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Kickstarter Turns Two: How to Fund an Art Business

Kickstarter has just turned two years old and in celebration it has released a bunch of stats and pretty graphs to go along with them. If you're unfamiliar, Kickstarter is a fundraising tool online that helps individual artists/creative types and start-ups for artists/creative types to raise money online. It's an all-or-nothing system: you put your project up and people pledge, but they only have to pay if the entire amount you're asking for is met. That way people know that their money is going to a successful project.

[caption id="attachment_4372" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Pledges Per Month"]Pledges Per Month[/caption]

A year ago, Kickstarter was getting less than 2 million dollars worth of pledges a month, now they're getting 7 million dollars worth of pledges a month. 43% of their projects actually raise enough to get their funding, but 85% of the pledges are collected -- meaning that the vast majority of pledges go to projects that are successful and if your project is raising any money, it's likely to raise all of it.

Another interesting collection of data is the money totals it's raising for different categories. Film and Music lead the pack, massively, but Design, Art, Publishing, Theater and Technology all do pretty well -- their lowest performing category, fashion, has still raised over half a million dollars.

[caption id="attachment_4373" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Money Raised by Category"]Money Raised by Category[/caption]

Dollars Pledged by Category Art: $3,184,732 Comics: $943,118 Dance: $645,492 Design: $3,601,851 Fashion: $554,048 Film: $19,717,790 Food: $1,583,063 Games: $1,052,557 Music: $13,094,547 Photography: $1,679,361 Publishing: $2,732,501 Technology: $1,748,109 Theater: $2,570,503
More at the Kickstarter Blog.

If you're thinking of creating a start-up or expanding an arts-related business, the numbers at Kickstarter could be of real use to you. I've known more than one web series that raised its funding for the project or for the DVD release by going onto Kickstarter, and they were very successful.  It's incredibly simple to use, and if you've got a creative project or interesting idea you can really get good funding -- the best part is that if your project becomes very popular, you're allowed to raise as much money as you can in the original timeframe you set.  Some people have made thousands of dollars more than they were initially asking.

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