The past few months have been some of the biggest and most eventful at BackerKit

March was a particularly notable month of extremes on BackerKit in which we hosted both one of the biggest creators and campaigns in crowdfunding history as well as the largest cohort of enamel pin creators launching and running over 120 campaigns at the same time.  

These unprecedented breakout campaigns and events proved BackerKit was built for creators of all types and sizes to not only launch some of their best and most memorable campaigns yet but also build their creative audiences, network, and future with each new project. 

These breakout moments led to new broken records, key milestones, and even more pioneering features since our last product update in January

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Pintopia 2024: BackerKit’s annual collaborative crowdfunding event for enamel pin designs, Pintopia ran between March 28 to April 18 of this year and featured over 120+ pin creators who together generated nearly $1m in total funding – over 14x more than the inaugural Pintopia in 2023.
  • Cross-Collab Campaigns: We launched brand new features for Pintopia, simultaneously tested by Pintopia creators and their thousands of backers, which has led to more explorations around a more collaborative approach and our newest feature beta – Cross-Collab Campaigns. 100+ creators have already applied to take part in our beta, which is still open for submissions. See details below.
  • Brandon Sanderson / Words of Radiance: In early March, the biggest crowdfunding creator Brandon Sanderson launched his massive campaign Words of Radiance Leatherbound on BackerKit. It raised a whopping $23,756,818 in funding with the support of 102,089 backers – making it the #2 Most funded crowdfunding project of all time. Read our full case study of this meteoric project and the numerous broken records it left in its wake.

Knowing we’d be hosting the highest volume of projects, creators, and backers ever on BackerKit, we took it as the perfect opportunity to develop and test new capabilities at scale, including these new crowdfunding features you’ll only find on BackerKit: 

Lastly, we’re excited to announce Comictopia 2024 launching this July!

We’ll be diving into all of these and more in this product update. Please feel free to click on any link above to jump straight to that section.

But for those who want to start from the top, let’s begin with one of the most exciting product developments and explorations yet… 

Pintopia: A case for Collaborative Crowdfunding 🤝

Crowdfunding has primarily been a solo endeavor: 1 creator launches 1 project and runs it alone

But is that the only way? 

We at BackerKit have been testing another way – a more collaborative way – that changes the rules of crowdfunding and has helped creators expand their fanbase, funding potential, and creative network. Some creators say it can be way more fun. 

This new way is built on the belief that collaboration can be transformative. 

A belief formed from having worked closely with creators for over a decade and seeing firsthand how they often learned best from one another, how open they were to sharing the tools of the trade, and how eager they were to partner up to launch bigger and better campaigns. 

We wanted to make those moments between creators happen more often and with more intention. 

So we launched Pintopia as our pilot in communal and collaborative crowdfunding

And unlike other crowdfunding events that only gather creators to launch projects around a central theme or category, Pintopia went further to design a collaborative crowdfunding experience around individual, partner, and communal funding goals. 

BackerKit Pintopia Collaborative Crowdfunding goals incentive pins

Pintopia communal crowdfunding goals: Backers who pledged to five (5) or more projects earned the Gold Pintopia 2024 pin.

These goals empowered creators to partner creatively on cross-collab reward designs and cross-promote each other’s projects, which then encouraged their backers to discover and pledge to multiple campaigns, which then unlocked even more rewards for backers to enjoy. 

Bigger and better, together

Pintopia 2023’s intimate cohort of 20 creators proved the concept of collaborative crowdfunding, with all projects successfully funding and raising over $68.5k and supported by 2.6k pledges. 

For Pintopia 2, we wanted to go even bigger – and the results surprised even us. Compared to Pintopia 1, this year’s Pintopia 2 generated:

  • Over 6x more projects: 121 pin projects launched
  • Over 14x more funding: nearly $1 million in total funding ($973,492)
  • Nearly 9x more pledges: 23,140 pledges

But beyond these funding milestones, Pintopia creators shared the intangible benefit they valued just as much, if not more – the ability to experience the roller coaster ride of crowdfunding, together. 

BackerKit Pintopia 2024 creator quotes

Pintopia proved how more creators, more projects, and more backers – all working towards shared goals – can generate bigger, better, and funner campaigns. 

In addition to shared goals, we also introduced two new impactful features that helped drive discovery, demand, and some of the highest shares of pledges during Pintopia across the 120+ concurrent projects: Cross-Collab Campaigns and the Pintopia Flair Board. 

And one of those features – Cross-Collab Campaigns – is among our newest features now available in beta to qualifying creators who apply here. Learn more below.

Introducing Cross-Collab Campaigns ✨

BackerKit Cross Collab Campaigns example

Introducing Cross-Collab Campaigns: Crowdfunding campaigns where two (2) creators launch two (2) separate projects concurrently, each with its own independent concept and funding goal, but collaborate on an incentive (eg. an exclusive cross-collab reward) as well as project experiences (eg. collaborative livestreams) to cross-promote both projects across their combined backer audience. Backers must back both projects to earn the coveted cross-collab reward.

Each Cross-Collab Campaign creator so far has earned:

  • More fans. Get instant exposure with your partner’s backer audience and vice versa. One Cross-Collab pair saw up to 80% of their combined backers pledging to both projects.
  • More funds. Cross-promotion among Cross-Collab creators can help boost funding. One creator gained an extra 33% in total funds raised from their partner’s backer audience.
  • And way more fun. This is your chance to partner with a creator that you admire to make something unique to you both, run a project side-by-side, and experience the roller coaster ride of a crowdfunding campaign, together. 

“I’ve been doing this for over three years now, and I’ve never had so much fun with a crowdfunding campaign before; the cross collabs have really made this small world feel so much more like a community!”

– Odessa Johnsen-Dearing, Key & Crow Studios

Cross-Collab Campaigns are a first of its kind in crowdfunding – and we’re looking for innovative creators to be part of its beta. 

Take 5 minutes to apply here to be among the first to run a Cross-Collab Campaign on BackerKit. 100+ creators have already applied to join our beta. 

The New BackerKit Flair Board 👾

BackerKit Pintopia Flair Board

With over 5x more projects and creators participating in Pintopia 2, we needed to find a fun way to encourage discovery across all campaigns.  

The Pintopia Flair Board showcased the diversity of designs from 125+ creators so backers could view all pins at a glance or choose from the dropdown menu of aesthetic categories. Be it #Kawaii, #Fantasy, #NatureCore, #Casual Goth, or all of the above – whatever the vibe, the Pintopia flair board had all the pins to express it and more. 

Each visit and page refresh randomized the pin display to ensure each project would get equal and adequate exposure. 

“I think almost half of my backers were from the Flair Board, a whole new audience I wouldn’t have gotten on my own.”

– Ash, Flea Circus Designs

The Flair Board generated significant backer engagement and pledges to Pintopia campaigns, and our team is currently exploring ways to offer this new and highly effective discovery experience on the BackerKit platform.

Pintopia 2024 has ended, but you can still explore the Flair Board here.

Announcing Comictopia 2024! Launching in July 🚀

BackerKit Comictopia 2024 banner logo

By popular demand, and right on the heels of Pitopia 2’s success, we are expanding the BackerKit brand of collaborative crowdfunding events into the wonderful world of comics. 

Comictopia will be the next and newest Topia to launch this July – less than a few months away! And we already have an amazing lineup of comics artists and authors participating in the first ever Comictopia.  

Sign up for our Community Newsletter to stay updated on Comictopia news and important dates. 

Brandon Sanderson & Words of Radiance Leatherbound: Key Features from the #2 Most Funded Crowdfunding Campaign 🐉

Beyond setting the record with #2 biggest crowdfunding project of all time – Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance campaign also hit new backer engagement records, namely:

  • #2 Most engaged backer community of any crowdfunding campaign
  • #3 Highest number of backers of any crowdfunding campaign

Fueling that backer engagement were a number of newly launched BackerKit features tested by Sanderson’s 100k-strong backer audience. Below are just a few of those features which you can learn more about in the full Brandon Sanderson campaign recap

Pay Over Time: Give backers choice and flexibility when pledging 🌱

Pay Over Time BackerKit feature screenshot

Pay Over Time is BackerKit’s flexible pledging option that spreads pledge payments across several months. Unlike other flexible pledging options in crowdfunding, BackerKit’s Pay Over Time is completely interest-free for backers and available at no additional cost. 

Pay Over Time is currently in beta and available for campaigns with pledge tiers valued at $150 or more. If you would like to offer Pay Over Time in your next BackerKit campaign, go here to learn more about Pay Over Time and how to join our beta

Overtime Mode: A fun, fund-boosting twist to end your campaign 🔥

BackerKit Overtime Mode feature animation gif

Overtime Mode extends your campaign past its original end time to give backers a final chance to make their pledge and adds an exciting twist to the end of your campaign. 

How long will it extend? That’s entirely up to your backers: Your campaign will keep going for an additional 10 minutes as long as pledges keep coming in – a chain of back-to-back pledges we call the Backer Train. The campaign will end only when the Backer Train stops after a period of 10 minutes passing without any additional pledges. 

Overtime Mode is now the default setting on BackerKit, effectively changing how campaigns end, and suspensefully extend, in crowdfunding. 

Fun fact: Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance now holds the record for longest and most profitable Overtime Mode on BackerKit – lasting 33 hours and 33 minutes wherein 3,601 backers raised an additional $543,410. 

Trivia Challenges and Leaderboards: Keep backers engaged through friendly competition 🏆

trivia challenges and leaderboard feature screenshot Backerkit

What kept Sanderson’s audience entertained and engaged throughout the entire three-week BackerKit campaign? A healthy dose of trivia and friendly team rivalry.

Trivia Challenges and Leaderboards enabled Sanderson backers to pick teams and compete against one another through daily trivia challenges that tested fans on their mastery of Sanderson lore. 

Launch your next project on BackerKit 🚀

Sign up for a BackerKit creator account, and get instant access to a suite of offerings that have already set BackerKit apart, including our industry-leading BackerKit Pledge Manager – the first and premiere pledge management software built for crowdfunding. 

As a BackerKit creator, you’ll experience:

All you need to make it real.