If you are using consumerism to change the world, Kickstarter is a great place to fund and launch your business. Many changemakers with consumer ideas have met with overwhelming fundraising success by tapping into the fact that people love getting stuff. Kickstarter, the largest and most popular crowdfunding site, allows anyone to fund creative ideas on the planform in exchange for rewards which are mostly creative, tangible and fairly priced products. On Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the other popular crowdfunding site, backers are looking to contribute to projects where they could possibly get something really cool and inspiring in exchange.
Changemakers with consumer ideas are able to offer niche and inspiring products, thus attracting backers and hitting their fundraising target, at times closing much higher than their initial fundraising goal.
Take for instance, 1:FaceWatch, a simple, stylish watch that comes in six colors, each color representing a cause that part of the purchase price will go to. The project was founded by brand development firm Mirza Minds, who wanted to use the power of consumers to change the world. The campaign was launched on Indiegogo with a fundraising goal of $25000, they ended up raising more than $350,000, with over 6000 people backing their campaign. For contributing at least $40, backers would get a face watch in the color of the choice. The sleek facewatch, offered as a perk to backers helped attract huge number of contributors, resulting in raising 1428% more than their initial goal and signing-up their first set of customers.
Another highly successful fundraising campaign that recently concluded on Kickstarter was of Ricefield Collectives. Ricefield Collectives crafts handmade knitted accessories that keep indigenous people of the Philippines on their ancestral land. With just an idea in mind to sell knitwear, hand knitted by the indigenous people, the founders turned to Kickstarter to raise funds to launch their first line of knitwear accessories. Their goal was to raise $24,000, in about 10 days into the campaign they surpassed their initial goal, raising over $50,000 and laying a new stretch goal of $85,000. The new goal would help to turn Ricefield Collectives from a volunteering gig into a formal cooperative, with a full time staff and a permanent base in the Ifugao region of the Philippines. Ricefield Collectives ended up raising close to $75,000, 296% more than their initial goal. The rewards offered of trendy knitted accessories in vibrant colors and add-on rewards as they kept moving closer to the goal, helped keep the tempo and attract over 1000 backers.
There are numerous instances of how changemakers and social startups have leveraged Kickstarter and Ingiegogo to launch their world changing products and businesses. You can keep track of these crowdfunded products by following EthFolk’s board, Crowd-Funded Ethical Products.
What’s good about these crowd-funding sites is that they not only help with raising funds to develop the idea but they are also great place to discover your first set of customers and take pre-orders. A great example of this would be, Activyst, currently taking pre-orders on Indiegogo, for their new line of gym bags, the purchase of which supports girls to play sports in developing countries.