Raising Money and Funding Dreams on Twitter


Jane Devin's Elephant GirlYesterday a flurry of Twitter activity ended up funding blogger and author, Jane Devin’s Kickstarter request for funding to promote her self-published memoir Elephant Girl.  It was a great example of social media’s ability to raise money, awareness, and support for a community member’s creative work.

When Jane posted this update to Kickstarter on Tuesday morning, she needed to raise $1,097  in three days, or she risked losing the $2403 that had already been pledged.  Led by powerhouse blogger Karoli and her followers, a Twitter campaign netted almost 50 new backers and enough money to reach the goal. Huge Twitter success story-because Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing game.


Kickstarter is an incredibly cool crowd-sourcing site. Creatives off all types can post a project and a budget. They then garner support from their own lists, by publicizing the project, or by catching the attention of Kickstarter’s audience base. Kickstarter’s strength is the ability to use social media to share your need and to aggregate a number of small donations to meet your goal.

However, like Fight Club, every cool thing has rules, and the first rule of Kickstarter is you have to fully fund your goal or you get nada.  Conversely, you can still collect donations that exceed your original request. (Check this out–Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer have a tour project that is wildly over-funded!)  In Jane’s case, she plans to use the overage to support the start of a book tour to share Elephant Girl with more readers.

I asked Jane about reaching her goal with the help of her fans on Twitter. She said,  “I didn’t know if I was going to make it — I’m not famous and don’t have thousands of fans the world over — but this has really taught me that you don’t have to be big to dream big. With the care of friends and just a handful of supporters, great things are possible!”

I’ve seen Kickstarter work brilliantly for other bloggers,too. For example, Sarah R. Bloom (@sadandbeautiful) recently funded a gallery show of her work through the site. Kickstarter is a great resource for creatives , and it works because it meets many needs for backers.  I donated to Sarah’s campaigns and to Jane’s because I love talented women with dreams and ideas for sharing their creative work, and I like feeling like a Medici patron of the arts on my meager budget. Kickstarter makes it fun and easy.

Have you used Kickstarter either as a creative or a backer, or have you thought about giving it a go?

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