How to Start a Kickstarter Campaign

In the old days, “passing the hat” was the preferred way to turn small contributions into bigger sums to fund a wide range of causes. Today, we have Kickstarter – a similar concept with the potential to raise hundreds, thousands or more using a simple online platform. Does your project or idea need a monetary boost? Here’s how Kickstarter might help.

Make sure your idea is right for Kickstarter

Kickstarter was developed to give creative projects that typically go underfunded a financial leg up. If your project falls into any of these categories, Kickstarter can likely help you out.

• Theater

• Music

• Film & Video

• Art

• Publishing

• Comics

• Crafts

• Dance

• Photography

• Design

• Fashion

• Games

• Journalism

• Food

• Technology

Define your project on Kickstarter

Kickstarter uses a simple online profile that lets you describe your project to potential donors. All you need is a description and a video that outlines what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s easy to create a project profile and video – Kickstarter even provides tips on how to do it effectively.

You determine a monetary goal that will fund your project and a deadline for reaching it. You can also set donation thresholds and offer incentives to encourage donations. These can be as simple as a mention in a program or a gift card ­– whatever you feel might boost donations.

Spread the word

Once your profile is ready, Kickstarter lets you notify potential backers via email that you’re looking for support. They’ll receive a link to your project profile that allows them to contribute to your cause using a major credit or debit card. All donations are processed conveniently through Amazon.

Track your progress

As your donations add up, Kickstarter tracks your progress, providing simple graphs and analytics. Once you’ve reached your funding goal, your donor’s cards are charged and donations are combined. In about two weeks, you can access your Kickstarter funds. If you don’t reach your goal, no one is charged, but you do have the option to re-launch your project if you choose.

The cost to you

If your project is successfully funded, Kickstarter’s cut is three to five percent of the total amount raised. The only other costs you might incur are incentives you choose to offer or money you might spend, for instance, creating a special video to support your profile. Kickstarter projects with videos tend to do better than those without, and you can easily create one for little or no cost.

If you have deep pockets, you may never need a Kickstarter campaign to see your creative ideas come to life. If you don’t, however, Kickstarter may be the best way yet to pass the hat.


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