Are you a creative person that has tons of great project ideas, but can’t find ways to fund them? You’re certainly not alone – the phrase “starving artist” exists for a reason. So how do you locate potential funders who will adore your brilliant idea and get their money in your hands so you can start work? Well Kickstarter has made it easier.
Kickstarter is an online place for creative people to get their projects funded through the power of “crowdfunding.” Like crowdsourcing, crowdfunding asks the internet community to come together to determine what is worthy of support and what is not – in this case, who gets funding and who doesn’t. On Kickstarter, people seeking funding for their creative projects (film, photography, music, art, publishing, etc.) post a video pitch to potential funders (the Kickstarter community) about what their project is and why it deserves their monetary support. A budget for the project must be clearly identified and this budget then serves as the target goal for fundraising. If that goal is met in a specified time, the person receives the funds. If it is not met, the community has deemed their project not good enough and they get nothing! Simple.
People that post their projects must offer contributors rewards for their pledges. For example, if the project is a book, the author might offer someone that contributes $25 an electronic version of the final book and someone that contributes $50 a signed print copy. They only need to provide these rewards if they meet their target and receive funding. All pledges for funding are made using Amazon.
Kickstarter makes its money by claiming 5% of the funding for projects (something project creators better factor into their budgets!), but takes no ownership of the projects. This means the creators retain full rights to their work and can distribute and share it any way they like (use Creative Commons!).
Right now, Kickstarter is only open to U.S.-based people (who meet their requirements), but they say on their site that they plan to accept international projects soon. They are able to accept international pledges though.
I really found Kickstarter to be an amazing site and definitely hope that it does in fact go international. There are tons of creative people across the Arab world that would benefit from the funding they could earn via the site. The crowdfunding concept is something that I definitely think will continue to grow, and Kickstarter does a great job of bringing it to the creative community. Check out Kickstarter to see some of the projects that have been launched because of it, find a project or two you may want to support – and maybe soon submit your own creative project.