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Kickstarter Statistics You Should Know Before Launching Your Next Fundraising Campaign

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by Tambay A. Obenson
March 13, 2013 11:45 AM
3 Comments
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Crowd-Funding

This is a piece I first posted last year, and thought it was worth posting again, as the number of fundraising campaigns we receive via email every week continues to increase, as more and more filmmakers and content creators take advantage of crowd-funding options.

I think it's worth a read if you're about to embark on your own campaign; and even though the percentage figures here are 6 months old, they are still just about the same today (I know, because I checked). So, while there are certainly more projects since the last time I posted this, the percentage that are funded, not funded, in what categories, etc, are pretty much identical.

So here's my post from last year:

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I'm not sure if it's widely-known that Kickstarter has a stats page right on its website. It's not something that they seem to want to broadcast, because, unless you're intently looking for the page on Kickstarter's site, you wouldn't immediately notice the single tiny link at the bottom of each page, that reads "Stats."

If you haven't taken a look at it, I strongly suggest that you do - especially if you're planning on launching a campaign to raise funds for your project.

The stats page is updated at least once a day, so the data on it is as current as you can get, and I think is very useful for those planning to utilize the crowd-sourcing site's services.

I was reminded of this today, after I received an email with a recently-launched campaign that wants to raise over $100,000 for a feature film. Obviously, how high or low you choose to set your fundraising goal is entirely up to you. BUT, if you consider that, as the Kickstarter stats page shows, film/video projects are MOST likely to get funded completely, if the fundraising goal is between $1,000 and $20,000, you just might want to reconsider how you structure your campaign.

Roughly 80% of all successful film/video project campaigns on Kickstarter have fundraising goals that range from $1,000 to $20,000.

63% of all successfully funded film/video projects have goals set between $1,000 and $10,000.

So if you're one of those folks with a film budgeted at $150,000, you probably should consider raising the money in chunks, spread out during the course of the production of your project; instead of trying to get it all at once.

For example, I'd suggest an initial campaign of about $20,000 to jumpstart production, and then as you progress, and hopefully have something to show of that progress, you return to Kickstarter some time later, and try to raise another chunk. 

Or better yet, don't expect to raise your entire budget from Kickstarter alone. Diversify - especially if your budget is in the 6 figures. Not that 6-figure film campaigns specifically don't get funded, but consider that of the over 7,500 successfully-funded Kickstarter film/video projects, only 60 of them were campaigns asking for $100,000 or more. Just 60; that's not even 1%. So when you take that fact into consideration, why would anyone think it wise to launch a campaign with a goal north of $100,000, when the odds are so stacked against that project being successfully funded?

Frankly, I'd even say that any potential campaigns with fundraising goals of over $50,000 should be reconsidered and restructured, because only 10% of successful film/video campaigns had goals set in the $20,000 to $100,000 range. 

Overall, about 39% of all film/video project campaigns are successfully funded; meaning, most are not, unfortunately.

You should also know that the film/video category is the most competitive of all Kickstarter categories; meaning, there are far more campaigns on Kickstarter for film/video projects than any other category.

This is all the more reason why you should make sure that your campaign, when you launch it, is as well-thought through, and modest as possible. Sure, there are likely instances in which a project goes viral, and does far better than anyone would've imagined; but you don't know if yours will be that project, so start small, and, as I've said before, show instead of tell. It's film, right? It's a visual medium, and so instead of writing paragraphs about why we should contribute to your project, put it in video form. And even better, if you can shoot a piece of your project, to give potential contributors a glimpse of what to expect, and some confidence that you know what the heck you're doing (especially if you have little or nothing to show of your past work), definitely do that!

It helps; trust me.

But without further ado, here are 3 charts I lifted from the Kickstarter stats page, just minutes ago; so the data is fresh out of the oven.

For future reference, you can access the stats page directly HERE

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3 Comments

  • Kiratiana | March 13, 2013 11:27 PMReply

    I know that Kickstarter somehow lands all the projects that seem to go crazy viral, but I'm actually starting to wonder if Kickstarter is the best platform for black people to use for crowdfunding. I love the model of Kickstarter and I even used it to raise funds for my Travel Guide to Multicultural London book, but I'm beginning sense that Indiegogo as a platform is MUCH more democratic in being open to different ideas and projects. The main difference between Indiegogo and Kickstarter is that Indiegogo is open to anything and you have a flexible funding feature, so you get as much money as you raise.

    Kickstarter is a PURE creative platform. Which is great. But when I scroll through the ideas, all of the featured ones have a "hipster" edge to them and they don't appear as open to less hipstery ideas, and black projects usually fall into that category.

    Just something to think about.

    I need to write an article about this.

  • Crosby T | March 13, 2013 10:19 PMReply

    @Bohemian Princess, true, right on all accords. But for a crowdfunding campaign to be successful, it has to attract a crowd, which was done cause the Veronica Mars fanbase is a big one.

  • bohemian princess | March 13, 2013 2:02 PMReply

    The Veronica Mars movie just about changed the game. As of this writing they've raised over $775,000 in only 3 hours with Warner Brothers' blessings who I'm sure didn't realize how rabid the fan base was. Something tells me that studio execs are going to take note and start to invade these crow funding sites. Yikes! As elated as I am about VM(massive fan) my concern is that it will be even more difficult for indie filmmakers to fund their projects. Food for thought.

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