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Kickstarter is probably the most well-known crowd funding website in existence. Here you can obtain money for any creative projectnote  you have by submitting a description of your project (usually alongside a short video) and promising rewards to people who "pledge" different amounts.

While the site had enjoyed a reasonable success beforehand, Kickstarter went through an explosion in popularity after February 2012: not only did an iPhone dock become the first project to raise a million dollars, but legendary game developer Tim Schafer announced he was going to raise money for a new adventure game, and Double Fine was only asking for $400,000 as its goal. Said project ended up raising over three million, with one million raised in a single day. The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive also joined the 1+ million club the same month. Here you can find a nice retrospective they released for their fifth birthday.

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Schaefer's success then caused a large number of game developers to turn to Kickstarter in the following months, and later talents from other fields as well. The website has played a significant role in popularizing the concept of crowd funding as a whole.


Notable Kickstarter projects include:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 

    Comic Books 
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    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
Cat Sick Blues

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • Animusic 3
  • Savlonic's debut album Red.
  • Theatre Is Evil, an album by Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. Notable for surpassing its $100,000 goal to the tune of $1.2 million, and the album debuted on the Billboard top 100 Album list at number 10 due to the immense number of Kickstarter pre-orders. (Later provoked a bit of a controversy online when Palmer invited local musicians to play with the tour gratis.)
  • Ted Leo's The Hanged Man.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

    Web Videos 
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: This Is It wished to create four installments in this Subverted Kids Show after the first two were a success.
  • The Gamers: Humans & Households
  • The Gamers: Natural One
  • The Ningyo
  • Reading Rainbow: LeVar Burton brought up a Kickstarter to help resurrect it as a web series, even providing a large library of interactive books and video field trips to promote literacy to deserving kids across America. Its $1 million goal was funded in seven hours, and has finished with almost $5.5 million in total (including an extra million from Seth MacFarlane, of all people).
  • Tropes vs. Women in Videogames
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Creator Joel Hodgson brought up a Kickstarter to help resurrect it as both a web series and hopefully a full-fledged TV series (and to see if he can one-up LeVar Burton in the process). At $6.3 million, it surpassed Reading Rainbow and didn't need Seth MacFarlane!
  • Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina: Launched in March 2019 with the original goal of $750,000 USD in 45 days to fund a two-part animated special of an original story featuring the character from Critical Role's first campaign. The original goal was met in 40 minutes with the first stretch goal of $1 million being completed by the end of the first hour. By the time the campaign finally closed on April 18th they had raised $11.3 million USD, taking the crown of highest funded video project from MST3K and making them the fifth highest funded Kickstarter project ever.
  • World War II

    Web Comics 
  • Ava's Demon: Books one and two.
  • Awkward Zombie: Volume One
  • Brawl in the Family: Volume One
  • Broodhollow: To finance the publishing of book one, "Pretty Little Things".
  • Check, Please!: Volumes one and two were financed through kickstarter. Volume three is still in campaign, but has already reached near ten times what was requested.
  • Cucumber Quest: Publication of various books.
  • Deep Dive Daredevils: A Diesel Punk webcomic about the USS Custer and its brave crew.
  • Erfworld, four times. The first was a project to make a motion comic from Book 1, that ended up funding several other goals. The second, an alphabet book featuring characters and creatures of the world. The third, a set of lapel pins featuring the battle crests for the seven major factions in the world. The fourth project is currently underway, with the goal of funding production of Book 3.
  • Girl Genius: The Professors Foglio sought funding to print volume 12 of the comic, and ended up with enough to reprint the entire run. It's currently the fourth most funded Kickstarter in the comics category.
  • The Intrepid Girlbot: To fund volume one's publication.
  • Johnny Wander: To finance the printing of the third paperback volume.
  • Penny Arcade Sells Out: Rather than one specific project, PA is looking to get the fans to pick up the site's operating expenses for a year. If successful, then they can work on projects for the fans instead of for advertisers.
    • Downloadable Content podcast season 2: "Funded" at $10, reflecting the creators' desire to restart the podcast.
  • The Sanity Circus: To finance having the first 10 chapters published in a book.
  • The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive
  • For several years now, weekend Dumbing of Age strips have been funded as stretch goals from the drives for the strip's print volumes.

    Western Animation 
  • Anomalisa with Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. The Kickstarter was made just to see if there was any interest in financing the film, where it eventually did and got picked up by Paramount at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Barry & Joe: The Animated Series
  • The Saga of Rex: a traditionally-animated film project based on a graphic novel by Michel Gagné (whose references include The Iron Giant and Prelude to Eden).
  • SWAT Kats: Revolution: An attempt to revive one of the most radical cartoons of the 90's.
  • Wakfu: In an attempt to provide an English Dub for English broadcasters. It worked and now the show airs in select Cartoon Network markets, and on Netflix for most of the world. At the time it's campaign ended, it was in the top 5 most funded animation category ever.

    Other Projects 
  • The Ouya: An open, hackable console based off the Android OS which retails for $99. Its controller features two analog sticks, eight buttons, and a touchpad screen.
  • Potato salad note 
  • RiffTrax wanted to live-Riff Twilight in August 2013. They asked Kickstarter users for $55,000 so they could get the rights from Lionsgate. They ended up with $264,860. The studio declined, so the guys ended up taking on Starship Troopers instead. RiffTrax returned to Kickstarter when they wanted to get the rights to live-Riff Godzilla (1998). (After Twilight, they made sure that the studio was already OK with the plan as long as the check cleared.) They asked for $100,000, and got it in a couple days. So they announced (again, after checking with the studio first) that if they reached $250,000, they'd add a live-Riff of Anaconda to the schedule. Final total: $265,011.
  • TV Tropes (yes, this very site) launched a Kickstarter on November 30, 2014, seeking at least $50,000 to improve the site and the servers it's on. It was part of a change of leadership with the original creator and founder stepping away from running everything behind the scenes. In the words from the staff:
    After 10 amazing years, it's time for TV Tropes to grow a beard.
    • On December 8th, the $50,000 minimum funding goal was achieved.
    • On December 26th, the first $75,000 stretch goal was achieved, allowing the team to get more servers, hire a part time programmer, and work on an API.
    • On December 30th, the last day, and with at least four hours remaining, the second and final $100,000 stretch goal was achieved. The staff will then work on Season 3 of Echo Chamber and a vlog series. In the end, $105,186 was raised from 3,109 backers (not counting any PayPal donations).
  • Fruitbat Factory, the publisher of 100% Orange Juice!, opened a Kickstarter campaign on January 30th, 2018 to produce a line of a plushies based on the characters from the game. The campaign met its funding goal within 72 hours since it started, with extra funding going towards producing cards, accessories, and extra character plushies.

This website provides examples of:

  • All or Nothing: A project will only take its backers' pledged funds if it reaches its funding target. If it's so much as a dollar short, it gets no money at all. This is to prevent backers from wasting money on a project that ends up becoming underfunded and unable to be finished.
  • Con Man: Beware; as with any other platform for raising money, Kickstarter has attracted its share of scammers. The site does offer some fraud protection and will shut down any project that can't be proven to meet its standards, but it's also rather easy for any crook to fund a project that has no realistic chance of ever being made.
  • Honest Axe: It has been repeatedly shown that Kickstarter backers are on average a lot more forgiving towards projects that publicly explain why and how they failed to reach certain promised goals and deadlines than towards the ones that try to gloss over their mistakes with standard PR lines.
  • Loophole Abuse: Project creators regularly find ways to bend the letter of the Kickstarter rules so they can get their project funded. Case in point, someone (who we'll not cite here as in to avoid personal attacks) once made potato salad through Kickstater, the reasoning was that the site's ruled say that only creative projects should be funded and that potato could, technically, fit under this category, as "creative projects" is a term that can be left to much more interpretation than one would think.
    • It's also possible to run a Kickstarter to start a business, provided the business produces something sufficiently creative, a video game studio, or a distribution platform for music, or a food truck, or manufacturing and selling a new gadget.
    • Kickstarter doesn't allow porn, but that applies only to live-action; games and comics with drawn sex scenes have been able to draw plenty of funding.
    • Soliciting donations for charity is not allowed either, but one of the late reward items in The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive included Rich Burlew just coincidentally already planning a donation in that same amount to a charity.
    • invoked At one point, Kickstarter only allowed projects to be funded in US dollars, and required someone in the USA to receive the funds, via an Amazon Payments account. During this time, projects frequently opened up PayPal donation drives for those who couldn't contribute in US funds or via Amazon, but only after the main Kickstarter drive was fully funded. This was officially discouraged (since Kickstarter takes a percentage of the money), but they couldn't really stop it since the PayPal donations were supposedly coming from people who were unable to contribute on Kickstarter in the first place (until Kickstarter opened things up to make foreign contributions and projects possible).
      • At least one project had to scramble to move to Indiegogo when it was realized that such a lump sum would cause major financial problems for the designated receiver.
  • Self-Deprecation: The pitch-videos that tend more towards the humorous side of the Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness usually include this in spades. The one for CLANG being a prime example, even getting an "it takes time" joke out of Gabe Newell.
  • Sturgeon's Law: As with everything, most submissions are not funded for good reason. Whether or not the trope also applies to the things that do get funded is a matter of debate.

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