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Using KickStarter to Reach Your Dreams – and Helping Angie Johnson Reach Hers

by Ryan Guina

Every artist and business start-up faces the same “chicken or the egg” problem of how to get their initial funding. You need a product to make money, but sometimes you need money to make a product. Even the simplest of businesses or artistic projects usually have some associated costs, and funding them can present a large problem for many start-ups and artists. That is where Kickstarter comes in.

KickstarterKickstarter is an online site where artists, start-ups, and others create projects and funding goals, and take them to the public for suport. In return for sponsoring a project, supporters generally receive something such as a copy of the item being made, a limited edition release, a signed copy of the item, or a customized reward. Common examples, include things like copies of the movie, music recording, book, artwork, or other items.

All or nothing sponsorship – Each project on Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing affair. Creators list a funding goal and supporters pledge a certain amount of money toward the goal. If the goal is reached, the project moves forward, and the sponsor’s credit card is charged. If the funding goal isn’t met, the credit card isn’t charged, and the money isn’t raised. So it’s important for the project creators to set realistic funding goals and offer a reward worth sponsoring.

Since its launch in April 2009, Kickstarter has helped fund over 24,000 projects (with over $250 million raised!). If you have a dream project you want to fund, then check out Kickstarter. You might find that it can help you reach your artistic or business goal.

I would  also like to share with you an example of a goal that my wife and I are pledging to support:

Help Angie Johnson Record an Album

My wife and I are good friends with Angie Johnson, a Nashville based singer-songwriter, and current member of the Air National Guard. My wife and I had the pleasure of serving in the USAF on a year long special duty assignment with Angie in a group called Tops In Blue, a musical entertainment troupe which travels around the world putting on performances for military members, their families and the local communities. After touring with Tops In Blue, Angie transferred from her job as an Intelligence Analyst to perform full-time in one of the Air Force bands. After completing her first tour in the USAF, Angie transitioned to the Air National Guard, where she caught the attention of the media when a YouTube video of her performing Adele’s Rolling in the Deep went viral. It has already been viewed over 3 million times. You can see the video here:

This video was brought to the attention of Carson Daly, the host of The Voice on NBC, and it lead to Angie being called into a tryout for The Voice where she was given the opportunity to perform during the Blind Auditions. She was selected by Cee Lo Green and she performed on the show in front of millions of people. Though Angie didn’t go on to the finals in The Voice, this has been a great opportunity, leading to more performances and opportunities, which is a good thing, since budget cuts are shutting down military bands, including the band Angie performs with in the Air National Guard.

Now Angie wants to record her own album of original music, and she created a goal on Kickstarter to help her fund her dream of releasing her album. A pledge of $10 or more will get you a digital download of the release; $50 will get you a signed copy of the EP, plus the digital download; larger pledges can earn you a credit as an Associate Producer, a live acoustic performance, and other items (you can see the full list on her Kickstarter project page).

Here it is, in Angie’s words:

How to pledge:

Visit Angie’s Kickstarter page, and make a pledge (you can create a Kickstarter profile, or log in with FaceBook). Payments are made through Amazon Payments, and your credit card will only be charged once the project is fully funded. The widget below tracks the project’s funding status:

To learn more about Angie or hear more of her music, check out some of her sites and social media profiles:

Best of luck, Angie! Susan and I are pulling for you!


Published or updated March 20, 2014.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 A Young Investor

I’ve heard of kickstarter before. Seems like a great idea. Donated.

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