What to Do if Your Kickstarter Project Isn’t Approved

If you’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign or are considering launching one, you’re likely aware of the fact that Kickstarter requires projects to be reviewed and approved before they can go live. Hopefully, your project will be approved swiftly and can launch with no problems. But what happens when it isn’t approved?

We’ve taken a look at why Kickstarter reviews projects, what they are looking for and what you can do if yours doesn’t pass muster.

Why Does Kickstarter Review Projects?

Kickstarter reviews every project that launches on the platform to make sure it is suitable for the Kickstarter community, that it falls into one of the 15 creative categories on the platform, and that it follows all of the platform rules.

How Long Should You Allow for Your Kickstarter Project to Get Approved?

This takes a bit of time, especially for more complex projects, so we suggest that you allow at least five days for the review process. This will give you a buffer in case Kickstarter needs you to change anything prior to launch; submitting your project ahead of time will prevent you from having to postpone launch!

We also suggest that you read Kickstarter’s rules before you begin to create your project page, then go back once the first draft is complete to ensure your page follows them.

Note that you can make edits after your project has been reviewed and approved. The only things you won’t be able to edit are your profile name, funding goal and duration, bank account and identity details, and any reward that has pledges.

What Should You Include to Make Sure Your Product is Approved?

At a bare minimum, Kickstarter states that you’ll need “a project page with a video and description that clearly explain the story behind your project, rewards that backers will receive when the project is completed, and updates that share the creative journey as the project comes to life.

However, to ensure your project will not only be approved by Kickstarter, but also will be trusted by potential backers, consider the following:

  • The focus of your project should be something new that you will create and then share with others. You can’t use Kickstarter for something that already exists; even if you created the product, you must add something new or iterate on your idea if it’s already been sold to customers.
  • It’s important to share the story behind your project. Why are you passionate about your campaign? Convey this on your page.
  • You’ll need to show a working prototype if your project involves manufacturing and distributing something complex. Not only does Kickstarter require it, but it also helps people trust that your campaign will deliver.
  • Include a plan for completion on your campaign page – timelines are a good idea.
  • Always use good images, and stay away from photorealistic renderings. You’ll also need a compelling video that shows off your project and tells your story.
  • Don’t include anything from Kickstarter’s list of prohibited items.

Why Might Your Kickstarter Project Be Denied?

The answer is simple: a Kickstarter project will be denied if it doesn’t follow the rules. To avoid this, make sure to carefully consult Kickstarter’s rules as well as their Creator Handbook.

What Should You Do if Your Kickstarter Project Is Denied?

Kickstarter allows creators to submit an appeal when a project is denied. However, if you are denied a second time, your project will be closed and you’ll have to start over with a different project. For this reason, plan to spend time updating your project before you submit your appeal. Consider what’s missing, or what you need to add to meet the rules. If your project is denied again, you may want to move to Indiegogo, as their rules are less strict. There are pros and cons to this decision, so it should be weighed heavily.

For more help crafting the perfect crowdfunding campaign, get in touch today!

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