Kickstart fundraising for your mod with Kickstarter

Written by Alex Watson

December 10, 2009 | 10:50

Tags: #cash #funding

We’ve featured some great mods on bit-tech this year, and behind the scenes Antony and Rich are at work sourcing prizes for upcoming extravaganza that is our renowned Mod of the Year competition.

It's one thing to have a great idea for a mod - but it's quite another to actually get it done. The amount of work that goes into making something as mighty and radical as, say, The Phinix Cube or Neptune’s Trident is epic.

It's not just work, either - it's cash too, so the question is, how do you raise the money to mod?
One way to fund your mod is to look for sponsorship from hardware companies – that’s an approach that does work for some modders, but it’s a tricky area to get in to, especially if you’re just starting out, because of course, companies want something in return. Rich and the rest of the forum guys have written a series of guides to the dos and don’ts of sponsorship that are well worth reading.

Another option might be a recently launched website called Kickstarter. It’s a “funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers.” It’s actually a great idea that harnesses some of the best aspects of the web. Essentially, you write about your project on the site, set the amount of cash you need to go ahead and then detail the rewards your backers get for kicking in.

Rewards scale up with the amount of cash that’s involved – take this project by the band Asobi Seksu. They need some cash to go on tour - $7,500 dollars in fact. They've got a project up on Kickstarter, and if you give $1, you get a digital download of song, $5 gets you an album, $25 a signed t-shirt, limited edition vinyl and the downloads.

Kickstart fundraising for your mod with Kickstarter

One key fact to bear in mind: projects only go ahead if they’re fully funded. This is one factor that Andy Baio, Kickstarter’s CTO thinks is key to its early success (and it has helped quite a few people get cash for their creative projects).

That and the fact that communication is key - project teams use the site to talk to their backers. I've funded a couple of projects and I really like the way the site allows creative people to connect to an audience, and get a sense of their personality across - and why their project matters. This makes the projects really compelling, and following the development of a project you've funded is exciting, and it's heartening when it's actually completed.

At the moment, most of the people using the site are bands, writers or photographers but browsing through the site the other day (I like Asobi Seksu, y’see), I thought it could work really well for modders. You'd need to figure out what the rewards would be (wallpapers? access to the blueprints? one on one modding advice?) and how to publicize the project of course, but it might work well in conjunction with a project log on the forums. I’d be really interested if any bit-tech modders are interested – let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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