Kickstarter Basics

  1. Kickstarter Basics: Kickstarter 101

    1. What is Kickstarter?

      Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you!

      Since our launch on April 28, 2009, over $1.9 billion has been pledged by more than 9 million people, funding more than 90,000 creative projects. If you like stats, there's lots more here.

    2. What are the basics?

      A project is a finite work with a clear goal that you’d like to bring to life. Think albums, books, or films.

      The funding goal is the amount of money that a creator needs to complete their project.

      Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. No one will be charged for a pledge towards a project unless it reaches its funding goal. This way, creators always have the budget they scoped out before moving forward.

      A creator is the person or team behind the project idea, working to bring it to life.

      Backers are folks who pledge money to join creators in bringing projects to life.

      Rewards are a creator's chance to share a piece of their project with their backer community. Typically, these are one-of-a-kind experiences, limited editions, or copies of the creative work being produced.

    3. How does Kickstarter work?

      Thousands of projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects. They spend weeks building their project pages, shooting their videos, and brainstorming what rewards to offer backers. When they feel ready, a creator can launch their project on the site and share it with their community.

      Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.

    4. What is Kickstarter for?

      Everything on Kickstarter must be a project. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.

      Kickstarter does not allow projects to fundraise for charity or offer financial incentives. Check out our rules for details.

    5. Why is funding all-or-nothing?

      All-or-nothing funding is a core part of Kickstarter and it has a number of advantages:

      It's less risk for everyone. If you need $5,000, it's tough having $1,000 and a bunch of people expecting you to complete a $5,000 project. 

      It motivates. If people want to see a project come to life, they're going to spread the word.   

      It works. Of the projects that have reached 20% of their funding goal, 81% were successfully funded. Of the projects that have reached 60% of their funding goal, 98% were successfully funded. Projects either make their goal or find little support. There's little in-between.

    6. Where do projects come from?

      Projects on Kickstarter come from artists, designers, and creative people all over. They may be modest or ambitious, new ideas, or classic ideas with a twist. Every project is unique and is something that someone wants to exist in the world.

      If you’ve got a creative idea you think is perfect for Kickstarter, check out our Start page for an idea of how to get started.
    7. Why do people back projects?

      Many backers are rallying around their friends' projects. Some are supporting a new effort from someone they've long admired. Some are just inspired by a new idea, while others are motivated to pledge by a project's rewards — a copy of what's being produced, a limited edition, or a custom experience related to the project.

      Backing a project is more than just pledging funds to a creator. It's pledging your support to a creative idea that you want to see exist in the world.

    8. Where do backers come from?

      The majority of initial funding usually comes from the fans and friends of each project. If they like it, they'll spread the word to their friends, and so on. Press, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Kickstarter itself are also big sources of traffic and pledges. Altogether, millions of people visit Kickstarter every week.

    9. What do backers get in return?

      Backers that support a project on Kickstarter get an inside look at the creative process, and help that project come to life. They also get to choose from a variety of unique rewards offered by the project creator. Rewards vary from project to project, but often include a copy of what is being produced (CD, DVD, book, etc.) or an experience unique to the project.

      Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work, and Kickstarter cannot be used to offer equity, financial returns, or to solicit loans.

    10. What are the fees?

      If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds collected. Our payments processor will also apply payment processing fees (roughly 3-5%). The complete fee breakdowns are available here.

      If funding isn't successful, there are no fees.

    11. Who is Kickstarter?

      We are an independent company of 115 people based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We spend our time improving the site, answering questions from backers and creators, and finding great new projects to share with you. Every day is an adventure — we get to experience projects as they happen! Say hello or come work with us!

  2. Kickstarter Basics: Accountability

    1. Who is responsible for completing a project as promised?

      It's the project creator's responsibility to complete their project. Kickstarter is not involved in the development of the projects themselves.

      Kickstarter does not guarantee projects or investigate a creator's ability to complete their project. On Kickstarter, backers (you!) ultimately decide the validity and worthiness of a project by whether they decide to fund it. 

    2. How do backers know if a project will follow through?

      Launching a Kickstarter is a very public act, and creators put their reputations at risk when they do.

      Backers should look for creators who share a clear plan for how their project will be completed, and who have a history of bringing their creative ventures and other projects to fruition. Creators are encouraged to share links and as much background information as possible so backers can make informed decisions about the projects they support.

      If a creator has no demonstrable experience in doing something like their project or doesn't share key information, backers should take that into consideration. Does the creator include links to any websites that show work related to the project, or past projects? Does the creator appear in the video? Have they connected via Facebook?

      Don't hesitate to request information from a creator. You can always reach out before pledging via the "Contact me" button on the project page.

    3. How do I know a project creator is who they claim they are?

      Perhaps you are friends with the creator, or you heard about the project from a trusted source.

      Looking for more information? Read through the description and watch the video to get a better sense of the person or team behind the project.

      In the creator bio section of each project, you can find additional resources, like links to websites, relevant background information, and in some cases, a connected Facebook account. For projects that have launched since May 19, 2014, you'll also find a verified name with a check mark next to it. This person is the creator of the project or a part of the company or team behind it, and they verified their identity through an automated process. 

      If you have more questions, you can send the creator a message to ask them.

    4. What should creators do if they're having problems completing their project?

      If problems come up, creators are expected to post a project update explaining the situation. Sharing the story, speed bumps and all, is crucial. Most backers support projects because they want to see something happen and they'd like to be a part of it. Creators who are honest and transparent will usually find backers to be understanding.

      It's not uncommon for things to take longer than expected. Sometimes the execution of the project proves more difficult than the creator had anticipated. If a creator is making a good faith effort to complete their project and is transparent about it, backers should do their best to be patient and understanding while demanding continued accountability from the creator.

      If the problems are severe enough that the creator can't fulfill their project, creators need to find a resolution. Steps should include offering refunds, detailing exactly how funds were used, and other actions to satisfy backers. For more information, see Section 4 of our Terms of Use.

      For projects that launched before October 19, 2014, please see our previous Terms of Use.

    5. What is a creator obligated to do once their project is funded?

      When a project is successfully funded, the creator is responsible for completing the project and fulfilling each reward. Their fundamental obligation to backers is to finish all the work that was promised. Once a creator has done so, they’ve fulfilled their obligation to their backers. At the same time, backers must understand that Kickstarter is not a store. When you back a project, you’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised. If a creator is absolutely unable to complete the project and fulfill rewards, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to a satisfying conclusion for their backers. For more information, see Section 4 of our Terms of Use

      For projects that launched before October 19, 2014, please see our previous Terms of Use.

    6. Can Kickstarter refund the money if a project is unable to fulfill?

      No, Kickstarter doesn't issue refunds. Transactions are between backers and creators directly. Creators receive all funds (less fees) soon after their campaign ends.

    7. Why can't Kickstarter guarantee projects?

      We started Kickstarter as a new way for creators and audiences to work together to make things. Many traditional funding systems are risk-averse and profit-focused, and tons of great ideas never get a chance. Kickstarter opens the door to a world full of creative possibilities, one where anyone can help decide which bright idea will become tomorrow's reality.

      Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative ideas. Many of the projects you see on Kickstarter are in earlier stages of development and are looking for a community to bring them to life. The fact that Kickstarter allows creators to take risks and attempt to create new things is a feature, not a bug.

    8. What does Kickstarter do to protect its community?

      We have a dedicated Integrity team that monitors the system for suspicious activity. This team screens reports that are sent to us by our community and they take action if they find something that does not align with our rules.

      It's important to remember that Kickstarter is built on an all-or-nothing funding system. No one is charged until a project meets its funding goal and the funding period ends. This gives backers time to fully evaluate a project, and it also gives our Integrity team some time to look into any concerns raised by backers.

      For more information about how Kickstarter works, visit our Trust & Safety page.
  3. Kickstarter Basics: Getting involved

    1. How do I start a project?

      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 Creator Handbook, 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.

    2. Is there a place I can download the Kickstarter logo?

      Yes! The Kickstarter Brand Assets page has hi-resolution versions of the Kickstarter logo and other assets for creators, backers, and members of the press to download.

    3. If I have more questions, what should I do?

      Have questions that weren't answered here? More answers to Frequently Asked Questions are available for both creators and backers. If you're a member of the press looking to reach Kickstarter, you can visit the Pressroom for lots of great resources. If you'd like support for a specific issue, you can also reach out to our Community Support team here. Thanks!

    4. I'm interested in partnering with Kickstarter. How can I get in touch?

      Great! If you're an organization, institution, or entity interested in partnering with us, please reach out to us at

      Apologies for any inconvenience, but we're not undertaking any sponsorship opportunities at this time.

    5. Does Kickstarter have a responsible security disclosure procedure?

      We sure do. If you’ve discovered a potential bug or vulnerability with, please contact us here and we'll help make sure the information gets shared with our engineering team.

  4. Kickstarter Basics: Reporting a project

    1. How can I report something to Kickstarter?

      Every project page has a "Report this project to Kickstarter" button at the bottom of it. You can use this option to notify us about a violation of Our Rules, Community Guidelines, or Terms of Use (there's also some information about our Copyright & Trademark policies).

      If you receive any messages that appear to be spam our outside of our guidelines, please mark them as spam to flag them for our team. Creators can also mark comments as spam.

      While we're not able to respond to each individual report, we do have a dedicated team that investigates every report that we receive. We appreciate you bringing anything out of the ordinary to our attention!

    2. How do I report a copyright violation?

      If you're not sure whether material on Kickstarter infringes your copyright, please talk with a lawyer before filing a complaint with us. Misrepresenting that material infringes your copyright may subject you to liability for damages, including attorneys' fees and costs incurred by project creators or other parties.

      If you've spoken with a lawyer and think your material is being infringed, try contacting the project creator directly using the "Contact me" button on the project page. If that doesn't work, you can submit a complaint using this form.

      For more information, please take a look at our Copyright and DMCA Policy.

    3. How do I report a trademark violation?

      If you believe a Kickstarter project is infringing on a trademark you hold, you can report a trademark violation by emailing We'll evaluate and respond to every report we receive.

      Please review our Trademark Policy for more information about what details to include in your report.

  5. Kickstarter Basics: The Kickstarter App

    1. What are the OS/device requirements for the Kickstarter app?

      The Kickstarter app requires iOS 7.0 or later. It's compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.
    2. Where can I download the Kickstarter app?

      You can get Kickstarter for iPhone or iPad right here!

    3. How can I manage my mobile notifications?

      To manage your mobile notifications, select the "Me" icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the app. Tap "Settings." From this page, you'll be able to manage your mobile and email notification preferences. If the mail or mobile icon for a certain category is green, that means that you have notifications turned on.
    4. Can I start a project from the app?

      Sorry, but it's currently not possible to start or edit a project from our mobile app. Please get started from your computer whenever you have the chance. We'd be happy to see your project come our way!

    5. What tools are available on the app to help manage my project?

      Project creators can post updates and send messages from the Kickstarter app. 

  6. Still need help? Contact us here.