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Key links:
Primary website:
kickstarter.com
Primary Twitter:
@kickstarter

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Kickstarter is an online platform for funding projects ranging from movies, albums, or journalism-related endeavors.

Kickstarter was founded in 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler. The company is based in Manhattan.

Kickstarter is a form of “crowdfunding” that allows the public to donate small or large amounts to projects set up by a third-party. Projects on Kickstarter must offer a reward to users to encourage donations, with rewards ranging from a special product to exclusive access to a project. The approach to fundraising requires projects to reach full-funding by a deadline, if a funding target is not met the money is returned to supporters. Kickstarter takes a 5 percent fee from funded projects to cover their costs. Donations are handled by Amazon Payments, which also takes a small percentage of the raised funds for credit card processing.

According to the company, Kickstarter raised $27.6 million and funded more than 3,900 projects in 2010.

Kickstarter and journalism

One of Kickstarter’s project areas is publishing, including journalism, which has lead to discussion on whether the service can be a viable alternative method to fund reporting similar to Spot.us. In 2010 writer and cartoonist Ted Rall successfully raised over $21,000 to return to Afghanistan to report on US military activity and life for Afghanis.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Jan. 17, 2018 / Laura Hazard Owen
“We stepped in and started doing it”: How one woman built an award-winning news outlet from her dining room table — Linda Solomon Wood is the American who threatened to move to Canada — and then actually did it. Once there, she did something else perhaps even more improbable: She launched a national, investigative digital news site ...
Dec. 11, 2017 / Shan Wang
Former Gawker employees are crowdfunding to relaunch a Gawker.com that’s owned by a nonprofit and funded by readers — SaveGawker.com launched Monday in an effort to…well, save Gawker.com, and relaunch it as a member-supported news site. The flagship Gawker.com became an orphan site after Univision bought all Gawker Media propertie...
Nov. 15, 2017 / Laura Hazard Owen
Kickstarter’s new product, Drip, lets people charge subscriptions for ongoing projects — National Observer is no stranger to successful crowdfunding campaigns. The Canadian investigative news outlet launched its first Kickstarter in 2014, raising 53,040 Canadian dollars (USD $41,615) from 741 backers to prod...
May 1, 2017 / Laura Hazard Owen
Amid the wreckage of fallen startups, Longreads is increasing the original reporting it funds — At eight, Longreads is a bit of a wizened survivor. During its lifetime, startups trying to do similar things to it have come and gone. Byliner collapsed, Atavist shrunk, and Medium — a much larger company with way mor...
Oct. 5, 2016 / Ricardo Bilton
Building off online, new print mag Anxy wants to help normalize conversations about mental health — Anxy founder Indhira Rojas wants everyone to stop pretending that they’re okay. Social media, she says, has been a great way for people to share even the smallest details about their lives. The problem: Social m...

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Primary author: Justin Ellis. Main text last updated: May 9, 2011.
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The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is an online news organization and former newspaper based in Seattle. The P-I is the first major daily newspaper in the United States to become an online-only news outlet. The P-I was founded in 1863 and has been owned by Hearst Corp. since William Randolph Hearst bought the paper in 1921. It…

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