I’ve become a big fan of Kickstarter, which prides itself as “A new way to Fund & Follow Creativity.” The very first project, actually, was this from this obscure (to me) record label: Help Polyvinyl Save 10,000 Records From Destruction. “We clear out space, we don’t have to destroy great records, and you get the opportunity to get some awesome music from the likes of Aloha, of Montreal, Mates of State, Joan of Arc, Mike Kinsella, Rainer Maria, and many more,” a total of $26 CDs for $50; wotta deal!
Since then, I’ve backed about a dozen projects, all involving music, film, and/or comics (strips or books), except one. Having done so, I’m getting a good feel for what will really annoy, or not attract, potential donors:
1!) Not being kept informed, particularly when something is going to be delayed. The Winsor McCay Resurrection Project let us know that the film would be delayed because it was, surprisingly, accepted at a prestigious film festival, and releasing it earlier would have disqualified it. And we got to see works in progress. I was cool with that.
2) The goodies offered at different levels are illogical. Why is THAT worth $20 donation, while THIS is worth $50?
3) Fail to send out stuff by the deadline the creator has set. It also takes time to send out those videos, or CDs or whatever. One can never go wrong by underpromising but overdelivering, while the reverse will cause all sorts of bad will.
4) Change the terms of the agreement. One entity I backed then asked for additional money for international orders because (surprise) it cost more to ship outside the US. Though this did not affect me personally, the move REALLY ticked me off. Related to this: I get the sense that some participants haven’t calculated the COST of sending out the swag. I get the clear impression that some folks don’t ask for enough in the first place.
On the other hand, one music project, only about halfway to the $5000 goal with a week left, added more incentives targeted at businesses, and it was those that pushed her over the top.
If you’re considering seeking funding for your creative endeavor and are considering Kickstarter, make sure you are consistent with your followers. Here are some answers to common Kickstarter questions.