19 Crowdfunding Statistics to Stir Your Generous Nature
Updated · May 20, 2023
In 2020, people all over the world donated $114 billion to crowdfunded projects. It’s such a monumental sum it can be hard to visualize, so here’s a tip:
Imagine that every person on Earth donated $14.5 to a cause of their choice.
That’s how much $114 billion is.
Granted, not everybody chips in—just a few million do. So, we thought we should put together this collection of crowdfunding statistics to try and convert you into a backer.
Gratifying Crowdfunding Stats (Editor’s Choice)
- In 2020, the US raised a combined $73.6 billion in crowdfunding.
- Over 21 million people have backed projects on Kickstarter.
- Games-related projects have received a combined $1.94 billion on Kickstarter.
- 10% of Kickstarter projects failed to raise even a cent.
- Surprise! Four Secret Novels by Brandon Sanderson set a new record by raising $41,754,153 in a month.
- Only 29% of Americans are willing to invest in a crowdfunding campaign.
- Online crowdfunding began in 1997 when a rock band raised $60,000 to fund their tour.
- The Statue of Liberty was crowdfunded in 1885.
- Women are three times less likely to launch a crowdfunding campaign, but they’re also significantly more likely to be successful when they do.
Global Crowdfunding Statistics
Crowdfunding attracts more attention in some parts of the world than in others, but it’s very much a global phenomenon—and a very diverse one at that.
Let’s dive deep into the crowdfunding world.
1. Online crowdfunding began in 1997 when a rock band raised $60,000 to fund their tour.
First things first—what is a crowdfunding campaign?
It’s a way of funding a project by raising money via donations. In times past, people did it by posting in magazines or papers. Nowadays, we have multiple platforms available on the internet.
The first online crowdfunding campaign happened in 1997, when British rock band Marillion raised $60,000 from their US fans to fund a tour around the country.
Later on, they raised another round to finance new studio albums.
This is, of course, the first online crowdfunding scheme, but people have been pitching in for other people’s projects for a long time now.
2. People in the US crowdfunded the Statue of Liberty in 1885.
There are many funding platforms to choose from today, but that wasn’t necessarily the case a century and a half ago. Back then, however, there were plenty of newspapers.
What does that have to do with anything?
Well, because Joseph Pulitzer—publisher of the New York World—ran one of the first-ever crowdfunding campaigns in the US.
When France gave the Statue of Liberty to the United States, it was the latter’s responsibility to erect the pedestal. Unfortunately, neither NYC nor the Congress wanted to finance it. So, Mr. Pulitzer called for donations in his paper—and he got them, raising over $100,000 (which is about $3 million today, adjusted for inflation).
A year later, the Statue was officially erected.
3. A nonprofit crowdfunding campaign will raise an average $9,237.55.
The most glaring beneficiaries of crowdfunding are the videogame industry and the tech field—well, musicians and artists have been quite successful, too—but there are many more uses for this sort of fundraising.
Nonprofit organizations are a great example. Let’s face it—they generally subsist on donations anyways.
Now, crowdfunding for nonprofits presents a new opportunity for them to raise money for a vital cause without having to host galas and concerts. Instead, they can pitch their ideals, explain their objectives, and inspire people to donate directly.
4. Equity crowdfunding raised $211 million in 2020.
Equity crowdfunding basically means investing in a startup for a stake in the company. The only difference compared to traditional venture capitalist investing is that a wider range of people can participate.
Equity crowdfunding statistics indicate that startups raised $211 million in 2020, which is a considerable increase from 2018’s $74 million.
Moreover, this figure is projected to grow substantially over the next few years. Regardless, it represents a fraction of the $100+ billion raised in general crowdfunding annually.
Fun fact: Fewer than 1% of US startups manage to raise venture capital. Furthermore, about a third of those that do, fail.
5. The global crowdfunding market will continue growing at a 11% CAGR.
The crowdfunding market size has already expanded quite a bit over the last decade, but it’s not done just yet.
In 2020, the global market stood at $12.27 billion. Projections suggest that the industry will keep on growing over the next few years, reaching $25.8 billion by 2027.
We use the word “platform” quite a bit nowadays, particularly in digital contexts. There are social media platforms, blogging platforms, online education platforms, marketplace platforms, payment platforms… and crowdfunding platforms.
We’ll discuss that last type below.
6. 10% of Kickstarter projects fail to raise even a cent.
In order to be successful in raising money, you generally need both a convincing business idea and an outstanding pitch. Just one of the two is rarely sufficient.
Case in point: 10% of Kickstarter projects failed to raise a cent. They simply didn’t inspire a single soul into donating.
On a brighter note, consider this: If you can raise the first 20% of the money you’re looking for, there’s a 79% chance you’ll be successfully funded.
Most crowdfunding donations happen in the first few days, so if you get enough attention at the beginning, there’s little to worry about—as long as you keep your backers updated, of course.
Fun fact: The average donation for a successful campaign is $99.
7. Over 21 million people have backed projects on Kickstarter.
There’s an abundance of Kickstarter stats readily available, no doubt due to the platform’s universality in the reward-based crowdfunding sphere—that’s where many of the most funded campaigns ever happened.
As of June 2022, there are 21,169,693 people who have backed at least one project on the website. Moreover, 7,196,196 of them have funded at least two projects.
Together, all of these people have pledged one sum of money or another 81,351,044 times, raising a total $6.7 billion for Kickstarter projects.
8. A single person donated 434 times on GoFundMe in 2021.
Compared to platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, which are primarily aimed at financing entrepreneurial projects, GoFundMe is much more personal. It’s crowdfunding for charity. In other words, you don’t get anything back when you donate—there are no material rewards—but you help make someone’s life a tad better.
Since the platform’s inception, good samaritans have used it to donate over $15 billion.
That said, GoFundMe’s revenue of $100+ million does raise some questions. Ultimately, we can’t deny that it’s helped millions of people by facilitating the process of raising money, so we’ll look the other way just this once.
9. FundRazr supports campaigns for over 100 causes.
Every crowdfunding platform has its strengths and weaknesses, as well as its main focus. Kickstarter is all about organized projects; GoFundMe, about helping people in distress; FundRazr is perhaps the most versatile.
It supports over 100 causes and multiple campaign types. FundRazr reviews also rank it as one of the best crowdfunding platforms because of its free version, which has a 0% fee (other platforms charge at least 5%).
Finally, it has both all-or-nothing and keep-it-all options, providing extra versatility in how you operate your campaign.
Crowdfunding Industry Statistics
Most crowdfunding platforms operate as for-profit businesses. Funnily enough, not-for-profit organizations are popular users of such platforms.
Let’s go over some demographic info.
10. Women don’t often launch crowdfunding campaigns, but when they do, they are more likely to succeed.
The success rates of crowdfunding campaigns vary depending on many factors.
For instance, women are three times less likely to launch a crowdfunding project. However, a study found that while 17% of men are successful, an average of 23% of women are.
11. In 2020, people in the US raised a combined $73.6 billion.
Crowdfunding is more popular in the US than in any other country. In 2020, Americans raised a combined $73.6 billion for thousands of campaigns.
The UK comes in second place with $12.6 billion, and Brazil places third with $5.3 billion. After that, it plummets down to Italy’s $1.8 billion.
12. Yet, crowdfunding statistics show only 29% of people in the US are willing to invest in a campaign.
The US is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the global crowdfunding field, but that doesn’t mean everyone plays an equal role.
As a matter of fact, just 29% of the people in the country are willing to support a crowdfunding campaign, but only 9% actually have. So, if there are 329 million people in the US, that means that 30 million people are responsible for raising the billions of dollars that go into these campaigns.
The rest? Well, 36% of the population hasn’t even heard about crowdfunding; 34% have, but aren’t interested.
Crowdfunding Campaign Statistics
Crowdfunding can and has been used to fund a diverse array of projects, from fancy camera lenses to nationwide protests.
Let’s take a look at some notable examples.
13. A smart gas grill raised over $4.7 million on Kickstarter.
Otto’s G32, one of the most popular food-related crowdfunding campaigns, reported €4,468,051 ($4,725,366) in donations from 2,762 backers. What is it exactly?
A “smart and modular” gas grill.
We at Web Tribunal haven’t tested it ourselves, but Otto does offer a lifetime warranty—so the people behind it must be really confident in their skills.
Fun fact: This is also one of the most expensive campaigns, with the minimum donation for early backers set at €999 (about $1,060). You do get an intelligent gas grill for your money, though.
14. Surprise! Four Secret Novels by Brandon Sanderson set a new record by raising $41,754,153 in a month.
The largest Kickstarter campaign to date ran in March 2022.
As the name clearly asserts, it’s a crowdfunder for four new novels by acclaimed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson. In just 30 days, 185,341 fans donated a mind-blowing $41,754,153.
Starting from January 2023, backers will receive a novel each quarter, plus monthly “swag boxes” full of goodies.
Fun fact: The previous record-holder was the 2015 Pebble Time smartwatch Kickstarter. That one collected $20.34 million. It took seven years to beat it!
15. An eBike raised over $24.4 million on Indiegogo.
Who says Kickstarter’s the only platform where projects hit eight figures?
Crowdfunding stats show that Indiegogo’s no slouch, either.
The MATE and MATE X eBike campaigns raised a total of $24.4 million in two rounds, making the Copenhagen-based company responsible for the largest European crowdfunder ever.
After an initial $6,808,986 in 2016, MATE raised another $17,595,711 in 2018 for an upgraded model from backers across Europe, North America, Australia, and even Japan.
16. The most-funded game on Kickstarter raised $12.9 million.
There are plenty of game-related stats on Kickstarter—it is games, after all, that are among the top categories that get a donation in this crowdfunding platform. But the number one most-funded game ever isn’t a video game; it’s a board game called Frosthaven.
Back in April 2020, 83,193 people pledged $12,969,608 to support it.
The fact that the publisher chose to run the Kickstarter during the first month of widespread COVID-19 lockdowns might have had something to do with the surge of interest—everyone was dead bored. One way or another, though, Frosthaven did set a new record.
Fun fact: The most expensive board game is a chess set. It’s made of gold, diamonds, as well as other gemstones, and it costs nearly $10 million.
It should come as no surprise that certain projects are more popular than others or that certain demographic groups are more likely to support them than others—even world-famous spiritual leaders have their preferences, as you’ll learn below.
17. The Dalai Lama himself backed a $67,500 fundraiser for a Tibetan-themed café in Scotland.
One of the most heartwarming examples of successful crowdfunding on GoFundMe is that of the Himalaya Cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Reka Gawa, the woman who runs the place, needed £45,000 (~$55,000) to buy the property from her landlord after he said he’d be selling it due to the pandemic. She went on GoFundMe for help—and found it.
In fact, the Dalai Lama himself backed the fundraiser. In the end, Ms. Gawa was able to raise £54,623 (~$67,500) from about 1,300 donations and thus save the establishment.
18. Games-related projects have received $1.94 billion on Kickstarter.
The most popular category of crowdfunders on Kickstarter is the “Film & Video” category. It boasts 80,762 projects, which have raised $529 million.
However, the most successful crowdfunding campaigns are gaming-related. Although there have so far been only 69,131 of them, they have amassed $1.94 billion—that’s nearly four times as much money as films raise.
19. Early backers of Solana made up to $1 billion in returns.
(Source: The Information)
Cryptocurrencies may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “crowdfunding,” but you’ll often see the two terms hand-in-hand.
By targeting potential investors, emerging cryptocurrencies can raise money via crowdfunding. Solana did that—and it generated billions in returns for multiple backers who were early enough.
While still an interesting altcoin option, Solana’s price has dropped nearly tenfold since, though.
You probably spend most of your time online on social media and video sharing platforms; not on crowdfunding platforms. But those can be perfectly delightful, too. Plus, donating even just a few dollars to support a cause in which you believe feels a lot more meaningful than sending a “like.”
And if this list of crowdfunding statistics got you interested in a project or two—or better yet, inspired you to donate—then we’ll know that compiling it was worth the effort.
A wayfarer by heart, Jordan fancies journeying into foreign lands with a camera in hand almost as much as he enjoys roving the online world. He spends his time poking at letters and pixels, trying to transmogrify them into something cool.