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I have long been aware of Kickstarter but only within the last year have I been actively engaged. For the uninitiated Kickstarter is a funding platform driven by creators and backers. Creators present creative project ideas, and backers fund those projects.

Creators set up a page to display their project's details and prototypes using text, video, and photos. Project creators set a funding goal and a deadline. The creators also create reward levels for backers who pledge specific amounts. The more a backer pledges, the bigger the reward.

Once enough backers have funded the project, the creator can develop and produce their vision. Depending on the project's complexity, backers may have to wait months or even years to see the finished product. I am currently in month 8 waiting for a gaming table along with eagerly awaiting several board games, a GPS keychain, a dutch oven, a microscope fixture for my cell phone and a bird feeder with a built in webcam that identifies the species and messages me the video.

Although Kickstarter is a great platform for exposure, not everyone gets their projects approved. Kickstarter accepts about 75 percent of submitted projects. The remaining 25 percent are turned away, usually due to non-compliance with the guidelines.

A creator can collect their funds only if they reach their funding goal by the deadline. If they don't reach the goal in time, no money changes hands.

Kickstarter put this rule in place to minimize risk. If a project can't generate enough funds and can't deliver to current backers when creators didn't raise enough money, it can be tough on everyone. Creators can always try again at a later time.

Kickstarter requires creators to offer some kind of reward to their backers, no matter how simple or elaborate. When people fund a project, they can choose one of the predetermined awards the creators present. Usually, there's also a way to contribute a small amount without an award, an option that's labeled "Back it because you believe in it."

Once a project has successfully reached its goal funding amount, creators may reach out for more information before sending out rewards to their backers.

All Kickstarter pages have an Estimated Delivery Date section to specify when backers will receive their rewards but this can be delayed. Many projects have experienced this due to supply chain interruptions caused by Covid.

Browsing through projects is easy. Scroll through the Kickstarter home page to see featured projects, what's recommended, fresh favorites, and more. Use the search button at the top to search for something specific by name or keyword.

If there's a particular type of project you're looking for, browse categories including Arts, Comics & Illustration, Design & Tech, Film, Food & Craft, Publishing, Music, and Games!

Kickstarter is a great way to get cutting edge ideas, indie games and more! We have several items in our house that are used regularly and they all launched from here.

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