To Kickstart or not to Kickstart

If you work for a nonprofit, I suspect you have been strongly encouraged by a board member, colleague or supporter to launch a Kickstarter campaign. But should you? The Denver Post just published an eye opening article, “The Smithsonian used Kickstarter for Armstrong’s suit and Dorothy’s slippers—was it worth it?” Among the highlights: most Kickstarter projects seek $10,000 or less, and about two-thirds fail…only 3 percent of projects with budgets greater than $100,000 succeed; the Smithsonian exceeded its very ambitious fundraising goals, but spent $38 of every $100 raised to implement the online campaign, far more than the overhead rate commonly considered reasonable by charity rating sites; and even with the starting advantage of 2.6 million Twitter followers and more than 530,000 Facebook followers, the campaign involved two public affairs officers, an Air and Space development officer, the Smithsonian central development officer, a conservator, a curator and a videographer.