What are my options at each stage of the backing process?

As a backer, you can exercise various options at each stage of the crowding process. The options available to you depend on whether:

  • the funding goal is only achieved at the end of the campaign;
  • the funding goal is achieved before the end of the campaign;
  • the project is cancelled.

Let’s look at each of these scenarios as discussed below.

Key takeaways

  • Make sure you understand the status of the funding campaign.
  • You have more options during the funding campaign than afterwards when the pledge is locked in.
  • As soon as the project funds, your options relating to your pledge involve a trade-off with other backers.

Scenario 1: The funding goal is reached at the end of the campaign

The process and options can be represented as follows:

The process and related options a backer can exercise in a normal funding campaign

The process and related options a backer can exercise in a normal funding campaign

If the campaign runs a normally, then backers can exercise various options relating to the pledges and rewards selected. You can also cancel your pledge up to one second before the campaign ends, provided it doesn’t cause the campaign to become unfunded (i.e. by cancelling your pledge, the total funds drops below the funding goal).

Scenario 2: The funding goal is reached at any stage prior to the end of the campaign

The process and options can be represented as follows:

The process and related options a backer can exercise in the case when a project funds before the campaign ends

The process and related options a backer can exercise in the case when a project funds before the campaign ends

Note that if the project funded, Kickstarter does not allow you to reduce your pledge that would lower the total funded amount to lower than the funding goal.

For example, assume you pledged $40 and realised that you can only afford $20. The project has reached its funding goal of $5,000 and the total funding amount is currently $5,006. The project still has 6 days until the funding period ends. At this time, you can only reduce your pledge by $5; only if another backer pledges the additional $15 will Kickstarter allow you to reduce your pledge to your new amount.

This may seem unfair, but keep in mind that as soon as the project reaches it’s funding goal, Kickstarter can charge its service fees of 5%. Basically, once Kickstarter has their money in the bank, you can’t easily reduce your pledge.

Scenario 3: The project is cancelled during the campaign

The process and options can be represented as follows:

The process and related options a backer can exercise in the case when a project funds is cancelled before the campaign ends

The process and related options a backer can exercise in the case when a project funds is cancelled before the campaign ends

In the event that a project is cancelled, no money is taken from the backer.

In conclusion

As a backer for a project listed on Kickstarter, you need to be acutely aware of when the funding goal is reached. Once the goal is reached, your options to amend your pledge becomes more limited. If the funding goal has not been reached, you can exercise more options to manage your pledge.

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