Do people really finance shows from Kickstarter? Results revealed!

It has been almost two years since I blogged about the kickstart of Kickstarter (read the original post here).
There’s no question that this previously little and now big dot-com has had a serious impact on how money gets raised for all sorts of different types of projects.  (And hey, it was one of the inspirations for The People of Godspell.)

But just how much money has been raised?

Kickstarter released a whole bunch of stats on their blog this week, announcing to the world not only that they’ve received over 100 million bucks in pledges over their short life span, but also breaking the pledges down by categories.

So how did theater do?  Here are the results:

There have been 931 successfully funded Kickstarter projects which were backed by a total of 50,144 people.  (And I bet a lot of those 50,144 could be converted into commercial theater investors if we could talk to them).

These 50+ thousand folks have put up $4,051,962.62.  And counting.

Pretty good, right?  (You can see the results of the other categories here – including film, which took in 8x the amount that we did.)  What these stats say is that, raising money is hard, Kickstarter has made it easier.

And you know what’s really cool?  Without Kickstarter, many of these projects would never have happened, and that money wouldn’t have gone back into our economy.  Yep,  Kickstarter has had an economic impact.  And it is sizeable.

So should you Kickstart your show?  Well, sure, if it feels right for you, then do it.

But the challenge is that because so many Kickstarters are out there now, you have to be even more creative in attracting donors . . . especially ones that you don’t know (they have a lot of serial funders on Kickstarter, including one guy, who pledged money to more than 700 projects).

But you can do it.

Thanks for the help in helping so many artists and producers, Kickstarter.  Hopefully your success will kick Congress in the butt to allow a just-as-easy for-profit crowd-funding soon enough.


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  • Amyleigh1982 says:

    Short story: was contacted to support two shows through Kickstarter. One offered free preview tix and a poster signed by the cast – the other only thank you note signed by the director. Guess which one I supported and flew to another state to see? You gotta offer something in return, not much but tilt the scale in your favor. There are a lot of shows out there. Give people a reason to pick yours.

  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    I was thinking of using Kickstarter to fund a backers presentation for Miss Humanity. NOw I guess I will

  • playfull says:

    Did not know of this site – many thanks for the pointer. Will be putting forward a project for funding as soon as i can!
    Really enjoy the Blog.

  • Christine says:

    A friend of mine just used to finance a dance project called “Motion Cures”. I think it’s a great way to raise funds!

  • Since you mentioned, “you have to be even more creative in attracting donors.”
    I wanted to share this article with readers:
    Crowdfunding – How Not To Sound Like You’re Begging
    By Holdon Log
    So you want to produce a project… that’s great! However, are you are hitting the proverbial wall of not having the funds to create your LLC, to rent a space for auditions, to get your…
    Hope this helps,

  • Jim Morgan says:

    Hi Ken: You may find this blog interesting, about guys who raised over 30K on Kickstarter to revive a show.
    Jim Morgan, The York Theatre Company

  • I had a happy experience, but then I kept my goal modest. Was putting together my debut as a solo performer with a show called YOU ONLY SHOOT THE ONES YOU LOVE. Was putting it up in the Fringe, so I was looking for enough money to take the dent out of expenses in the Fringe. Raised the $1300 I was looking for (after Kickstarter’s cut). Upshot: the Fringe run went beautifully, the NY TIMES gave me a good review, and Scott Morfee saw it, liked it and has asked me to do it at the Barrow Street Theatre (Monday, January 23, 8pm). I don’t know if I’d have the nerve to try to fund a complete showcase, but I expect to turn to Kickstarter for another Fringe project, maybe this year.

  • Sierra says:

    My vocal group ( funded our first CD with Kickstarter, and what’s great about opening this concept up to people is that it now has become easier to conceptualize the giving of the odd $10 or so to other groups. Similar to being able to text $10 to the Red Cross during times of trouble, sites like Kickstarter have opened up the concept of small donations throughout the year. I’m also a member of, which is a microlending site to people all over the world – you put your money in and it gets loaned to others but it gets paid back eventually and you can get your money back. I would *love* it if Kickstarter had this feature – if the artists could set it up that *IF* we could eventually pay back our backers (this is in an idealized, “we made it big and our CD is selling big!” situation), then it might make the whole situation even more attractive to donators.

  • Shannon D. says:

    I actually only heard of Kickstarter not too long ago when “Tony Award Winner Levi Kreis” (of Million Dollar Quartet, for those of you who don’t know him) went to Kickstarter to get his family, friends, and fans to help him fund his next cd.
    Pledges started at $10 for a digital copy and went up from there — even a personal concert for the highest incentive price.
    So he used his “Theatre Fame” to attract more funds, so it can also be used in reverse.
    If an artist is working on a new theatre project, he/she can use their music/acting fame to get their fans/friends to help fund a Theatre Project!!!

  • Tom Hoefner says:

    So ironic, Ken… I JUST LAUNCHED a KICKSTARTER campaign for “RACE McCLOUD”, as we make our way back to the NY Stage! Click thru to see our video:

  • Anna says:

    I have successfully funded three shows in NY using kickstarter. I have also served as a consultant on several other kickstarter campaigns because of my success. It is a great resource, but you have to understand how to use it. And you have to give good rewards. I give full credit to Ken for introducing me to it! THANKS!!!

  • Kreditrechner

    Ken Davenport – Opinions from a Broadway Producer: Do people really finance shows from Kickstarter? Results revealed!

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