How to Use Kickstarter

Now that we've introduced Kickstarter, reviewed it, and gone over some safety precautions for using it, it's time to get donating!  This lesson will go over how to perform some basic functions on Kickstarter, including how to create an account, log in, find projects that you might want to support, and make a pledge to a project that you like.

How to create a Kickstarter account

  1. Open your web browser of choice and go to www.kickstarter.com.

  2. Click Sign Up in the top-right corner.

    The Kickstarter sign up button

  3. Click in each respective box in the form and type in your name, your email address, a copy of your email address, a password, and a copy of that password.  Then click Sign Me Up.

    Signing up for Kickstarter

    (HINT: If you have a Facebook account, you can scroll further down and click Sign Up With Facebook and log into your Facebook account.  Your Facebook credentials will be used for your Kickstarter account.)

How to log into Kickstarter

  1. Open your web browser of choice and go to www.kickstarter.com.

  2. Click Log In in the top-right corner.

    The Kickstarter log in button

  3. Click in each respective box in the form and type in the email address and password that you used to sign up for Kickstarter.  Then click Log Me In.

    Logging into Kickstarter

    (HINT 1: You can click the check box beside "Remember Me" to mark or unmark it.  If it's marked, Kickstarter will remember your user name when you go to log in again.  We only recommend doing so if you are using a computer that nobody else is allowed to access.)

    (HINT 2: If you signed up with your Facebook account, scroll down and click Log In With Facebook.  Type in your Facebook account email and password, and it will log you into Kickstarter.)

How to find a Kickstarter project to back

  1. Open your web browser, go to www.kickstarter.com, and log in.

  2. If you want to look for a Kickstarter project by category, click Discover at the top of the screen.

    Browse Kickstarter project categories

  3. From there, you can click on one of Kickstarter's 15 categories to see active projects in that category. 

    Select a Kickstarter project category

    (HINT 1: Moving your mouse cursor over a category will show you how many active projects it has.)

    (HINT 2: You can also scroll a little further down to see projects that are popular, new, and/or have caught the eye of Kickstarter's editorial staff.)

  4. You can also search for projects by name.  Click in the "Search Projects" box across the top of the screen and type in key words related to the project(s) that you want to find.  Then press the "Enter"/"Return" key on your keyboard.

    Search for Kickstarter projects

  5. Once you're on the results screen, you can use the options at the top to:

    - disable your search keyword(s)
    - filter projects by category
    - filter projects by location (select a nearby one, or type one in)
    - sort projects by "magic", popularity, launch date, end date, or number of backers

    (NOTE: "magic" is not actual magic.  It's a balancing out of what's popular among Kickstarter users and staff picks from Kickstarter's editorial board.)

    Sort and filter your Kickstarter project search

    You can also click Advanced for a box with other options.  You can filter projects by:

    - Ones selected by Kickstarter's editorial board
    - Ones you are interested in
    - Ones that your friends have backed
    - Ones that you have backed

    On the right side of the box are more filters for projects:

    - All projects, projects live now, or projects that have met their funding goals
    - The amount of money that they have raised so far
    - The amount of money that they are looking to raise
    - The percentage of money that they've raised in relation to their funding goal

    At the bottom of the box, you can also click one of the "tags" (i.e. keywords that project creators have associated with their projects) to only see projects tagged with that keyword.

  6. If you can't find a project that you like right off the bat, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Load More to see more projects.  Once you see one that you're interested in, click on it to see more information.

    Select a Kickstarter project to view

How to back a Kickstarter project

1. Open your web browser, go to www.kickstarter.com, and log in.

2. Find and select a Kickstarter project that you wish to back.

3. Click "Back This Project" on the project's information screen.

Back a Kickstarter project

4. Select your reward, and enter your pledge amount.

For most projects on Kickstarter, backers get some kind of compensation (such as a gift card or a copy of the project's product) if they pledge at least a certain amount of money, and the project ends up being successful.  Of course, you can ask to not get a reward, and instead just help the creators out because you're a generous person.  Click one of the buttons shown here to make your choice.

Entering your Kickstarter pledge amount

If you choose to receive a reward, you may need to fill in additional details, such as what country you would like your reward shipped to.  After that, click in the box labelled "Pledge Amount" and type in how much money you want to give to this project.  (NOTE: if you select a reward option, you pledge must be equal to or greater than the minimum pledge amount required for that reward.)

When you're all set, click Continue.

5. Enter your payment details, and confirm your pledge.

The last step in backing a Kickstarter project is telling Kickstarter how you will pay for your pledge.

Entering your billing details for Kickstarter

Click in each of the boxes under "Card Information" and type in or select:

- your name, as it appears on your credit card
- your credit card number
- the month that your credit card expires
- the year that your credit card expires
- your credit card's security code (move your mouse cursor over the "?" for help in finding it)

Next, click in each of the boxes under "Billing Address" and type in or select:

- the country in which you live
- your mailing code

When you're all set, click Pledge.

(NOTE: Kickstarter will not immediately charge your credit card; you will only be charged when the project's funding deadline has passed, and only if the project has met its funding goal.  See our Kickstarter Refunds article for more information.)

 

Okay!  That's a brief overview of how to use Kickstarter's core features! 

You can also create your own Kickstarter project fundraiser, but there's a lot to consider and prepare before you do so.  We may have a tutorial -- or even an entire course -- devoted to showing you how to set up a Kickstarter fundraiser in the future, so stay tuned!

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