The kindness of strangers? An investigation into the interaction of funder motivations in online crowdfunding campaigns

Joe Cox, Thang Nguyen, Soong Moon Kang

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Abstract

This study investigates the interaction of motivations among contributors to online crowdfunding campaigns. Based on evidence from the literature on philanthropic behaviour, we argue that funder behaviour is likely to be driven by a combination of intrinsic, extrinsic and image enhancement motivations. We undertake an empirical investigation into the relationships between these factors by analysing data from an online rewards-based crowdfunding platform. These data not only reveal the monetary values of individual contributions to fundraising campaigns, but also indicate particular combinations of motivations based on the material reward selected (if any) and the decision as to whether or not to contribute anonymously. We find that extrinsically motivated funders generally make larger contributions than intrinsically motivated funders, which does not suggest the presence of a ‘crowding-out’ effect given the presence of material incentives. We further show that named funders with intrinsic motivations contribute more than anonymous funders with intrinsic motivations, whereas the same pattern of behaviour is not observed among extrinsically motivated funders. The evidence from our study therefore suggests that image concerns interact with intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in different ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-212
JournalKyklos: International Review of Social Sciences
Volume71
Issue number2
Early online date20 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • motivations
  • interactions
  • fundraising
  • online
  • crowdfunding

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