Crowdfunding Case Studies: rewards-based crowdfunding Uncovering the Role of Rewards in Success


Crowdfunding has emerged as a transformative force in the world of fundraising, enabling entrepreneurs, artists, and creators to turn their dreams into reality by securing the necessary capital from a global community of backers. While there are various crowdfunding models, rewards-based crowdfunding has gained particular prominence. In this article, we will delve into crowdfunding case studies to explore the pivotal role that rewards play in the success of crowdfunding campaigns.

The Rewards-Based Crowdfunding Model

Rewards-based crowdfunding is a fundraising approach where creators offer tangible rewards to backers in exchange for their financial support. These rewards typically correspond to different pledge levels and can range from small tokens of appreciation to exclusive products or experiences. This model is utilized by platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe, enabling creators to engage with their supporters rewards-based crowdfunding rewards-based crowdfunding them with a meaningful incentive to contribute.

The Power of Incentives

  1. Pebble Time: A Smartwatch Sensation

One of the most iconic rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns is the story of Pebble Time. In 2015, Pebble Technology sought to launch the Pebble Time smartwatch. Their campaign on Kickstarter was a monumental success, raising over $20 million in just 32 days. The key to their triumph was not only the innovative product but also the strategic use of rewards.

Backers of the campaign were offered early access to the Pebble Time at a discounted price. The company also promised exclusive watch rewards-based crowdfunding, customization options, and even the opportunity to visit their headquarters. By providing backers with a sense of ownership and the chance to be part of an exclusive club, Pebble Time created a compelling value proposition that resonated with thousands of backers.

  1. Exploding Kittens: A Card Game Extravaganza

Exploding Kittens, a card game created by Elan Lee, Shane Small, and Matthew Inman (of “The Oatmeal” fame), turned to Kickstarter in 2015 to fund their project. The campaign generated an astounding $8.7 million, surpassing its initial goal within minutes of launch.

The team behind Exploding Kittens offered backers a simple yet effective reward: a copy of the card game. However, they spiced things up by including various expansion packs, exclusive card designs, and even an ultra-limited edition version signed by the creators. This tiered reward system allowed backers to choose their level of rewards-based crowdfunding and engagement, making them feel like part of the creative process.

Building a Strong Connection

  1. Reading Rainbow: Reviving a Classic

Reading Rainbow, the beloved children’s television program hosted by LeVar Burton, turned to Kickstarter in 2014 to bring the show back in a digital format. The campaign not only succeeded in raising over $6.4 million but also demonstrated the power of nostalgia and emotional connection in crowdfunding.

To engage backers, Reading Rainbow offered rewards that played on the show’s iconic imagery, such as custom bookmarks, tote bags, and limited-edition “Reading Rainbow” DVDs. They even provided backers with the opportunity to have dinner with LeVar Burton. These rewards not only appealed to fans’ nostalgia but also allowed them to feel deeply connected to the project and its mission of promoting childhood literacy.

Lessons Learned from Crowdfunding Success Stories

These crowdfunding case studies illustrate the significance of rewards in incentivizing backers to support a campaign. The rewards-based model thrives on creating a sense of belonging, exclusivity, and shared ownership among backers. Here are rewards-based crowdfunding key takeaways:

  • Tailor Rewards to Backers’ Interests: Understanding your target audience and offering rewards that align with their interests and desires can significantly boost your campaign’s success.
  • Create a Sense of Community: Encourage backers to become part of a community by offering rewards that allow them to engage with your project on a deeper level.
  • Leverage Nostalgia and Emotion: If your project has a strong emotional connection or nostalgic appeal, tap into it to create meaningful rewards that resonate with backers.
  • Reward Early Adopters: Offering early access or discounted prices to early backers can create a sense of urgency and excitement.
  • Offer Exclusive Content: Exclusive rewards can make backers feel like they are part of something special, encouraging them to support your campaign.

In conclusion, rewards-based crowdfunding is not just about raising funds; it’s about building a community of supporters who believe in your project’s vision. By carefully crafting rewards that resonate with your backers, you can maximize your rewards-based crowdfunding potential for success and turn your crowdfunding dreams into a reality.


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