We asked some terrific filmmakers this question, and collected their responses in a quick video — you can check it out right here, on our YouTube channel. We're sure folks would love to hear your thoughts, too: how did YOU figure out the right goal?
The Kalculator is a proof of concept that I made to help creators budget their Kickstarter project, set a realistic funding goal and estimate how many backers they may need to be successful.
I invite you to give it a try! And if you have any feedback, please add a comment below. This is a personal project that I’m building on my own. If you participate, you’ll be helping me—not Kickstarter—understand how to improve this tool.
Total your costs, advertising fees, manufacturing, labor, personal profit, SHIPPING (research this!) etc; subtract what you're willing to foot the bill for if anything. Multiply that number by 1.12. The total will be your Kickstarter Goal. If you don't do the x1.12, you'll be very short on your production budget. (the x1.12 = your Kickstarter fees).
UPDATE: Use our budget spreadsheet here. Free, of course. You'll find a ton of other useful advice for your Kickstarter there as well.
Then, I take the Tier with the lowest "profit" (Pledge Amount - actual Cost), and divide the profit by the amount I need to finish the project (this is assuming there is a set price to create the "original" product - in my case a comic book). That is the number of Backers you need at the Tier. The multiply that number by the price for that Tier.
Finally, add in an additional 10-20% for fees, taxes, damaged goods, etc...