Crowdfunding Handbook (Part 6)

Fulfillment

Fulfillment: that means completing your project, getting rewards to backers, and communicating with them to make sure the process goes smoothly. Like every other step, this one requires planning and budgeting. But fulfillment can be fun, too, and we’ve got quite a few tools and suggestions to help.

The Backer Report & Surveys

Surveys let you collect information from backers — their shipping addresses, sizes, choices of colors or flavors, or anything else. You can start drafting backer surveys any time after you’ve launched a project, but they can only be sent out once your project is successfully funded. They can also only be sent once — so think through all the questions you’ll need to ask in order to provide rewards and prepare accordingly.

  • If you designated that a reward requires physical shipping, the survey will automatically ask backers for their mailing addresses.

  • Although you can only send surveys once, you can allow backers to make changes to their shipping addresses until you’re ready to actually ship rewards. Once you indicate that you’re ready to ship, backers will be notified that they have 48 hours to finalize their addresses.

  • Kickstarter runs the addresses that backers provide a validation check to make sure they exist and are properly formatted. If a backer hasn’t answered your survey, Kickstarter shows them a reminder the next time they visit.

  • You can’t mark a survey question as optional, so if the question doesn’t pertain to everyone, remind backers that they can respond with "n/a."

  • All survey responses end up neatly organized in your Backer Report, which you can export as CSV files and open in pretty much any spreadsheet program. Remember: you’re responsible for using backers’ information responsibly.

Fulfillment Partners

If managing all the logistics of your project starts to feel a little overwhelming, or you wind up with more backers than you were prepared for, don’t worry: you don’t need to do everything yourself. There are businesses that specialize in things like mass mailing, warehousing, packaging — you name it. If there’s a part of the process you feel comfortable outsourcing, and you can find a partner you trust, it can help lighten the load and create a better, more efficient experience for you and your backers. With the help of many Kickstarter creators, we’ve compiled this list of services that help with everything from packaging and shipping to manufacturing, games distribution, and vinyl pressing. Check them out and research which partners will work best for your project and your backers.