The Value of Completing Crowdfunding Projects

author: Rick Wash, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University
published: April 3, 2014,   recorded: July 2013,   views: 1584

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Crowdfunding systems are social media websites that allow people to donate small amounts of money that add up to fund valuable larger projects. These websites are structured around projects: finite campaigns with well-defined goals, end dates, and completion criteria. We use a dataset from an existing crowdfunding website - the school charity Donors Choose - to understand the value of completing projects. We find that completing a project is an important act that leads to larger donations (over twice as large), greater likelihood of returning to donate again, and few projects that expire close but not complete. A conservative estimate suggests that this completion bias led to over $15 million in increased donations to Donors Choose, representing approximately 16\% of the total donations for the period under study. This bias suggests that structuring many types of collaborative work as a series of projects might increase contribution significantly.

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