What is Kickstarter?

what is kickstarter

Kickstarter is a way to fund a creative project. Its mission is to bring these types of campaigns to life, and create a project with a funding goal and project deadline. Then Kickstarter backers can pledge cash.

Basically, this is a crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs looking for alternative funding. You’ll need to follow some steps and there are some payment processing fees for the raised money.

What Is Kickstarter?

There are lots of different sites that raise funds. Kickstarter is different from other crowdfunding platforms. This one is dedicated to supporting the creative ecosystem. They are a community of people like poets, painters musicians, and writers as well as gamers and others.

It started out in 2009 and has become a Public Benefit Corporation since then. Kickstarter is an independent company with around 80 people that work together.

The most winning Kickstarter projects that have been funded have won Grammys and Oscars. They are transparent about how their cookies collect information. Here are some cookies settings that reject info from Google.

How Does Kickstarter Work?

This is different from other crowdfunding campaign sites. A successful campaign will raise money for an individual project. Here’s how. A campaign creator sets both the deadline and the funding goals. These campaigns look for donors.

The platform has been called crowdfunding because each project or idea looks for donations from a large number of people. Kickstarter funds come from people who enjoy creative efforts.

Kickstarter creators who miss their deadline don’t get any of the money raised. A project’s success depends on a community effort. That’s the ingredient for most successful projects.

What is Kickstarter?


What Creative Projects Can Be Launched with Kickstarter?

Kickstarter-funded projects number in the hundreds of thousands. Project creators work in a variety of different fields from tech and design to illustration and comics. Here are some of the better projects.

Slow Rise Bakehouse Expansion

This is a bakery in Forest Grove, Oregon that’s looking to expand. They use different types of whole grains in their products and partner with farms nearby.

The Smart Belt

This Kickstarter project comes from Wilmington, DE. This is another one of the Kickstarter campaigns that has surpassed its funding goal. The product page contains a link designed to drive in more backers.

Domestic Duffel // Your Roadtrip Companion

The travel bag comes from a business owner with specific funding goals. This is one of the small businesses that offer several pledge options. Potential backers can go through a list of Add ons. Scroll down on the project page.

Black Coffins #2

A project’s success depends on creativity. This business idea is a good example. This is the second part of a supernatural western horror story. Some successful campaigns use the Kickstarter platform for comic books. Like this one. It has an interesting project page.

Capsule Gravity: Your Futuristic Efficiency Booster

This is a multifunctional timer with an excellent success rate on the site. It has reached and exceeded its fundraising goals. It’s one of the most successful campaigns on Kickstarter and a testament to their creative services.

What is Kickstarter?

Can You Use Kickstarter for Business?

Raising money for a business is one of the options. This is an excellent platform for businesses and startups. It’s a great platform because you don’t give up equity or go into debt. If you’re a new business consider this crowdfunding site. It has helped over 224,973 projects with 82,311,041 pledges.

Kickstarter works without the need for a business loan. There are even some experts you can draw on for paid advertising. You can even use the default settings to change the currency you view your campaign in.

Does It Cost Money to Start a Kickstarter?

This funding platform charges 5% for the funds that are collected on any project. Your small business will also need to pay 3-5% as a payment processing fee. The platform fee and other transactions are processed through Stripe.

Kickstarter funding is based on the all-or-nothing funding model. That includes a set number of days to reach your goal.

What is Kickstarter?

How to Start a Successful Kickstarter Campaign

You will need many donors to reach the fundraising goal. Here is some advice on how to put together a winning project.

  • You need to set a realistic starting point. Based on the amount of money that you’re going to need. The idea is to cover costs
  • Decide on the channels that you’re going to use for your campaign. Social media sites work well.
  • Decide on the type of backer rewards you’re going to give out. Kickstarter has things they prohibit like financial returns. You can’t offer revenue-sharing. And you can’t offer equity. Or solicit business loans.
  • It’s a good idea to create a buzz with the landing page before your product launch. Here are a few tips on getting that right.
  • Take advantage of what the platform offers. Kickstarter offers some tools to get you started. There’s a Projects We Love badge, A Recommended section, and others. There are a number of different factors that influence how these work. However, one of the big ones is how much momentum you gain by putting together visitors and backers.
Setting Realistic Starting PointBegin with a funding goal that realistically covers your project costs. Calculate the minimum funds needed to execute your idea successfully.
Choosing Campaign ChannelsSelect effective channels to promote your campaign. Leverage social media platforms to reach a wider audience.
Designing Backer RewardsOffer enticing rewards to backers, keeping in mind Kickstarter's restrictions. Avoid financial returns, equity offers, or business loan solicitations.
Creating Pre-launch BuzzBuild anticipation with a well-designed landing page before your campaign launch. Use captivating visuals, engaging content, and a clear call to action.
Utilizing Kickstarter ToolsTake advantage of Kickstarter's built-in tools. Aim for a "Projects We Love" badge and inclusion in the "Recommended" section. Build momentum by attracting visitors and backers to your campaign.

The Unique Value of Kickstarter for Creative Ventures

Kickstarter’s Distinct Focus on Creativity

  • Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter is specifically designed to support creative projects, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of artists, writers, musicians, and innovators.
  • Established in 2009, Kickstarter’s mission is to empower creators to transform their ideas into reality by connecting them with a community of backers who share their passion.

Diverse Creative Fields

  • Kickstarter accommodates a wide array of creative endeavors, from tech innovations and design projects to illustration, comics, and more.
  • This diversity is reflected in the hundreds of thousands of successfully funded projects spanning various domains.

Community-Centric Approach

  • The platform operates on a community-driven model, where individuals contribute to projects they believe in, enabling creators to bring their artistic visions to life.
  • Kickstarter’s success stories include projects that have earned prestigious awards like Grammys and Oscars, showcasing its impact on the creative landscape.

What is Kickstarter?

Crafting a Successful Kickstarter Campaign: Key Steps and Considerations

Setting the Stage for Success

  • A compelling campaign begins with setting realistic funding goals and deadlines, ensuring that the project’s financial needs are covered.
  • Creators must determine the channels they will leverage for campaign promotion, with social media platforms proving effective in reaching a wider audience.

Creative Backer Rewards

  • Backer rewards play a pivotal role in enticing support. Kickstarter prohibits offering financial returns, equity, or business loans, but allows for creative rewards such as exclusive merchandise, early access, or personalized experiences.

Creating Pre-Launch Buzz

  • Building anticipation is crucial. Creators can create a landing page and generate excitement through teasers and updates before the official campaign launch.
  • Kickstarter’s built-in tools, such as the “Projects We Love” badge and the “Recommended” section, can provide additional visibility and momentum.

Harnessing Kickstarter’s Tools

  • Utilizing Kickstarter’s tools like badges and recommendations can boost a project’s visibility and engagement, driving more visitors and backers to the campaign.

Kickstarter’s Financial Framework: Costs, Benefits, and Accountability

Fees and Financial Structure

  • Kickstarter charges a 5% platform fee on funds collected from successful campaigns, supporting the platform’s operations.
  • Additionally, payment processing fees ranging from 3% to 5% are applied to contributions, with Stripe handling transactions securely.

All-or-Nothing Funding Model

  • Kickstarter employs an all-or-nothing funding model, where campaigns must reach their set funding goal within a specified timeframe to receive any funds.
  • This model encourages accountability and motivates creators to rally their communities in support.

Enhancing Engagement Through Storytelling on Kickstarter

Crafting a compelling narrative for your Kickstarter campaign can significantly enhance engagement and support from the community. Storytelling is a powerful tool that can evoke emotions, create a connection, and build trust with potential backers. Here’s how to weave a captivating story that aligns with your project’s goals and resonates with your audience.

  • Narrative Structure: Begin with the inspiration behind your project, the challenges you’ve faced, and the journey to overcome them. This structure helps backers understand the purpose and passion driving your project.
  • Authenticity and Transparency: Share genuine stories and experiences related to your project. Authenticity fosters trust and can motivate backers to support your vision.
  • Visual and Emotional Appeal: Incorporate visuals such as images, sketches, and videos that complement your story. Emotional appeal can be a significant motivator for backing a project, so highlight the impact your project could have on individuals or communities.
  • Update and Engage: Keep your backers and potential supporters updated with progress, setbacks, and stories along the way. Engagement through updates encourages a sense of community and ongoing support.

Kickstarter Campaign Analytics

Understanding and analyzing your Kickstarter campaign’s performance is crucial for achieving your funding goals.

  • Traffic and Engagement Metrics: Track the number of visitors to your campaign page, where they come from, and their engagement level. Use this data to understand which promotional channels are most effective.
  • Conversion Rates: Measure the percentage of visitors who become backers. A low conversion rate may indicate the need to improve your campaign’s messaging or rewards.
  • Backer Demographics: Analyze the demographics of your backers to tailor your communication and marketing efforts. Understanding your audience can help you reach more like-minded individuals.
  • Funding Trends: Monitor your campaign’s funding progress over time. Identify patterns or periods of increased activity to replicate successful strategies or address slow periods.

Leveraging Community and Partnerships on Kickstarter

Collaboration can play a vital role in the success of a Kickstarter campaign. Partnering with other creators, influencers, or organizations can broaden your reach and add credibility to your project. Here are some strategies for building partnerships and fostering a supportive community around your campaign:

  • Cross-Promotion with Creators: Partner with other Kickstarter creators for cross-promotion. Sharing each other’s campaigns can tap into new audiences and mutual support.
  • Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers who align with your project’s values and audience. Their endorsement can significantly boost visibility and credibility.
  • Community Engagement: Build a community around your project by actively engaging with backers and potential supporters on social media, forums, and Kickstarter’s comments section. A strong community can provide valuable feedback, encouragement, and additional promotion through word-of-mouth.
  • Partnerships with Organizations: Seek partnerships with organizations or companies that can offer support, resources, or exposure for your campaign. These collaborations can provide a solid foundation for your project’s success.

Navigating Success and Challenges on Kickstarter

Project Success and Ownership

  • Successfully funded projects grant creators full ownership of their work, allowing them to retain creative control and independence.
  • While financial gains cannot be directly solicited, Kickstarter serves as a platform to fund artistic endeavors without relinquishing equity or incurring debt.

Addressing Project Failures

  • In cases where a project falls short of its funding goal, backers are not charged, and the project does not proceed. Unfulfilled pledges are dropped after seven days, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Kickstarter’s Legal Landscape

  • Any legal matters arising from Kickstarter campaigns are governed by New York State law, providing a clear framework for resolving disputes and ensuring accountability.

Is Kickstarter Right for You?

Ideal for Small Businesses and Startups

  • Small businesses and startups can benefit from Kickstarter’s platform, leveraging it as an alternative source of funding without giving up equity or taking on debt.
  • Over 224,973 projects have been helped by 82,311,041 pledges, showcasing the positive impact on entrepreneurial ventures.

Considerations for Nonprofits

  • Nonprofit organizations seeking to overcome fundraising challenges can explore Kickstarter’s potential, adhering to specific guidelines and rules tailored to their missions.

Bank Account Requirement

  • Creators need a bank account to effectively utilize Kickstarter’s features and facilitate fund disbursement, ensuring a seamless experience for both creators and backers.

What Happens If a Kickstarter Project Fails?

A project can fall below its funding goal when it ends. Sometimes, a Kickstarter campaign has pledges you can’t collect on. Those get dropped after seven days. You’re Kickstarter account still gets the balance less fees when the campaign ends.

Can You Make Money on Kickstarter?

When you’re a project creator, 100% of the ownership of your work stays with you. However, you can’t use the platform for financial returns, to solicit loans or equity offers.

If you’re wondering about any possible legal action from using Kickstarter, follow this link. Any disputes are covered by New York State law.

Is It a Good Idea to Start a Kickstarter Campaign?

A successfully funded campaign works wonders for small businesses and startups. Nonprofit organizations that have issues raising enough money should consider the platform. But there are specific rules to follow.

Remember you’ll need a bank account to make the site work for you. Kickstarter is reliable and credible. It’s even funded by venture capitalists.

If you’ve still got questions about this platform, check out their recent articles.

Image: Envato Elements

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.

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