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Can I Fund My Own Kickstarter? No and Yes…

Can I Fund My Own Kickstarter? Yes and No...

This is actually a more complicated question than it seems. Technically, you as the creator, can NOT contribute to your own Kickstarter project. You will notice that you can not access the Rewards buttons through your Kickstarter account.

However … a family member such as a spouse or child CAN contribute to your campaign. All they need is their own Kickstarter account. What more is that anyone can change the reward level dollar amount to whatever $ they desire. They can also increase the donation at any point during the campaign before it closes.

This means that if you want to strategize about the amount you want to raise for your Kickstarter campaign, you should consider these factors:

  • What is the minimum amount of money that you need to raise?
  • How much can you/your family personally contribute to your campaign to “close the gap”?
  • Kickstarter takes 10% of the total amount raised (5% to Kickstarter, 5% to Stripe).
  • Do I want to “seed” my Kickstarter when it first begins?
  • Kickstarter will promote projects as “Projects We Love” when there is momentum for a project, especially when it’s close to being funded or fully funded quickly.
  • Can you pare down your project from “Nice To Have” to “Essential”?

In my case, I wasn’t sure if I could raise the $12k needed to fund my book. I could also pare down the cost from “Essential” to “Nice to Have” by using a different editor and fact-checker (which would save about $1300). I decided to set the amount of my project to $6000, a number that seemed feasible to me. I was willing to kick in some of my own money to close the gap to make my Kickstarter project go, as well as to fund the rest of the project. Having my husband donate to my own project makes less sense because of the 10% fees that Kickstarter takes.

My advice is to:

  1. Pick the lowest number that you need to make your project go. You can always raise more money and that makes your project look really successful, thereby getting Kickstarter to help promote it.
  2. Be transparent to your supporters about how much you are raising versus how much you really need and why.
  3. If you are able to contribute money to your own project to make it go, hold it in reserve. You might need to get someone like a spouse or adult child to make that donation if your project is very close to funding but isn’t quite there in the final hours of your Kickstarter.
  4. You are able to continue raising money after your Kickstarter ends through a pre-sale page that you have to set up yourself. I used a free eCommerce WordPress blog (WooCommerce)  to set up this website to sell my book. I also plan to sell my book through Amazon once it is printed. There are easy and low-cost ways to set up your pre-sell page. I’ll research and list those on a blog post later.

So the bottom line is that you can not personally contribute to your own Kickstarter campaign, but you can have a surrogate do this for you. This surrogate be it your spouse, friend, or child can 1) type in any amount in any reward category and 2) increase that amount at any point during your Kickstarter campaign before it closes, but 3) Kickstarter will take 10% of that money so you are better off donating your own money later for “Nice To Have” features.

Hope this helps to clarify. I searched and could not find this information when I was setting up my own Kickstarter campaign. Questions about anything? Please leave them in the comments section below.

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