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7 ways to crowdfund on your own website

If you have a great idea and are hoping to crowdfund but don’t want to give up control to a third party or you have a unique idea of how to crowdfund, these tools will allow you to do it yourself with WordPress.





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.

WordPress plugins

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.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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  1. Nathan Hangen

    August 21, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Hey Jennifer, great writeup and thanks for including us (IgnitionDeck). I love that two years ago when we started, there weren’t any options at all. Now, options abound. This industry has no place to go but up.

    • Adam Pickering

      August 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      We think your correct! We have a ton of exciting new themes coming out that will hopefully help people crowdfund the next big idea!

  2. Tinu

    September 14, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Interesting, I mis-read the title and didn’t realize it was about facilitating the actual crowdfund on your site – for some reason I thought it meant how to Get crowdfunding for building your website. This makes more sense.

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Business Finance

Millennial women share about how they spend (and save) money

(ENTREPRENEUR) A group of millennial women were surveyed about how they save their money. These are their stories…



millennial money savers

This year, I turned 24, and while I know this isn’t old, I never thought I’d be this old. With this in mind, I’ve been asking all of my friends and family members the same question: “If you could give any piece of advice to your 24 year-old self, what would it be?”

While I’ve been getting varied and interesting pieces of advice, the one I need to focus on more is working on saving more money. This can be tricky, especially when you first start making money, so it helps to hear how others do this.

Recently, Bustle surveyed over 1,000 millennial women, in their 20s and 30s, and they shared how they save money. Their incomes ranged anywhere from $30k to $150k. Included below are some of the individual responses that include innovative ideas that anyone at any age could potentially implement.

1. Samantha, 30: Uses a budget for her finances. Rather than enjoying instant gratification, Samantha makes a wish list of things and experiences she wants to save money for. Then if she accomplishes a goal, she treats herself to something on the list.

2. Ronnika, 33: Instead of continuing a habit of meeting friends for drinks every week, Ronnika has found it is more fiscally responsible to invite friends over. Also, She takes any extra money from her paychecks and puts it in a checking account that is not locally accessible.

3. Michelle, 24: To save on entertainment, Michelle has opted for only using WiFi rather than getting cable. Additionally, she keeps her thermostat set at 62-64 degrees and uses layers and space heaters to save on costs. She also encourages packing a lunch everyday, as that is a big saver.

4. Kelly, 24: Kelly attributes her money saving to living with her parents. She also suggests an app called Qapital: “You can set your own rules for how you want to compile your savings — for example, I have a ‘Round-Up Rule,’ which rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar and puts that change into savings, as well as a ‘Set and Forget Rule,’ which just automatically takes out a pre-selected amount. For me it’s $10/weekly.”

5. Libby, 24: Libby only uses her credit card for necessary expenses (such as payments for her car) and puts anything else on debit. With her credit card, she makes sure she pays off the balance in full each month so that she does not fall into debt.

6. Savannah, 25: Savannah keeps a peaceful mind savings to fall back on in case of emergencies. “I’ve found having a savings account balance equivalent to two months of my salary is a good cushion.”

7. Alexandra, 26: Alexandra keeps an Excel spreadsheet that tracks all of the money she has coming in as well as what is going out. She helps herself save by setting goals of what she wants to save and by when.

8. Lyn, 29: Lyn saves her money by looking at it as a way of paying herself first. She puts a large portion of her paycheck into her 401k and puts the maximum amount of her paycheck into her Roth IRA each year. She will then spend liberally on the things that are important to her, and harshly cut anything that she deems frivolous or won’t make her happy.

9. Marissa, 26: Marissa budgets her money and attempts the tactic of cooking for herself as much as possible. She has found that one meal out is equivalent to five meals at home.

10. Danielle, 23: Danielle saves by setting up two automatic transfers from her paycheck to budgeted savings. “So it’s like I don’t even notice the money is there. One transfer goes to ‘future me’ in the form of RRSPs or other investments, and one transfer goes to ‘fun times,’ like trips abroad.”

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Business Finance

You got an LLC and you’re ready to hire – 3 things lenders look for

(FINANCE NEWS) Yes, securing a small business loan of any kind is tedious and depends on varying lending organizations and business needs, but there is a list of general requirements small businesses should be aware of before getting knee-deep in conflicting information about lenders.



401k retirement fund

If you are reading this, you probably have an LLC for your small business already, or money talk gets you going. If it is the former, let me say CONGRATULATIONS, and insist you pat yourself on the back in honor of your small business’s progression. Your arrival at a point where expansion is necessary is no small feat given half of small businesses fail in the first year. So, kudos to you.

Now, back to the money talk…

For LLC businesses looking to expand, please don’t fret about all of the information you’ve seen on the web. Yes, securing a small business loan of any kind is tedious and depends on varying lending organizations and business needs, but there is a list of general requirements small businesses should be aware of before getting knee-deep in conflicting information.

After some extensive research posing as the owner of imaginary businesses and annoying every loan officer who’d take my call, I’ve found three general lending requirements. I also provide a collection of the tangible information banks will likely review to meet those requirements. Take a gander:

Small businesses must have necessary assets: steady cash flow, financial reserves, personal collateral to support a variety of business fluctuations (i.e. unexpected employee loss), and a realistic pay off plan. These assets and financial safety nets are necessary for any lending organization to be confident in your business’s ability to support employee expansion in lieu of current expenses.

Proof of past
Just as you will come to expect from your soon to be employees, lenders want proof of the past and how you’ve managed past loans to align with your business goals. Historical evidence will further determine if your expansion is feasible, but also if it is worthy for the company to accept the lending risk.

Specific plans
Finally, be prepared to provide your small business’s explicit expansion plan, including how you arrived at your suggested loan amount and how you intend to divvy out the funds. It is important that you are as specific as possible in your projected numbers, seeing as one employee could make a $60,000 difference, and largely affect your expansion plan and financial need.

Before you go…

Now that you’re equipped with the magic three, you’re probably feeling empowered to walk into your nearest bank and demand your small business loan. Let’s first be sure you have all of the necessary information on-hand and ready to produce.

Lending companies that look for the magic three before investing arrive at their conclusion after collecting data from the following pertinent information:

– Proof of collateral
– Business plan and expansion plan
– Financial details
– Current and past loan info
– Debts incurred
– Bank statements
– Tax ID
– Contact info
– Accounts receivable information
– Aging
– Sales and payment history
– Accounts payable information
– Credit references
– Financial statements
– Balance sheet
– Profit and loss history
– Copies of past tax returns
– Social Security Numbers
– Assets and liabilities details

Now, my friend, do I release you as proud as a parent unto your nearest bank to secure your small business loan and begin growing your staff the way you’ve dreamed. I’m confident you will find the aforementioned information helpful in said quest, and would like to wish one last time (because it’s impossible to over-congratulate) a sincere CONGRATULATIONS on your businesses growth.

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Business Finance

Financial impostor syndrome – what it is and how to fix it

(FINANCE) Financial impostor syndrome is more common than most know, but seeing polished people in your industry may make you feel like your struggle is unique – it’s not.



financial impostor syndrome

If you’ve ever felt like a fraud when it comes to your success, you’re not alone. Impostor syndrome is recognized as a “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments.”

Typically, impostor syndrome is discussed as it pertains to your career, but it can manifest in other areas, like with finances.

Financial impostor syndrome has many components. You might feel as if you are bad with money and can’t be any different. Maybe you’ve made some bad decisions in the past.

You let these mistakes define your financial future.

Or maybe you dwell on the endless Instagram posts from people in your industry that depict the glamour of their financial successes (not knowing that they don’t own that jet, their client rented it for the weekend, or that they have a Ferrari but are potentially hiding it from being repossessed).

Some people believe money is bad or that they don’t deserve financial stability. Especially freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Alternatively, you may have money in the bank, but feel like a fake or fraud for earning it. You might think it was just luck that you have any resources, rather than believing in your own capabilities.

Financial impostor syndrome keeps you from reaching your potential.

Most people who have impostor syndrome also have low self-confidence and fear that they’ll fail. This can self-sabotage success. Instead of taking initiative and making positive changes, someone with impostor syndrome may bury themselves in work and avoid taking on extra responsibilities that could prove themselves.

When it comes to money, you might think that you can’t make changes, so why try? This type of thinking limits you.

Overcoming financial impostor syndrome isn’t going to happen overnight, but it is possible with some work.

1. Talk about it. You have to look at the reality of your situation versus your perception. Work with a mentor or mental health professional who can help you get information about impostor syndrome and help you manage your symptoms. You may want to consider getting a financial coach or manager.

2. Make a list of your accomplishments and successes. Celebrate your achievements. Learn to recognize what you contributed to your successes.

3. Create a new script for times when you feel like a failure. “I can improve my finances.” “I am able to stick to my budget.” I deserve financial freedom.”

4. Change your habits. Take small steps towards financial success. Spend cash only. Automate your savings and your bills. Cut up credit cards. Learn your strengths and weaknesses. Stick to your budget.

Additionally, you must forgive yourself for past mistakes.

Everyone has at least one or two regrets when it comes to their money. We don’t always see those mistakes, because we only hear about the person’s success. If you can’t learn to forgive yourself, you restrict your ability to make changes. Blame and shame never help anyone change behavior.

Make a plan to change your financial impostor syndrome. No matter what you’ve done in the past, you can start making small changes to your financial situation to find a way out. You deserve it.

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