Kickstarter has reorganised itself from a for-profit only company, to a public benefit corporation. This basically means it is now legally bound to act for the greater good.
It has changed its name from Kickstart Inc to Kickstarter PBC (Public Benefit Corporation), a designation that legally obliges it to pursue a "positive impact on society."
This doesn’t mean it will stop earning money for itself and its stakeholders – far from that. It will still earn a living, but it will also give some of it away for the greater good.
“We declare how we plan to conduct ourselves in situations that are often swayed by profit motives. And we newly commit to donate 5 per cent of annual post-tax profits to arts education and organizations fighting inequality. Every year, we’ll release an assessment of how we’re performing on the commitments we’ve made,” it says on the Kickstarter page.
The move puts Kickstarter in the .01 per cent of all American businesses that have done this, the company says, adding that it believes more companies will join the movement.
“Kickstarter is excited to join a growing list of forward-thinking organizations — like Patagonia and This American Life — that have taken the big step to become a Benefit Corporation.”
The company has also released its Benefit Corporation charter, which explains why it thinks it’s important.
Kickstarter's founders told The New York Times that they have no intention of going public or selling the company. Yet, they said, they still must answer to investors.