Skip to content
× FreshBooks App Logo
Official App
Free - Google Play
Get it
You're currently on our US site. Select your regional site here:

Startup Capital

  1. Equity Financing
  2. Shareholder
  3. Bootstrapping
  4. Crowdfunding
  5. Seed Capital
  6. Venture Capital
  7. Startup Capital
  8. SBA
  9. Donation-Based Crowdfunding
  10. EIS
  11. Incubator Firm
  12. SBIC
  13. Capital Funding
  14. Debt

Save Time Billing and Get Paid 2x Faster With FreshBooks

Try It Free ➝

Donation-Based Crowdfunding: Definition & Overview

Updated: November 24, 2022

Crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money for your company, project, or charity.

Read on as we take a closer look at donation-based crowdfunding and show you how it works.

List IconTable of Contents


    • Donation-based crowdfunding is a way to raise funds for a business, project, or charity.
    • It works by asking large amounts of people to donate small amounts of money. 
    • It differs from traditional financing options as there is no promise to repay or give away ownership. 

    What Is Donation-Based Crowdfunding?

    Donation-based crowdfunding is a method of sourcing money for a project. 

    Donation-based crowdfunding works by rewarding people. This is for donating various amounts of money to fund a project. 

    It is commonly used for small projects, but it can also be used as a way to raise funds for various charitable causes. 

    This form of crowdfunding is based on donations. This means that funders do not receive any form of ownership or rights to the project. They will also not become creditors to the project. 

    This method is sometimes referred to as rewards crowdfunding.

    Fresh Starts Deserve FreshBooks

    How Does Donation-Based Crowdfunding Work?

    Donation-based crowdfunding works by asking a number of contributors to individually donate money. This is in order to fund a particular project. 

    In return, whoever donates may receive token gifts or rewards that gradually increase in quality and prestige. This is as the size of the donation increases. Though it is often the case that minimal donations will not receive any form of gift other than thanks. 

    This crowdfunding campaign is often done through a website. Popular crowdfunding sites include Kickstarter, CrowdFunder, and Indiegogo. These donation-based crowdfunding platforms can be used by people to base their fundraising efforts. These platforms tend to charge a certain percentage of the raised funds on donation platforms as a way of payment. 

    Uses of Donation-Based Crowdfunding

    A project or a credible charity can use crowdfunding as a means to gather support. 

    For reputable charities, they can use it to help with relief efforts or causes that the charity is championing. For example, a charity may use donation-based crowdfunding to seek funds to aid in search and rescue efforts, or for medicine to treat individuals affected by natural disasters or war. 

    Charity fundraising can also be used to fund the construction of shelters or infrastructure for poverty-stricken areas or the sites of disaster. Essentially it can be used for anything that the government is either not willing, or able, to pay for. 

    For projects, it can be used to gain seed money to move their project forward. This is perfect for small businesses or people who don’t have the required funds to pay for manufacturing. 

    Get A Headstart On Your Accounting

    Advantages of Crowdfunding for Nonprofit Organizations

    There are a number of advantages of crowdfunding, here are some of the main points:

    • For successful projects, it is a fast way to raise initial funding with no upfront fees
    • It allows for further marketing of your project
    • You can gain feedback and guidance on how to improve
    • It gives you a good idea of how viable your product is in the market
    • Investors can track your progress and make financial decisions based on what they see
    • It is a great alternative if you have struggled to receive a bank loan or other traditional funding options

    Disadvantages of Crowdfunding for Nonprofit Organizations

    While there are many upsides, there are also some disadvantages, such as:

    • If you don’t reach your funding goal, the money will normally be returned to the pledgers and you will not receive anything
    • It takes a lot of effort to run a crowdfunding campaign
    • Any failed attempt at crowdfunding can hurt the reputation of your business 
    • If you haven’t gone through the proper copyright channels, you can have your idea stolen
    • The rewards system can end up costing you more money than you had initially anticipated. This will put a dent in the funds you were hoping to raise


    A donation-based crowdfunding campaign is a great way to raise funds for projects, businesses, or charities. 

    The wide range of available platforms makes this form of funding extremely accessible. Meaning anyone with the right tools and a persuasive pitch can gain the funding they need to get their initiative off of the ground. 

    It’s important to note that not every venture will be a successful campaign. You can experience different levels of success using donation-based crowdfunding in the crowdfunding market. 

    Hit The Ground Sprinting

    FAQs on Donation-Based Crowdfunding

    What Are the Four Types of Crowdfunding?

    • Reward crowdfunding
    • Debt crowdfunding
    • Equity crowdfunding
    • Donation crowdfunding

    Can Crowdfunding Donations Be Tax-Deductible?

    Unless the project is for a charity, no tax relief is available to the backer.

    Is Donation Crowdfunding Legal?

    Yes, donation crowdfunding is perfectly legal. It is a common method to procure funds for individuals, companies, and charities.


    553 HRS


    $ 7000




    Try It Free for 30 Days. No credit card required. Cancel anytime.