There is a site that has been drawing attention among a few groups of people called Kickstarter. Kickstarter works using a process called crowdfunding, which means a project is funded by a large group of people. So lets say I have some sort of project. It can be a video project like a movie, an audio project, art, food, an event, technological advancement- the list goes on. Now, I have my project but it requires a certain amount of money to get started. So I could go to Kickstarter, explain my project, provide some images, and say that I need a certain amount of money to make it all happen.
This is where Kickstarter gets cool. After you say how much money you need, people can pledge certain amounts, and Kickstater keeps track of how much more needs to be funded. This is all done over a predetermined time allotment. So I have my project up, I need $10,000 and have 80 days to get the donations I need. If at the 80 day mark I don’t have the funds, everyone gets to keep their money. But, if at the 80 day mark I have hit the goal or even gone over, I get the money to finish my project.
But why would people donate, and how does Kickstarter make money? Aside from people wanting to fund a project because of their own interest in it, they can also be offered incentives. So If you pledge $25 I could send you a t-shirt for my event, or if you pledge $50 your name gets to go in the credits of my movie. Kickstarter makes money by trimming off 5% of the funds for a successfully funded project. So if your project raises $20,000, Kickstarter still makes a significant amount to stay afloat.
I first found out about the site through Jason Scott’s Sabbatical to complete his new documentary, Get Lamp. I have been coming back to the site infrequently, and noted other projects that I am interested in such as The Waterman Movie, which is based on a popular web series and has been in development for years, as well as a Documentary on “The Thief and the Cobbler”, “The Thief and the Cobbler” being a film that was in development for three decades and eventually pulled away from the director and chopped up into different movie. Every once in a while, a new project pops up that grabs me, and it gets me thinking. Really, this service is truely amazing. There is no better way to reach people to create a niche project that reuires funding. I can just imagine how much more would have been accomplished had this site been around ten years ago, and how much it will accomplish over the next ten years. I also consider that I may one day be able to utilize it. I can fathom a few projects that could take advantage of this as a way to reach people, though they may be a long way off.
I hope to see Kickstarter thrive, and help out some truely unique projects as time goes by. I do have to mention that the site does not take pledges using Paypal because of how Paypal handles refunding. A credit card is needed for now, though other options are being looked into. Check out kickstarter yourself and see what you find, you might be surprised.