Why do people back projects? To start, they want to support what you’re doing. But they also want to feel like they’re getting something in return—and rewards let them share in your work.
Some rewards are simple. If you’re publishing a book, for example, you offer copies of it. Other rewards, like behind-the-scenes souvenirs or personalized work, can bring backers closer to the creative process.
What to offer
You know better than anyone what your community wants. What would get you to back a project? Offer your work in different formats, from digital downloads to limited editions. Consider custom work and chances to be a part of the process. Your project should include a selection of reward tiers and add-ons for backers to choose from. Find more inspiration in these 96 ideas.
What to not offer
There are a few things we prohibit, including offering financial returns and reselling items from elsewhere.
How to price
Be fair. When people think about backing your project, they’re asking themselves whether your rewards are a good trade for what they’re contributing. The most popular pledge on Kickstarter is $25—it’s handy to offer something substantial around that level.
Offer a range of rewards
Some backers can spare $100, some $20, some $5. Each pledge is important to your project. Make sure there’s something worthwhile at every level—even simple $1 rewards. You’ll need to produce and deliver every reward, though, so think through each tier and make sure your budget works. We recommend limiting your reward tiers to five if it’s your first Kickstarter project.
Organize your rewards and add-ons so they fit your schedule and budget.
Start with items
Items are the ingredients that make up rewards and add-ons. We recommend you build items in your project editor’s Rewards tab first, before you create rewards and add-ons. In fact, you might want to start with pen and paper.
You can limit the time period and the total quantity of reward tiers or add-ons, and you can also limit how many add-ons a backer can select within their own pledge. This can create excitement around special-edition rewards or signed copies. Limited “early bird” rewards, where a certain number of backers get something for a slightly lower pledge, can also help build momentum during the project’s early days.
When do you expect to deliver rewards to backers? For each tier, choose a date you’re confident about hitting, and don’t be afraid to give yourself breathing room—it’s better to underpromise and overdeliver. For complex projects, it can be useful to stagger the estimated delivery dates for different reward tiers, sending out rewards in batches over a period of time. More on this in the Funding section.
As you add each reward or add-on, you’ll be able to specify your shipping costs and destinations. These expenses can sneak up on you, so try our funding calculator and share a project budget with your potential backers. The costs you set will be added to their pledges and count toward your funding goal. Read over some shipping advice we’ve gathered from 10 seasoned creators.
If your project successfully funds, you’ll be able to send your backers a survey to collect information (e.g., shipping addresses, sizes, color preferences) so you can prepare and fulfill their rewards. You’ll be able to access this information from the backer report—more on that in the Fulfillment section.
And remember: You can add or modify your reward tiers and add-ons after you launch, but you won’t be able to change or delete once someone has backed them.