[Update at the bottom: 1/24/2011] Many of us have wonderful, creative ideas. We believe they will be the biggest thing since Facebook or Mooz-lum The Movie. But, before we can deliver it to the world, we need funding.
That’s where Kickstarter comes in. It revolves around crowdfunding. Basically, you post a description and video of the backstory and purpose of your project, sharing with others why it would be great to pledge funds. Of course, your project has to follow some guidelines, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent.
For those looking to pledge, the funding can be as little as $1 up to whatever you’d like to pledge. The money isn’t taken out of your account right away; it isn’t until the project is “fully funded,” meaning it has reached a preset monetary goal and the deadline has been reached.
In addition to the good feeling you’ll receive from helping others fulfill their vision, there are different tiers of Rewards you can receive. I’ve seen rewards after donating $1, which will be a thank you note/email and credit on the project’s website as a funder; stuff for $25, where you’ll receive a physical thank you card or a t-shirt; and $100, earning you the status as a “Founder” or receiving behind the scenes access to production of the film or being a beta tester. The reward tiers vary for each project; i was just giving an example.
There are all types of projects, from films and documentaries, to music albums, EPs and mixtapes, to iPhone accessories and online services. You can search for them by city or category. There’s something for everyone to support—and if not, i’m sure there will be in the future. I’ve been checking at least once a week the past few weeks, and found these great projects.
Based on the projects, it seems that Kickstarter is preferred by entrepreneurs and artists for funding, but for non-profit organizations, i discovered IndieGogo (thanks to @AfricaHannibal, a Search Engine Marketing expert). The website uses a similar funding and rewards system to Kickstarter’s.
IndieGogo has a wide-ranging assortment of interesting projects, in particular is its listing of several for community-based, non-profit organizations. There is also a cool looking film about a paralyzed musician, Jason Becker, who composes music with his eyes!
I urge everyone to browse through both IndieGogo and Kickstarter in search of something of interest, especially if you are a non-profit looking for an influx of cash to reach your next goals. Continue to help fellow creatives, entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
I know i will.
Hope this was helpful, and i’m thankful for your patronage ^_^
[Update: So, i misspoke earlier: with IndieGogo, when you start a project/campaign, you keep money raised, even if you don't reach your goal; but there's a 9% fee if you don't, and a 4% fee of monies raised if you do. Kickstarter, on the other hand, charges zero fees when you reach your goal, and you do not keep any money if you don't reach your goal. Kickstarter is better for pledgees, since they aren't charged; IndieGogo is better for those looking to raise money.]