The Kickstarter Blog

One Million Backers

Last week a woman named Rachel Perrie pledged to a film project called Cargo. At that moment she became the millionth person to have ever backed a Kickstarter project.

Rachel backed the film because she knew the creator. People often support people they know on Kickstarter. People also back projects they discover via blog posts, tweets, Facebook, and our own site and newsletter. Whether to a friend or a stranger, a pledge simply says “I like what you’re doing and I’d like to be a part of it.”

Thanks to these million people there are plays, comics, albums, books, video games, urban farms, documentaries, exhibits, performances, and thousands more creative works out in the world. Many couldn’t exist without their support, and all are certainly better for it. It’s a remarkable thing.

We’re really excited about this milestone. A million people is a lot — more than ten Rose Bowls! To celebrate we’d like to take a closer look at Kickstarter’s first million backers. 

New Backers by Month

Let’s start by defining what we mean by backer. Someone becomes a backer when they pull out a credit card and pledge money to a project. Being a backer is a higher bar than a user (someone who signs up for a site), and different than a pledge (the transaction itself). One million backers means one million different people from around the world have pledged money to a project on Kickstarter.

The above graph shows the cumulative path to 1,000,000 backers. The first 200,000 backers took 16 months; the last 200,000 took just three months. Currently about 75,000 new backers pledge to projects each month.

Backer Success Rate

While projects successfully reach their goals 44% of the time, 89% of all backers have supported a successful project. Only 11% have never backed a successful project. This ties into data we previously shared showing that 85% of pledges are to successful projects. The overwhelming experience of a Kickstarter backer is success.

Which backer has been the most successful? We looked at all backers that have pledged to 50 or more projects, and a backer from the UK, Neil Graham, stood out. To date Neil has backed 94 projects, and 83 of 84 have finished successfully (ten pledges are still live). A 98% success rate — well done, Neil!

One-Time Backers vs Repeat Backers

Total Backers: 1,013,725
Repeat Backers: 166,823

How many backers have supported more than one project? There are 166,823 people who have backed two or more projects, 66,676 who have backed three or more projects, and 23,601 who have backed five or more projects.

Dollars Pledged by One-Time Backers vs Repeat Backers

One-Time Backer Dollars: ~$68 million
Repeat Backer Dollars: ~$32 million

Sixteen percent of backers are repeat backers, but their pledges account for 32% of all dollars. This number is up from our last stats update in July, when repeat backer dollars accounted for 28% of all pledges. The proportion and impact of repeat backers on Kickstarter continues to grow. We couldn’t be more excited about this.

How Backers Pledge
There have been approximately 1.4 million pledges on Kickstarter so far, and the above graph breaks down their increments. Notice how concentrated the pledges are up to $100. Ninety percent of all pledges have been for $100 or less, and 75% have been for $50 or less. Smaller amounts comprise the bulk of Kickstarter activity.

Pledge Statistics
Dollars Pledged: $100,729,560

Dollars Collected (successful projects): ~$84 million
Dollars Uncollected (unsuccessful projects): ~$12 million
Live Dollars: ~$5 million

Last week brought an additional milestone: Kickstarter backers have now pledged more than $100 million to projects. To put this in some context, the 2011 fiscal year budget for the National Endowment for the Arts is $154 million. At the current pace of more than $2 million in pledges each week, Kickstarter backers are pledging more than $100 million a year.

Interestingly the milestones of 1,000,000 backers and $100,000,000 pledged came within 48 hours of one another. This suggests the value of each backer being $100, and that’s about right. The average pledge amount is $71 and the average backer pledges to 1.4 projects.

But of course the real value of a backer is so much more than money. Backers provide encouragement, support, and public validation. Their dollars have already brought more than 13,000 projects to life, with many more to come. We’re sure every creator will join us in saying: thanks to all million of you!

Comments

    1. Whittest.small

      Creator whitneymcn on October 11, 2011

      Congratulations, this is great to see!

      The next time you're putting together fancy charts I'd love to see the distribution of project backing frequency (i.e. for buckets of 1 to n projects backed, how many people fall into each bucket).

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      Creator Josh Tishhouse on October 11, 2011

      I'm about $300 into various projects, still waiting for some rewards!

      I think it's a great concept, but there should be some consumer protections in place for backers so the promised rewards come in a timely manner!

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      Creator Lisa Yao on October 11, 2011

      Congratulations!

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      Creator Gregory Galant on October 11, 2011

      Amazing! Congrats on this. Love the National Endowment for the Arts comparison.

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      Creator Dylan Kurtz on October 11, 2011

      Charts and graphs make me drool. So much informational eye-candy in one blog post.

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      Creator Ryan Koo on October 11, 2011

      Thanks so much for sharing these statistics!

      Kickstarter is the new National Endowment for the Arts -- very interesting.

      Josh -- I believe that's why they recently added an "estimated delivery" date to backer levels.

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      Creator Fred Wilson on October 11, 2011

      yet another milestone in a string of them. well done kickstarter

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      Creator Kirk Love on October 11, 2011

      Very cool! Congrats to the entire team.

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      Creator Daniel Daboczy on October 11, 2011

      Congratulations from FundedByMe to this amazing achievement. You guys are impressive!

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      Creator John A. Walsh on October 11, 2011

      So many of the people that I've contacted about my own Kickstarter campaign didn't even know about Kickstarter. And so many have written back to exclaiming their new found love for the site!

      Here's to the next million!

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      Creator Craig Shapiro on October 11, 2011

      Truly amazing progress. Congrats to the entire team.

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      Creator Jeremy Tubbs on October 11, 2011

      Very interesting.

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      Creator Todd Sherman on October 11, 2011

      Congrats - spice up my profile with graphs like this please.

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      Creator Ingrid Kopp on October 11, 2011

      Super-duper awesome!

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      Creator lisa g on October 11, 2011

      I know that we appreciate any pledges and backers that are available. We currently have a project going for James Lambert. He is a country singer..you should go look at his story...truly amazing to hear about the struggles and accomplishments he has gone through already. We appreciate each and every one of you, and the more that can spread the word about the project, the better...We hope we can make this a success just as many others on this site.

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      Creator Kristina on October 11, 2011

      I wonder how many backers are like me - I plan to post a project soon, and as I researched the site, I got excited about some of the projects I found. It would be interesting to know what the stat is on "created projects" for the repeat backers.

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      Creator Brian Newman on October 11, 2011

      Great stats, thanks for sharing them

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      Creator Christopher Salmon on October 11, 2011

      Fantastic milestone Yancey & Co!!! I'm just grateful to have been a part of it all ... :)

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      Creator Michael Eis on October 12, 2011

      FANTASTICK - congrats from booomerang - you show us the way :)

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      Creator Leblog Monartiste on October 12, 2011

      So amazing Thank you
      you give me hope for the future

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      Creator Liam Simmons on October 12, 2011

      Now to make it interntional?

    22. Profile.small

      Creator Matthew Bordy on October 12, 2011

      Simply Awesome!

      Yancey thanks for motivating all of us at the IDSA National Conference! & Congrats on hitting one million backers,
      I feel this is only the start.

      Keep on , keeping on!

    23. Favicon.small

      Creator Thomas Rand-Nash on October 12, 2011

      Yay and congratulations!!!!
      I love backing projects--thank you for the opportunity to find out about so many wonderful people and their ideas!

    24. Pear1.small

      Creator Anton on October 12, 2011

      I've backed seven projects and all of them have succeeded. When I first came here it was to support the project of a friend. Then there was the Robocop statue in Detroit. Then I just kept finding amazing stuff. I love this site.

    25. Tree.small

      Creator Jane Ellen Sexton on October 13, 2011

      This is such an exciting group of stats to read about. You guys are so FLIPPIN' smart. This coming Sunday, October 16th will be my one year anniversary in the kitchen with arts n' jest edibles, llc. My husband and I have more than doubled our business and have recently been given full freedom to create whatever we want for our biggest vendor.
      I could not have had this happen if my Pal Erin hadn't turned me on to Kickstarter! It is so great to see the abundance happen for your company because your help to all of us is very expansive and the community consciousness you support is contagious. Good on YOU!

    26. Img_0033.small

      Creator Ken Gagne on October 13, 2011

      WHen do we get leaderboards? :-)

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      Creator Luci Gernot on October 13, 2011

      Congratulations! This is fantastic.

    28. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator michael j robinson on October 14, 2011

      CONGRATULATIONS,TO YOU GUYS,YOUR ARE DOING A GREAT JOB,ALL THE BEST.I WROTE A BOOK,CALLED DROP -OUT. I HOPE FOR A CHANCE,FOR THIS BOOK. GOD BLESS YOU.MICHAEL J ROBINSON.

    29. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Sara Melissa Arnold on October 14, 2011

      I would love an easier way to find people I know.

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      Creator Paul Seymour on October 17, 2011

      Love the stats and also love that finding Kickstarter has given me the possibility to explore creations that would not have been possible without it.. My cousin and I are getting ready to launch our first Kickstarter project and we are extremely excited and hope that it will do well. We love this community and have been backing other projects we see and are drawn to. This is one of the coolest uses of the internet I have ever seen and I also love that you can show some good will to complete strangers by helping them reach their dreams and stoking their creativity!

    31. Vicki%20wedding.small

      Creator Vicki Littell on October 17, 2011

      Congrats! Great information. Looking forward to next years stats and projects.

    32. Dp.small

      Creator Tyson Young on November 11, 2011

      Phenomenal stuff. What a legendary community you have brought together. Job well done guys.

    33. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator MostLoaded Idea on December 23, 2011

      84 million dollars for "successful projects ? " Check out my project - "mostloaded"

    34. Me%20picture.small

      Creator Denise Gabbard on January 26, 2012

      It is great to see that so many projects are successful. I am hopeful that mine is going to make it and I'll be able to publish my book for writers. I'm reading the blog to find more ideas for getting the word out about it. Does Kickstarter allow Guest Blog Posts? If so, I would love to write one!

    35. Jp.small

      Creator walter french on February 16, 2012

      come check out my project please! i have no problem helping anyone out if they need it also...

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      Creator Oscar Sanchez on March 3, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Creator FuelBox Inc. on March 6, 2012

      Can't wait to get my product on kickstarter.com!

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      Creator Mona Halim on March 9, 2012

      Can companies back projects underneath a branded account?

    39. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Matthew Wivell on March 23, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Creator oliver graham on March 24, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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      Creator Evan Bujold on April 24, 2012

      I'm having a difficult time getting backers for my comic book/album :/

    42. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Josh Montgomery on May 14, 2012

      Just started my project today Wish me luck

    43. Img_1055.small

      Creator Andi Aksan Akmal on June 3, 2012

      this is why we love kickstarter :)

    44. 4415_1159227217447_1130780903_504987_6651941_n.small

      Creator The Champ Production's on July 29, 2012

      please help back my project so that it may reach a Goal and be a success.

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/734078231/loveem-n-leaveem

      Thanks in advance!

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      Creator Mary Ann Domanska on August 1, 2012

      Check out my project at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1090646657/emic-rizzle-tinkerer-a-middle-grade-adventure-nove
      It's a middle grade novel including Nikola Tesla!
      I need YOUR help to make this a success. Please consider sharing my link. Thanks!

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      Creator TIMOTCA 501(c)(3) Founded 1980 on November 11, 2012

      Does anyone have any stats on the best or worst months for launching a Kickstarter project. Thanks

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      Creator Gabberz on November 13, 2012

      Great question Timotca! I was looking for the right place to ask the same question. What types of projects do best in what months? Is it best to begin or end during a holiday season? Before, during, or after summer vacation? How about it, Kickstarter? You know we LOVE data ! ! !

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      Creator Carissa Werner on January 20, 2013

      Hello everyone! If you could please check out my Film. I am doing it based on the lives of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick... Any interests out there?

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      Creator Carissa Werner on January 20, 2013

      I really need your help on getting this unique film tribute out there! Thanks! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andywarhol/edie-sedgwick-tribute-film