After Funding Succeeds

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Last night, Brad Skistimas’ Five Times August project crossed its $20,000 finish line with about six hours to spare. It’s Kickstarter’s most-funded project to date, and incredibly he did it all in just 31 days. That’s about $700 a day, and it’s a stunning achievement on Brad’s part. Congratulations to him on a job well done.

This brings up a good question: what does happen when funding ends? After pounding the pavement to bring in backers and generating buzz, what are the next steps for both project creators and backers? We thought this would be a good chance to walk everyone through it. Let’s start with Amazon.

Amazon Funds

When funding ends successfully, the cash is not immediately available for creators to get to work. Amazon Payments, which processes all Kickstarter transactions, has a mandatory hold period of 14 days for funds (it takes another three to five for the funds to transfer, as well). During that time there’s a seven-day window where backers can fix any payment problems, and finally in two weeks the funds are ready to withdraw.

Backer Surveys

Most successful projects involve rewards that will require extra information from backers — things like T-shirt size, mailing address, or preferred color — and once a project ends the creator will start to query backers about their particulars.

Project Updates

Every project is different: many are already underway pursuing their project before funding even begins, and others need to have the cash in hand to get started. In either case, there is plenty of work to be done post-funding, and many project creators keep their backers in the loop on each stage of the process (something we heartily encourage). Some great examples include Electronola and Kind of Bloop, which have had regular updates that have brought backers right into the creative process. The Five Times August project, which has been great with project updates, seems like one that will do the same.

That covers post-funding for creators.

What should backers expect?

Once a project ends, all backers receive an email notice saying whether or not the project was successful, and, if it was, a receipt for the charge. They’re notified by email if creators need information from them, and email is also used to notify folks with payment problems.

The Story Unfolds

It’s up to each project creator, but backers can have an active role in the development and nurturing of a project. Projects don’t just need money, they need support, a raison d’être, and a groundswell of engaged backers and followers is a great way to do it.

Announce the accomplishment and don’t be afraid to stress your importance. Used to be we’d brag about who heard something first. Now the project’s story can become our story, and we can honestly say, “I helped make that.” And in that simple statement, the project will continue to spread.

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