Creator Questions: Getting started
Anyone that meets our creator requirements is eligible to launch a project on Kickstarter.
Just head to our start page to begin building your project. You can find tips on structuring and running your project in our Resources Compendium, and refer to our rules to make sure your project idea is a good fit. Meanwhile, feel free to save your project as a draft and return to finish it up or submit it for review at a later date.
Kickstarter is open to backers all over the world.
Project creation is currently available to individuals in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, and Japan who meet the requirements below.
—You are 18 years of age or older.*
—You are a permanent resident of one of the above listed eligible countries.
—You are creating a project in your own name, or on behalf of a registered legal entity with which you are affiliated.
—You have an address, bank account, and government-issued ID based in the country that you're creating a project in.**
—If running your project as an individual, the linked bank account must belong to the person who verified their identity for your project.
—You have a major credit or debit card.***
**Citizens of the E.U. are welcome to use a government-issued ID from any E.U. country (such as an E.U. passport, etc.). Note: your project must be run in an E.U. country that is eligible on Kickstarter.
***Citizens of Canada must have a major credit card.
Want to be notified if your country becomes available? Click here!
Every project on Kickstarter has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, a gadget, or a work of art that will be shared with others.
We review projects before they launch to ensure they fit this criteria, as well as our rules.
Running a project is a lot of fun, but also requires a lot of coordination. We’ve compiled a guide for creating a smart project timeline, but here are some quick tips to ensure you're ready before you launch:
- Make a detailed budget of your costs. Use this to set your funding goal.
- Establish your reward tiers. What are some rewards that might appeal to your community
- Have a plan for spreading the word.
- Share your project draft with your friends and family for some pre-launch feedback using our project preview tool.
Check the Resources Compendium for more pointers on building and launching a project.
We encourage creators to research all costs involved in completing their project prior to launching. Your funding goal should be the minimum amount of funds you need to complete your project and make and ship any rewards. Once your project has launched, the funding goal and deadline cannot be changed.
It helps to make a list of all the materials, resources, and expenses you'll need to complete your project, and the estimated costs for each. Research how much things will cost, and consider how your expenses could change if you had to switch suppliers or fulfillment partners (it never hurts to have a back-up plan). We’ve also compiled a list of services that can aid in the process of completing your project.
Keep in mind that any funds pledged towards shipping costs will also count towards your goal. Check out this video for insight into how other creators have estimated their funding goals.
After visiting your project page backers should have a clear sense of:
- What it is you are trying to create
- How you plan on doing so
- Your budget, and how you plan to use your funds
- Your story. Let your backers know what brought you to Kickstarter.
- The progress you’ve made so far. How far along is your project?
The more information you share, the more confident your backers will be in pledging to your project.
You can include images and videos in your project description by clicking the grey image or video icons at the top of the description editor. Doing so will open a window that allows you to upload your media files directly from your computer.
Images must be 50MB or less. We accept most major image formats, but for best results upload one of our recommended file types: JPEG, PNG, or BMP. It's best to scale your images to 680px before uploading so that they'll appear properly on our site.
Videos added to a project description must be 250MB or less and one of the following file types: MOV, MP4, or WMV. We take the video file you upload and create a 640 x 360 (16:9 ratio) version to display on your project page.
For video encoding, use WMV format in Windows. On Mac, use H.264. In both cases, the key variable is the “bit rate,” so look for that box. If it’s measured in kilobits per second (kbps), try 1500 to start. If it’s measured in megabits per second (Mbps), try 1.5. If the file is too big: make that number smaller. If the quality seems bad: make it bigger.
You can also embed videos and audio (from YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, etc.).
Videos are not required to launch, but projects that have compelling videos tend to succeed at a much higher rate.
Feel free to visit our Creator Handbook and watch this tutorial on how to make a great project video.
The Prototype Gallery, available for projects in the Technology and Design Categories, as well as the Gaming Hardware subcategory, allows creators to share documentation through different stages of a project’s prototypes to their backers.
Available under the Story tab in project build, creators in the above-mentioned categories will be able to upload photos and videos to document their proof of concept, functional prototype, appearance prototype, design prototype, and production prototype.
Slides are not required in order to submit projects for review. However, projects that involve the development of physical products must feature explicit demos of working prototypes on their project page.
Projects on Kickstarter can last anywhere from 1 - 60 days. We've done some research, and found that projects lasting any longer are rarely successful.
We recommend setting your campaign at 30 days or less. Campaigns with shorter durations have higher success rates, and create a helpful sense of urgency around your project.
The estimated delivery date for a reward is the date by which you expect to deliver that reward to backers. If you're offering more than one thing in a single reward tier, set your estimated delivery date to when you expect everything in the reward tier to be delivered.
Estimated delivery dates are mandatory for each reward tier, so be sure to choose a time frame that you feel confident in fulfilling.
Rewards are typically items created as a result of running a successful Kickstarter project (a copy of the album, a print from the collection) or more experiential rewards (visits to the set, a private cooking class).
Yes! When building your project, there's a place to select "Limit # available."
So if you want to offer 20 VIP seats to your film's premiere, for example, you can limit the reward to 20. As soon as 20 people back the VIP premiere reward tier, it will be marked as sold out and backers won't be able to select it.
With our itemization feature, you can also list the items available in your reward. Simply click the ‘Add an item’ link in your reward description and enter in the items available. Use the +/- buttons to specify the quantity of items being offered in a specific reward tier.
It’s also possible to mark a reward tier as sold out at any point during your campaign, and increase reward limits (or remove them altogether) at any time.
Creators now have the ability to schedule rewards to go live on a certain date in their campaign, or even limit the amount of time that a reward tier is available.
To do so, select ‘Enable reward limit’ in the ‘Limit availability’ section of your rewards. From this section you’ll be able to set the start and end date for a reward of your choosing.
If you wish to mark a reward as sold out, you can do so using this feature. Just set the end date to anytime in the past.
For more information on this, as well as some suggested uses, check out our blog post!
The maximum pledge amount varies based on a project's country of origin. A project creator cannot set a reward tier higher than the maximum pledge amount.
US-based projects: $10,000
UK-based projects: £8,000
Canada-based projects: $13,000 CAD
Australia-based projects: $13,000 AUD
New Zealand-based projects: $14,000 NZD
Mexico-based projects: $200,000 MXN
Japan-based projects: ¥1,200,000 JPY
Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, and Ireland-based projects: €8,500
Sweden-based projects: 85000 SEK
Denmark-based projects: 65000 DKK
Norway-based projects: 80000 NOK
Switzerland-based projects: 9500 CHF
Hong Kong-based projects: 75000 HKD
Singapore-based projects: 13000 SGD
In general, the cost to mail your backers their rewards (postage, envelopes, etc.) should be taken into account when you set your goal and price your rewards. Also keep in mind that any funds pledged towards shipping costs will count towards your project's goal.
Unless you specify otherwise, backers can pledge to your project from anywhere in the world. It’s always fun to have a backer from across the globe, but it can also mean paying for international postage to send rewards overseas.
As you build your rewards, you’ll have the option to specify global shipping costs, and shipping to certain countries. During the course of your campaign, if you find that you'd like to offer shipping options to more countries, you're welcome to add more shipping specifications or create new reward tiers. For more information on setting shipping costs for your backers, read on here.
When setting up your rewards, you’ll be able to choose from the following options for each reward tier:No shipping involved: This option should only be selected if the reward does not involve shipping anything (for example, a digital copy of a film).
Only ships to certain countries: Using this option, you’ll be able to restrict the shipping of rewards to certain countries, and designate costs for each country you select. If you only want to offer shipping within your own country or shipping to select countries, this is the option for you! This additional price will be included in the reward description, and backers in these countries will be prompted to enter the additional amount to their pledge.
Shipping anywhere in the world: This option allows you to select a global shipping rate, with the choice to designate outliers with different shipping rates. For example, if you’d like to offer a global shipping rate of $15, but need to charge only $10 for shipping to Canada, you’ll be able to specify this. Pricing will be included in the reward description, and backers in these countries will be prompted to enter the additional amount to their pledges.
As you build out your rewards and set shipping costs, note that costs for a precise country will always trump the cost of a region. For instance, if you offer a shipping rate of $15 for the European Union, but charge only $10 for shipping to France, a backer based in France will be prompted to pay the $10 shipping rate. Additionally, any funds pledged towards shipping costs will count towards your project's goal.
Yes. Projects remain live on Kickstarter until their funding deadline — which means it’s possible for creators to overshoot their funding goal before the project ends. In these cases, the creator receives all of the additional funds (minus our fees).
With these additional funds, some project creators increase the scope of their project, or improve the quality and variety of backer rewards available.
Stretch goals are not part of the official Kickstarter platform. Rather, a stretch goal is a funding target set by the project creator beyond the original Kickstarter goal. Stretch goals as a term and a practice emerged from the Kickstarter community as a way for creators to "stretch" beyond the initial, official goal of the Kickstarter project and raise more money (and often make cooler stuff!). Funds are collected whether stretch goals are met or not, as long as the project has met its Kickstarter funding goal.
What happens when a project is overfunded varies depending on the project, and stretch goals are not right for every project. If you are thinking about stretch goals you should consider:
Project complexity: Stretch goals can make a project more difficult to complete. Fulfilling rewards can be demanding, and any time you add new stuff (more songs on your album, better materials or options for your creation) the demands increase. More costs to consider, more things to ship — things can get complicated fast. It can be tempting to add stretch goals — especially if a project quickly exceeds its initial funding goal — but this shouldn't be done without careful planning.
Communication: If adding stretch goals, think carefully about how to announce them to your community of backers. Take the time to explain your intentions, your motivations, and your plans. Any changes made midstream should be accompanied by an assurance that you are honoring your initial promises to backers. Simply proclaiming, “New goal!” without recognizing what you’ve achieved together can rub backers the wrong way.
Yes. A project creator has the option to cancel funding. When funding is canceled, all pledges are immediately voided. Project creators and backers can continue to post on the project, however.
Campus is a space for Kickstarter creators to share knowledge with one another. It’s a place to ask and answer questions, and a place to trade stories, ideas, and advice. Only people who have started a project or been appointed as collaborators can ask question, but everyone is welcome to upvote and subscribe.
On Campus, we encourage creators to engage each other with questions, tips, advice, and experiences on all levels of running a project. Feel free to check out our guidelines for further details on best practices.
Yes. For example, if your project is a documentary and you put it in the Documentary subcategory, your project will appear in both the Documentary and Film & Video sections.
We don’t permit running multiple projects at the same time, or launching a second project before fulfilling your first one. Having multiple live projects can confuse backers and split support. Moreover, running a project is a lot of work, and having more than one live project will likely dilute your attention and energy.
If you're a first-time creator with multiple project ideas, we recommend selecting the one that's most developed and trying that first.
Transparency is an essential part of Kickstarter. Being open about your project’s status, and sharing ideas with your backers, is a powerful community-building tool for project creators.
If you have any concerns about sharing any information about your project online, you may want to seek legal counsel.
Yes! Having friends and collaborators look at what you’ve put together can be really helpful and reassuring. Just click “Get preview link” at the top of your project preview while you're creating your project and send the link to anyone you'd like. The link isn't password protected, so it's very easy to share with friends. If they have a Kickstarter account, friends will be able to leave feedback right on your project preview. Once your project has launched, your preview link will redirect to your live campaign page.
If you shared your preview link and don't want people to see it or leave feedback on it anymore, you can always click “Disable preview link” at the top of your project preview.
We’re working hard to open up to project creators in even more countries soon. We appreciate your patience!
Want to be notified if your country becomes available? Click here!
Yes, do what works best for your project! We do recommend that all projects also include an English version of their description, rewards, and other key elements. Kickstarter is a global community, and including translations will definitely help your project have a wider appeal.
If you include text or audio in a language outside of those that we currently support (English, French, German, and Spanish), we also ask that you include English translations or subtitles.
Interested in including another language on your project page? Check out our Best Practices for Bilingual Projects.
Can I choose my project’s display currency? Can I use USD for my project if I’m based outside the US?
The currency displayed on your project is determined by your project’s country of origin. That means if your banking and identity information is based in, say, Canada, your project automatically will be in CAD, if you’re in the UK it will be in GBP, and so on. At this time, there is no way to choose a preferred currency.
Backers based in the US will also see each project's goal displayed in USD (even if the project is based outside of the US):
They'll also see reward tiers listed in USD, with the project's native currency alongside:
While nonprofit and charitable organizations are welcome to use Kickstarter, please note that Kickstarter cannot be used for direct charity or cause funding. All projects must create something to share with others. Check out our rules for more.
As with all projects, it's important to look at our rules before getting started. Nonprofits and charitable organizations are welcome to use Kickstarter, but funds raised on Kickstarter cannot be used for charity. Instead, projects should focus on what's being created. Kickstarter cannot provide advice about taxes, including how to provide tax deductions to backers. Creators should contact a lawyer or financial professional for any tax-related questions.
US-based creators: All the names on all accounts (including the Kickstarter account and bank and credit card accounts) must be in the organization’s name.
If you're not running the project as a nonprofit, but instead working with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, be sure that your account details (specifically, the 'Account' tab of your project) is set up by the 501(c)(3). You must also include details about the organization on the project page.
If your account is registered by a confirmed 501(c)(3) organization, you may have the ability to offer full or partial tax deductions to backers.
UK-based creators: In general, CICs and other UK nonprofits will not be able to offer tax deductions to backers.
Canada-based creators: Project creators in Canada may be able to offer tax deductible pledges if certain requirements are met (e.g., the funding goes to a registered Canadian charity).
Australia-based creators: Project creators in Australia may be able to offer tax deductible pledges if certain requirements are met (e.g., the funding goes to a registered Deductible Gift Recipient, endorsed by the ATO or listed by name in the income tax law).
New Zealand-based creators: Project creators in New Zealand may be able to offer tax deductible pledges if certain requirements are met (e.g., the funding goes to a registered Donee organization).
Netherlands, Ireland, and Scandinavia-based creators: For tax deduction questions or other specifics, please contact a lawyer or financial professional.
Hong Kong-based creators: For the purposes of Personal Assessment, Salaries Tax and Profits Tax and subject to certain limitations, a deduction is granted for donations of money to charitable institutions or trusts of a public character which are exempt from tax under section 88 or to the Government for charitable purposes.
The project collaborators tool allows you to include other members of your team to help manage your Kickstarter project. This includes sharing permissions to:
- Edit Project: Collaborator can make edits to your project's basics, story, rewards, FAQs and Spotlight.
- Manage Community: Collaborator can post updates and comments, and mark comments as spam.
- Manage Fulfillment: Collaborator can manage surveys and access your backer report.
Scroll down to the bottom of the Basics section of your project draft and click the blue ‘Add collaborators’ button. This will lead you to the Project Collaborators page, where you can add collaborators and grant them permissions for your project. Keep in mind, team members must have a Kickstarter account in order to accept a collaborator invitation.
Once you’re finished adding your team to your project, feel free to introduce them to your community on your project page or in an update.
Yes; just head to the creators tool menu and click ‘Manage collaborators’.
Projects are never removed from the site. They remain available for reference and transparency.
For the same reasons, projects cannot be deleted, even if they were canceled or unsuccessful. Please note that deleting your Kickstarter account will not delete your project.
Don't use music, images, video, or other content that you don't have the rights to. Using copyrighted material is almost always against the law and can lead to expensive lawsuits down the road.
When copyright disputes do arise on Kickstarter (they're rare, but they happen), we handle them in accordance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998. To avoid unnecessary disruption, projects in question are typically removed from public view but are not immediately canceled. This keeps pledge authorizations and lines of communication intact, and leaves room for project recovery where appropriate. The procedure is outlined in detail on our Copyright and DMCA Policy page.
The easiest way to avoid copyright troubles altogether, though, is to create all the content yourself or use content that is free for public use. For example, you may be able to use some Creative Commons-licensed music — per the terms of their licenses — that's available on SoundCloud. Other resources worth exploring: Vimeo Music Store, Free Music Archive, and ccMixter.
You can use our subtitles and captioning feature for your main project video, or for videos that you add to your description and updates. Just save your uploaded video, select the language that you’re adding subtitles or captioning for and click “Add track” to get started.
You can then import an existing file or click on the pencil icon to manually add subtitles and captions.
To set your language, go to the bottom of any page on Kickstarter and click the current language in the right corner. This will open a drop down menu, which you can select your preferred language from.
Note: The language that appears on our iPhone and Android apps is dictated by your phone’s settings.
Creator Questions: Launching your project
The amount of time it takes to build a project page may vary depending on the project’s scope and size. That said, there is no deadline to complete and submit your draft for review; you can always save your project draft and revisit it at a later time.
Yes we do. Our Launch Now feature uses an algorithm incorporating thousands of data points to check whether a project is ready to launch — things like the project’s description, rewards, funding goal, and whether the creator has previously launched a project.
If the project qualifies for Launch Now, the creator can go live whenever they’re ready.
If a project doesn’t qualify for Launch Now, the creator will need to share the project with us for review before it can launch. We will make sure the project is in line with our rules, and verify that it’s a project with a specific, finite goal — we do not investigate a creator’s ability to complete their project. We may also offer the creator helpful feedback on ways to structure or present their project. This process usually takes up to three business days.
Every site has rules for how it can be used. While many sites wait until after something is posted to apply their rules — commonly through user reporting or algorithmic scan — we apply ours before projects launch. (We have user reporting and algorithm scans too, of course.) We take our review process really seriously — because we have to. It's a big deal for a project to be taken down after it’s launched – much bigger than taking down a YouTube video.
Inevitably, any line we draw might leave out some great projects. It’s a bummer. But we’re trying to make best possible tool for funding and building community around creative projects, not the biggest possible funding site.
Launch Now gives creators the flexibility to launch their projects whenever they’re ready. When a creator chooses to launch their project, they can simply click 'Continue to launch' and follow the proceeding steps to take their project live.
This is what the flow will look like:
Our 'Launch Now' feature uses an algorithm incorporating thousands of data points to check whether a project can launch now. Data points include keywords, project characteristics, whether the creator has previously launched a project, and other factors.
The algorithm analyzes the characteristics of an individual project, and compares them to how we’ve handled similar projects in the past.
The creator is asked to share the project with the Kickstarter staff for a manual review. We simply make sure the project abides by our rules, and then give the green light and share best practices. If the project violates our rules, it is not allowed to launch. Please note that all Design & Technology projects are subject to manual review.
The flow will look like this:
Visit this blog post about our review policy for more information.
There are other services out there. You could try Selfstarter, which is software for building your own crowdfunding site (it uses some of our own code that we open-sourced). JustGiving and Rally are platforms for charitable fundraising. And there are hundreds of general crowdfunding sites out there. Regardless of what you decide, you can consult our Creator Handbook to help you build your project and share your idea.
Kickstarter is not a store, it’s where creators come together with backers to bring creative projects to life. To underscore this, we ask that creators in these categories be clear with backers about the work remaining in their project, and their prior experience in hardware and design.
We ask that hardware projects be shown as they are — even if it’s just an early working prototype (see our Prototype Gallery for more details). We don’t allow photorealistic renderings. We also ask creators in these categories to detail for backers how they’ll produce their product and whether they’ve done things like it before.
Absolutely not. It doesn't matter if we don't think a project will succeed, or if someone on the Kickstarter staff doesn’t like it. We would never reject a polka album just because we don't like polka. (Note: We have no strong opinion on polka.) We do, however, expect all projects to adhere to our rules and Community Guidelines.
The final URL for your project isn't generated until you launch, but you can always share a link to your Kickstarter profile. Once it’s launched, your project will be included in the list of created projects on your profile.
Once your project has been approved you'll be free to go live whenever you're ready! Just click on 'Status' in your project edit page and from there you can select "Continue to launch".
Continue reading below for more info on your project once it's live!
Creator Questions: Promoting your project
You should start planning as soon as you decide you want to run a project. Start by thinking through who your existing fans and contacts are and organizing their information into an actionable contact list, something other project creators have found to be helpful for staying organized ahead of a project’s campaign.
From there, consider how you’ll message each of these unique audiences. Who do you want to reach by email? How will social media messaging come into play? Do you need to plan a press release ahead of time? These are important things to review when organizing your communication plan.
(You might also want to check out our one-sheet on Spreading the Word About Your Kickstarter Project)
Once you’ve drawn up your press list and planned your promotional efforts, you’ll want to line up press outlets that might be interested in your project. Think about sites that could help amplify your project to your community. If you’re running an electronic music project, what sites did you visit to find your favorite new act? Are there any publishing blogs that would cover your 21st century dystopian romance novel?
Reaching out to small publications, blogs, and local outlets can be just as valuable as a larger news sites, where your story might get lost in the shuffle.
Lots of creators have approached us about getting messages from marketing or promotion services that promise backers. Bottom line, we think that for most projects, these services aren’t necessary. If you’re considering working with one of these services, make sure to research the following:
- Get details on the exact services that they provide. Are these things that you and your team could do on your own?
- Find out their track record. Look up reviews or talk to other creators that have used these services. Ask them what worked and what didn’t.
- If you feel that any of these services might be spamming you, please let us know by marking these messages as spam or by writing in to us directly.
- There are more tips on what to consider before working with a marketing service in this post, too.
We know about the dreaded feeling that comes after the initial excitement around the launch of a campaign slows down. Don’t panic. This “plateau” is normal for most campaigns and there’s a lot that you can do continue spreading the word:
- Ask friends and family to share your project with their networks. Getting your project beyond your immediate audience can only help.
- Activate any connections that you have with press or bloggers. Focus on outlets relevant to your project.
- Spice up your promotion strategy by hosting an AMA, adding a new reward, or just changing your messaging around your project. This post can help you think up some ideas.
- Learn from what fellow creators tried. Stay calm! No one can tell your project’s story and get people more excited than you can.
Creator Questions: While your project is live
Every project that launches on Kickstarter can be found in the Recently Launched section. Your project will also appear in the Popular section of its corresponding category and subcategory, as well as the Currently Funding section of your city.
Lots of people who come to Kickstarter browse around and look for projects, but keep in mind that when it comes to getting new backers, getting the word out through your own networks is the most effective. See our section on Promoting Your Project for more info!
Your project’s dashboard contains up-to-the-minute stats about your funding progress. From there, you can monitor referrer information, reward popularity, video play stats, average pledge amount, and more. The “Activity” section will give you more details, including any pledge or reward adjustments and comment activity.
You can also check your backer report for a complete list of your backers and their respective pledge amounts and reward selections.
Both your dashboard and backer report can be visited from the creator tools menu, located on the left side of your project page.
Enabling custom referral tags will allow you to see which external sites brought backers to your project page, as well as the number of successful backings generated from a particular link.
You can set up your referral tags in your Creator Dashboard. Once you’ve customized the name of a referral tag (ex: Facebook campaign, Twitter campaign, etc.), you’ll be given a unique URL to use for sharing your project. Referral tag results will then be displayed on your dashboard to include the number of pledges generated, % of total funds accounted for, and total amount pledged.
Please note that link clicks are not included in these results (if you're interested in this data, we would recommend setting up Google Analytics for your project).
It’s not possible to generate referral information until after your project has launched.
Yes! Project creators can edit any of the following, even after launching their project.
— Project description
— Project video and image
— New rewards, or rewards without backers
— Project FAQs
— Kickstarter profile bio
The following cannot be edited once a project has launched.
— Funding goal
— Project deadline
— Kickstarter profile name
— Rewards tiers that have already been selected by a backer
If a reward tier doesn't have any backers, you're welcome to make any changes to it or delete it entirely.
If a reward tier does have backers associated with it, you won't be able to make any changes to it (except for specifying new places that you'd like to offer shipping to).
Every project's "Campaign" tab (the page with the project's description, rewards, and funding details) is preserved as it ended. Creators with new information to share can post a project update. Creators of successfully funded projects can use our Spotlight feature, the customizable section at the top of the Updates page, to highlight milestones in their creative process.
If no backers have selected the reward tier, you can change the estimated delivery date on your Edit Project page. If the reward has already been selected the date cannot be changed, so you should notify those backers of the new delivery date via the "Message All" button in that reward tier, which you can find in your Backer Report.
"Project updates" refer to what is essentially each project's blog. Project creators use updates to keep their backers informed on the development of the project. Creators have the option to notify all of their backers about an update, or backers of select reward tiers. Some creators may post every day, others may do it rarely, but it's the best way to keep backers informed of a project's progress.
Each post can be made publicly viewable or backers-only. Backers-only updates allow you to communicate privately with backers as a group.
Want some ideas for your project update? Check out this post on 50 ideas for sending great project updates.
The FAQ is an area where you can address common questions that you're hearing from visitors of your project page. On Kickstarter, anyone can use this section to send their questions via our messaging system. If you're seeing the same question come in repeatedly, we recommend addressing this in an FAQ on your project page.
You can find the Project FAQ via the ‘FAQ’ tab on your project page. From clarification on reward details to more specific technical questions, this section is where you’ll be able to post helpful information about your project.
If you’re getting hit with questions relating to our site itself, you can always direct your backers to contact us.
If you realize that you will be unable to follow through on your project before funding has ended, you are expected to cancel it.
Our team is constantly keeping an eye on the projects that are launching on Kickstarter. When we see one that stands out, we make it a Project We Love and sometimes even feature it on the site or in a newsletter. These projects usually have a super crisp project page with a clear description, captivating images or video, a thorough plan for completion, an excited community, and of course, a lot of creativity.
Interested in becoming a Project We Love? We'd recommend browsing through other Projects We Love for inspiration, checking out our newsletter to get an idea of which projects we feature, and making sure your project hits these notes.
Each Project We Love is automatically appointed with a little badge as a show of our enthusiasm and respect, and the creator still has complete creative control over their idea. Want to learn more? We talk about the history of Projects We Love in this post.
We select certain Projects We Love to include in the homepage rotation. From that homepage rotation, we’ll choose a single project to feature as our Project of the Day for all categories (there’s also a specialized Project of the Day per category).
We put a lot of care into selecting these projects, focusing on the same qualities we do for Projects We Love. Because the homepage is the first thing people see when they visit Kickstarter.com, we aim to have it populated with projects that are great examples of Kickstarter projects.
The homepage also features popular projects and projects your friends have backed and launched. These projects determined by algorithms that are constantly updating to reflect all project activity on the site.
Check out this blog post for tips on how you can make a great project page and have a good chance of being featured!
The default sort of our Advanced Discover tool, “magic,” displays a rotating cross section of compelling projects on Kickstarter by surfacing a mixture of Projects We Love and what's popular from each of our 15 categories. In order to exhibit the creative spectrum of our community, we’ve designed the magic sort to be dynamic — this means that it refreshes often. If you see your project pop in and out of this magical sort, don’t worry, it will still be searchable using the other finite sorts and filters.
Google Analytics is a tool that can provide you with extensive breakdowns of referrer data, as well as give you insight into traffic to your project page, overall conversion rate (there’s more information on that here), ad campaign conversion rate, and more! Tapping into this data can help you better understand how your promotion efforts are paying off, and where backers are finding your project.
Currently, it’s not possible to track traffic to your project from the Kickstarter app through Google Analytics.
Just enter your Google Analytics tracking ID at the bottom of the “About You” tab when you’re setting up your project.
If you’ve already launched your project, you can enter this information through your creator dashboard.
Keep in mind that it can take up to 24 hours from the time you link your tracking ID to see information populate in your Google Analytics account.
New to Google Analytics? Visit Google’s Analytics Help Center for more information on getting started.
Follow these steps to look up your tracking ID:
(1) Log in to your Google Analytics account.
(2) Select the “Admin” tab.
(3) Select an account from the dropdown in the “ACCOUNT” column.
(4) Select a property from the dropdown in the “PROPERTY” column.
(5) Under “PROPERTY,” click “Tracking Info > Tracking Code.”
Your tracking ID should be in this format: UA-000000-01. If you need more help finding this information, check out these pointers from Google.
Here’s how you can start tracking your project's conversion rate:
(1) Head to your Google Analytics account and navigate to your admin settings.
(2) In the “VIEW” column, select “Ecommerce Settings.”
(3) In the “Enable Ecommerce” section, flip the switch to “ON.”
(4) Keep “Enhanced Ecommerce Settings” switched “OFF” (switching this on will prevent conversion tracking data from appearing in your Google Analytics account).
(5) Click submit and you’re all set!
It may take up to 24 hours for data to start appearing in your Google Analytics account.
Once your project has launched, you should use your main URL to start tracking with Google Analytics.
While you can track pledges and pledge sources with our Google Analytics integration, please treat this data as a rough guideline — rather than exact science — for understanding your audience and conversions. Collecting this data is inherently imprecise, as Google Analytics cannot accurately track the source of all conversions. Please refer to this Google help article for more information.
Some apps and services strip referrer data from traffic before directing users to your project. In addition, Google Analytics cannot track the source of conversions when users block cookies. Our testing indicates that a significant number of people block cookies for third-party tracking services like Google Analytics. As a result, Google Analytics may report many conversions as direct, rather than attributing them to ad campaigns.
There are several differences in how ad providers measure clicks on your ads, and how Google Analytics measures views to your project page. For example, users may click on your ad but close your project page before it loads fully and sends analytics data to Google. This is especially common on mobile devices where project pages take longer to load. When this happens, ad platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Adwords will report a click on your ads, but Google Analytics will not get a chance to record a visit to your project page. Please refer to this Google support article for more information.
Kickstarter live is an interactive live streaming feature that creators can use on their project page. During a Kickstarter Live session, viewers can chat, ask questions, pledge to a live project, and even share selfies.
For more information on Kickstarter Live, as well as some best practices, check out our separate FAQs section!
You are free to cancel your project at any time, but before you do so, please keep the following in mind:
- Canceling a project does not remove it from Kickstarter. Projects cannot be deleted.
- Canceling a project is not reversible. If you decide you want to relaunch the project, you'll need to build a new one from scratch and submit it to us for review.
To cancel a project, head to your project page and click on the "Edit project" link in the panel along the left of the page. From there, you'll be able to select "Cancel funding" in the bottom right-hand corner.
Creator Questions: After your project ends
Spotlight allows creators to make a home for their project on Kickstarter after they’ve been successfully funded. Each creator can take control of their page and build a customized, central hub for news, updates, links to finished work, and anything else they want the world to know about their project.
After your project is successfully funded, you'll be able to fully customize your spotlight page. This feature is only available to successfully funded projects.
It's still there! After your project is successfully funded, we shift the focus to your spotlight page, bringing your creative process front and center. Your project description, video, and rewards are still visible if you click over to the “Campaign” tab.
You can edit your main project image, the page background (add a solid color or upload an image), your project title, blurb, and button (point to your website, latest update, new project, or find more ideas here). Give your spotlight page a unique flair that best illuminates your project!
After you've logged in to your Kickstarter account, visit your project page. You’ll see a "+" icon in the top left corner labeled “Page theme”, which you can use to change your background color, background image and text color.
You'll also be able to edit your project title and blurb by clicking the pencil icons to their right. There’s also pencil to the right of the pledge button to edit it's text and even add a link to whatever page you’d like. You can see this blog post for some ideas!
You can upload images of any size, but we recommend uploading the highest quality resolution image you have.
For the background image, we recommend image files that are 1:1 or 4:6 in ratio (we'll automatically resize this image to 1600 pixels).
For the main image, the file that you upload will be resized to a maximum width of 700 pixels and a maximum height of 800 pixels.
Not yet, but feel free to add videos and sound clips to your project updates!
Nothing! It's completely free and available to all projects that are successfully funded. Use it to shed a light on the unique creative process that comes along with completing your project, and when you're done, share your creation with the world!
Congrats! After your project ends successfully, funds pledged are debited directly from backers’ cards. There is a 14-day window following your project's deadline for collecting and processing pledges. Once the 14-day window has passed, funds will automatically be transferred directly to your bank account. Please allow a bit of time for this transfer to take place; it can take an additional few days depending on the bank involved.
Yes, of course! You can always try again and relaunch with a new goal, whenever you're ready.
Before relaunching, we recommend taking some time to review your project to see what might be improved the next time around. If you’re lowering your funding goal, will you still be able to complete your project? Are there successful projects similar to yours that you could look to for ideas? Are there other avenues for promotion that you could consider for your new project?
Once you’re ready, just click on the green "Start a project” button and start building. Your original project is always available for reference, so feel free to copy and paste any content that hasn't changed.
When a backer's payment cannot be collected, their pledge is displayed with an errored status in your Backer Report. You can sort your Backer Report by "Errored pledges" if you'd like to send them each a message with a reminder to fix their pledge (here are the steps they should follow).
We'll also send these backers an email with instructions to fix their pledge, and they'll receive periodic email reminders throughout the following week. They can also fix their pledge by logging into their Kickstarter account and clicking on the "Fix Payment" banner at the top of the page.
Backers with errored pledges will have 7 days from the project's deadline to update their payment method. At the end of this period, we’ll automatically try to collect their pledge again. If this attempt also fails, these backers will be dropped from the campaign and it will no longer be possible to collect their pledge.
The estimated delivery date is intended to set expectations for backers on when they will receive rewards. Setbacks are possible with any project — creative ones especially. When the unforeseen occurs, creators are expected to post a project update explaining the situation. Sharing the story, speed bumps and all, is part of the Kickstarter experience.
Creators who are honest and transparent will find backers to be far more forgiving. We’ve all felt the urge to avoid things when we feel bad about them, but leaving backers in the dark makes them assume the worst. It not only reflects badly on the project, it’s disrespectful to the support that community has given and to other Kickstarter creators. Regular communication is a must.
Kickstarter doesn't have a browse area for projects that didn't meet their goal. However, unsuccessfully funded projects are accessible through Kickstarter's search engine and the profile pages of the project's creator and backers. When users click on a creator's profile they can see all of the creator's past projects — successfully and unsuccessfully funded.
In terms of external search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), Kickstarter de-indexes projects whose funding was unsuccessful. This means that unsuccessfully funded projects shouldn't show up in those search results.
If your project isn't successfully funded, you're welcome to relaunch whenever you're ready. You'll also maintain access to your dashboard, and be able to post updates and send messages to your backers. If you do relaunch, remember to let them know!
Each launched project is a learning experience, so if you're planning to relaunch a project that wasn't successful in reaching it's goal, just make sure you've taken stock of what worked and what didn't. Here are some common points that creators usually reexamine:
Your project's goal and budget. Does your funding goal align with the minimum amount of funds that you need to complete your project? Did you explain what the funds will go towards in your description?
Your audience. Did you let your fans know about your project? Connect with potentially supportive local and social media groups.
Your promotion plan. How did you approach reaching out to potential supporters and the press? Which efforts worked and which didn't?
These are just a few things to consider if you're thinking about relaunching. Visit Campus for advice from fellow creators.
Can you recommend any services that can help with manufacturing, shipping, and other parts of project fulfillment?
Sure can. With the help of fellow Kickstarter creators, we’ve compiled the Creator Resources page, a list of companies that can help with everything from packaging and shipping rewards to games distribution and vinyl pressing. Each project is different, so do your research, ask about minimum orders, and keep these costs in mind as you set your budget.
Creator Questions: Interacting with backers
To let your backers know how the project is going you can post an update. Updates are like your project's blog. You'll find a link to post an update in the creator tools menu to the left of your project page. You can notify all of your backers about the new post or you can limit the notifications to backers within certain reward tiers. Simply toggle the “Select Tiers” option on the “Post an update” page and choose which tiers you’d like to notify.
Looking for some tips on what kinds of updates you can send to your backers? Check out these 50 ideas for sending great project updates.
You can also talk to your backers through our messaging system. To send the same message to backers in a particular reward tier, use the 'Message All' option for that tier in your Backer Report, which you can access through the creator tools menu. You can also message backers that fall into the specific search filters within your backer report (including backers that have or have not responded to their survey, backers with dropped or errored pledges, backers whose rewards you've marked as "sent," etc.).
To message backers individually, just use the 'Send Message' link from the backer list or their backer card.
Backers expect to connect with you through Kickstarter, so it's best to use our tools for sending updates, messages, and asking for information. Avoid asking people to sign up for another service as it can be confusing for backers, and difficult to keep all your information in one place.
When a campaign is running you will see your backers' names and pledge amounts in your Backer Report, which you can get to through the creator tools menu to the left of your project page.
Clicking on any backer will show you more information. For successful projects, after you send a survey, their responses will appear in the Backer Report. It's also where you can leave a note to yourself and mark off their reward as sent.
Note: Credit card information is not shown.
The Community Tab focuses on the community that has rallied behind a project. In this section you'll be able to see:
- New and repeat backer numbers.
- The top 10 cities and countries of backers.
- And, once a project has over 8 backers, a rotating selection of who’s pledged (Only backers with profile images will be displayed).
The Survey tool in the creator tools menu makes it easy to collect mailing addresses, shirt sizes, reward options, or anything else you need to fulfill rewards.
To use this tool:
1) Go to your project page.
2) Click the "Manage Surveys" link in the creator tools menu on the left to start creating your surveys. You can make your questions open answer or multiple choice. You can also allow backers to update their shipping information.
3) You can start building your surveys at any time during your project's funding period. The questions you add are automatically saved as you work on them. When your project is successfully funded (and your funding period has ended) and you're ready to send them, just click "Send Survey."
4) As you're crafting your surveys, keep in mind that backers are unable to leave answers blank. If a question doesn't apply to everyone in that reward tier, make sure to provide them with the option to say "Not Applicable" or "Doesn't Apply."
We run the addresses that backers provide through a validation check, just to make sure that the address is properly formatted and to catch any typos.
You can view the responses in your Backer Report or export them as a CSV file that you can open in Excel and other spreadsheet programs.
Don’t worry about gathering backers' info before your project is funded. If backers are curious, please let them know that you’ll follow up when you're ready to deliver their rewards. For more information about tools to help you with fulfillment, please visit the Creator Handbook.
The Backer Report has all the tools you need to work with your backers during and after your campaign. You'll find a link to it in the creator tools menu to the left of your project page.
From there you can:
- Communicate with your backers.
- Request information from your backers (mailing address, T-shirt size, etc.) to fulfill rewards.
- See a list of all your backers and sort them by reward tier, who's messaged you, and who has responded to the survey.
- View backers' information, leave yourself a note for special requests, and check them off when you send their rewards.
For more information on the Backer Report, check out the links above and this blog post.
Surveys can only be sent once per reward tier, so be sure to collect all of the information you'll need to fulfill backers' rewards.
Backers are emailed when you send the survey, and they'll receive periodic reminder emails for two weeks. Additionally, backers logging in to Kickstarter will see a notification banner at the top of the screen alerting them that they have a survey pending.
If you realize you need information from your backers before the project ends or after you've already sent the survey, you can message all backers in a given reward tier directly through your Backer Report.
The backer export (available from your Backer Report) lets you export all your backer data into a spreadsheet where you can organize and sort the information to meet almost any need. You can:
- Sort and reorder by reward, pledge, country, name, etc. This makes it easy to count different rewards, pledges, how many signed copies you'll need, and so on.
- Make changes to backer information. Address, reward preferences, or anything else. Just note it in the spreadsheet so it's all together.
- Add additional fields for any other data you want to store. For example you could make fields to note when you pack, ship, and email backers.
These are just a few examples of what you can do with the export but you can organize and edit it to meet almost any need. You can open this in Excel, Numbers, or any spreadsheet program. If you don't have one yet, Google Drive is available to all, and has a free, compatible spreadsheet program. Check out their help section to get started.
You can also export your backer report in USPS, Stamps.com, and Endicia friendly file formats.
If you’d like to give backers the option to update their shipping information, select this option on the “Manage Surveys” page. Alternatively, if you decide to add this functionality after you’ve already sent out your surveys, select the “Edit” option next to “Address changes not allowed" on the same page.
If you’re ready to ship out rewards and you’d like to disallow survey changes, visit the “Manage Surveys” page and select “Edit” next to “Address changes allowed.” A modal will appear asking you to confirm this change. Once you select “Send notifications now,” backers will be notified that they have 48 hours remaining to finalize any changes to their shipping information. Want more details on this feature? Visit our blog.
Backers can't directly update responses to other survey questions (reward size, color, etc.) but you can leave a note on a survey response if someone contacts you with an important edit.
To provide one of your backers with a refund, head to your Backer Report from the Creator Tools menu. Click on the individual backer's name and select "Issue a refund." Once you enter your personal credit card information, you'll be able to issue a full or partial refund.
If you issue a refund within 14 days of your funding deadline, all fees will be refunded.
If a backer has been issued a full refund, it'll be reflected in your Backer Report. They'll no longer be able to post comments, but you can continue to communicate through messages.
As backers are unable to update their payment method for pledges that have already been collected, any refunds processed through Kickstarter can only be sent to a backer’s original payment method.
If the card on file is no longer active, one of the following typically happens:
- If the original card used was attached to an account, as most debit and credit cards are, the bank will see the incoming credit on an expired card and roll it into the appropriate account.
- Our payments processor uses an updater service that will know if a card number is no longer valid and has been replaced with a new valid number. In this case, the credit would have been issued to the valid card number.
If the two options above do not apply to a backer’s situation, you’ll see an error message when trying to issue the refund. In this situation, the refund will need to be issued outside of Kickstarter.
Creator Questions: Stripe Payments
You’ll set up your account directly through Kickstarter, on the Account tab of project build. We're partnered with Stripe for this process, and it should only take a few minutes to complete!
This process will require you to set your fund recipient, verify your identity, register your ACH-enabled checking account, and verify your contact details. Please note that this process must be fully completed in order to launch your project.
To run your project as a legal entity, your business or organization must be registered as such in the country you’ve designated for your project. If your company is not registered (and you do not have a business number), you won’t be able to register as a legal entity.
Please keep in mind that all projects on Kickstarter must have a verified identity associated with them. If you are running your project as a business or organization, a member of the project team who meets our eligibility requirements must verify their identity as its representative.
You can find your bank account number and routing details on your bank statement or in your account details online. For U.S. account holders, please list a bank account that is ACH-enabled. When listing your routing number, be sure to use the one designated for paper and electronic transfers (not wire transfers). If you can't find it, ask your bank — they'll definitely know!
Stripe, our payments partner, handles transactions conducted through Kickstarter. They are responsible for filing and mailing 1099-K's for all US-based creators who meet both of the following thresholds in the current tax year:• More than $20,000 in gross sales, and• More than 200 transactions.In general, even if you don’t receive a 1099-K, the funds you raise on Kickstarter are still subject to taxes. We recommend that you consult our tax guide, and speak to an accountant or a financial advisor for more information.
Creators who ran a project in the current tax year which meet the thresholds outlined here will receive a Form 1099-K in the mail on behalf of Stripe, our payments provider.
If you have not received a 1099-K by February 15th, or if you lost your copy or think the information on your form is incorrect, please reach out to our Support team here.
As the merchant of record, our payment processor, Stripe, issues all 1099-Ks for Kickstarter creators. Calculations are based on when an authorized project’s backings are transacted (i.e. the project deadline date), not on the project payout date. The payout date occurs 14 days after the project deadline date.
This is especially important to keep in mind if your project deadline date occurs at the end of the year, with your project payout date occurring early the following year. In these cases, please note that your 1099-K will report earnings based on the year of your project deadline date, and not on the year of the payout date.
Funds raised on Kickstarter are generally subject to taxes. How much you owe can vary based on a number of factors, including the deduction of project-related expenses. We highly recommend talking to an accountant or tax advisor. They can guide you through your particular tax scenario in the most advantageous way possible.
While we can't offer tax advice, we have compiled a guide for financial professionals who may not be familiar with Kickstarter.
The financial details that you share when setting up the "Account" tab of your project are not shared publicly. The information that you provide is used to ensure that you'll be ready to receive funds if your project is successfully funded.Stripe, our payments partner, meets and exceeds the most stringent industry standards for security. Additionally, this page is protected by an industry-standard software protocol called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which encrypts your personal information.
The bank account you use to set up your project should belong to the person running the project. The account should be able to support direct deposit (for U.S. accounts, this means that it's ACH compliant). If you have questions about whether or not your account is set up for these types of transactions, we'd recommend checking with your financial institution.
If your project is successfully funded, the funds pledged are debited directly from backers' cards. There is a 14-day window following your project's deadline for collecting and processing pledges. Once the 14-day window has passed, funds will automatically be transferred directly to your bank account. Please allow a bit of time for this transfer to take place; it can take an additional few days depending on the bank involved.
As tax liability varies from country to country, providing rewards to a backer based in a specific region might create a VAT liability for you. Please note that Kickstarter does not withhold VAT. Ensuring that VAT is correctly accounted for on these transactions is the responsibility of each individual project creator.
Once you've launched your project, it is not possible to edit your verified identity, funds recipient, or bank account information.
This information is required for 1099-k tax forms and will make sure Stripe has everything they need to quickly and correctly send all forms at tax season.
Once your SSN has been verified with Stripe, it’s no longer possible to update this information. If there was an error, you’ll receive an email from us and be prompted to re-submit your details.
Kickstarter does not store full SSN information. When the user submits the form, the information is tokenized immediately-- the full details do not pass through our server at any point, and are securely stored by Stripe.
Creator Questions: Verifying your identity
Identity verification helps to ensure that there is a real person behind every project on Kickstarter.
Being a creator is a serious endeavor – verifying that you are who you say you are strengthens the integrity of the Kickstarter system. It also protects you by preventing someone else from running a project under your name.
I’m launching a project with a group of people or a company. Who should complete the identity verification process?Regardless of whether the project creator is one person or an entire company, the identity verification process has to be completed by a single person. If you are running your project as a company or group, a member of the project team who meets our eligibility requirements must verify their identity as its representative.
You can verify your identity from the “Account” tab of your project. You’ll complete this process by entering some information about yourself. If for some reason we are unable to verify your identity through this process, you may be prompted to use an automated system which will confirm that you have a valid ID and compare it with an image of your face, as uploaded by you or captured by your webcam. This process is similar to presenting your ID at an airport, except that a machine does the matching, not a human.
If you have any trouble with this process, our Integrity team may also step in to help with manually verifying your identity.
If you are having trouble capturing an image of your photo ID, make sure that the edges of your ID are visible within the frame. Try slightly angling your ID, to catch surrounding light. Steady the image by placing your elbows on a firm surface, like a table or desk, while holding your ID. You might also achieve better results if you use a webcam to capture the image, rather than uploading one.
Creator Questions: Troubleshooting
If there's no immediate match for your Companies House number, try including a leading zero on the number you're entering. If the company was recently registered, it may take a day or so for the agency records to update. In this case, please try again in a little while, and double-check that the number you're entering is free of typos.
Backers have the option to not receive a reward at all. Some of your backers likely have chosen this option. They also have the option to choose a reward at a lower tier than the amount pledged.
If you feel that your project does meet our rules, you can submit an appeal for reconsideration.
Before submitting an appeal, you’re welcome to make any edits to your project page based on our response. Once ready, you’ll have 500 characters to let us know why you think your project meets our rules and should be reconsidered.
A Kickstarter staff member will review your project again and take your appeal into consideration. If your appeal is declined, the process ends there. The project submission in question will be closed, but you can always submit a different project.
A project may be suspended if our Integrity team uncovers evidence that it is in violation of Kickstarter's rules, including:
- Misrepresentation of support, through self-pledging.
- Misrepresentation or failure to disclose relevant facts about the project or its creator.
- The creator provides inaccurate or incomplete user information to Kickstarter or one of our partners.
- The characteristics of the creator account overlap with the characteristics of backer accounts that pledged to their project.
- A party related to the creator is posing as an independent, supportive party in project comments or elsewhere.
- The creator is presenting someone else’s work as their own.
- The creator is offering purchased items, claiming to have made them.
- The creator or an affiliated service is spamming potential backers with promotional materials.
- The creator is repackaging a previously-created product, without adding anything new or aiming to iterate on the idea in any way.
Projects may also be suspended if they were approved through 'Launch Now' but, on closer inspection, do not fall within our rules.
Funding for the project stops and all pledges are canceled. Both the project’s creator and backers are notified via email.
No. Once a project has been suspended it cannot be undone.
Pledging to your own project is not allowed by either Kickstarter or our payments partners.
If it seems as though the wrong country has been selected for your project, you can correct this by starting a new project. Be sure to select the appropriate country on the screen that appears. You can copy over any existing information from your current project.
Keep in mind that in order to launch a project under a certain country, you must meet the respective eligibility requirements.