Raising funds for a project can be a very difficult task. In the past, we showed you how to create a donate form for non-profits using WordPress. While donate forms work great, it seems to be a thing of the past. These days people are utilizing crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise a tons of money. But why work on the terms of these third party platforms and pay crazy fees, when you can do it all on your own with a few simple clicks. In this article, we will show you how to raise money with crowdfunding in WordPress.
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a term used to describe an organized effort by individuals to pull funds together for a project or an organization. Often startups use it for raising money by presenting projects to other people and allowing them to fund it rather than giving up equity to investors. Instead of receiving equity, each donor gets a reward of some kind. Usually these rewards include getting a shirt, stickers, other goodies, or an actual product. The reward each donor receives usually base on the amount they donate. Crowdfunding is a great way for individuals, startups, and even non-profit organizations to raise money.
Crowdfunding with WordPress
IgnitionDeck is a WordPress crowdfunding plugin that makes it easy for you to setup your own crowdfunding campaign within minutes. You can utilize their easy to use admin panel and professional skins to customize the look of your site. It has built-in integration of large social networks. Aside from the social networks, the embeddable widget makes it really easy for others to share or even embed your campaign on their sites. You have the ability to create multiple donor levels to reward your supporters accordingly as well as monitor all revenues in real time.
The best part about using IgnitionDeck WordPress crowdfunding plugin over third-party platforms like KickStarter or Indiegogo is that you can eliminate the middleman and third-party fees. We will cover the Pros and Cons later in this article. First lets look at how you can setup a crowdfunding campaign in WordPress.
Setting up a Crowdfunding Campaign in IgnitionDeck
Launching your first campaign takes only a few minutes once you have installed and activated IgnitionDeck. After activation it adds two menus to your WordPress admin menu(Projects and IgnitionDeck). Before you can create your project, you need to configure the plugin, so it works the way you like. Clickk on the IgnitionDeck menu to start modifying the settings.
The settings are easy to follow. You probably should start with choosing a theme for IgnitionDeck projects and enable social buttons. Next you should head on over to the Payment Settings tab where you can provide your PayPal email address. Edit any other settings that you like and click save settings.
Now you are ready to add projects. Go to Projects » Add New Project to start. On this page, you can add the project name along with other details by using the project metabox. You can set the funding goal, campaign start/finish dates, type of campaign etc. Once you are done, then you need to add the shortcode
[project_page_complete product="1"] in to post edit area and publish your project.
After filling out your project details, you would need to create three additional pages. The first page is for project details page, you can leave it to the current page. The second page is the purchase page. This is where users will checkout and make the payment. To display the payment form on that page, you need to use the shortcode
[project_purchase_form] in the page and publish it. The last page is a thank you page. You can use the shortcodes to add content from your project or simply thank users for their contribution. Once you have created those pages, come back to your project and select those pages from the drop down menu.
IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding plugin also creates embedable widgets which allows your users to embed your campaign on other websites. To encourage donations, it has a feature called donor levels. You can set rewards for each level to further motivate the donors.
Pros of using IgnitionDeck
The first obvious benefit of using IgnitionDeck is cost savings. When you are raising money on third-party platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you are paying them for raising money and the amount you pay them depends on how much money you raise. The more money you raise, the more you would be paying them. Using IgnitionDeck you would you not be paying anyone to raise money.
To give you more context: Kickstarter takes 5% of all the money you raise. On top of that you are also subject to the Amazon payment processing fees which is around 3%-5%. That’s about 9% of your total amount raised which can be a lot. On the other side, IgnitionDeck only cost $79. You have to pay 3% payment processing fees to PayPal. If you already have a WordPress site, then you don’t have any added cost. If you don’t have a WordPress site, then you should setup a WordPress site regardless.
IgnitionDeck is hosted on your own WordPress site. You can integrate it deeply with other tools on your website. There are many extensions available for free which can integrate IgnitionDeck with other popular tools such as Mailchimp and Aweber mailing lists, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Drive, Easy Digital Downloads, etc. There is even a module available for Stripe payment gateway in case you want to provide an alternate payment method on your site.
The key is that your brand remains the main focus and people will be contributing because they trust you not because they trust a third party platform. This strengthens your brand and helps you build a strong community of people who are really invested into your product and ideas.
Cons of using IgnitionDeck
Third party platforms like Kickstarter already have a large community of users who trust Kickstarter’s brand. If you are just starting out on your own website then you would probably want to go to a place where users already exist instead of building your own user base. However, if you already have a small community, then you can grow it further with IgnitionDeck.
Another downside of using IgnitionDeck on your own website could be the management of website. You will have to worry about web hosting, upgrades, backups, plugins and maintenance. On Kickstarter, you use their infrastructure to raise the money. However, lets not forget that there is a cost to using their infrastructure which can be way higher than IgnitionDeck and WordPress.
The social reach of a Kickstarter project is an influential factor. To have the same kind of effect on your own website, you will probably have to work a lot harder. Major online publications are always looking at KickStarter projects to see if something interesting catches their eyes.
Raising money with Crowdfunding in WordPress with IgnitionDeck is a cost effective, easy to use, and powerful solution. It is flexible and quite easy to extend and integrate into any WordPress theme. We hope that this article helped you learn how to raise money with crowdfunding in WordPress. Would you like to try crowdfunding on your own site or would you rather use a third-party platform? Let us know by leaving a comment below.