Back in 2015, Kickstarter reincorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation. We did this so we could break away from a system that prioritizes profits above everything else, and so we could stay focused on our mission: to help bring creative projects to life. Progress toward our mission is what’s most important to us, so we legally bound ourselves to this pursuit and hardcoded it into our corporate charter, along with commitments to always support creative work and artists, to operate in accordance with our values, and to donate 5% of our post-tax profits to arts education and organizations fighting inequality.
Each year since we became a PBC, we’ve published an annual Benefit Statement, in which we report on how well we’ve lived up to these commitments. Our 2021 Benefit Statement is out now, and I’m excited for you to read about the work we did. It includes several case studies of innovative and inspiring Kickstarter creators, and a bunch of stats we think will be of interest to you.
Here are a few highlights and reasons to dig into the Statement:
- Last year, nearly 3.2 million people pledged more than $800 million to independent creators on Kickstarter. Together, they funded almost 20,000 creative projects. 2021 marked the highest funding success rate in our history, with 54% of projects reaching their funding goal. We’re a little biased, of course, but the numbers don’t lie—Kickstarter continues to be an incredibly effective platform for creators to make their ideas into reality.
- Our “5% Pledge” is how we directly support nonprofit organizations who are building a more creative and equitable world. In 2021, our donations resulted in $525,000 to 37 groups focused on ending systemic inequality and promoting arts and music education. We’re proud of this initiative and we’re excited to see how these orgs continue to thrive and do their amazing work.
- We’re committed to ensuring that Kickstarter remains as useful, welcoming, and inclusive as it can possibly be. In the Statement, we lay out all the important improvements we made to our platform in 2021, including an update to provide more transparency into fulfillment status. This was developed in direct response to feedback from creators and nearly 10,000 projects have made use of the new feature since its launch. We also detail new initiatives like the Creative Capital x Skoll Foundation Fund, which committed $500,000 to creative projects on Kickstarter led by under-represented creators.
At Kickstarter, we believe that art and creative expression are essential to a healthy and vibrant society. We think the best way for us to help make the world a more creative place is by throwing ourselves fully into pursuing our mission, which is why we became a Public Benefit Corporation. I hope you’ll read the full Benefit Statement and that it contributes to your understanding of the PBC form as a meaningful alternative to business as usual.
–Sean Leow, Kickstarter COO and Interim CEO
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