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9 reasons why LeVar Burton got 60,000 donations on Kickstarter

LeVar Burton managed to accumulate $2.6 million in donations from over 60,000 people these past few days after launching the 'Reading Rainbow' campaign.

The success of the project has taken the internet by surprise, and the message of the video has been very well received, so how on earth did he manage to get that much support?

Here's a shortlist of reasons that made this campaign a winner:

1. Established fan base (actor)

Geordi La Forge, the character Burton plays in 'Star Trek : The Next Generation' is well known, and the series today has millions of fans. Instantly, he has international appeal, and people are generally interested to see what the actor is doing outside of the Star Trek universe. He's also part of the 'Reading Rainbow' history, and he will have those fans to reach out to.

2. TV series history

'Reading Rainbow' fans from the 80s and who've grown up are the ones most likely to be able to relate to this, and want to be part of paying it forward for their kids. It's perfect timing for the next generation of kids to benefit from this kind of project and it has resonated strongly with those who grew up with 'Reading Rainbow'.

3. Free education : Something we value

The idea that underprivileged kids can access free education is fundamental to the success of the economy. Beyond that argument people value education no matter what age, as it brings many rewards throughout life.

4. Humor in the video

The light humor in the campaign video added a layer of "This is really cool" to viewers; It played on Burton's fame, and adding Brent Spiner's cameo at the end, made it more shareable on social. This wasn't just a piece to camera, it was a skit as well.

5. Positive message

The project is very positive. The outcome would make a huge different to millions of kids, and the technology is here already. People can see it's going to work, and they feel empowered to join in.

6. Media coverage

The media took this one and made it loud, because it was a good cause, and it had an interesting, creative approach that was easy to talk about, and highlight. Thanks to the enthusiasm from bloggers and journalists, the campaign got a much larger distribution across the web.

7. Great add-ons

Cool bonus features for donors were well thought of. Again it played on Burton's fame, but people were getting something back when they donated.

8. Community involvement

The campaign shows the proof of concept in that the kids who would be benefitting from the finished product were already enjoying it in the video. It showed that the community that would be receiving the donations were the ones who would get the most enjoyment, and of course, we love to see kids being happy!

9. Well organized team

Finally, this part is what we don't see at face value, but the production, the PR, the communication and the delivery of this, was excellent. Thanks to that teamwork, this project had all the chances it needed to really work, and that in the end, is what made it a winner before it was even launched.


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