Crowdfunding Sites for Non-US Citizens - ToughNickel - Money
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Crowdfunding Sites for Non-US Citizens

Mary loves discovering new things and enjoys sharing these ideas with readers through her articles.

Raising Money Through Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is now a well-established way for people to raise money. Before people had donated to charities, their local school, and churches, but now they can donate directly to other individuals via a crowdfunding platform.

People try to raise money for a variety of things: to travel, to start a business or social project, or to pay for needed medical care. When we wanted to start a crowdfunding campaign for equipment we needed here on our farm, we found our choices were limited because we were not living in the USA. Sites like Kickstarter weren't available to us because of where we lived. It didn't matter that I was American; it had to do with the fact that we were not in the USA or Canada. In the end, we did find a crowdfunding site to use, but I was annoyed that we were deemed unworthy for the other sites, simply because of our location.

This article aims to highlight the choices of crowdfunding sites that allow non-US based people to partake in the crowdfunding experience and help them promote their campaign to people around the world.

Not only will I be listing the sites open to non-US residents, but I will explain the different types of funding and some of the expected costs. For specific details, I would recommend you visit the sites and see for yourself which is a good fit for your needs. Some are targeted at specific types of projects, for example, social improvements including environmental issues, and one site is aimed at those interested in projects related to videoing.

Worldwide Crowdfunding

Worldwide Crowdfunding

Projects for Crowdfunding

The projects people raise money for vary but can be classed into three very broad categories:

  • Technology and innovation: Bringing products to the market including fashion, phone accessories, apps, food, health, and travel.
  • The arts: Projects involving writing, music, dancing, games, photography etc.
  • Social, global and community: Educational, environmental, cultural, and animal rights projects.
Worldwide Crowdfunding Sites

Worldwide Crowdfunding Sites

Ways of Raising Money Through Crowdfunding

There are three options for receiving funds when crowdfunding, and not every site offers all of these choices. This may affect your decision on which platform you ultimately choose.

  1. A fixed option means you need to hit your target, or you don't receive your funds. Most of the sites use this method. The money donated is put into an escrow account, and if you fail to reach your target, the money is returned to the donors.
  2. A more flexible option is where you'll get your funds whether your target is reached or not. The people who donate know they will not be receiving their money back; it's just a donation to your cause. This is held in an escrow account until the campaign ends. This is the method we used in our campaign to fund our equipment. Although we didn't reach our target, we were able to put that money towards farm equipment. This is referred to as flexible funding.
  3. The third way is for your supporter to become a continuous patron or sponsor. Using this method, the donor would pay for each record, video, or book, for example. Let's say, for example, you love someone's videos on YouTube and want to give them money, so they can create more. Each time they put out a new video, you will be charged. It may a couple of dollars or more depending on how much you wish to give. The amount you contribute can be altered or deleted altogether. Some creatives, this is the phrase used, upload their work often, perhaps every week, as in a new YouTube video. Other people may be producing an album or a book, which takes more time; in this case, a sponsor may wish to donate money monthly.They are paying that person a small wage so the creator can continue working without the pressure of needing to go out and find a day job. This type of site, of which Patreon is one, accepts a per month payment or a per-project payment.
Donations through crowdfunding

Donations through crowdfunding

Costs of Crowdfunding

The costs for crowdfunding need to be taken into account before you launch your first campaign. There are no costs when you sign up with the crowdfunding site, and there will be nothing to pay if you use the 'all or nothing' option and aren't successful.

  • Platform charges: If your campaign is successful and you reach or surpass your target, you will be charged. The fees are listed in the table on this page and also on the individual crowdfunding sites. Besides the fees payable to the platform, there are also credit card, Paypal, or money transfer fees to pay.
  • Rewards: You will probably offer rewards or perks to donors: for example, a personal note of thanks for smaller amounts, or tangible products such as t-shirts or albums, items that apply to your craft or have your logo printed on them. For our campaign, we offered a thank you for smaller donations, plus a blog writing service, a vacation at our home, and a photographic shoot. If your rewards are non-digital, you will need to factor in the cost of postage for shipping them.
  • Taxes: You will be required to pay tax on the money you receive.

As soon as you list your campaign you will be inundated with people who want to promote it for a fee. This is an option, and if your social media circle isn't large, you may want to consider this. Places such as Fiverr have numerous people who will promote your cause. However, read the comments to see if any people had responses as a result of this promotion method. Twitter and Facebook are also popular places to post your campaign.

Name of CrowdfundingOptionsCosts

Indiegogo.com

Fixed (All or nothing) or flexible

5% +3% credit card fees (0% for non-profit)

KissKissBankBank.com

All or nothing

5% + 3% if target is reached

Ulele.com

All or nothing

Varies depending on location of creator and payment method

Touscoprod.com

All or nothing

5% + 3% if target is reached

Startsomegood.com

All or nothing

5%

Crowdfunder.co.uk

All or nothing or flexible

6% VAT included + Paypal or credit card fees

Patreon.com

Ongoing Payments

8% plus other payout fees

List of Non-US Crowdfunding Sites

The following is a list of sites that accept people from around the world. I have also listed their current Alexa ranking which shows their popularity on the web and also how much has been raised on their site.

Indiegogo is the largest and most popular of the crowdfunding sites available to use if outside the US. This was the site we used. Their Alexa ranking is 1842 showing its popularity. As you can see in the table, they offer both flexible and fixed options. At the time of writing, through their site creatives have raised more than $1 billion and they have campaigns from 223 different countries.

Ulele: Currently, Ulele has projects from people in 201 different countries. In order to start a campaign, you have to be 18 years old or older and live in a country which uses one of the following currencies: €, $ (US, CAD etc.), or £.

KissKissbankbank: This crowdfunding site accepts international creators. They too work on the all or nothing rule. With more than €66 million raised, they are steadily climbing in the ranks of crowdfunding sites. Their tagline is 'Let's Unleash Creativity.' Their Alexa ranking is 121,876.

Patreon: This is an ongoing payment. You will be charged 8% of all money which comes in whether it is a monthly payment or per item. Think of this as a paycheck from people who want you to succeed. Their Alexa rank is a fantastic 385 at the time of updating this article.

Crowdfunder.co.uk has both flexible funding and all or nothing. Based in the UK, their fees are slightly higher than the others and vary due to VAT and country of the creator. Via their site, their creators have received £37,000.000. Their Alexa ranking is 117,583.

Touscoprod.com is based in France and accepts crowdfunding campaigns from people around the world who want to make films, television programs, or documentaries. It is aimed at those who are interested in video-related projects. The people who fund you would be co-producers although the creator always holds all copyrights. The average raised on their site is €8,000 and this is on an all or nothing basis. They charge 5% and 3% bank fees.

Startsomegood.com is slightly different in that they are a crowdfunding site for making positive changes on a broader scale. They want campaigns which will have a positive social, global or environmental impact. Their fee is also 5%. They have 24-hour support with virtual agents in Australia, UK, and the US. Their tag line is 'We help world-changing projects succeed'. With an Alexa ranking at 444,887, they have played a crucial role in helping 765 projects get funded with more than $7 million raised.

Helping You Succeed

All of the sites listed want your campaign to succeed and offer help and guidance even before your launch. Read what you can to get your project up and running successfully.

Their guides are free to download on their sites and will help you maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: What are the requirements for crowdfunding?

Answer: That will depend on the site you use. Find your preferred crowdfunding site, and read their terms and conditions. If their requirements are acceptable to you, opt for another site.

Question: I am a marathon runner, and I organize fund raising runs for community projects, especially schools. I would like to organize a fund raising run to help buy at least 10 good second hand or indeed new desktop computers for Michelo Primarry School in southern province of Ambia. What am I supposed to do in order to be funded?

Answer: The first thing is to decide which platform or crowdfunding site you want to use. I have listed some in this article that you could start with. See which one is best suited to your needs. Then begin to promote. This will be locally and on social media channels. Contact businessmen in your area, who can help you promote to a larger audience.

Although there are sites for one-off payments, look at potentially doing one that is on going, as schools always have a need for cash. Patreon is one site where you can have an ongoing payment system. You would need to update it frequently, but if you were to highlight school and village/town activities, you may do well.

When you go to any of these sites, they will show you examples of campaigns that have done well, and give you free advice on how to make yours successful.

© 2017 Mary Wickison

Comments

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 12, 2019:

Hi Emanuel,

You'll need to use a crowdfunding site such as I've listed in this article. They will obviously take a commission from any money received.

It will be your responsibility to share across social media channels and promote it to friends, family members, and colleagues.

In essence you will be creating a business plan that is open to the public with hopes of generating capital. Build up a following of people who support your idea before you launch your campaign.

Emanuel Sichali on November 11, 2019:

Hey am a Malawian doing an agricultural project with the rural farmers within the communities to up scale the farming technology by capacity building as well as implementing new technologies relevant to Agriculture and development. I need money to accomplish this task.

So how can I get a donor or any source of funds to help me

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 10, 2019:

Hi Mutasa,

You would first need to contact one of the companies who do crowdfunding. They merely are the platform for you to post your plan, gather the money and then if successful, pass it on to you.

It is unlikely they will promote for you. You need to attract a following on social media before beginning a campaign.

Unless you have friends and family willing to help you out, you need people to get behind you. Start to get followers well before you plan to launch your campaign.

Get people interested first and them, ask for support.

Mutasa Denis on November 09, 2019:

Hey am Mutasa Denis from Uganda and I have a project am running so I would like to know how do I get donors?

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on October 13, 2019:

Hello Chezhian,

You will have to use one of the sites listed above and view their rules and regulation. Each of those will offer you guidelines and guidance for the best way to proceed and promote yourself and your cause.

On those sites, you'll see other people that have done this before you. Some are successful and will give you ideas to help you along.

Chezhian Yoseph on October 13, 2019:

I am Indian, I have one research foundation (Trust), I register my Trust as per the Indian Government Rules or Act. It's purely for Scientific Research Activities only. How can I get FUND for my Research Proposal. One more thing I don't have FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) account. I have only Indian Current/Trust Account only. I am only eligibility to get Indian funds only. Please guide me the exact procedure. I have completed my Ph.D. degree in Zoology, I am taxonomist also. I have more than 20 scientific publications. Please help me and guide me to get Funds for Research Activities.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on January 17, 2019:

Hi Adikhan,

That is the traditional way of funding a business, it's true. However by using the crowdfunding system, people will pay you if they like your idea, there would be no need to repay your supporters.

If you were to choose Patreon, you would produce content on an ongoing basis. Your supporters would pay you either for each piece of content you produce, or on a monthly basis.

Adilkhan on January 17, 2019:

I want to set up my business for Wich I need money which I will repay gradually as loan amount.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 21, 2018:

Hi Lourdes,

Crowdfunding to raise money to help animals is a worthy cause. However, to get people to donate money to your campaign, you will need to show what you have already done to start.

In essence you need the equivalent of a business plan to show how any money raised will be spent. If you have already been helping animals then that is a great start. Begin documenting what you are doing, and the cost and time involved.

Begin building a network of people who can help you and also those who are supportive of your work. The more visibility your cause can raise before you launch your crowdfunding campaign the better.

For a continual revenue, consider putting videos up on YouTube and also try Patreon in conjunction with YouTube.

I would also suggest, although there are many videos and crowdfunding campaigns in Spanish, if you can have your videos subtitled or dubbed into English you will reach a wider audience.

Good luck with your crowdfunding activities.

Lourdes Gómez on November 12, 2018:

Hello i am from Argentina and i want to know how i to do to earn money for animals help. ( Sorry for my english) :)

Thank you.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on February 01, 2018:

Hi Mary,

Let me tell you, it is frustrating. It isn't just crowdfunding sites, it's also many writing sites which just do not want to allow non-US or Canadian participation. I have tried to explain that I am a US citizen living abroad but it still makes no difference.

I'm glad you found this useful.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 01, 2018:

I wish I had seen this when I was in Cambodia and trying to start my friends there on their crowdfunding. I just couldn't get though without using my own personal attributes which I did not want to do. Maybe I did not understand the various choices. Thanks for this.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on July 19, 2017:

Hi Mona,

Although it is becoming much more acceptable, we found it akin to begging. I think partly due to our ages. The people who donated wanted to help us out and as a result, we were able to purchase equipment for our farm. To be honest, it was a humbling experience and made me believe in the generosity of people again.

There are so many different avenues people can take to raise funds for a wide variety of projects through crowdfunding. Some who are seeking continual funding through sites such as Patreon may be writing a book, making an album, or even sailing around the world chronicling their adventures.

I think there are always people who want to support those with a dream.

I'm pleased you found it interesting and thanks for reading.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 18, 2017:

This is such an interesting idea. The fact that you were able to raise your funds through crowdsourcing makes it seem like a more realistic option for me because you have done it. Congratulations! I hope that you give us a blow by blow account here on Hub Pages so that we can enjoy your experience with you.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 30, 2017:

Hi Dora,

Yes, you're right. When we were running our crowdfunding campaign, we either personally knew the people who had contributed or were connected to them through social media. It is a way of giving which I think will grow and grow.

Thank you for reading.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 30, 2017:

This is all new to me. I like the options and the fact that contributions are traceable. Thanks for the details.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 26, 2017:

Hi Audrey,

That is excellent to hear. I think many people are willing to give, we just have to ask. The power of people can make a huge difference when pooled together.

Thanks for reading today.

Audrey Howitt from California on April 26, 2017:

This is a great article--so very handy--we crowdfunded a portion of my younger daughter's master's work in Europe a couple of years back--and it really helped

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 26, 2017:

Hi Ashley,

Yes, those 3 are the ones which commonly known. Because you are in the USA, all of those are open to you. For those of us, not in the US, our choices are more limited.

When we did our crowdfunding campaign, Kickstarter was where we first looked, and sadly were disappointed when they didn't accept people living abroad.

In the end, we promoted our campaign through Indiegogo and were happy with their platform.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Ashley John from USA on April 26, 2017:

Great info. Before this I only know about kickstarter,Indiegogo and Patreon.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 25, 2017:

Hi Louise,

I've just had a look at the JustGive site. From what I see, this is for donating to charities.

Crowdfunding is different, in that people may run a campaign to start a business, invent a product or a whole variety of things. One person raised money to make the perfect ham sandwich and Amanda Palmer, I believe was the first to raise over $1,000,000 from supporters to produce her album. That was on Kickstarter and now she is on Patreon.

There are many clever people who are raising a lot of money to support their ideas.

Thanks for reading.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on April 25, 2017:

To be honest, I've never heard of any of these website. The only funding website I've heard of is justgive.com. But this one sounds really interesting.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 25, 2017:

I think crowdfunding is a brilliant way to show support. I believe people want to help for the greater good but didn't know how to. I love the ideas and creative solutions shown on the sites.

Good luck with your Patreon campaign, I think that site is going ballistic and for good reason.

Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 25, 2017:

Hi Bill,

It doesn't take as much time as you think unless you use Patreon for an ongoing payment. For that site, you have to keep producing.

If you find the secret to produce more hours in the day, let me know.

Buildreps from Europe on April 25, 2017:

Interesting article, Mary. I just recently started a crowd funding campaign on Patreon. I heard about Kickstarter, but never of these other sites you mention in the table. Somehow I never considered even looking into the subject and went straight to Patreon. Thanks for the writing and the information.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 25, 2017:

Great information, Mary. Bev keeps asking me to start up a crowdfunding site, and I keep asking her to find me an extra ten hours per day. So far nothing has happened. :)

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