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Crowdfunding can generate startup capital and get supporters involved in your endeavor, but the nature of your business will help determine which site is best for you to use. — Getty Images

Crowdfunding is a popular way to fund startups. Many small business owners turn to crowdfunding sites to share their brand story and cultivate a loyal following. Those who believe in their message often provide monetary support to the business, helping owners meet their goals.

To really sell your company, you’ll want to get personal with your audience, sharing your mission and the intentions behind your brand. The first step, however, is finding the right platform to introduce your business. Here are the top five crowdfunding sites to consider when funding your business.

[Read: Everything You Need to Know About Crowdfunding]

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is one of the most popular and best overall crowdfunding sites. It supports all types of businesses and projects, from arts to food and craft. The site has raised $4.7 billion and successfully funded 173,886 projects since its launch in 2009.

To start your project, set up an account and introduce your business to the world. You’ll have to enter information like location and industry. From there, you’ll set your goal and select a timeframe to achieve it. If you don’t raise the anticipated amount, you won’t receive any of your funding, so you’ll want to allow ample time and set a realistic budget.

Indiegogo

Similar to Kickstarter, Indiegogo allows users to create funding campaigns and share their stories. However, you have the choice between fixed and flexible funding, and are not subject to an all-or-nothing deal (unless you pursue the fixed funding option). There are no associated fees if you fail to meet your goal with fixed funding, but there’s a 5% fee for flexible funds and fixed funds that do meet their goals (on top of the typical processing fees).

From the earliest stages of development, you’ll have access to support from individuals who believe in your brand. The site also provides a guide to walk you through every step of the process.

GoFundMe

GoFundMe is best for personal funding, but often works well for business projects too. At the end of your fundraiser, you get to keep however much was raised (minus processing fees), even if your goal was unmet.

Service-based businesses and nonprofits will find the most success on this site, while product- and profit-based companies may struggle.

Crowdfunding is a popular way to fund startups.

Patreon

If you’re an artist or creative professional, Patreon is a great place for you to start your crowdfunding efforts. This platform supports individuals who create for work. Examples include podcasters, video creators, musicians, writers and game creators.

What sets Patreon aside from other crowdfunding sites is that it acts as a membership program that continuously funds content creation. This can be on a monthly or per-project basis. Essentially, those who are financially supporting you take on the role of “fans.” They admire and enjoy the art/content you produce and want to see/hear/watch more of it, which is why they’re willing to invest in you as an individual.

Fundable

In its first year, Fundable generated over $80 million in funding commitments, and has raised $571 million in total since its launch in 2012. The platform allows entrepreneurs to raise capital for their businesses from investors, customers and friends. They offer hands-on service that guides users from their campaign launch to their marketing efforts. The founders collectively secured funding for Fundable through angel investors and venture capitalists, so they have first-hand experience with the many challenges faced during the business startup process.

Successful campaigns range from healthcare to sports; it doesn’t matter which industry you’re involved in, as long as you have a compelling mission. To set up an account and a fundraiser, simply create a profile and choose a reward or equity campaign. Then, share and promote it.

[Read: 8 Benefits of Equity Crowdfunding]

Using one of these top five crowdfunding sites, you’ll reach your monetary goals and find the means to launch your business in no time. Once you choose the right platform for you, communicate your mission and tell your story to your audience.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published December 16, 2019