How Does Kickstarter Make Money?

Kickstarter makes money by charging a 5% fee on successfully funded projects. Kickstarter, a popular crowdfunding platform, generates revenue through a simple and transparent business model.

It charges a 5% fee on projects that reach their funding goals, enabling creators to bring their ideas to life. This fee serves as Kickstarter’s primary source of income, making it profitable while providing a valuable service to entrepreneurs and artists.

With its user-friendly interface and wide range of project categories, Kickstarter has become a go-to platform for individuals looking to fund their creative endeavors, and its fee structure ensures that the company benefits from the successful projects it helps facilitate. We will further explore how Kickstarter operates and thrives in the crowdfunding landscape.

How Kickstarter Works

Let’s dive into how Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding platform, operates. Kickstarter provides a platform for creators or innovators to bring their ideas to life by gaining support from backers worldwide. It follows a simple process that involves project creation and backer support.

Project Creation

Before creators can receive support for their projects, they need to create a campaign on Kickstarter. This involves presenting their idea, outlining their goals, and detailing how the funds will be used. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved:

  1. Project Research: Creators need to thoroughly research their project idea to ensure its viability and assess the interest it may generate.
  2. Planning and Preparation: Once the idea is validated, creators prepare a detailed plan including the budget required, project timeline, and potential risks.
  3. Presentation: A compelling presentation is essential to attract backers. Creators showcase their work through engaging project descriptions, images, videos, and rewards to entice potential supporters.
  4. Funding Goal: Creators set a funding goal, which they must reach or exceed within a specified timeframe for the project to be successfully funded.

Backer Support

Once a campaign is launched, backers can support projects they believe in, financially or otherwise. Here’s what you need to know about backer support on Kickstarter:

  • Financial Backing: Backers contribute funds to projects based on the rewards offered by creators. These rewards can range from early access to products, limited editions, merchandise, or even unique experiences.
  • Community Engagement: Kickstarter encourages backers to engage with projects by commenting, providing feedback, and sharing campaign links on various social media platforms.
  • Early Access: Backers often enjoy exclusive access to the project’s updates, ensuring they stay informed about the progress and development.
  • Project Success: If a project reaches its funding goal within the specified timeframe, the creator receives the funds to bring their idea to life. However, if the goal is not met, backers are not charged, and the project does not move forward.

Fees And Revenue Model

Kickstarter generates revenue by charging a 5% fee on successfully funded projects, while payment processing fees add approximately 3-5% to the total amount. This funding structure allows Kickstarter to capitalize on the success of projects but does not collect funds if a project fails to reach its funding goal.

When it comes to funding creative projects, Kickstarter has emerged as a popular platform for both aspiring creators and backers. But how does Kickstarter make money? Well, its revenue model primarily revolves around charging fees for the services it provides. Let’s take a closer look at the two main types of fees that contribute to Kickstarter’s revenue: platform fees and payment processing fees.

Platform Fees

Kickstarter charges a platform fee for every successfully funded project on its platform. This fee is deducted as a percentage of the total funds raised. The current platform fee is 5% of the total project amount. For instance, if a project successfully raises $10,000, Kickstarter would retain $500 (5% of $10,000) as its platform fee.

Payment Processing Fees

In addition to the platform fee, Kickstarter also charges payment processing fees to cover the costs associated with credit card processing. These fees are charged by the payment processing partners that Kickstarter works with, such as Stripe or PayPal. The payment processing fees vary depending on the country and currency involved in the transaction. For projects based in the United States, the payment processing fee is typically around 3% + 20 cents per pledge. As an example, if a backer pledges $100 to a project, Kickstarter may charge around $3.20 as payment processing fees. It’s worth noting that Kickstarter collects and manages the platform fees and payment processing fees on behalf of the project creators. These fees are subtracted from the funds received before they are transferred to the project creators’ accounts. To summarize, Kickstarter generates its revenue through platform fees and payment processing fees. The platform fee is a percentage of the project amount, while the payment processing fee covers credit card processing costs. By charging these fees, Kickstarter is able to sustain its operations and continue to provide a platform where creators can bring their innovative ideas to life with the support of backers worldwide.

Success Stories

The success stories on Kickstarter are a testament to the platform’s effectiveness in helping creators bring their dreams to life. Notable Kickstarter projects have made headlines and captured the attention of audiences worldwide. These projects have not only achieved their funding goals but have also had a significant impact on various creative industries.

Notable Kickstarter Projects

Kickstarter has been a breeding ground for innovative ideas and groundbreaking projects. Some of the most notable Kickstarter projects include:

  • Pebble Time: A smartwatch that raised over $20 million, becoming one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns at the time.
  • Exploding Kittens: A card game that raised over $8 million, surpassing its initial goal in just a few minutes.
  • Oculus Rift: A virtual reality headset that raised over $2 million and revolutionized the gaming industry.

These projects gained immense popularity due to their unique concepts, captivating storytelling, and the power of social media and word-of-mouth marketing. They not only exceeded their funding goals but also gained a dedicated fan base and paved the way for others to follow.

Impact On Creative Industries

Kickstarter has had a profound impact on various creative industries. It has provided a platform for artists, musicians, filmmakers, and designers to turn their ideas into reality.

One area that Kickstarter has greatly influenced is the independent film industry. Filmmakers can now bypass traditional funding methods and directly connect with their audience. This has led to the creation of original and unconventional films that may have struggled to find funding through traditional channels.

In the music industry, Kickstarter has allowed artists to release albums, produce music videos, and organize tours without relying on major record labels. This has empowered musicians to maintain creative control over their work and build a dedicated fan base from the ground up.

The impact of Kickstarter can also be seen in the world of product design. Entrepreneurs can now bring their innovative products to market without the need for extensive start-up capital. This has democratized the process, giving small businesses and individuals the opportunity to compete with established brands.

Overall, the success stories on Kickstarter highlight the platform’s ability to fuel creativity and empower creators from various industries. By providing a platform for funding and exposure, Kickstarter has revolutionized the way ideas are brought to life.

Challenges And Controversies

Kickstarter generates revenue through a percentage-based fee on successfully funded projects. The platform charges a 5% fee on the total funds raised, in addition to payment processing fees. This model has raised concerns about the potential for high costs and the impact on project creators.

Accountability Concerns

One of the challenges that Kickstarter has faced is accountability concerns. This crowdfunding platform allows creators to showcase their projects and raise funds from backers, but there have been instances where projects have failed or been unable to deliver on their promises.

This lack of accountability has raised concerns among backers who have invested their money into these projects. They have questioned the platform’s role in ensuring that creators fulfill their commitments and deliver the promised products or services.

Kickstarter does have guidelines in place for creators, and they encourage transparency and communication. However, there have been cases where creators have not been able to meet their obligations and have left backers empty-handed.

This lack of accountability has led to criticism of Kickstarter’s role in protecting backers and ensuring that projects are delivered as promised. The platform has been accused of not doing enough to hold creators accountable for their failures.

Failed Projects

Another controversy surrounding Kickstarter is the issue of failed projects. Despite the platform’s best efforts to vet projects and ensure viability, there are instances where projects simply do not succeed.

These failed projects can be disappointing for backers who have invested their money and believed in the creators’ vision. Sometimes, unforeseen challenges arise during the project’s development, causing it to fail despite the creator’s best intentions.

Kickstarter is aware of these risks and has acknowledged that not all projects will be successful. They provide a disclaimer that investing in a project carries inherent risks, and backers need to be aware of the possibility of failure.

However, the occurrence of failed projects has led to debates about the platform’s role in preventing such failures and protecting the interests of backers.

Accountability Concerns Failed Projects
Creators not meeting obligations Unforeseen challenges during development
Platform accused of not holding creators accountable Risks associated with investing in projects
Backers left empty-handed Disappointing for backers who believed in the project
  • Accountability concerns have raised questions about Kickstarter’s role in safeguarding backers’ investments.
  • Failed projects can leave backers disappointed and raise debates about the platform’s responsibility.
  • Kickstarter encourages transparency and communication but has faced criticism for a lack of accountability.
  • Investing in projects on Kickstarter carries inherent risks, and not all projects will succeed.

Frequently Asked Questions For How Does Kickstarter Make Money?

Do Backers Make Money On Kickstarter?

Backers on Kickstarter do not make money directly from their support. Instead, they receive rewards or perks based on their pledge level. These rewards can range from personalized thank-you’s to early access to the product being funded. It’s a way for backers to support projects they believe in and receive something in return.

What Is The Disadvantage Of Kickstarter?

Kickstarter can be unpredictable, with no guarantee of success. Projects may face delays or fail to deliver rewards. Furthermore, it’s difficult to stand out among the numerous projects competing for attention. Additionally, backers may feel disappointed if a project fails to meet their expectations.

What Happens To The Money If A Kickstarter Fails?

If a Kickstarter fails, backers don’t get charged. The money is not collected.


To sum it up, Kickstarter has successfully created a platform that benefits both creators and backers. By taking a percentage of each successful project, they generate revenue while supporting innovative ideas. Their focus on community and engagement sets them apart, fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging repeat usage.

As the crowdfunding industry continues to evolve, Kickstarter’s ability to adapt and provide value ensures their ongoing success. Whether you’re a creative entrepreneur or someone passionate about supporting new ventures, Kickstarter’s unique business model offers a win-win solution.

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