The hidden costs of successful crowdfunding platforms

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Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs turn to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter to bring their products to life. In 2021, Kickstarter helped fund over 200,000 projects from around the world. With as little as an idea and a prototype, anyone can start their own campaign and ultimately benefit from the generosity of the crowd.

However, in order for Kickstarter to work as well as possible, there are several operating expenses that need to be covered. From marketing and advertising to payment processing fees, these costs can quickly add up and take a significant chunk out of business profits.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the various operating costs that Kickstarter faces on a daily basis. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to run a crowdfunding platform and how those expenses impact business results.

Let’s dive!

Functionnary costs:

Operating expenses refer to expenses incurred in order to run and maintain a business. These expenses are necessary to ensure the proper functioning and growth of the business. Kickstarter Marketplace, like any other business, also incurs operating expenses. Let’s take a closer look at some of the operating expenses that are part of the Kickstarter Marketplace costs.

Marketing and advertising expenses Payment processing fees Salaries and benefits for employees Web hosting and infrastructure costs Office rent and utilities Taxes and legal fees Insurance costs Customer support and satisfaction Research and development costs Kickstarter Marketplace Costs
  • Online promotion
  • Send email marketing campaigns
  • Advertising on social networks

  • Credit card processing fees
  • Payment gateway fees
  • Currency conversion fees

  • Salary for full-time employees
  • Benefits such as health insurance, 401(k), PTO, etc.
  • Additional costs for hiring freelancers, contractors or consultants

  • Server maintenance costs
  • Infrastructure costs for the website
  • Web development and maintenance costs

  • Rent for office space
  • Utilities such as electricity, water, heating and air conditioning, etc.

  • Income tax and sales tax
  • Legal fees for drafting contracts and reviewing legal documentation
  • Lawyer fees to represent the company

  • Insurance for business liability and property damage
  • workers compensation insurance

  • Customer service expenses
  • Tools and resources to manage customer relationships
  • Costs to resolve customer complaints and resolutions

  • Research and development of new features and services
  • Costs to test, analyze and optimize the platform

  • The Total Cost of Running the Kickstarter Marketplace

Marketing and advertising expenses

Marketing and advertising expenses can be one of the biggest costs for businesses, especially those just starting out. These costs can vary greatly depending on the amount and type of advertising required to reach the intended audience. In terms of the Kickstarter marketplace, marketing and advertising spend is crucial as it helps attract potential backers to the campaign.

According to recent statistical information, the average marketing and advertising costs for a crowdfunding campaign can range from 0 to 00. This cost depends on various factors such as the duration of the campaign, the level of personalization required for the advertisement and the amount of advertising media to be used.

For the Kickstarter marketplace, ad spend may include social media advertising, display advertising, email marketing, and influencer marketing. Social media advertising can be expensive, but it’s an effective way to reach a large audience and increase visibility. Display advertising involves placing ads on different websites, and the cost may vary depending on the size, duration, and placement of the ad. Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach audiences with personalized content.

Influencer marketing involves partnering with an established individual or group to promote the product or campaign. This is a popular strategy as it can increase the visibility and reach of the crowdfunding campaign. However, fees for influencers can range from 0 to ,000 depending on the influencer’s level of popularity and influence in the industry.

It is essential to set a budget and stick to it when it comes to marketing and advertising expenses. According to a recent survey, about 44% of crowdfunding campaigns fail to reach their fundraising goals, and lack of advertising is one of the main reasons. Spending too little on advertising can result in low visibility and few backers. On the other hand, excessive spending on advertising can put a strain on the campaign and affect the profitability of the startup.

  • Overall, marketing and advertising spend is a critical part of a successful Kickstarter Marketplace crowdfunding campaign. Potential funders must know the product or service to invest in the campaign. Therefore, a well-planned and executed publicity strategy can increase visibility, achieve fundraising goals, and lead to ultimate project success.

Payment processing fees

One of the biggest concerns for any Kickstarter campaign is the cost of running it. Operating expenses cover a wide range of expenses, from shipping and handling to promotion and advertising. However, payment processing fees are among the biggest expenses a creator will face, and they can add up quickly.

The latest statistical information shows that payment processing fees have increased. In 2021, the average payment processing fee for Kickstarter campaigns is 3% of each pledge, plus .20 per pledge. This means that for every 0 pledged to a Kickstarter campaign, the creator would pay .20 in processing fees.

Although this may not seem like a big expense, it can quickly add up over time. For example, a campaign that raises 0,000 would pay ,200 in payment processing fees. For creators on a tight budget, this can be a significant challenge.

One way creators can reduce payment processing fees is to set higher pledge levels. For example, if a creator sets a commitment level of instead of a commitment level of , they will pay the same processing fee for each commitment, resulting in a reduced overall fee percentage. Additionally, creators can choose to limit the number of rewards they offer, reducing the number of transactions that need to be processed.

Ultimately, payment processing fees are an inevitable part of running a Kickstarter campaign. However, creators can take steps to reduce these fees and ensure they are able to maximize the amount of money they receive from their campaigns.

  • Payment processing fees are a big expense for Kickstarter campaigns
  • The average payment processing fee for Kickstarter campaigns is 3% of each pledge, plus .20 per pledge
  • Setting higher pledge levels and limiting rewards can help reduce payment processing fees

Salaries and benefits for employees

Kickstarter, like any other business, needs employees to operate. Their salaries and benefits account for a significant amount of the company’s operating costs. According to the latest statistical information, Kickstarter spends approximately million per year on salaries and benefits for its employees.

The average salary for a Kickstarter employee is around ,000 per year, ranging from ,000 to 7,000, depending on position and experience. Kickstarter provides its employees with a comprehensive benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, and life insurance, 401k contributions, and paid time off.

As a company that values diversity and inclusiveness, Kickstarter also offers its employees additional benefits such as parental leave and flexible working hours, allowing them to effectively balance their work and personal life.

Cost assessment

  • Salaries – million
  • Health benefits – million
  • 401K contributions – .5 million
  • Other benefits (dental, vision, life insurance, etc.) – 0,000

The breakdown above shows that the majority of employee-related expenses on Kickstarter are salaries, followed by health care benefits and 401k contributions. The company also invests in other benefits to ensure a happy and healthy workforce as they recognize the importance of taking care of their employees.

Providing employees with competitive wages and a comprehensive benefits package is key to attracting and retaining top talent. Kickstarter’s investment in the well-being of their employees demonstrates their commitment to their workforce and the success of the company.

In conclusion, while employee operating cost salaries and benefits can be significant, it is a necessary expense for any business, including Kickstarter. By investing in the well-being and happiness of their employees, Kickstarter creates a productive and motivated team that will drive long-term business growth and success.

Web hosting and infrastructure costs

When considering the operating costs of the Kickstarter Marketplace, one aspect that cannot be overlooked is the cost of web hosting and infrastructure. These costs are essential to ensure that the Kickstarter market can run without any disruptions.

According to recent statistical data, the average cost of web hosting and infrastructure for a small and medium business in the United States is around 00 to 00 per year. This cost can increase significantly depending on various factors such as the scale of the business, the size of the website and the amount of traffic it generates.

For the Kickstarter marketplace, web hosting and infrastructure costs are expected to be significantly higher due to the large user base and high volume of web traffic the website receives. The website’s operating system, servers and databases should be maintained and upgraded regularly to ensure that the website can handle the large number of visitors without any downtime or lag issues.

One of the key factors that affect web hosting and infrastructure costs is the type of hosting service used. There are many different types of shared hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, cloud hosting – each with their pros and cons in terms of cost, speed, and scalability. It is essential to choose the right hosting service that can meet the needs of the Kickstarter market while being profitable.

In addition to hosting expenses, there are other costs to consider when it comes to web infrastructure. These costs include server hardware and software, network components such as routers and switches, and cybersecurity measures to ensure the website is secure from any potential threats or attacks.

Finally, the cost of website maintenance and technical support cannot be overlooked. A website’s hosting and infrastructure requires regular maintenance and monitoring to make sure everything is running smoothly. Any technical issues that arise should be resolved immediately to avoid any disruption to the user experience. Budgeting a certain amount for maintenance and technical support is essential.

  • In conclusion, costs associated with web hosting and infrastructure play a crucial role in maintaining Kickstarter Marketplace operations. The website hosting solution should be chosen carefully, considering factors such as scalability, speed, and security. All infrastructure costs, including hardware and software, maintenance and support, should be included in the budgeting process to ensure the continued success of the crowdfunding platform.

Office rent and utilities

Operating expenses are the expenses incurred by a business, such as rent, utilities, salaries, etc. For the Kickstarter marketplace, office rental fees and utilities are a substantial part of their operating expenses. In this blog post, we will explore the latest statistical information on Office Rent and Utilities for businesses in the United States.

According to a recent report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average commercial electricity rate in the United States was 10.58 cents per kilowatt hour (KWH) in May 2021. Additionally, the average commercial gas price in the country was .14 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) in May 2021. These numbers provide a general idea of how many businesses are spending on utilities in the United States.

When it comes to office rent, the cost varies greatly depending on location. According to CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services company, the average office rent in the United States was .08 per square foot in 2020. However, this figure varies widely depending on the city. For example, the average office rent in New York was .15 per square foot in 2020, while the average office rent in Miami was .39 per square foot in the same year.

It should be noted that office rental and utility costs make up a significant portion of a business’s operating expenses. According to a report by JLL, a leading professional services firm specializing in real estate, office rent and utilities account for approximately 25% of a typical business’ fixed expenses. This means businesses need to carefully consider their location and ensure they have a realistic budget for office rent and utilities.

Additionally, businesses may be able to reduce their office rent and utility costs by implementing energy efficient measures. These measures can include installing efficient lighting systems, using smart thermostats and ensuring good insulation. By doing so, businesses can reduce their energy consumption and save money on their monthly utility bills.

In conclusion, office rent and utilities are a substantial part of a business’ operating expenses, and it’s crucial for businesses to carefully consider these costs when setting a budget. By understanding the latest statistical information on office rental and utility costs in the United States, businesses can make informed decisions about selecting a location and implementing energy-efficient measures to save money. ‘money.

Taxes and legal fees

One of the most pressing concerns for entrepreneurs looking to launch a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter is the issue of taxes and legal fees. Although the crowdfunding platform itself is free, there are certain costs associated with running a business that need to be considered.

According to recent statistical information in USD, Kickstarter operating costs in terms of taxes and legal fees can range from ,000 to ,000 or more depending on the type of project launched and the location of the entrepreneur. . These costs are often a major hurdle for startups that lack the financial resources to hire a team of lawyers and accountants to handle the legal and financial aspects of their business.


One of the main taxes that business owners need to be aware of when launching a Kickstarter project is sales tax. Depending on the state in which the contractor operates, sales tax can range from 0% to 10% or more. This tax is calculated based on the total amount of money raised through the Kickstarter campaign, which means that higher fundraising goals will result in higher tax liabilities.

In addition to sales tax, entrepreneurs may also be required to pay income tax on profits generated from their Kickstarter campaign. This tax is calculated based on the company’s net income, which is determined by subtracting all expenses associated with the campaign from the total amount of money raised. The tax rate for income tax varies depending on the location of the entrepreneur and the amount of income earned.

Legal fees

When launching a Kickstarter project, entrepreneurs should also consider the legal fees associated with starting and running a business. This may include the cost of trademark and copyright registration, incorporation fees, and other legal expenses associated with contracts, license agreements, and other aspects of the business.

One of the biggest legal fees for Kickstarter contractors is trademark registration, which can cost anywhere from 5 to 0 depending on whether the contractor uses an attorney or does it themselves. Additionally, contractors may also have to pay for copyright registration, which can cost between and depending on the type of work registered.

In conclusion, while the cost of launching a Kickstarter campaign can be relatively low compared to other forms of fundraising, it’s important for entrepreneurs to consider the taxes and legal fees associated with running a business. By considering these costs, entrepreneurs can better plan and budget for a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Insurance costs

Running a business comes with its own set of risks, and you need to be aware of them before starting your business. You may face potential lawsuits, property damage, and unforeseen risks. This is where insurance comes in.

When it comes to running a marketplace business on Kickstarter, insurance costs vary depending on the type of insurance you need. For example, general liability insurance will provide coverage for damage caused to your customer or another person while using your marketplace. It also offers protection in the event of accidents that may cause injury to a third party during your professional location.

Average small business insurance costs in the United States are ,281 per year. However, for a marketplace company like Kickstarter, insurance costs can be higher, ranging from ,500 to ,500 per year. This amount can change depending on the type of insurance you need, state regulations, size of business and number of employees.

If you’re planning on tapping into a marketplace through Kickstarter, knowing the types of insurance coverage you need to mitigate financial damage is essential. Insurance costs may seem significant, but it’s a small price to pay compared to the financial strain that legal action could put on your business without insurance.

  • Liability Insurance: This insurance coverage protects your business against third-party claims for bodily injury, property damage, publicity, and bodily injury.
  • Product Liability Insurance: This insurance coverage protects your business in the event of product defects or if a product harms a customer.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: If you intend to have employees work for you, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory. It helps cover medical expenses, missed wages, and legal fees if an employee is injured on the job.

Remember that insurance costs are an essential factor to consider when running a business, even if you are running a crowdfunding campaign. Kickstarter Marketplace is a platform where users come together to support each other, but representing you as a business means you must take responsibility for your actions, including potential financial risks.

Customer support and satisfaction

When it comes to running an online marketplace like Kickstarter, one of the most important aspects is customer support and satisfaction. Ensuring your customers are happy and get the support they need is crucial to short and long term success in the industry. Therefore, it is essential to understand the costs associated with providing customer support and maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

According to recent statistics, the average cost of customer support in the United States is around per interaction. This includes various factors such as salaries and wages for customer support agents, training costs, and software costs. Additionally, ensuring customer satisfaction also requires the use of various tools such as customer satisfaction surveys and customer support software, which can add to operational costs.

Although it may seem like a big expense, investing in customer support and satisfaction can provide several long-term benefits. For example, it can help build a loyal customer base, increase customer lifetime value, and even generate positive word-of-mouth marketing. On the other hand, ignoring customer support and satisfaction can lead to negative reviews, damaged reputation, and lower customer retention rates.

Therefore, it is essential to focus on customer support and satisfaction as the main aspect of the business. This includes employing qualified and well-trained customer support agents, providing customer support across multiple channels such as email, telephone and live chat, and using customer support software to streamline the process.

Additionally, tracking and measuring customer satisfaction can also provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of the customer support system. By analyzing customer feedback, companies can identify areas for improvement and make changes to the customer support process accordingly. This can lead to a higher level of customer satisfaction and lower customer support costs in the long run.

In conclusion, although customer support and satisfaction may seem like expensive expenses, the benefits of investing in this area can far outweigh the costs. By prioritizing customer satisfaction and creating a robust customer support system, online marketplaces like Kickstarter can build a loyal customer base, improve customer retention rates, and ultimately increase revenue and profitability.

Research and development costs

For a business to succeed, it must keep innovating to keep up with the ever-changing market. The research and development (R&D) department contributes to this. They are responsible for creating new products, improving existing ones, and exploring new technologies.

However, R&D costs money. According to the latest data, companies in the United States spent around .9 billion on R&D in 2020 alone. This is a significant increase from the previous year’s spending of .2 billion.

Accordingly, Kickstarter Marketplace must also allocate budget for R&D. This budget is essential to help the platform keep up with the latest technologies, developments, and trends. Non-innovation can lead to stagnation, which can lead to loss of customers to competitors.

Allocating a budget for R&D can be a difficult call for management because it can take years for new products and ideas to come to fruition. Many companies have had success with allocating a budget for R&D. And, Kickstarter Marketplace should take inspiration from them.

While that may seem like a big budget allocation, R&D can reap big rewards in the long run. Investing in research and development can lead to new business opportunities, higher customer retention, and competitive advantage over other businesses that do not engage in R&D.

One way Kickstarter Marketplace can reduce R&D spending is to collaborate with other companies. This can include sharing ideas, patents and knowledge. Some companies also collaborate with universities and research institutions, which facilitates the introduction of new technologies in their respective industries.

In conclusion, R&D budget allocation is an important decision for the Kickstarter marketplace. With the ever-changing market, the platform needs to keep up with the latest developments and innovations to stay competitive. Although it can be costly, allocating a budget for R&D can reap significant rewards in the long run.

  • In the United States, companies spent around .9 billion on R&D in 2020 alone.
  • Allocating a budget for R&D can lead to new business opportunities, higher customer retention, and competitive advantage over other businesses that don’t engage in R&D.
  • Collaboration with other companies or institutions can reduce R&D expenses for the Kickstarter marketplace.


Running a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter requires significant resources and manpower. From marketing and advertising expenses to web hosting and infrastructure costs, expenses can add up quickly.

One of the biggest costs for Kickstarter is payment processing fees. Although the fees may seem small, they can add up to a significant amount over time, especially since the platform facilitates millions of dollars in trades per year. In 2020 alone, Kickstarter raised 0 million for campaign funding.

Another major expense for Kickstarter is salaries and employee benefits. In 2021, the company had more than 170 employees. Providing competitive salaries, benefits, and other incentives to attract and retain top talent is a critical part of keeping the platform running smoothly.

However, despite the heavy spending, Kickstarter has managed to stay afloat and even turn a profit in recent years. In 2020, the company generated .2 million in after-tax profit.

All in all, running a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter is no small feat. The various operating costs that the company incurs are necessary to keep the platform running and to deliver an unparalleled experience to its users.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see how Kickstarter continues to optimize its operating costs and improve its profitability while continuing to grow and evolve as a platform.

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