Kickstart Your Creative Ideas

February 1, 2012

By Molly de Aguiar
Director of Communications

If there’s one thing nonprofits hear repeatedly about the importance of social media, it’s the potential to use these tools for fundraising in new and exciting ways. And while none of them will magically deliver large sums of money to your organization, we think Kickstarter is revolutionizing fundraising, and that if you don’t already know about them, you should.


Kickstarter is crowd-sourced fundraising – it’s a website where anyone with an idea can ask for donations for their project. If someone likes your idea, he can donate a little or he can donate a lot. And there is no shortage of creative, fun, practical, exciting and incredibly smart projects to back. In fact, in 2011, Kickstarter reached some astonishing milestones. Since launching the website in April 2009, 17,000 projects have been successfully funded with $130 million in pledges and 1.25 million backers. Pretty compelling numbers for non-profits who have been looking for ways to fund their most creative ideas.

One of the keys to Kickstarter’s success is its clever all-or-nothing model: projects must be fully funded before any money exchanges hands, which helps minimize the risk to donors. This model also helps you, the creator, test your idea in the marketplace without risk: if you don’t get fully funded, you don’t have to spend the money or effort to follow through, which frees you to refine your idea or try something new.

Dodge recently partnered with Kickstarter to curate our favorite projects. While we don’t actually fund these projects, we choose ones that reflect the kinds of grants we make here in New Jersey in the Arts, Education, Environment and Media. As Kickstarter continues to grow, we hope to see our grantees launch campaigns of their own, which we can feature on our page. In fact, we hope to see as many New Jersey-focused projects as possible – all toward a better New Jersey.

Coming soon: Kickstarter will be offering a workshop for Dodge grantees with tips for launching a successful Kickstarter campaign. Details to come!

Visit the Dodge Foundation’s curated Kickstarter page