to do more legwork, the advantage is that you are truly in control.
You can offer rewards and perks for your backers as well. Here are a few ways to get your crowdfunding campaign started:
WordPress themes to get you started
Theme Forest offers several choices for a theme that will turn your WordPress account into a successful crowdfunding campaign. These are three favorites: Fundify, Campaignify, and CrowdPress.
1. Fundify is reminiscent of Indiegogo or KickStarter, but on a smaller scale that you can use any time you need help funding a project. All you need to do it create a campaign, by setting your goal amount, target date, and tell people about your campaign and yourself. Then, set backer rewards. Finally, decide whether you want a fixed or flexible campaign. A fixed campaign will only collect funds if you meet your target goal, but for projects where any amount of money raised is helpful, run a flexible campaign and collect contributions even if you do not meet your target goal. Fundify is $60 to download the theme combines the plugin with outputs (such as payment options like We Pay and Paypal) and then fully integrates into your WordPress account in a visually appealing manner, but if you just need the plugin, it is free.
To demo Fundify, Campaignify, or view similar offerings, you can visit this site to get more information.
2. Campaignify is very similar to Fundify. It offers you the best of the big crowdfunding sites, without the hassle. Using WordPress plugins means you will not be told what you can or cannot raise funds for, no portion of your funds will be taken away; what you raise is yours, and there are not a hundred other campaigns to take attention away from yours; your viewers see your campaign, on your site. Campaignify offers all of the benefits of Fundify, only in a slightly different layout. The complete theme is available for download for $55, but as with Fundify, the basic plugin is free. If you are curious about how these themes work, there are several demo campaigns on the Campaignify site.
3. CrowdPress offers yet another option for WordPress themes. It offers many of the same features as Fundify and Campaignify, but the layout is much bolder. It also offers multiple page layout options, a unique flip-style slider, and custom widgets with a big admin panel. The complete package is downloadable for $45, but again, the basic plugin is free. You can see a demo of CrowdPress here.
4. Fundraising offers a WordPress plugin to optimize your crowdfunding endeavors. It integrates with PayPal with a hassle-free interface: creating a new fundraiser is as simple as adding a new post to your WordPress blog. No more sending people to a different site and risking losing a potential donation. This plugin is compatible with any WordPress theme. Allowing you to retain the branding or images you already have in place with your existing theme, or create a new one for each campaign. Fundraising offers widgets, an automatically displayed “thank you” message, and fully customizable options from your dashboard. To get this plugin, you will need to become of WPMU DEV member, but this will give you access not only to this plugin, but over 350 more. Your first month’s membership is $10, after that it is $99 per month.
5. You can also use WordPress’ own Personal Fundraiser plugin to raise funds. In my opinion, it is much less user friendly, in that you have to manually set up PayPal, options, and be fairly proficient with shortcodes, to get your campaign operational and running the way you need it to maximize efficiency. However, it is completely free. So, if you already very proficient with WordPress and shortcodes, this could be another good plugin option for you.
If none of these plugins are what you need, here are two more to check out: IgnitionDeck and CrowdFund HQ.
Third party options that keep you in control
6. IgnitionDeck lets you crowdfund, pre-sell, or raise money for your next project. The WordPress crowdfunding theme, Theme 500, by IgnitionDeck is completely free, but, IgnitionDeck will also work with any of the thousands of themes available for WordPress. IgnitionDeck skins allow you to modify the framework in order to better match your overall web presence. You can change themes at any time because the magic is in the plugin, not the theme. Also, the IgnitionDeck MakerKit offers integration with PayPal, Stripe, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, and more. So it will enable you to take your fundraising to the next level. I especially like the Mailchimp integration because it automatically adds backers to your Mailchimp account for newsletters and updates. No more manually transferring your contacts.
7. CrowdFundHQ is less of a plugin and more of a platform. It is fully customizable with CSS, or choose from clickable options. You have unlimited hosting space which is HTML5 and CSS3 compatible. Also, you can choose a custom domain name or use a subdomain of CrowdFundHQ. There are several different payment options already integrated in to the platform: PayPal, WePay, Dwolla, and BitPay. And perhaps the most unique feature to CrowdFundHQ is that is offers people the ability to contribute time or resources instead of just money; allowing more people to help out. Since this is a platform, instead of a plugin, it definitely has more to offer, but it does cost quite a bit more than the plugins. So, you will need to weigh the benefits against your budget. There is a full list of features available here. It is free to try for fourteen days, after that it is $99/month for up to $50,000/month in transactions, or $199/month for unlimited amounts of transactions.
Crowdfunding can really help you accomplish your project goals quickly and efficiently and with all the new plugins and apps available it has never been easier to find something that will work perfectly with your needs and your budget.