Kickstarter announced this week they have reincorporated as benefit corporation. In a letter issued by their Founders and CEO, Kickstarter explains their process for committing to this transition. This change could influence the way large corporations like Kickstarter do business. Because we work with a lot of businesses that launch campaigns on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, this is exciting news for our clients.
BRIDGING THE GAP
Until now, there wasn’t much in the middle of non-profit organization and for-profit company. Benefit corporations comply to the same taxation standards as for-profit corporations in the US but are also obligated to consider the cultural and environmental impact of their executive decisions. With Kickstarter Inc. now Kickstarter PBC, this transition balances Kickstarter’s community goals with their financial goals, making the two equally important.
Both corporations and benefit corporations share attributes. Both entities are taxed the same, but benefit corporations take on additional obligations involving further transparency, accountability, and public purpose. Companies like Kickstarter, Patagonia, and Etsy are starting a trend that could push other big corporations to think beyond delivering financial value to their shareholders. They are also obligated to create a positive influence to society and the environment.
Kickstarter’s commitments are clearly outlined in the Kickstarter Charter, which includes a emphasis on arts and music education, creating more opportunities for people of colour, women, and LGBTQ individuals, support for non-commercial artists, and the environment. Kickstarter is a high profile company with the ability to influence others on a large scale. They are demonstrating to other companies what they can do for their community. We’re looking forward to seeing others follow suit and the positive impact this could have on the arts.
As we continue to make crowdfunding videos, want to see our clients be successful in their fundraising goals as much as we want to make a great video for them. Crowdfunding is now commonplace among start-ups, artists, musicians, and the tech community. Many of us have contributed to crowdfunding campaigns at some point over the last decade. Publically committing to social and environmental good could bring about a surge of interest to back more Kickstarter projects and feel like they are a part of a greater initiative.