Product Upgrade: A Calculator for Funding Goals

Setting a funding goal is a critical step in launching a project — but it can be a confusing one. We’ve released a new tool to help make at least part of this process easier and more transparent.

Our start-a-project area has a section where you enter your funding goal. Creators will now see a new calculator icon there. Clicking on it opens… a calculator! Creators can enter the amount they’ve determined they need to bring their project to life and fulfill their rewards (see some guidance on that here). From there, creators can select how much they want to set aside for taxes. Based on these amounts, we compute the fees creators should budget for (Kickstarter’s 5% fee, and our payment processor’s roughly 5% fee). The final output is a suggested funding goal that will allow creators to take home the amount they’ve determined they need for the project after taxes and fees.

Our mission is to help bring creative projects to life, and we want to ensure we’re doing this through the full cycle of a Kickstarter campaign. We’ve heard from creators that taxes and fees can sneak up on them, potentially eating into the amount they need to actually complete their projects. We built this new tool to add transparency around this and to help creators feel more prepared and confident before they launch their campaigns. Watch for more help with budgeting, coming soon.

Here are some more recent improvements to Kickstarter for backers and creators.

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Kickstarter and The Eyeslicer to Host New “Radical Film Fair” in Brooklyn

This September, Kickstarter Film is partnering with The Eyeslicer, a secret TV show blending the boldest new American filmmaking into mind-expanding, mixtape-style episodes, to bring a new, free film fair to our Brooklyn headquarters.

Akin to the spirit of a comic or record fair, the Radical Film Fair will be a place for film lovers, independent filmmakers, distributors, publishers, zine-makers, and indie theaters to come together, meet fans, and sell their work.

Vendors including Oscilloscope Laboratories, Meow Wolf, Nitehawk Cinema, Kino Lorber and many others will be selling merch and communing with fellow film fans. Several more organizations will be participating in a pop-up Film Clinic, an on-site station where Creative Capital, POV, DCTV, and others will be offering free advice and mentorship.

Indie filmmakers will present short lightning-round talks throughout the day, including Penny Lane (Our Nixon, Nuts!, and Hail Satan) and Rashaad Ernesto Green (Premature and Gun Hill Road). The Eyeslicer’s Season Two will be playing in the theater, and there will be an immersive video installation of each episode in several different rooms.

We’re fortunate to have first-hand experience meeting hundreds of independent filmmakers and film lovers through our work at Kickstarter. It’s time to put that network to good use and connect them to each other! We hope that this experiment will serve as a repeatable proof of concept for a new way to sustain, celebrate, and support truly independent filmmaking as a community.

For the exhibitor list and updates, and to register for a free ticket, click here

Radical Film Fair

Sunday, September 15, 2019

1-5 PM

Kickstarter HQ

58 Kent Street

Brooklyn NY 11222

Kickstarter-Funded Games Sweep Gen Con Awards

The Games team brings glad tidings from Indianapolis! We’ve just recovered from Gen Con, the largest gathering of the tabletop games community in North America. This year’s event was extra special for us because two Kickstarted games took home top honors at two different award shows at the conference. We’d like to give a quick shout out to these games and every Kickstarter-funded game that was nominated and honored at Gen Con. If you were looking for an excuse to feel good for a little while, we give you permission to celebrate with us.

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Kickstarter Teams up with shesaid.so to Support Women and Nonbinary Folks in the Music Industry

The shesaid.so team
The shesaid.so team

This October, Kickstarter is teaming up with shesaid.so, a global community of women in the music industry, to offer funding to five Europe-based women, trans, and nonbinary folks interested in attending MEETSSS, their inaugural conference. Taking place October 3–6, 2019, in Portimão, Portugal, MEETSSS will feature workshops, discussions, panels, and more for music executives, artists, and others working in entertainment. The conference is open to people of all genders.

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Product Upgrades: Project Quotes in Comments, and More

Here’s a quick overview of some recent improvements to Kickstarter that we’re excited to tell you about.

First up is a feature we’re calling quoted comments. It’s designed to make it easier for backers to start a public conversation with creators.

Backers often want to ask questions about a specific element of a project. They may be seeking clarification about something, or they may want the creator to substantiate a claim. These interactions are a core part of supporting projects on Kickstarter, and quoted comments are a great way to kick them off.

To use this feature, you simply highlight a line of text in the project’s description, up to 300 characters. A box then pops up giving you the option to quote this text. Clicking “Start a comment” will take you to the project’s comments section, where the selected text will appear as a quote. You can write your comment or question beneath the quote.

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Kickstarter-Funded Performances to Watch at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Way back in 2009 when Kickstarter was first launched, one of our first projects was a piece from Cynthia Hopkins trying to get to the Edinburgh Fringe. A decade later, hundreds of artists have raised more than $1.5 million from over 20,000 backers as part of their journey to this legendary performance festival. 

This year over 50 Kickstarted productions will be headed to the Fringe, demonstrating the vital role that Kickstarter continues to play as a means of alternative funding for artists hoping to bring their shows to the festival.

Are you an artist in the festival? Be on the lookout for a program of events focused on health and wellbeing at Fringe Central as part of our partnership. I, along with our Comedy Outreach Lead, Taylor Moore, will also host office hours on August 6, 2019 from 11am to 3pm for any creators considering crowdfunding.

As we get ready to dive into the festival, here are a few of the Kickstarted pieces we’re looking forward to:

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Open Call: Apply to Become a Kickstarter Creator-in-Residence this Fall

The Spring 2019 Creators-in-Residence
The Spring 2019 Creators-in-Residence

We’re excited to announce the open call for Kickstarter’s Fall 2019 Creators-in-Residence program.

Whether you’re a first-time creator seeking one-on-one mentorship or a repeat creator looking to fulfill your rewards, our Creators-in-Residence program can give you the time and space to move your project forward.

Launched in 2017, our Creators-in-Residence program invites NYC-based creators in the process of planning, launching, or about to fulfill a Kickstarter campaign to join us at our Brooklyn HQ for a three-month residency. Past residents have included product designer Krystal Persaud, games designer Jordan Draper, artist Nicholas O’Brien, author Ytasha L. Womack, and choreographer Raja Feather Kelly.

The Fall 2019 session will run from Tuesday, September 10, through Friday, December 13.

During the residency, each creator will pair with a staff mentor who specializes in their area of interest and will offer guidance on how to manage a Kickstarter campaign. Residents receive access to a dedicated workspace, as well as our theater, recording studio, library, meeting rooms, and kitchen. They also have opportunities to be featured in Kickstarter-produced editorial content, and are invited to attend regular workshops, talks, and performances that put them in conversation with other creators and Kickstarter staff.

Apply here for the upcoming season by Wednesday July 31, 2019. Creators will be notified on Thursday August 15 if they’ve been selected for the program.

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Kickstarter and Social Art Network Team Up to Support UK Artists

The program will mentor 10 social practice artists in the UK as they prepare to launch projects this fall.

Filmmaker Ian Nesbitt's 'Taking The Michael'
Filmmaker Ian Nesbitt's 'Taking The Michael'

Kickstarter has always been a place where artists can share projects that engage with politics and society—projects that affect communities and environments, create dialogue around key societal issues, and enable social and political change. These ideas resonate with Kickstarter backers who value the platform as a place to support projects that break down political barriers and invite others to move towards change.

On Kickstarter in the UK, we’ve noticed a rise in social practice projects addressing urgent concerns about how we live now: the climate emergency, Brexit and our relationship with continental Europe, the refugee crisis, our ageing population, and the effect of government austerity policies on marginalised communities.

To continue to support this work, Kickstarter has partnered with the collective Social Art Network (SAN) to mentor 10 artists as they prepare to launch social practice projects this fall. “What better way to help our sector grow and be resilient than to use Kickstarter’s expertise to help drive community-driven projects towards collective and collaborative financial success,” says artist and SAN’s co-founder R.M. Sánchez-Camus. “This program only begins with these 10 artists as a pilot. We are aiming for long-term strategies that can help artists working in this field be resilient and self-sufficient. To have their efforts supported and to shine.”

For social practice artists in the wider Kickstarter community, we’ll also run a public webinar and share additional resources for creators.

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