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The year in Kickstarter: 2014’s best and worst campaigns

From 3D-printers to Pono and potato salad, Kickstarter has enjoyed another landmark year. Between now and January there have been nearly 1,000 projects successfully funded, as well as many which came close and many more which fell completely flat.

Of all the millions of dollars pledged to the crowdfunding site in 2014, though, a few campaigns really stood out. Fundraising targets were smashed, stretch goals were met and records were achieved. So, with thanks to data from Silk, this is what the year in Kickstarter looked like.

Highest total pledged


Winner: Pono

Raising an incredible $6,225,354 over a period of 35 days, Neil Young’s digital music device was the campaign to raise the most money in 2014. ‘Pono’ means righteous in Hawaiian, and the Kickstarter lived up to its name by becoming the 3rd most funded project in the website’s history.

Highest percentage raised of funding goal


Winner: Shine12 – Bright LED light badges to support Seattle Seahawks

Some Kickstarters only scrape past their target, while others raise the money they need with ease. Shine 12 did more than that, raising 83,800 per cent of its goal over 57 days. Before you get too excited though, it’s worth noting that the campaign only asked for $1, meaning the total pot was just $838. Truth to be told the team might have picked their fundraising goal up off the street, but still, nice badges.

Best Campaign


Winner: Reading Rainbow

No, Reading Rainbow didn’t raise the most money in 2014, but it might still have been the most enthusiastically received campaign of the year. Raising a whopping $5,408,916, the children’s TV reboot was the year’s second most funded project and had 105,857 individual backers. To put that into perspective, that’s 87,637 more people than the number that invested in Pono.

Worst campaign


‘Winner’Turner Prize

Thanks to Kickended, you can now view all of the Kickstarters which raised $0 in one place. We’ve spent more time trawling through this website than we’d like to admit, but it has thrown up some gems like this audacious attempt to fund a Turner Prize-winning art project. Despite not detailing any experience or artistic credentials, the artists asked for an audacious $100,000. Backers who chose to invest $1,000 were promised a stick of Blackpool rock as a reward – but sadly none were claimed.

Fastest funded project


Winner: The Classic Daily Deal Site

“How come every time something simple gets popular, people want to make it more complicated?,” asked the creator of this Kickstarter, which sought to launch a new, simplistic daily deal website. The public agreed, exceeding the $10,000 crowdfunding goal in just 4 days.

Top funding countries

By some distance, the United States was the most generous country on Kickstarter this year, pledging nearly $75 million towards successful projects. United Kingdom came out on top in Europe, pledging nearly $6 million, while China topped Asia with nearly $2 million.

Most funded projects by country

Predictably then, The United States and United Kingdom also led the way for successfully funded projects, hosting 719 and 100 respectively. Canada came third with 49 projects funded, while three campaigns were successful in Israel.

For more graphs, data and analysis from the year in Kickstarter, visit the Silk digest.

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