Since it began in 2009, Kickstarter has helped creative types (artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, etc.) to raise more than $75 million for 10,626 creative projects, with the help of 813,205 “backers.” The start-up receives over 1500 proposals a week on an average, of which 40% are rejected.
So, could you raise money for your prom dress through Kickstarter?
First, users must define a specific “project,” which is finite and specific.
Second, Kickstarter isn’t for handouts. It encourages—indeed, it mandates—an exchange of value. Creators must offer “rewards” to their backers: written notes of thanks, custom T-shirts, handmade objects.
Finally, to add some marketplace discipline to the process, project makers must pick a target dollar amount and a deadline. If they fall short of the goal, they get nothing.
Kickstarter is as much about unlocking creators’ marketing potential as their creative potential. The company takes a cut—5 percent—of the money raised on successful projects.
All said, succeeding on Kickstarter is actually easier than it sounds.