Have you ever wanted to start a creative business and/or art project, but you didn’t have the initial funds to get it started? There is an answer for you without necessarily taking on that second job. The answer is crowdfunding. The definition of crowdfunding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that allows you to opportunity to raise funds if you are feeling inspired to start a project. With Kickstarter you are basically asking for the support of your friends, family, acquaintances on Facebook or anyone online who might be interested in your project to donate funds to help you reach your project’s financial goals. The creator of the project sets a financial goal, sets levels of giving and often some type of gift or incentive is offered for contributing if the project goes forward.
Kickstarter’s crowdfunding approach requires that you have a well thought out and comprehensive plan for your project. It also requires you to put yourself and your ideas out into the public for evaluation. People will be able to tell how legitimate your ideas are based on the work you have already done and the work you will potentially do. Because of this, you have to be prepared to accept the disappointment if you don’t successfully reach your project’s financial goals. All of your backers will be refunded if you don’t meet your goal which eases some people’s minds before they decide to give. You also have to be prepared to follow through if you successfully raise the required funds.
A great example of a successful Kickstarter campaign was done by Horse Cycles, a small bicycle company based in Brooklyn, NY. The bicycle company wanted to purchase machinery they needed to move into larger scale production of bicycles and accessories. This new shop equipment would enable them to manufacture bikes faster, offering the bikes at a more competitive price. Not only did Horse Cycles reach their goal of $25,000, but they surpassed it by almost $15,000. You can view Horse Cycles’s Kickstarter page here.
By offering their new line of products as a type of gift for backing their project, the Kickstarter campaign was successful. Potential backers could see a finished product already made, and customers were able to receive the product the campaign was raising funds to produce. Keep in mind it helps to be able to show some success and hard work before you ask for money to expand your business or art project.
So, if you feel inspired and need funding to back your project, you should consider going the Kickstarter route. Remember, a simple ask for backing could help you achieve a dream you never thought possible.