Kickstarter backer fulfillment detailed in new report

Kickstarter has tapped the University of Pennsylvania to perform an independent analysis of project fulfillment on the service, something it has published in full for everyone to read. The company cites speculation about how many projects have failed to deliver on their promises, and its desire to know what the actual numbers are. To do so, Kickstarter brought in Professor Ethan Mollick back in March; he surveyed about 50,000 backers to find their thoughts on campaigns they'd backed.

According to Kickstarter, this is the largest study to date that has looking into the company's community. Kickstarter is careful to point out that it "had no influence over" the study's findings, and that an agreement made was made before before the study started that the results would be made public...regardless of the outcome.

The study found that only 9-percent of Kickstarter projects failed to provide whatever rewards they had promised backers, and that overall 8-percent of dollars pledged on the service went toward projects that failed. Slightly smaller as the number of backers who report not receiving the particular reward they had selected: 7-percent. Sixty-five percent of backers, though, said they receive their reward on time.

According to Mollick:

Project backers should expect a failure rate of around 1-in-10 projects, and to receive a refund 13% of the time ... Ultimately, there does not seem to be a systematic problem associated with failure (or fraud) on Kickstarter, and the vast majority of projects do seem to deliver.

You can see the full report here.