Kickstarting Reading Rainbow

I was pleased to see that the "Bring Reading Rainbow Back" Kickstarter campaign continued to perform very well on it's 3rd day. They have already raised over $3M; triple the amount initially requested. No matter your feelings about the evolution in childhood/literacy education over the past 30+ years, I'd wager most can all agree that the more money spent on such projects the better.

When I see big amounts of money being raised, with donations spanning many orders of magnitude, I often wonder who's making the bigger difference: the small $ offerings given by the masses, or the handful of heavy-hitting investors.

So I grabbed the numbers off the Kickstarter page and graphed it up! What I found pleased me...

1. Tons of people gave at the $50 level

Over 16,000 people have given at this level, which I find mind blowing!

Also cool: excluding the $50 bin, the number of backers as a function of the donation amount looks rather power law-ish (actually more of a broken power law if you include the high $ bins)

2. The $50 donations made up almost 1/3 of the total funding!

At just over $3M (at time of writing, end of Day 3), the $50 donation level has collected over $800k! That crushes every other donation level!

3. Vox Populi - More people means more money!

This might seem like a silly point, but the broad trend shows that the donation distribution has not ben simply dominated by a handful of huge players. Instead, the majority of the money really did come from reasonable amounts given by lots of people!

Note, this actually breaks down for the $5 - $35 donations, which all have over 4k backers, but all trend down in this graph. These are below the necessary backer rate to keep this trend positive, which is what I'd generally like to see. But I'm not concerned because these are non-uniformly spaced donation levels and the general trend is holding!
(Another good scenario, I suppose, is logarithmically spaced donation levels with inverse log numbers of backers, which would make this a flat trend)

But you don't have to take my word for it...


  1. Really awesome post. Thanks for sharing.

    (reddit brought me)

  2. I think it's important to note that the $50 mark is what gets you a t-shirt for this particular Kickstarter.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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