In 2018, BackerKit established The Creative Fund — our commitment to redistribute the crowdfunding wealth and encourage and inspire creators. Since 2020, BackerKit has focused our efforts with The Creative Fund on supporting Black-led campaigns and campaigns about Black and African culture.
We noticed a lack of diversity in the crowdfunding space, and one way that we are working to help make crowdfunding more inclusive is through The Creative Fund. We donate $1 to every project that launches on Kickstarter, but we also make significantly larger contributions to multiple Black-led projects every month.
Aside from seeing all of these projects take shape, one of the benefits of making contributions through The Creative Fund is the wonderful rewards we receive. From comics to tarot decks to tabletop games, so many great projects are being shipped to us all the time.
February is Black History Month, and during this time, we’d like to celebrate a few of the creators who have launched successful campaigns in the past year and highlight their work. We hope you’ll check out their campaign pages to learn more about their projects.
On the campaign page for The Black Femme Tarot, Creator Latisha Shelton says, “as a Black person who loves tarot, it has been my wildest dream to create a full tarot deck of people who looked like me, people I know, and people who are underrepresented in your average tarot deck.” Shelton brought that dream to life through her successful crowdfunding project. The 78-card deck is vibrant and full of color, featuring a variety of skin tones, hairstyles, body types, and relationships across the LGBTQIA spectrum.
Created by Evelyn Logan, On the Streets of Ondo is a beautifully illustrated children’s book about three brave friends on a quest to stop a mysterious figure in their town. The story is set in Nigeria and manages to be suspenseful while celebrating family, cultural traditions, and multi-generational relationships. Logan, who as a child was teased about her Nigerian heritage after immigrating to America, hopes this story will “inspire children to embrace who they are, no matter what street they come from.”
Dontaye Ball — also known as Mr. Gumbo — has served his signature gumbo, po’boys, and classic soul food at San Francisco farmers markets and community events throughout Northern California. In November of last year, he launched a successful campaign to open a restaurant. The Gumbo Social physical location is set to open its doors in 2023. For backing, we received these recipe cards, and we’re excited to try them out. Check out the campaign page updates to see how much progress Ball and his team have already made.
Hawi is an African fantasy comic about a young woman on a mission to find her kidnapped mother. Etan Comics, which publishes this series, is a Pan-African entertainment company that “brings African stories to life through comics.” We received two copies of the comic — one in English and one in Amharic, the Ethiopian National Language. If you missed the campaign, you can get your own copy of Hawi on the Etan Comics website today.
All of the projects we’ve shared here have been featured in our bimonthly Black Creators Newsletter. If you or someone you know has a project that would be a good fit for the newsletter, please let us know by contacting [email protected]. If you would like to subscribe to the Black Creators Newsletter, sign up at the link below.