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A Revolution In Public Funding

By Dalton Martin

Ever had this genius idea, one that could finally get you out of Indiana and into the bright lights of Los Angeles or New York, but realize you lack the needed money to start up this venture? You could always take out a loan, but that is yet a double-edged sword, with the chance of killing your credit score, or even going into debt. Those days are finally over, at least if that idea is actually a decent one.

Enter Kickstarter, one public funding idea that is slowly changing the way projects are funded. Ever since its inception on April 28, 2009, Kickstarter has funded 31,824 projects completely, and raised over 42 million dollars for said projects. But who could be paying out these giant amounts of cash to fund things such as music records and book publishing? The answer is simple: people just like you and me.

People who go onto Kickstarter’s website will find multiple projects just waiting to be funded. These people may find a project they want to get behind and pledge money towards its fundraising goal. If, and only if, the goal is met in the time allotted, the creator is given all the money minus a 5% take on all money earned from the website. But if the goal is not met then no money is collected from anybody, including Kickstarter. This all or nothing funding is what makes Kickstarter stand out.

Another great benefit of crowd-sourced funding is that the creator holds all ownership. This ensures one’s artistic integrity, compared to going to some major publishing firm who tells you to make “small edits” to make it more profitable. This makes it great for indie bands that want to get out there, or even underground comic writers.  Whether an aspiring artist or musician, Kickstarter can benefit you.

Debating on  pledging your hard-earned cash? Wondering what is in it for you? Well, the answer is quite simple. Project creators make up a reward system, usually tier-based, for donors. These rewards can range from a simple product they are making to extravagant items like invitations to the world premiere party or having a character in a novel named after you. There are rewards for low pledges like $5 and rewards for high rollers with thousands to spend.

So this holiday season, why not spend some of that cash on a project from Kickstarter, and in the process score yourself some interesting loot. Who knows? That person you just backed could end up being the next big thing, and that original copy of his or her project you were rewarded could be worth thousands later down the road.

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