Can You Crowdfund Your Travel?

Crowdfunding Travel

Crowdfunding has been in the news quite a bit recently. From large platforms like Kickstarter to new niche crowdfunding sites like Trevolta, increasingly funds are being raised for individual and corporate projects by the power of social contributions.

While originally crowdfunding was limited to funding arts and other media projects, today a wide variety of projects and events are being successfully funded via online crowdfunding sites.

Kickstarter may be the most prominent crowdfunding platform, but it is certainly not the only game in town. There are more than 100 online platforms that bring together entrepreneurs and consumer-investors for projects that need funding. In addition to other broad-based platforms such as IndieGoGo, CrowdFunder, RocketHub, FundAnything and GoGetFunding, there are several specialized sites that focus on niche groups.

Traveling

Will crowdfunding travel become the next big thing in 2015?

And it looks like travel is poised to be the next big industry to gain crowdfunding traction. If you are thinking about crowdfunding your travel this year, here is a breakdown of the top four platforms to consider for your campaign.

Kickstarter: The Grandfather of Crowdfunding

Founded in 2009, Kickstarter’s stated mission is to help bring creative projects to life. In exchange for donations, most successful projects give funders tangible rewards or one-of-a-kind experiences in exchange for monetary pledges.

Kickstarter has an “all-or-nothing” structure. If an individual doesn’t meet his or her monetary goal, none of the money comes through. Successful fundraisers are charged a fee of 5% of the money raised. If funding is unsuccessful, no fees are charged.

Successfully funded travel projects on Kickstarter typically culminate in the production of a book or piece of film like this project by a single mother who traveled the world with her two young children after struggling with the loss of a loved one. She has written an inspiring book about her experience and raised funds to publish this book. On Kickstarter, you can’t raise funds for travel without a piece of creative work following the travel experience.

Indiegogo: The Original Start-up Crowdfunding Platform

Indiegogo allows people to solicit funds for an idea, charity, or start-up business. This platform is a bit more flexible than Kickstarter, and while there are a number of arts and media related projects funded on Indiegogo like this feature-length film “Sugar” that hired a cast largely made up of homeless teens in Los Angeles, here almost any legal activity can be funded making it ideal for travelers.

Indiegogo charges a 9% fee on contributions, and returns 5% if the campaign reaches its goal. Like Kickstarter, donors, investors, or customers who help to fund a project or product receive a gift, rather than an equity stake in the company.

Because anyone over 13 years old can use the IndieGoGo platform, and they have no restrictions on the type of cause or event to be funded, we’re seeing more and more young people use IndieGoGo to fund student and summer travel experiences.

Joy of Summer

More and more young people use crowdfunding platforms as means to fund their summer or student travel expeditions

GoFundMe: Simple Crowdfunding to Achieve Goals

Unlike Kickstarter and Indiegogo, many projects on GoFundMe don’t actually offer rewards to backers; they are simply asking to be funded to achieve their goals. GoFundMe charges 7.9%, plus 30 cents per donation.

GoFundMe allows users to create their own website to describe what they are raising money for, making this platform ideal for funding travel. In fact, the company actually targets travelers and promotes campaigns dedicated to funding travel experiences.

Be sure to keep in mind that the most successful travel-related campaigns on GoFundMe support a humanitarian goal or volunteer objective, not just the simple purchase of a flight and hotel stay.

Trevolta: The First Crowdfunding Platform Dedicated to Travel

Trevolta is the first crowdfunding site dedicated to funding travel. If you truly are looking for funds to travel, with no humanitarian or volunteer angle behind it, Trevolta is going to be the best platform for you. Trevolta keeps 5 per cent plus PayPal will take another 3.9 per cent of the funds raised.

Furthermore, Trevolta is a platform where like-minded travelers can connect with each other, share experiences, and contribute to an ever-increasing community of digital nomads.

Sailing

Where are you going to sail next?

However, you still need to propose an interesting project and provide valuable rewards if you want to get successfully funded on this platform. The Trevolta community funds projects where travelers do things no one else is doing, go unique places and produce great content while on the road.

As the crowdfunding space matures, 2015 might be the year to consider funding your travels through a crowdfunding campaign!

About the author

Dean Smith

  • Yes you can crowdfund travel. But you do need to be somewhat creative and create enticing rewards for your backers.