Mobile user experience design · Mobile Apps

How do I succeed with KickStarter campaign?

Robert Gordon Co Founder at OurRecovery "Because No One Can Do it Alone"

June 19th, 2015

Th Fed's tracking shows 40 MILLION addicts/Alcoholics in the country. 1 in 10 driving drunk or high. I know how to build an app that will engage people enough to continue in Recovery...

I have no idea of the best way/s to do a successful crowd funding campaign [ie KickStarter]. One question is what do I offer people who help fund the OurRecovery App, "Because No One Can Do it Alone". 

Part of my passion to make this actually make a difference is the suicide of my oldest daughter, Danielle, on March 15th this year; after a 9 year battle with alcohol.

Derek Dukes Business Development, Startups at Amazon Web Services

June 19th, 2015

Robert, so sorry to hear about your loss and way to channel that passion into hopefully making a difference.

I think it's totally possible to run a Crowdfunding campaign for your app, but you should do some research as to which community / marketplace will be receptive to your idea. I'm a big believer in Kickstarter (about to back my 100th project) and crowdfunding, in general. 

If I were starting this project I'd start with the data points I could gather and size the market / look for comps or signals that you're type of app / project has an audience on kickstarter:
- evaluate the apps that have funded on a given platform
- look at their category (i.e. games, productivity etc.)
- look at the number of backers it took to get funded
- the total amount raised
- number of reward tiers and price points
- i'd also do this for a couple other platforms like crowdtilt and indiegogo to make sure my project is in the right place.

Once you've validated that you need to build a list of your first 1000 backers and get them primed to support you when the campaign launches. Assuming you get a little pop of backers, then you need to figure out how to keep driving traffic to your campaign over the life of it. 

The story behind the app is compelling and should resonate with a broader internet community (e.g. It Gets Better). If that's supported with a compelling product, and some meaningful support tiers then you might have a good shot at it. It's going to be hard regardless. Kickstarter and other sites are noisy now, you still need to find the market, and that's traditional web marketing, growth tactics and some good old fashion PR.

If I was going to start today, I'd start building that list. It's the core around which the success of the campaign is packed. 

I've written more detailed posts on other KS / Crowdfunding threads, which have more information about the tactics I've used (which may now be dated / no longer viable).

Robert Gordon Co Founder at OurRecovery "Because No One Can Do it Alone"

June 20th, 2015

Just to start I want to thank you all for your good wishes and help...
I will look at everything you recommend...
we'll share what happens as we go along...

Lucas Jaz

June 19th, 2015

I'm no crowdfunding expert but if you do a search on founderdating you'll see just a ton of discussions on different parts of campaigns (good to follow the topic) and then this came through the other week

Michael Kraft looking for an expert marketeer

June 20th, 2015

This Lady here might be able to help you:

Good Luck!

Preetam Mukherjee Founder - REVOLVR CORP

June 20th, 2015


Derek has pretty much summed it all up perfectly. 
We're consulting with a digital agency who's helping us get our Indiegogo campaign prep-ed. I'd be happy to make an introduction if you'd like. 



June 20th, 2015

Hi Robert, I've done two crowdfunding campaigns so far for my local public library, both of them successful. I started by developing a spreadsheet with a selection of platforms, their attributes & pros & cons. We eliminated Kickstarter because we wanted to be able to keep whatever we raised. (Goals can be pretty arbitrary and I don't see why you'd have to give up whatever you worked hard to raise. We beat our goals in both cases). 
Also look at whether you want to have to give away gizmos or just say $X donation will enable us to do Y.
Managing all the gizmo giveaway can take quite some work & $. I would think people who donate to your app will do it because they are touched by the story & the goal, not by the tchotchkes.
Also consider the bite the platform will take, their traction and user base, integration with the social networks where you are strong, & what it would take for that platform to feature you.
Some platforms are good for teams competing to raise funds. This might work if you have AA orgs fundraising for you, not so much otherwise.
Finally, as Derek has said, kicking off the fundraiser is what comes LAST. You need to get all your PR, marketing, support network, first funders etc in place first. Most platforms have pretty good guides on how to do all this, which you should read whether you use them or not.

One last thing: non-profits advertise free on HelpAroundTown. When your campaign is up & running, set up a free ad for it on  It's your mission that matters to me, not your legal status.

Fabio Gratton Co-founder & CEO at CureClick, Sonic, inVibe, DrinkBryte & Alchemy

June 19th, 2015

I am a big fan of YouCaring ( when it comes to crowdfunding something like what you're talking about. I I am very sorry about your loss and glad to see you are doing to transform that emotion and grief into something that can save lives. An organization that I am extremely impressed with in that category is TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms).  You might want to reach out to them. Let me know if there's something specific you need help with. 

Chris Carruth VP/Director. Strategy | Business Development | Operations | Product | Solutions

June 22nd, 2015

I empathize with you sincerely. I might suggest looking at other platforms that are tied to social causes or even sites  like FundMe. Each of the crowdfunding sites have areas where they are more successful in raising money, "social" causes are not what the main platforms are known for.

Chris Gorges Managing Director, Infinia Group // Founder, Biddlist

June 24th, 2015

Robert, Vann Alexandra is an agency that helps with crowdfunding campaigns. I can make an introduction if you'd like to reach me directly at

Danilo Grbic CEO & Founder at Qorio

June 24th, 2015

Ok. So I did some research on this topic, it was for music album but at the end it's all the same.

Three ways:

1. Engaged fan/customer/user base
2. With help from marketing agencies focused on crowdfunding
3. Luck


- Don't be a slacker when you're preparing a campaign 
- Think thoroughly and very carefully prepare perks.
- Create compelling and honest promotional video
- Build up a story about you and your team and thoughts on how you're going to solve the problem
- Fill the project page with photos, app mock-ups, content related to your story and app

Good luck!