Crowdfunding has been around for centuries, but took off after the arrival of crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter in the late 2000s. With these powerful platforms, it’s never been easier to get a project up-and-running with a group of loyal supporters.
The concept of crowdfunding is simple — people pledge money to support a project, and in return they receive benefits based on how much they pledge, sometimes dependent on whether or not the project meets its fundraising goal.
In practice, though, making a crowdfunding website of your own can be tricky. There are a lot of balls in the air: safely handling payments, creating tiers and rewards for donors, user registration, updating pledges at project milestones, and, of course, making the whole thing look good.
That’s why we recommend that WordPress users try a crowdfunding plugin. In this guide, we’ve compiled seven high-quality WordPress plugins you can use to make your own crowdfunding site. Whether you want to build a new product or a community of entrepreneurs, these are your best options:
Best Crowdfunding WordPress Plugins
- WP Crowdfunding
- Ignition deck
- Crowdfunding for WooCommerce
- Patreon WordPress
- Galaxy Funder
Best for: First-time crowdfunding website owners.
If your goal is to convert your WordPress site into a dedicated crowdfunding website, we recommend trying WP Crowdfunding first. Backed by a well-known developer, this freemium plugin is well-reviewed, reliable, and a strong choice for fundraising and crowdfunding projects.
WP Crowdfunding is based around WooCommerce — when you install it, it converts your WooCommerce store into a Kickstarter-like website with the essential features you’d expect. The free version allows users to sign up and create campaigns, set goals and dates, add project descriptions and give updates, and offer one type of reward with estimated delivery date per campaign. Pages are sleek and user-friendly, giving your crowdfunding site a professional feel.
There’s also a premium version of the plugin. Starting at $149 per year for one website, you’ll get unlimited rewards with estimated delivery dates, a built-in fund tracking system, CAPTCHA, analytics, email notifications, social sharing, and support from the development team.
Overall, WP Crowdfunding is an excellent first choice for WordPress users kicking off a fundraising site, making it easy to get set up and start collecting pledges.
Best for: Experienced website owners who want a tailored, powerful crowdfunding site.
IgnitionDeck may be the most powerful WordPress crowdfunding plugin on the market. In fact, it calls itself not just a plugin, but a crowdfunding platform. At its core, IgnitionDeck lets you make a crowdfunding website for users to create campaigns or make donations to existing ones. However, this plugin can do a lot more than that, if you’re willing to pay.
While the IgnitionDeck plugin itself is free to download, the free version is pretty limited and only recommended for sampling the tool. Its enterprise plans start at $149 per year and grant you access to a wealth of premium features. These features are made available through modules, either included in your plan or purchased separately. Modules enable things like social sharing, Google Analytics, Kickstarter integration, anonymous checkout, and integration with payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon.
To blend in with your existing site, IgnitionDeck works with almost all WordPress themes, but it includes one theme with its free version. The developers have also made seven premium themes built to work specifically with IgnitionDeck for the smoothest experience.
Best for: Collecting donations.
While GiveWP isn’t technically a crowdfunding plugin, we still think it’s worth considering. It’s one of the most popular donation plugins available for WordPress, and will enable your website to collect donations for one or multiple causes. If you only want to run your own campaigns and don’t want visitors to create campaigns, GiveWP can make it happen.
The first thing that stands out about GiveWP is its exceptional design — its displays are clean and easily customizable from your dashboard. For submitting donations, you’ll have access to a donation form builder and several payment gateways to integrate. As donations come in, you can track your campaign’s progress. You can even allow recurring donations.
With the paid version of GiveWP, starting at $149 per year, you’ll get the bonus of integrations with MailChimp and Stripe, text-to-give functionality, PDF receipts sent to donors, campaign reports, and premium support.
For more info on getting started with GiveWP, check out this video from the plugin developers:
Best for: Free, basic crowdfunding features as an extension of WooCommerce.
We’ve covered some powerful premium options, but what if you want something simpler? And also free-er? The Crowdfunding for WooCommerce plugin might be just what you need — this tool extends WooCommerce to enable crowdfunding options on products listed in your store. As far as crowdfunding plugins go, this is as straightforward as it gets, and it’s completely free to use.
After activating Crowdfunding for WooCommerce, you can go to any of your product pages and turn it into a campaign. Set a pledge amount, starting and ending dates, donation CTA buttons, and the ability to “name your price.” Visitors may also make their own projects through a form and submit them for your approval.
For each campaign, you can customize what information to display, including number of pledges, amount raised, distance to your goal (with a progress bar). With its many shortcodes, the plugin lets you put campaigns anywhere in your theme. You can also set up email notifications to send to donors when your campaigns update or end.
Best for: Patreon users.
Do you want to use the Patreon platform to fund your creative pursuits? This free plugin connects your WordPress website with your Patreon page to increase awareness and fuel your projects, or to help monetize your blog.
Unlike other options here, the Patreon WordPress plugin does not collect and track pledges for you — that’s left to Patreon. What the plugin does is lock your WordPress pages and posts so only subscribers at certain tiers can view your gated content. You can lock individual posts or lock by custom post type.
Those who visit your site without pledging will not have access to this gated content. In its place, they will see an “Unlock with Patreon” button. When clicked, this button brings visitors to your Patreon page where they can subscribe to a tier, then return to your site to view the exclusive content.
Conveniently, visitors can log into your WordPress site with Patreon, and the plugin will import existing Patreon posts to your WordPress site and sync them as you publish more Patreon posts. There are several other customizations you can make with the plugin, providing impressive flexibility for a completely free plugin.
Best for: Collecting donations.
Charitable occupies a sort of middle ground on our list. It’s a premium option, but its overall prices aren’t as steep as other options listed here. It’s also not a dedicated crowdfunding option, but more of a donations plugin. Still, you can effectively fund projects and do so without touching any code.
The goal of Charitable is to make campaigns easy — easy to set up, easy to manage, and easy to donate to. In minutes, you can make a campaign with customized forms and your payment gateway of choice. Set a goal, a timeframe, and visual settings. The plugin will make your campaigns conform to the style of your site, no matter what theme you’re using. Plus, there are no transaction fees.
Charitable also has an extensions library to enable features like Stripe payments, recurring donations, Zapier integrations, anonymous donations, comments, videos, user avatars, geolocation setting, and plenty more.
Best for: Simple but customizable crowdfunding websites.
Finishing off our list is Galaxy Funder, the top-selling crowdfunding plugin on CodeCanyon. For $49, this plugin adds a crowdfunding interface to WordPress with no need for additional plugins. As a relatively cheap plugin, Galaxy Funder is simple but sufficient.
In terms of front-end styling, it’s largely up to your theme and your CSS skills to give your campaigns the look that you want. But, this plugin will handle all the essentials, including campaign submissions and approval, project goals and dates, perks and rewards, and shortcodes for easy placement. The layouts are responsive as well, a big benefit for mobile donors.
Get your crowdfunding site off the ground.
If your goal is to have a website that supports innovators, entrepreneurs, and/or creatives, that’s great — but you need to build the website first. Thankfully, WordPress plugins make these kinds of sites possible regardless of technical experience, no matter your budget (or lack thereof).
Besides, funding a whole campaign is enough work already. With the right plugin, you'll spend less time building your site and more time fueling projects you care about.