Crowdfunders, today let’s take a pause in discovering crowdfunding tips to learn about Kickstarter taking a bold, positive step. As you probably know, Kickstarter, since its launch in 2009, has provided a platform for budding entrepreneurs and people with a variety of special interests to ask the world to help fund their businesses, their ideals and sometimes their personal goals. But what you might not know is that as Kickstarter, Inc., it was expected to show a profit in order to satisfy its business charter.
This presented Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler with a business goal conundrum, because while profit is a good thing for a business, they also wanted to be able to steer Kickstarter toward socially responsible goals such as supporting the arts and relieving inequality.
On September 21, 2015, they announced that they are no longer Kickstarter, Inc.; instead, they are Kickstarter PBC. PBC stands for Public Benefit Corporation, which means that even at the expense of shareholder profits, Kickstarter can now legally make business decisions that put public well-being at the forefront of their policies. While those of us who have followed the development of crowdfunding might suspect that they have been doing this all along, the PBC designation gives them protection under law to create a charter that sets for the areas where efforts will be concentrated. Public Benefit Corporations are a relatively new business model, and account for about .01% of American business companies.
Interested parties can learn more about Kickstarter’s new status by visiting the Kickstarter Blog and reading the announcement. Inside the announcement is a link to the new charter, which is written in refreshingly clear language. The Charter outlines five key elements of their commitment as a PBC: to bring creative projects to life, to make its day-to-day operations reflect its commitments to the common good, to support a more equitable and creative world, to make a commitment to the arts, particularly those that are less commercially viable, and to fight inequality in all its forms for all people.
In practical terms, this first of all means that Kickstarter will keep right on doing what it has been doing all along: it will provide a platform for all-or-nothing rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns that help entrepreneurs and artists move their concepts from idea to actuality. It will make every effort to maintain ecologically conscious business methods in its daily operations. But Kickstarter isn’t stopping there. First of all, as a PBC corporation, it is still a for-profit organization and it will, therefore, pay all legal taxes. But, it will use five percent of its after-tax profit to fund art and music education and to support organizations that work toward equality for everyone.
That five percent of after-tax profit will be divided evenly between the arts and human equality endeavors. In the arts arena, they will champion artists and musicians, even those who are working in less commercial areas. They will also support their employees in their personal artistic endeavors, including time to pursue them. They will support art education for youth and young adults. The other half of the five percent will be used to support human equality. Time will be given to staff members to mentor and provide professional training to those who might not otherwise receive it. They will apply the principles of equality to their own business practices within the Kickstarter organization. And they will donate half of the five percent profit to organizations that are battling against systemic inequality.
Kickstarter has long been a featured crowdfunding platform on Best Crowdfunding Websites. When Eyal Bujvaj, of SMT Agency – the sponsoring company for BCW – was asked if he thought this new development would make a good “crowdfunding tip” for this week, he immediately agreed that this incredible new development was superbly newsworthy – and that it was a development of which Kickstarter could be justifiably proud.
So our tip for this week is a simple one: keep those crowdfunding campaigns going, all you creative people, of every sort from everywhere. Support Kickstarter and all the other crowdfunding platforms that are making possible small business start-ups, fantastic and unusual art and music, and even new inventions. Everyone needs a better mousetrap, right? And give a cheer for Kickstarter taking a boldly positive step to help create a truly brave new world.