IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter: What Aspiring Entrepreneurs Should Know

by Stanley


As an aspiring entrepreneur, you’re probably considering using a crowdfunding platform to raise funds for your creative or entrepreneurial venture. 

Crowdfunding has gained immense popularity in recent years, allowing many businesses and projects to secure necessary funding from the public instead of relying solely on traditional investors or loans. 

Two of the most prominent platforms in the crowdfunding space are IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, but which one should you choose for your campaign?

This article will dive into a comparison of IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter, highlighting their features, pros, cons, and key differences. 

Understanding each platform’s nuances and benefits can help you decide which one suits your specific needs and requirements for your crowdfunding campaign.

Key Takeaways

  • IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are popular crowdfunding platforms for different types of projects.
  • Each platform has unique features, funding models, and fees to consider when choosing.
  • Selecting the right platform can significantly impact your campaign’s success and support from backers.

What Is IndieGoGo?

What is IndieGoGo

IndieGoGo is a popular crowdfunding platform that helps bring your innovative ideas to life. Founded in 2008, this platform’s mission is to empower aspiring entrepreneurs like you to turn your dreams into a reality. 

With a focus on providing a global community and diverse funding options, IndieGoGo has become a go-to platform for many creative projects.

As you explore this platform, you’ll notice that it hosts a wide range of projects, from technology to arts, design and social impact initiatives. This inclusivity makes IndieGoGo a great choice for entrepreneurs with unique and innovative ideas.

One of the reasons IndieGoGo stands out is its flexible funding options. You can decide whether you want to go with a fixed or flexible funding campaign. 

In a fixed campaign, you only receive funds if you reach your goal, whereas flexible funding allows you to keep whatever you raise, even if you don’t meet your target. 

While showcasing your project on IndieGoGo, you can connect with backers from all around the world. These supportive individuals not only contribute financially but can also become advocates for your project, helping to spread the word and generate more interest.

Pros and Cons of IndieGoGo


  • IndieGoGo InDemand. This feature allows you to keep raising funds post-campaign, which means you can continue generating income even after the initial crowdfunding phase is over.
  • Fixed or flexible funding. You can choose between all-or-nothing or keep what you raise campaign options, providing more flexibility and less risk, depending on your project and needs.
  • Broader collection of projects. IndieGoGo is known for offering a wider variety of projects, including tech, design, and charity campaigns, giving you a larger audience and potentially more support.
Overview of IndieGoGo


  • Less popular than Kickstarter. IndieGoGo may not have the same level of popularity compared to its main competitor, Kickstarter, which could affect the visibility of your project.
  • Mandatory perks or rewards. When you use IndieGoGo, you must always ship your perks or rewards, meaning you’ll need to plan accordingly and have a system in place to deliver on your promises.
  • Platform fees. Just like other crowdfunding platforms, you’ll need to pay fees to IndieGoGo, so take this into account when planning your campaign budget.

What Is Kickstarter?

What is Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a popular crowdfunding platform that helps bring creative projects to life. Launched in 2009, it has since become a go-to place for aspiring entrepreneurs like you who want to showcase and fund their ideas. 

Its core principle revolves around connecting project creators with backers, allowing people to support projects ranging from innovative technologies and products to film, music, games, and more.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you should know that Kickstarter provides a unique opportunity to generate significant funding for your project. 

It has an all-or-nothing funding model, meaning you only receive the funds if the project meets or exceeds its funding goal. This helps ensure that both you and your backers are confident in your project’s viability.

When you create a Kickstarter campaign, you’ll have the chance to offer rewards to your backers, often in the form of products, services, or unique experiences. 

These rewards not only serve as incentives for people to support your project but also help you engage with your audience and build a loyal community.

Keep in mind that Kickstarter has certain guidelines and rules for projects that must be followed, focusing on creative projects and avoiding charity or personal causes. 

By sticking to these guidelines, you ensure that your campaign has the best chance of being approved and gaining the support you need.

Pros and Cons of Kickstarter


  • Backers support winners. People are more likely to fund your project if they see it already reaching some level of success. In fact, about 9 out of 10 campaigns that reach a 25% funding level eventually meet or exceed their goals.
  • Great for creative projects. Kickstarter focuses on backing creative projects like art, music, and technology. If your project falls within these categories, you might find a more passionate and supportive audience on Kickstarter.
  • All-or-nothing funding. Kickstarter campaigns work on an all-or-nothing funding model, meaning you only get the funds if you reach your target goal. This protects both the creators and the backers from the risk of underfunded projects.
  • Collaborative atmosphere. Kickstarter feels more collaborative and personal, making it a great place for creators to find inspiration and support.
Overview of Kickstarter


  • Limited campaign types. Unlike IndieGoGo, Kickstarter has restrictions on the types of campaigns you can run. You can’t use Kickstarter for charity projects, disaster relief, or environmental campaigns, as it is not designed for non-creative projects.
  • Higher fees. Kickstarter charges a fee of 5% on the total funds raised, plus payment processing fees. These fees could be higher than other platforms, reducing the overall amount of money you receive after a successful campaign.

IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter: A Comparison of Features

Project CategoriesTech, design, broader scopeCreative products, media
Campaign Setup & RequirementsLess stringentMore strict
Project Duration1 to 60 daysMaximum 60 days
Funding ModelsFixed and flexibleAll-or-nothing
Application & ApprovalMore lenient processStricter process
Fees & Costs5% + processing fees (vary with model)5% + processing fees
Product DeliveryCreator responsibilityCreator responsibility
Rewards & PerksYesYes
Marketing & PromotionStandard tools providedLarger backer community
Referral ProgramYesNo

Project Categories

IndieGoGo’s Project Categories

IndieGoGo offers a wide range of project categories for you to choose from. They are particularly known for their tech and design projects, but also have categories such as community projects, creative works, and environmental initiatives. 

With IndieGoGo, you have the flexibility to raise funds for various types of projects, so whether you’re launching a new innovative product or supporting a local cause, IndieGoGo has a category for you. 

The platform is also available for projects taking place around the world, catering to a global audience.

IndieGoGo's project categories

Kickstarter’s Project Categories

On the other hand, Kickstarter is more catered towards projects in the creative, arts, and media industries. They have a strong focus on sharing creative or serviceable products such as films, books, games, and art installations. 

Kickstarter has specific categories, such as film and video, games, publishing, and more, where creators can showcase their innovative ideas and attract backers who share their interests. 

While Kickstarter may not have as broad of a project category selection as IndieGoGo, it has become a popular choice for creators within the creative and cultural sectors looking for a community to support their endeavors.

Campaign Setup and Requirements

IndieGoGo’s Campaign Setup and Requirements

To set up a campaign on IndieGoGo, you’ll need to create an account and then provide your campaign details, including your funding goal, time frame, and the rewards you’ll offer backers.

IndieGoGo allows both for-profit and nonprofit campaigns, and it doesn’t have strict guidelines on the type of projects you can launch. 

This is perfect if you have an innovative idea that might not fit traditional categories. Just make sure your campaign is transparent, clearly demonstrates your project, and meets IndieGoGo’s guidelines.

Kickstarter’s Campaign Setup and Requirements

Unlike IndieGoGo, Kickstarter has more specific campaign requirements. First, you’ll need to set up a profile and then create your project. 

Kickstarter requires creative projects from one of their specified categories, like art, design, or technology. Ensure that your project aligns with Kickstarter’s rules, as it needs approval before going live.

When determining your funding goal and time frame, think carefully about your project’s needs. Unlike IndieGoGo, Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model. If you don’t reach your goal, none of your backers are charged, and you won’t receive any funds.

To attract backers, offer compelling rewards such as early access to your product or exclusive behind-the-scenes content related to your project. Keep in mind that your campaign should focus on engaging backers and keeping them updated on your progress.

Kickstarter funding model

Project Duration

IndieGoGo’s Project Duration

When planning your campaign on IndieGoGo, you have the flexibility to choose your project duration. You can set your campaign to last anywhere between 1 and 60 days. 

It’s important to consider your marketing strategy and the time required to reach your funding goal. 

Keep in mind that shorter campaigns tend to maintain a sense of urgency, which can encourage backers to contribute sooner. On the other hand, longer campaigns give you more time to promote your project and engage potential backers.

Kickstarter’s Project Duration

Kickstarter offers a slightly narrower range of options for your project duration. You can run your campaign for any length of time between 1 and 60 days, but they recommend aiming for 30 days or less. 

Their research has shown that projects with a duration of 30 days or less typically have higher success rates. 

This could be because shorter campaign durations create a sense of urgency among potential backers, encouraging them to support your project more quickly.

Funding Models and Fees

IndieGoGo’s Funding and Fees

IndieGoGo offers two funding models for you to choose from: Flexible Funding and Fixed Funding. 

Flexible Funding allows you to keep the money raised, even if you don’t meet your funding goal. In contrast, Fixed Funding returns the money to your backers if the goal is not met. This choice depends on your needs and the requirements of your project.

When it comes to fees, IndieGoGo charges a platform fee of 5% of the total funds raised, regardless of the funding model you choose. Additionally, there may be payment processing fees, which vary depending on the method used.

IndieGoGo's funding model

Kickstarter’s Funding and Fees

Unlike IndieGoGo, Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model, similar to IndieGoGo’s Fixed Funding. This means if your project doesn’t reach its funding goal, all the funds will be returned to your backers, and your project won’t receive any money.

Kickstarter’s platform fees are also 5% of the total funds raised if your project is successful. Additionally, payment processing fees will apply, usually ranging between 3% and 5% of the total amount pledged.

Application and Approval

IndieGoGo’s Application Process

IndieGoGo has a straightforward application process. Your first step is to create an account on their platform. After that, you can start setting up your campaign by providing the necessary details about your project.

As you begin, you’ll be asked to provide information about your idea, such as its purpose, target audience, and funding goal. It’s essential to present a clear and concise project page to attract backers.

While IndieGoGo doesn’t require a prototype for every type of project, having one, if relevant, is a good idea. This step will showcase the progress and functionality of your product, helping potential backers to see its potential.

Upon submitting your campaign, IndieGoGo will typically review it within a few days. Following the review, they will inform you whether your campaign has been approved or needs changes.

Kickstarter’s Application Process

Kickstarter’s application process differs slightly from IndieGoGo. First, you need to create an account and follow their guidelines while setting up your project.

Your project must fit within one of Kickstarter’s specific categories and abide by their rules. It’s crucial to follow these guidelines to ensure your project’s approval. 

For some product categories, Kickstarter requires a working prototype, demonstrating that your idea is functional and feasible.

Building your project page is also an essential part of the process. Provide comprehensive information about your project, including its story, purpose, and objectives. This will help show your credibility to the potential backers.

Kickstarter's application process

Once your project is complete, you can submit it for review. The review process can take up to three business days, during which Kickstarter will assess it to ensure it meets their criteria. 

If your project is approved, you can launch it on the platform and begin attracting crowdfunding support.

Product Delivery

IndieGoGo’s Product Delivery

One of the key aspects of your campaign is product delivery. If your project is technology or design-focused, it’s important to update your backers regularly on the progress and expected delivery timeline. 

IndieGoGo allows you to communicate with your backers and keep them informed throughout the entire process. Keeping your backers happy is crucial as they are the ones investing their money and trust in your project.

Kickstarter’s Product Delivery

Similar to IndieGoGo, ensuring timely product delivery is essential for a successful campaign.

As an entrepreneur using Kickstarter, it’s important to remember once again that this platform operates on an all-or-nothing funding model. 

This means if you don’t reach your funding goal, you won’t receive any money, and no products will be delivered to your backers.

Rewards and Perks

IndieGoGo’s Rewards and Perks

IndieGoGo offers a wide variety of rewards and perks for backers who support your campaign. These incentives make it more appealing for people to contribute to your project. 

You have the freedom to be creative and offer unique perks that resonate with your target audience. For example, you can offer early access to your product, one-of-a-kind experiences, or personalized items. 

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to ensure your rewards are enticing for potential backers, while still maintaining your project’s budget.

IndieGoGo allows you to create perk levels with limited and unlimited quantities, giving you more flexibility in tailoring your rewards to your backers’ preferences. 

You can also include perks that are time-sensitive, encouraging people to contribute early on in the campaign.

Rewards and perks

Kickstarter’s Rewards and Perks

Kickstarter, like IndieGoGo, also offers rewards for backers who pledge to support your project. These rewards, often called “tiers,” incentivize people to contribute to your campaign. 

You can offer a range of rewards to accommodate different pledge amounts, such as exclusive access, personalized items, and limited edition products.

On Kickstarter, perks are called rewards and their levels can be unlimited, giving backers a sense of getting something in return for their support. 

You can create timed rewards, which are available only for a limited period, giving people an incentive to pledge sooner rather than later.

Marketing and Promotion

IndieGoGo’s Marketing and Promotion

IndieGoGo offers a variety of marketing and promotion tools to help your campaign succeed. The platform has a strong brand recognition, which can be advantageous when reaching out to potential backers.

One of the key tools IndieGoGo offers is their Marketplace. It’s a great way to gain more visibility for your campaign, as it showcases successful products that are either in pre-order or have already been shipped. This can help your project stand out among others.

Additionally, IndieGoGo allows you to create tailored ads and promotions to reach your target audience. This includes cross-promotion with other campaigns, which can be effective if you partner with complementary projects rather than competitors. 

When choosing campaigns to cross-promote with, consider searching for products in the same category, but not for the same product or service.

Your campaign can also benefit from IndieGoGo’s social media presence. With a large following on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, your campaign can reach a wider audience and potentially gain more backers.

Kickstarter’s Marketing and Promotion

Kickstarter is a well-known crowdfunding platform with a solid brand recognition, which can help your campaign stand out to potential backers. 

Kickstarter’s website is user-friendly and showcases various projects, making it easier for potential backers to discover and support campaigns like yours.

Marketing and promotion

One advantage of Kickstarter’s marketing strategy is their focus on creative projects. This emphasis attracts a specific audience that values original, artistic, and innovative ideas. Kickstarter can potentially help your project gain more backers interested in your type of project.

Kickstarter also offers tools for targeted ads and outreach. Incorporating social media into your marketing strategy can help you spread the word about your campaign, reaching a wider audience and increasing the chances of funding success.

Referral Program

IndieGoGo’s Referral Program

IndieGoGo offers a referral program to help you spread the word about your campaign. By sharing your campaign with friends, family, and social media followers, you can earn additional funds for your project.

To get started with IndieGoGo’s referral program, you need to provide a unique referral link to your network. 

When people contribute to your campaign through this link, you’ll receive a percentage of the funds raised from those referred contributions. The more people you refer, the more funds you’ll potentially earn for your campaign.

Referral rewards can be a great way to add extra funding and get more people excited about your project. 

Keep in mind that the referral program is available to all IndieGoGo campaigns, so make sure to share your unique link and encourage people to support your project.

Kickstarter’s Referral Program

Kickstarter does not offer a built-in referral program like IndieGoGo. However, you can create your own referral program by using third-party tools and services.

One way to create your own referral program is through Kickbooster. Kickbooster allows you to offer rewards to people who share your campaign with their network. 

The platform tracks referrals and calculates rewards automatically, helping you effectively manage the referral process.

Referral program

By offering incentives to people who share your Kickstarter campaign, you can increase the visibility of your project and attract more backers. 

Keep in mind that running a referral program through a third-party service may involve additional costs and setup time, so be sure to consider your options and choose what works best for you and your campaign.

IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter: Choosing the Right Platform

As an aspiring entrepreneur, it’s crucial to understand the differences between IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to choose the right platform for your project. 

Both platforms help bring creative ideas to life, but they cater to different campaign goals, target audiences, and project types. Here’s a brief guide to help you make an informed decision.

1. Campaign Goals

Are you looking to raise a fixed or flexible amount of funds? 

Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model, which means if you don’t meet your funding goal, you won’t receive any money. 

On the other hand, IndieGoGo offers both fixed and flexible funding, allowing you to keep the funds raised regardless of whether or not you meet your target.

2. Target Audience

Choosing the right platform also depends on your target audience. 

Kickstarter has more of a community-driven focus and a strong base of backers who are passionate about creative projects, like films, music, and art. 

IndieGoGo, however, is more diverse and has a broader audience base, including tech enthusiasts, environmental innovators, and social impact supporters.

IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter target audience

3. Project Type

The type of project you’re launching plays a significant role in selecting a platform. 

While you can find creative projects on both platforms, Kickstarter’s focus lies in sharing creative products and media, including design, film, and art projects. 

IndieGoGo supports a wide range of projects, such as tech products, local community initiatives, and even social impact campaigns.

To sum up, weigh your campaign goals, target audience, and project type when deciding between IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. 

Opt for Kickstarter if you have a creative project with a well-defined goal and an enthusiastic community. 

Conversely, choose IndieGoGo if you’re looking for more flexibility in funding and a diverse range of projects, including technology, innovation, and social impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Success Rate between IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter?

Indiegogo and Kickstarter success rates can vary depending on project type, goals, and strategies. 

Generally, Kickstarter has a slightly higher success rate, with approximately 38% of projects meeting their funding goals. 

In comparison, Indiegogo has a lower success rate but offers more flexibility in funding options, such as receiving partial funding even if the target isn’t met. 

It’s essential to consider your specific project and goals before choosing a platform.

Are There Any Project Category Restrictions on IndieGoGo or Kickstarter?

Both Indiegogo and Kickstarter have project category restrictions in place. 

Kickstarter is quite strict about what types of projects can be launched on their platform. They require projects to fit into their predetermined categories and have a clear, creative, and tangible outcome. 

Some examples of prohibited projects on Kickstarter are projects that promote hate speech, offer equity or financial incentives, or involve controlled substances.

IndieGoGo, on the other hand, is more flexible when it comes to project categories. They allow a wider range of projects, including charity and non-profit campaigns. However, they still have guidelines and restrictions in place to ensure the platform is used responsibly.

Can a Project Be Launched on Both IndieGoGo and Kickstarter Simultaneously?

While it’s technically possible to launch your project on both IndieGoGo and Kickstarter at the same time, it’s not recommended. 

Both platforms have their policies and requirements, and managing two simultaneous campaigns can be challenging and time-consuming. 

Additionally, the crowdfunding community might perceive this as a lack of commitment or dedication to a single campaign, which could negatively impact your project’s success.

Instead, consider researching both platforms thoroughly and choosing the one that best suits your project’s needs and goals. 

After completing a successful campaign on one platform, you can consider using the other platform for a follow-up campaign or a different project altogether.

IndieGoGo vs Kickstarter: The Verdict

When it comes to choosing the right crowdfunding platform for your venture, there are key differences between IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. 

While IndieGoGo is known for its flexible campaigns and a diverse collection of projects, Kickstarter is more focused on creative products and media, offering an “all-or-nothing” funding model.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, consider the type of project you are launching and the level of support you require. 

If your idea needs flexible funding and a varied audience, IndieGoGo could be the way to go. 

However, if you’re launching a creative product and need the pressure of an all-or-nothing environment to drive success, Kickstarter might be your best bet.

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About the Author

stanley nieh ceo


Over 10 years of experience in foreign trade
Helped 2k+ customers improve their dropshipping businesses

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