One Million Backers

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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!

    1. whitneymcn on

      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).

    2. Josh Tishhouse on

      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!

    3. Gregory Galant on

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

    4. Dylan Kurtz on

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

    5. Ryan Koo on

      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.

    6. Fred Wilson

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

    7. Kirk Love on

      Very cool! Congrats to the entire team.

    8. Daniel Daboczy on

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

    9. John A. Walsh on

      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!

    10. Craig Shapiro on

      Truly amazing progress. Congrats to the entire team.

    11. Jeremy Tubbs on

      Very interesting.

    12. Todd Sherman on

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

    13. Ingrid Kopp on

      Super-duper awesome!

    14. lisa g on

      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 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.

    15. Kristina on

      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.

    16. Missing avatar

      Brian Newman on

      Great stats, thanks for sharing them

    17. Christopher Salmon on

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

    18. Michael Eis on

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

    19. Leblog Monartiste on

      So amazing Thank you
      you give me hope for the future

    20. Liam Simmons

      Now to make it interntional?

    21. Matthew Bordy on

      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!

    22. Thomas Rand-Nash on

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

    23. Anton on

      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.

    24. Jane Ellen Sexton on

      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!

    25. Ken Gagne

      WHen do we get leaderboards? :-)

    26. Missing avatar

      Luci Gernot on

      Congratulations! This is fantastic.

    27. michael j robinson on


    28. Sara Melissa Arnold on

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

    29. Paul Seymour on

      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!

    30. Vicki Littell on

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

    31. Tyson Young on

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

    32. MostLoaded Idea on

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

    33. Denise Gabbard on

      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!

    34. walter french on

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

    35. Oscar Sanchez on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    36. FuelBox Inc. on

      Can't wait to get my product on!

    37. Mona Halim on

      Can companies back projects underneath a branded account?

    38. Matthew Wivell on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    39. oliver graham on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    40. Evan Bujold on

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

    41. Josh Montgomery on

      Just started my project today Wish me luck

    42. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    43. The Champ Production's on

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

      Thanks in advance!

    44. Mary Ann Domanska on

      Check out my project at
      It's a middle grade novel including Nikola Tesla!
      I need YOUR help to make this a success. Please consider sharing my link. Thanks!

    45. TIMOTCA 501(c)(3) Founded 1980 on

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

    46. Gabberz on

      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 ! ! !

    47. Carissa Werner on

      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?

    48. Carissa Werner on

      I really need your help on getting this unique film tribute out there! Thanks!