Cash and Connections: Using Kickstarter to Fund and Promote Your Cultural Heritage Project
In 2012, archival digitization initiative Project Gado launched a successful Kickstarter campaign which helped bring in funding for our work, build our donor base, increase awareness of our project, and recruit new volunteers. This eBook shares our experiences, and gives you the background you need to use Kickstarter for your own cultural heritage organization. More
In early 2012, a small tech startup called Pebble created a campaign on the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter. They had developed a mildly successful smart watch which worked with Blackberry smartphones, and they wanted to raise $100,000 to make it work with Android phones and iPhones. Two hours after launching their campaign, they had met their $100,000 goal. By the end of the campaign, they had raised ten million dollars from 69,000 people. Their Kickstarter campaign transformed them into a full-fledged company and launched an entire market sector which companies like Apple and Samsung are now rushing to fill.
Success stories like Pebble's highlight the transformative possibilities of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites. While Kickstarter is often used for startup companies, it's also a fantastic tool for those in the cultural heritage space. About a month before Pebble, I also created a Kickstarter campaign. Mine was for my archival digitization initiative, Project Gado. Project Gado uses technology, including an innovative robot, to create sustainable models for large scale archival digitization.
While we didn't quite reach Pebble's scale, our Kickstarter campaign helped bring in funding for our work, build our donor base, increase awareness of our project, and recruit new volunteers. This eBook shares our experiences, and gives you the background you need to use Kickstarter for your own cultural heritage organization. The eBook covers everything from planning your project to avoiding Kickstarter pitfalls which can cost you hundreds of dollars. The eBook includes linked resources to help you run a successful and profitable Kickstarter campaign.