Kickstarter: A Philanthropist’s Dream

Today’s post is from guest blogger Raine Parker.

As the internet has expanded, people have adapted it to many different uses in order to take advantage of its ability to quickly tap into the power that comes from gathering together groups of people. Groupon is perhaps the greatest example of this recent trend, as it uses organized people to leverage buying power into good deals.

Fortunately, philanthropists have also taken advantage of the internet’s power in order to help leverage their aid in new and impressive ways. Just as Groupon users can combine their collective power in order to get good deals, so too can philanthropists, now that people have created philanthropy sites like Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is, like many other online sites of its kind, a project devoted to allowing those interested in supporting causes and projects do so through the internet; however, Kickstarter only focuses on projects within the arts, such as publishing, film, visual arts, sculpture, and other kinds of projects. On Kickstarter’s front page you can see a variety of featured projects. They can vary greatly from intensely personal projects, such as helping a musician get some money to rent a recording studio, to projects for social change, such as The Understanding Campaign, which gained funding successfully with a mission to use publishing in order to help create awareness of Arabic culture in the West. Because of this wide variety, philanthropists have much to choose from when seeking out projects to support; simply search the site based on what sorts of art interests you the most.

So how does Kickstarter work? Well, it’s very simple. Artists can register on the site and then create a page for their project, on which they can describe their goals and list how much money they’d like to receive. When a philanthropist finds a project to support, he or she can pledge however much money towards the project. Once you pledge, you receive updates regarding whether or not the project was funded, and if it was, what sorts of success the artist has had after receiving the money. In a way, Kickstarter can serve as a base for the project’s entire undertaking.

As for how the giving works on Kickstarter, it is risk-free. In fact, that’s the beauty about Kickstarter: if the project meets its pledge goal by the deadline, then all of the money gets disbursed. But, if for some reason the project does not make its goal by the deadline, then the people who have already pledged do not lose any more. The system doesn’t charge their accounts or credit cards. This system ultimately makes supporting causes risk-free, which further encourages selfless giving. Rather than worrying about how you might lose your five dollars if the project doesn’t get enough funding, you can rest assured that you’ll get your money back if it doesn’t reach its pledge goal.

Kickstarter is a site that focuses heavily on the arts community, and because of this, the opportunities for philanthropy are limited to a certain realm. But that doesn’t mean many of the projects are not socially conscious or irrelevant. As a result, Kickstarter could be a unique and new way for philanthropists to change the world.

This guest contribution was submitted by Raine Parker, who specializes in writing about online accounting degree.  Questions and comments can be sent to: raine.parker6@gmail.com.

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One thought on “Kickstarter: A Philanthropist’s Dream

  1. Kickstarter is a wonderful concept and the success they have provided have been outstanding! Th only downside is you have to be US based to create a project.. However a brand new kickstarter alternative based in the UK offers creators the opportunity to create projects from anywhere in the world.. Take a look at http://www.sponduly.org it works on a similar system to kickstarter and even provides the backers with the same security as the kickstarter all or nothing only with a slight twist.. You get th opportunity to select a reserve. Past projects have seen great success an even over achieved by as much as 220% their target.

    The site is really simple to use and also picks up sponsorship style pledging from local businesses to help projects. http://www.sponduly.org

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