Kickstarting Sexual and Reproductive Health

Crowdfunding has become wildly popular. People have come together to fund endlessly wide-ranging projects from movies like the Veronica Mars Movie Project to sous-vide devices for home cooks. Kickstarter and rival platform Indiegogo usually attract first time entrepreneurs who need start up money to turn their idea into a reality. People back projects based on what they can contribute and get rewards or a product in return.

Much to our pleasure, people have used these platforms to successfully fund sexual and reproductive products and creative endeavours! Here’s a taste:

kGoal Smart Kegel Trainer

The kGoal Smart Kegel Trainer raised 290% over its goal of $90,000 (£53,900)! As you can see from the video explaining their product above, on their Kickstarter page, or their company page, they created kGoal to improve pelvic floor health by making kegals fun! Pelvic floor muscles play a huge role in pregnancy, bladder control, muscular stability, and of course pleasure!

Reteaching Gender and Sexuality

Put This On The Map who made the popular video “Reteaching Gender and Sexuality” raised funds to go on tour to campuses and communities. They aim to “steer the conversation beyond the symptom of bullying, to address systemic issues and deeper beliefs about gender and sexuality that impact queer/trans youth.” Check them out here.

Compelling Love and Sexual Identity Differences

This project got funded to make a documentary film hoping to share stories of people across the spectrum of sexual identities with the world.

Strong Female Protagonist: Book One

Molly Ostertag from www.strongfemaleprotagonist.com raised 762% of her goal for turning her webcomic series on social justice into a novel.

Oh Joy, Sex Toy, The Book

This is another webcomic by self-described queer cartoonist Erika Moen that was funded 384% over their goal. Erica is behind the website of the same name: www.ohjoysextoy.com, which is a sex education webcomic.

Flamingo Rampant Book Club

These guys reached their funding goal for “empowering, celebratory LGBTQ2S-themed kids’ picture books for 4-8 year olds, delivered right to your home or school every other month”. Their project page is worth checking out for the wonderful illustrations.

Gay Marriage =

Sam Killermann, the founder of ‘Its Pronounced Metro Sexual’, used Kickstarter to fund printing t-shirts that are a counter argument to the slippery slope that people often use to justify not allowing gay marriage. Check it out here.

Some other recently funded projects over on Indiegogo include: “Same Sex Adoption Film Campaign”, “End Sex Trafficking”, and countless more. Even this small sampling of projects within sexual health highlight how many different ideas and visions are able to get funded. However, with so many things vying for attention it can be difficult for projects to reach their funding goal, so what do successful ones have in common?

According to Forbes, Entrepreneur, and our own look at the ones featured here it’s certainly a combination of filling a niche, creativity, and dedication. To fill a need you must first do your research about what people want. This has to be combined with setting a smart funding goal and including your budget on your campaign so people know where their money is going. The creativity may start with the project idea, but also needs to be a part of your campaign.

Single Female Protagonist (courtesy of Mary Ostertag)

Which rewards will you offer and how will you make your pitch effective, interesting, and persuasive? The way you will make people want to help is by showing your energy and quality! Often the deciding factor in any endeavour is your dedication and a crowdfunding campaign is no different, you need work around the clock before you launch to get tailored messages out to everyone you know and during the campaign you have to keep getting the word out to people and answering questions.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel like people will react inappropriately to what society considers sensitive topics that often feature in sexual or reproductive health campaigns, but these projects have shown it can be done and well received. So if you have an idea and need funding, this is a great jump off point for research on how to be successful, good luck!


About Emma Burgess

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MSc. in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I am a loud and passionate feminist, who is particularly focused on sex education, abortion, youth, and tech. I also love goats, horses, craft beer, and all cheese!

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