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What Is Kickstarter?

Crowdfunding for Creative Projects

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What Is Kickstarter?
Photo © Kickstarter.com

Modern technology and the social web has opened up a lot of possibilities for entrepreneurs and creative people. Kickstarter is a platform that’s been growing fast in popularity and making business opportunities possible for those willing to get started.

Kickstarter in a Nutshell

Put simply, “Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects,” as it reads on the front of the site. Crowdfunding, to be a little more specific. Every project is independently crafted while friends, fans and total strangers offer to fund them in return for rewards.

Creators can set up a page to display all the details of their project and prototypes, using text, video and photos to tell viewers about it. Once enough people back the project by pledging a small or large amount of money, development and production of those projects can be carried out.

Starting a Kickstarter Project

Although Kickstarter is a great platform for exposure, not everyone gets their projects approved. To start, every creator needs to review the Project Guidelines before submitting a project. About 75 percent of projects make it through, while the remaining 25 percent get rejected usually because they don’t comply with the guidelines.

Projects don’t just have to fall into the technology category, although many do. Kickstarter is a place for filmmakers, artists, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers and other creative individuals with great ideas.

Kickstarter’s “All or Nothing” Rule

A creator can only collect the funds if the funding goal has been reached by the deadline. If the goal is not reached in time, no money changes hands.

Kickstarter has put this rule in place to minimize the risk for everyone. If a project can’t generate enough funds and is stuck trying to deliver to current funders when there wasn’t money raised, it can be tough on everyone.

All Funders Have the Opportunity to Receive Rewards

Kickstarter requires its creators to offer some kind of reward to their funders, no matter how simple or elaborate. When people fund a project, they can choose one of the predetermined funding amounts that the creators have laid out. Larger amounts funded usually offer larger rewards.

Once a project has successfully reached its goal funding amount, it is entirely up to the creators to send out surveys or any other information requesting funder details like name, address, T-shirt size, color preference and so on. From there, creators will send out the rewards.

All Kickstarter pages have an “Estimated Delivery Date” section to specify when you can expect to receive your rewards as a backer.

Pledging Money for a Kickstarter Project

Pledging money to a project is easy. All you have to do is click the green “Back this Project” button on any project page of your choice. Pledgers are then asked to select an amount and a reward. All your information gets filled out through Amazon’s checkout system.

Credit cards are never charged until after the deadline for the project has passed. If the project doesn’t reach it’s funding goal, your credit card is never charged. Whatever the outcome, Kickstarter sends all backers an email right after the project end date.

Browsing Projects

Browsing through projects has never been easier. You can simply select the “Discover” button at the top of the Kickstarter page to see staff picks, projects that have been popular for the past week, recently successful projects, or projects based close to your location.

You can also take a look through the categories if there’s a particular type of project you’re looking for. Categories include art, comics, dance, design, fashion, film & video, food, games, music, photography, publishing, technology and theater.

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