Patreonize a RPG Artist
When used as a means of raising capitol to obtain necessary resources to manufacture/produce a useful product I'm often down for that (unless the product is a horrible idea). What irks me is when Kickstarter is used not as a means to fund a project, but instead a solicitation/pre-sale platform intended to deliberately cut-out portions of the manufacture or distribution chain in order to suck up more profits for the company that has other means of funding to finance a traditional product development cycle.
The ultimate cardinal sin with Kickstarter is when a "developer" pretty much just wants money to be able to take time off from having to work a regular job in order to sit around and "be creative". While there may be a specific product in mind, the whole Kickstarter process is more of an all-or-nothing proposition. The "developer" sets a funding goal and if they make it then they can kick back and try to make their product.
It doesn't take one a long time to find stories of utterly failed Kickstarters. Tenkar's Tavern talks quite frequently about a whole slew of RPG Kickstarters.
A much more reasonable approach to the whole funding creative types has been around for millenia: Patronage. In short, patronage is a symbiotic relationship where the Patron gives specific financial support and receives art from the artist, whose job it is to create.
Enter Patreon, a funding source where you get to "support and engage with the creators you love". Instead of giving out funds and hope for a specific return, you pledge a specific amount and as the art/projects are created you get specified returns. A non-productive artist doesn't get paid.
I was only introduced to Patreon because Dyson Logos is about to kick off a campaign that allows him to acquire better supplies and create more of his awesome maps. You might remember Dyson from an earlier post. The cool thing is you don't really need to become a Patron to benefit from Dyson's work because he pretty much gives his maps away for free on his website. Becoming a Patron is really all about supporting Dyson's efforts, not necessarily trying to pre-order some RPG product.
Patreon is an awesome idea and there really isn't a downside to becoming a Patron.