Kickstarter was one of the pioneers in the filed of crowd funding and a model on which many other sites have been based.
They are now 105 people based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York. Half work on the product (designing and coding), and the other half work with the community. They have funded over one and a half billion dollars worth of projects.
It is an "all-or-nothing" funder so, if you don't reach your target funding you don't get anything and all the pledged money goes back to the funders. Kickstarter things this is a better way to go as it helps people focus on success and, rightly, they feel that if you only have a fraction of what you needed the end result is probably not going to be the best and you will have a crowd of frustrated funders.
You sign up to Kickstarter.com for free, put together details about your project, make a video to shout about it, decide how much funding you need and ‘publish’ it on the site
Kickstarter - 5%
Payment processing - 3% + £0.20 per plegde
For pledges under £10.00 - 5% + £0.05 per pledge
Other countries have slightly different fees but there is a full list on the site in their frequently asked questions.
If you reach your funding target Kickstarter uses the Amazon payment system so you can have funds transferred into this account and then to a bank using Amazon's exchange rate.
For an interview with Perry Chen, one of Kickstarter's funders, which was recently published one the Economist website, visit here.