Kickstarter.com is a website to fund creative, community based projects that might not otherwise receive funding. Individuals and businesses set a financial goal needed to fulfill the proposed idea. The project proposal is then made public for visitors to view and offer donation amounts. If the proposed goal is met, the backers are charged the amount they initially promised. If the project donation goal is not met within the expiration period, no one is charged and the project goes unfunded. Projects on Kickstarter range from food related, to art, to dance, to performance, to technology. The website advertises that nearly half of the projects submitted become fully funded. Considering this success rate, I began an analysis on what made certain project proposals more successful at reaching their funding targets than others.
Not only do the projects range in category, they also range in geographic region and scope. For example, Reading Rainbow, a successful television show aimed at inspiring young children to read was discontinued in 2006. The project proposal has the original face of Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton sharing his goal to provide the once popular program for free in schools. So far the Kickstarter profile has raised $4.4 million with an initial goal of $1 million. I also reviewed a company called Ninja shoes, which raised $117,438 with an initial goal of $15,000. In the proposal video, Ninja shoe creators have designed a more efficient slip-on shoe made from microfiber.
Another successfully funded Kickstarter project is “Augie and the Green Knight” a children’s book, which raised $311,445 with an initial goal of $30,000. Their project proposal includes ‘stretch goals’. This section offers a breakdown of how each donation milestone will be used to improve the book, such as offering more illustrations and wider distribution.
Common traits of successful Kickstarter.com project proposals:
- Polished face to face videos with the creators of the projects
- The projects are very close to completion, if not already complete
- The viewer is able to see the behind the scenes design and development of the project
- It is clearly outlined how the funds would help the projects
- There is a unique idea or concept that people could care about
In what additional ways can Kickstarter project proposals initiate more interest to raise funds?
In your opinion, is Kickstarter truly an effective way to raise funds for projects?
What sort of accountability do individuals have to their backers to complete the project as originally intended?