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What is crowdfunding? Is it different from digital fundraising?

Short answer: not really.

I could argue against that with “all crowdfunding is digital fundraising, but not all digital fundraising is crowdfunding.”  Traditional fundraising (both online and off) involves major gifts from a few people, whereas crowdfunding involves smaller gifts from many people. And yet, I’ve seen major gifts given to ‘crowdfunding’ campaigns and many tiny gifts given to a nonprofit’s major campaign. So… *shrugs*.

No matter what you call it, you are trying to raise funds, and how you refer to the process comes down to semantics. In our world at ConnectionPoint, we call it ‘digital fundraising’ when you use the platforms for a cause with nonprofits/charities (as with our platform FundRazr) or people with medical needs (CoCoPay) and ‘crowdfunding’ when raising funds for a personal project using rewards (Crowdfundr). 

There are other types of crowdfunding, such as equity investment, debt, and real estate. ConnectionPoint is not set up for these, so we will stay in our lane for the rest of this article and focus on causes and creative projects.

So let’s dive into the world of  ‘digital fundraising.’

FUN FACT: The term ‘crowdfunding’ is newer than the idea itself. Its first recorded citation was in 2008.     

Who can use online platforms for digital fundraising?

Anyone with a Stripe and/or PayPal account can use our platforms! The limiting factor tends to be the country you live in, not who you are. Some countries strictly regulate or even prohibit the act of digital fundraising in any form. And then there are countries that Stripe and PayPal are either not present in or require you to have a verified account to continue.

We encourage all users to have a fully Verified PayPal account when using our platforms. This ensures the best checkout experience for your supporters and will increase your success rate (fewer ‘transaction declined’ messages). For non-verified accounts, PayPal may decline payments or even withhold funds until further verification is provided. If you have a business or non-profit account rate with PayPal (or Stripe), these will automatically apply when you connect your account with our platform.

What types of campaigns are there?

There are two digital fundraising campaign types: Keep-it-all (KIA) and All-or-nothing (AON).

With Keep-it-all campaigns, your goals and deadlines are optional. Transactions are processed as soon as a supporter contributes, and you see the funds (minus applicable fees) in your account almost immediately (I say ‘almost’ because it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on your payment processor). This type is handy if your project can continue no matter how much you raise, such as when fundraising for a cause. It’s better to help some of your beneficiaries rather than none!

In All-or-nothing campaigns, a goal and a deadline are mandatory, and you do not collect your funds unless you hit your goal by your deadline. A supporter’s contribution is a ‘pledge,’ a promise of a contribution rather than the actual transaction. If you do NOT reach your goal, none of your supporters are charged, and you do not have to worry about refunds. This type is popular for projects that cannot be completed unless ALL of the funds are raised, which is why it tends to be most popular for creative projects who need to gauge interest in their product before printing/manufacturing.

How do crowdfunding platforms work?

Not every platform is equal. Some require approval before you can run a campaign, some will hold your funds for a designated amount of time, and some will add ‘fixed’ fees (such as annual fees, registration fees, etc.) to use their services. ConnectionPoint’s platforms do none of these.*

*Occasionally, we will pause campaigns if we notice something suspicious and require further verification to make sure you are who you say you are. It’s no secret that there is fraud in online fundraising, and we want to protect you!

Creating campaigns

With our platforms, such as FundRazr, you create a user account and a campaign to start. You choose whether to run a KIA or AON campaign, insert pictures and videos, write your story, and take whatever time you need to make the campaign enticing and gorgeous. Then, you connect your payment processors (Stripe and/or PayPal) by clicking ‘connect’ and signing into these accounts directly using official partner links.

Launching your campaign

Only when you are ready will you hit ‘launch’ to make your campaign live. We will never launch your campaign for you without your consent. Once live, you can share the campaign link with your network or use the share bar and share centre to connect with social and dark media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Email, Messenger, or WhatsApp. Those interested then click your link, read your story, and click a ‘Contribute’ button to support your campaign.


Any applicable fees are completely transaction based, and the fees are deducted from the contribution automatically. This means whatever funds you see in your account are yours to use for your project. There’s no reconciliation with the platform afterward!

Running campaigns

You continue to market the campaign over its life, thank your supporters, and post updates. Once a deadline has been reached, you do have options. If running an AON campaign, you can charge your supporters (if you have reached your goal). After that, you can choose to leave the campaign open and running as a KIA, where you will collect new contributions in your account immediately.

Just as we won’t start your campaign for you, nor will we finish it (unless you ask us to). You can finish campaigns whenever you like, but unless you’ve set it up to do so, the campaign won’t automatically finish at its deadline or end goal. Otherwise, your campaign lives on indefinitely.

Fun Fact: ConnectionPoint has been around as long as GoFundMe! FundRazr, our flagship platform, was launched in 2009.

There is SO MUCH MORE to crowdfunding than any single article can convey. Browse around this HUB, check out some campaigns on FundRazr and Crowdfundr (or go check out Crowdfundr’s Creator HUB!), and ask us all the questions! We love questions! 

Yours in success,


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