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Kickstarter: 'Funding Dreams' In Kansas And Missouri

At least every couple of months, or more, an email request lands in my inbox from an artist to help fund a new project, a gallery to support their programming budget, or a filmmaker to make a new movie. All have one thing in common: they're asking donors to contribute through a crowd-funding website called Kickstarter.

In aninterview on the public radio show Marketplace, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler told Kai Ryssdal that "folks go on Kickstarter not just to fund their projects, but to also fund their dreams."

Here's how it works: An artist, filmmaker, musician, designer, curator, etc. creates a project (no charities or causes) with a target dollar amount and a deadline. Donors are offered rewards as incentives, such as thank you notes or a copy of an album or DVD. The average pledge is $70 and the most popular is $25. If the monetary goal is not reached by the deadline, donors are not charged. If the project is successful (fully funded), Kickstarter takes 5%, Amazon applies a 3 - 5% credit card processing fee, and the project creator gets the rest.

Kickstarter Stats

As Kickstarter puts it on its website, the premise is "all-or-nothing funding." And, according to a post on Deceptive Cadence, NPR's classical music blog, "more than 50 percent of Kickstarter projects fail to attract enough funding." I checked in with Justin Kazmark with Kickstarter who put it this way in an email: "The success rate for projects overall is 44%." He added that "the interesting stat is that the majority of dollars pledged (about 88%) go to successfully funded projects, not the ones that fail to reach their goal."

Kickstarter provides a stats page with daily updates. It includes information ranging from the amount that's been pledged to Kickstarter projects (more than $250 million to date) and projects that have never received a single pledge (more than 7,000).

Kansas and Missouri by the Numbers


  • More than 200 projects funded
  • More than $500,000 pledged to these projects
  • Top three funded projects:
  1. KICK ME, a narrative film project in Kansas City, KS by Gary Huggins - $70,302 (goal: $70,000)
  2. Far West: Western/Wuxia Mashup adventure game, a games project in Lawrence, KS by Gareth-Michael Skarka - $49, 324 (goal: $5,000)
  3. Roll20 -- Virtual tabletop gaming that tells a story, a games project in Wichita, KS by Riley Dutton - $39,651 (goal: $5,000)


  • More than 700 projects funded
  • More than $1,600,000 pledged to these projects
  • Top three funded projects:
  1. Sentinels of the Multiverse: Infernal Relics & Enhanced Ed, a board & card games project in St. Louis, MO by Paul - $111,258 (goal: $20,000)
  2. Global Village Construction Set, an open hardware project in Maysville, MO  - $63,573 (goal: $40,000)
  3. Wilderness Brewing Co., a food project in Kansas City, MO by Mike and Nate - $41,099 (goal: $40,000)
Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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