If there is one thing that has the ability to magnify the good (and the bad) about practically everything that is ran through and by it, it has got to be the Internet. Our most mundane tasks can be exponentially enjoyable and wide-ranging when given an online version. This is a pattern we have witnessed after how the Internet advanced communications, networking, gaming, and building businesses, among other things. But the one industry that is thriving at a steady pace online is crowdfunding.

While the concept isn’t entirely new, Internet’s influence over it enabled crowdfunding to rally people, while crossing geographical boundaries, to support donation drives for people or organizations in need. The success of many crowdfunding agencies led the establishment of other fundraising websites whose primary goal is to provide assistance to different parties that seek financial aid.

Crowdfunding Explained

The idea of helping others is something that we have all been familiar with, but not everyone is aware of how it is done online in the manner of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is the method of raising funds for projects kicked off by individuals and organizations. This is normally done through the Internet since it provides an inevitably wider audience, and accepts donations in any amount that patrons are willing to contribute.

Charitable ventures aren’t the only purposes crowdfunding serves. Another common beneficiary of crowdfunding efforts are businesses, especially the small ones, which are struggling financially in the midst of a fluctuating economic status. By starting an online fundraiser, entrepreneurs can have a chance to salvage their business from bankruptcy or worse, closing up.

Crowdfunding can be done in two ways: 1) donation-based funding, the first model crowdfunding and the one most people are aware of, involves public announcement of the fundraising and inviting interested parties to contribute; or 2) investment crowdfunding is the method of selling company stocks whether in the form of debt or equity, and use the money accrued to fund an ailing business. The second method can also be done online although this is usually by entrepreneurs.

Picking the Right Crowdfunder

At the end of the day, crowdfunding is a matter of money and therefore trust, so it’s important that you only partner with a fundraising body that is legitimate and efficient. If you’re looking into raising money through crowdfunding, here are five among the best bets you can find.

1.      Kickstarter

A staunch supporter of everything artistic and ingenious, Kickstarter is on a mission to help fund ventures brought to the world by creative minds. The scope of their clientele is of a varied genre as they are willing to crowdfund anything related to art, music, design, film, technology, and a lot more.

Kickstarter takes pride not just on their capacity to accommodate any project that fall into the aforementioned categories but also on empowering the artists to take on full responsibility and ownership of the project. The people behind Kickstarter ensure that every undertaking is unique and allows for the artists to develop it with the help of the backers and project creators.

2.      GoGetFunding

A relatively young but very much alive social fundraising company, GoGetFunding takes in every kind of project, be it a personal cause or a group’s purpose. Motivated by their desire to spark and spread awesomeness, GoGetFunding seeks to provide assistance to any kind of project that requires financial help and allows the recipient to keep all of the contributions amassed. They also provide coaching and advice that you will find useful to your chosen fundraiser. To make the donations easier, GoGetFunding accepts 22 currencies which can be sent through either PayPal or Stripe.

3.      Indiegogo

Founded six years ago by three people who are passionate about different interests, Indiegogo was formed to offer a solution to funding problems encountered by people who have the skills and attitude necessary to their venture’s success but cannot afford to finance it. Indiegogo is open to crowdfunding all types of programs that you wish to raise funds for. They also offer Flexible Funding, a system which allows you keep all the donations accumulated even if you don’t reach your target amount in the given period.

4.      Crowdfunder

Exclusively catering to businesses that need investment crowdfunding, Crowdfunder’s mission is to aid entrepreneurs to sustain their company by helping them raise money and stay in the commerce ecosystem. As they support businesses to establish themselves in the industry, Crowdfunder also aims to strengthen the business community across the globe in the process.

5.      Sellaband

Admittedly a creative way to support musicians and their industry, Sellaband gives fans an opportunity to take part in the creation of the albums their favorite artists and bands are planning to produce. The donations accrued for the projects can be used for expense incurred during recording, production, and promotion of the album. Sellaband gives artists a chance to sustain a career in music without having them worry about how to finance their next project. It also brings the fans closer to their idols and lets them play an important role in their success.

When times are lean and funds are hard to come by, it is comforting to know that there are crowdfunding organizations that are willing to provide assistance in gathering donations to help you pursue a project and make it successful. Just remember to read and understand the agreement before you sign up for anything and be collaborative with the agency that you choose to work with.