A new website called Kickstarter.com is making it possible for people to raise funds, anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars, for their upcoming adventures. The Brooklyn based company was founded on the principle that a good idea, communicated well, can spread far and wide and that a large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.
The model is pretty straight forward: a project creator sets a fundraising goal, deadline, and an optional set of rewards for backers of the project. If the goal is reached by the deadline, everyone is charged. If the goal is not reached, nobody is charged. It's all or nothing.
Project creators can offer products, services or other rewards to help inspire people to support their project. Kickstarter offers publishing tools, where creators can post project updates with audio and video, either publicly or for backers only. This sense of inclusion is an important part of the appeal to Kickstarter supporters.
Amazon.com processes all the pledges on Kickstarter. Supporters are not charged until the funding goal has been fully met and the funding time expires. Projects launched on or after September 15th will be charged 5% of their funding total if and only if they are successfully funded. Projects that don't reach their funding goal will not be charged.
Kickstarter co-founder Perry Chen said around $500,000 had been donated in the first four month since the site was launched with more than 60% of projects achieving their funding goal. So if you don't win the First Ascent upcoming Be First competition, head over to Kickstarter!