Kickstarter is an online fundraising site for people who have great ideas, but need money to make them come to life.
If you have an idea for a creative project that requires anywhere from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars to bring to completion, Kickstarter could be for you.
Does Kickstarter work?
Kickstarter can work. According to Kickstarter Stats, 44 percent of projects posted on Kickstarter have raised all the funds they were after.
So far, about 30,000 projects have raised approximately $300 million.
The projects range from to a pair of California designers who raised nearly half a million dollars to market a new sports watch, to a couple of vintage printing press aficionados who needed just $3,500 to set up a printing studio in New York.
Who is Kickstarter for?
Kickstarter isn’t for every project. It is intended for people in creative fields such as music, filmmaking, art, theater, performance, writing and the like.
However, one popular category is “Design and Technology,” which includes projects to create electronic devices, gadgets and other products, like the sports watch mentioned earlier.
A Kickstarter project needs a clearly stated goal, like creating an album or writing a book. It’s not for raising money to start a new business, or providing working capital for an existing business, for example.
Nor is it for purely personal aims such as paying for college, vacation or living expenses. The guidelines also rule out charitable causes.
Most Kickstarter projects are small. The typical successful project is after less than $10,000, although a small but expanding number of projects have raised much larger amounts — a few even more than $1 million.
Is it free?
While it’s free to seek funding, Kickstarter keeps 5 percent of the funds raised for successful projects.
And funds are transferred through Amazon, which applies credit card processing fees that range from 3 percent to 5 percent.
Another characteristic of Kickstarter is that project creators offer rewards to their supporters and project creators are legally obligated to fulfill their promises of rewards.
Otherwise, according to an agreement all must sign, they have to refund donated funds or otherwise make it up to their donors.
The rewards offered to supporters can include a sample of a recording, painting, book or other end result of the project.