Behavior Patterns of Kickstarter Funders

Posted on March 1, 2010

This is a precursor to a post I’m writing on how to figure out the true cost of a Kickstarter Project (using my recently posted project as an experiment).

I was curious to see what funding levels got the most response, so I’d know which area to put the most attention on and make it attractive to funders.

So I looked at about 30 successfully funded film projects on Kickstarter and noted how many backers they got for each level they offered ((This isn’t 100% accurate because if you multiply the number of backers for each level and add them up, lots of times the numbers wouldn’t work. I’m assuming this is because people donated a different amount, maybe a little more than a certain level, so they would still qualify for those rewards but not show up as a backer for that level. Or they donated and chose not to receive a reward.)).

Screen shot 2010-02-27 at 1.57.46 PM.png

This is the data graphed out. It’s kind of what I expected, but I think there’s a few little surprises.

  • Clearly $25 is the most popular level. This is usually the “Get a DVD” level. But it’s nice to see that the graph curves, and it doesn’t just start high and go straight down.
  • However, after $25 it doesn’t just go down. More people give $100 than they do $50.
  • While most of the projects with a high level didn’t get any backers, as you can see it never goes to zero (Long Tail at work), even at $10,000.
  • The numbers displayed above are the most commonly used amounts for levels.

This is by no means all encompassing, but I think it’s a pretty clearly defined pattern that you’ll find in most Kickstarter film projects.

Here’s the same data shown as a pie chart:

Screen shot 2010-02-27 at 2.09.02 PM.png

You can use this data to figure out how many backers you’ll need at each level to fund your project.

If your budget is $7500, and 13% of your backers will give you $50, then you’ll need 22 backers to give $50. Of course if you get 1 large donor, then that shifts everything. (Budget $ / Reward Level $ * Percentage in Decimal Form = # of Backers Needed)

Clarification: A lot of this ties into the next post on true costs, because an estimated number of backers you’ll get for each level is handy to know to plan for how many rewards you’ll need to supply.

Stay tuned on how this comes in handy for figuring out the true cost of a Kickstarter project.

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Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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  1. Yancey

    Impressive research, Joey. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with.

  2. Joey

    Thanks Yancey! I think the upcoming True Cost post should be interesting and useful.

  3. Joey

    No problem, glad you liked it

  4. Joan

    Very nice and useful research, Joey!
    Where did you get all these data from? Is this available somewhere or in I would really like to take a look at music related projects 😉

    • Joey

      Thanks. I got it myself by looking at successfully funded projects and putting the price of the level and number of backers in a spread sheet. This doesn’t give you how many people gave but chose not to receive anything, but it gives you a rough idea of how people give.

  5. Mike L. Murphy

    Great article. I’m starting up a Kickstarter campaign and am greatly appreciative of you compiling this data.

  6. girls in Kiev

    Great post.. Very well written entry. I have found myself directed here before from google search and I’m sure will find myself back again. I just thought I’d take the time out of my day to let you know. As a blog owner myself I know that it is nice to get some feedback on your works sometimes. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll find myself here again.

  7. Jennifer

    I hate to ask, but could you give us a table of these percentages? The pie chart is awesome, but I can’t see the smallest numbers. Thank you!

  8. Dan

    Super helpful! In the works on my own project now.


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