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Gimme Money! Designing Digital Entrepreneurial Crowdfunding Platforms for Persuasion and its Social Implications


Abstract and Figures

Given its interesting history, dating back to the 18th century, crowdfunding is being recognised as a potential key driver of social impact in the 21st century. However, what we have seen is that even the philanthropic/social-benefit focus may not be sufficient to ensure success. In fact, many projects on crowdfunding platforms fail to persuade enough people to contribute financially. This study seeks to understand how persuasiveness may be enhanced in the digital entrepreneurial crowdfunding context. The adoption of the Persuasive Systems Design (PSD) model aided the development of a framework of distinct features deemed to facilitate persuasion. The proposed “Crowdfunding Platform Design” (CFPD) model is examined through a content analysis of five real-world crowdfunding platforms, resulting in the development of visual representations for each of the CFPD model’s features. The content analysis is then followed up by semi-structured interviews with users of real-world crowdfunding platforms. Given the potential of crowdfunding platforms to drive social impact and change, this research-in-progress seeks to provide a holistic framework to help facilitate persuasiveness and in turn the success of crowdfunding platforms.
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Association for Information Systems
AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
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Eric T.K . Lim
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Blair Wang, IBM Global Business Services, Sydney, NSW, Australia,
Eric T.K. Lim, School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, UNSW
Business School, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia,
Christine Van Toorn, School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, UNSW
Business School, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia,
Given its interesting history, dating back to the 18th century, crowdfunding is being recognised as a
potential key driver of social impact in the 21st century. However, what we have seen is that even the
philanthropic/social-benefit focus may not be sufficient to ensure success. In fact, many projects on
crowdfunding platforms fail to persuade enough people to contribute financially. This study seeks to
understand how persuasiveness may be enhanced in the digital entrepreneurial crowdfunding context.
The adoption of the Persuasive Systems Design (PSD) model aided the development of a framework of
distinct features deemed to facilitate persuasion. The proposed “Crowdfunding Platform Design”
(CFPD) model is examined through a content analysis of five real-world crowdfunding platforms,
resulting in the development of visual representations for each of the CFPD model’s features. The
content analysis is then followed up by semi-structured interviews with users of real-world
crowdfunding platforms. Given the potential of crowdfunding platforms to drive social impact and
change, this research-in-progress seeks to provide a holistic framework to help facilitate
persuasiveness and in turn the success of crowdfunding platforms.
Keywords: Crowdfunding, Design, Elaboration Likelihood Model, Heuristic Systematic Model,
Persuasive Systems, Platform Design; Social Impact
The acquisition of funds to begin business operations is one of the first challenges of an entrepreneur.
Traditionally entrepreneurs have obtained early-stages funding from financial institutions, venture
capitalists, or affluent individuals (“angel investors”). If they are deemed to be sufficiently persuasive,
entrepreneurs enter business relationships with these funders, who in turn are rewarded with interest
on loan debts, or equity from profits. However, entrepreneurs can also participate in crowdfunding,
whereby they request funding from a large group of distributed and relatively anonymous individuals
(Belleflamme et al 2014; Hui & Gerber 2015; Schwienbacher & Larralde 2012). Although considered
to be a relatively new phenomenon, crowdfunding was used in historical projects like Alexander
Pope’s 1715-1720 translation of Homer’s Iliad, Mozart and Beethoven’s concertos. However, the
Internet now provides the global infrastructure that facilitates Web-based crowdfunding platforms, and
these have made crowdfunding more efficient and more accessible (Kazmark 2013; Macht &
Weatherston 2015). Today, crowdfunding refers almost exclusively to digital crowdfunding, enabled
by platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The focus of this study is the use of digital
crowdfunding, facilitating the funding of business projects, namely, digital entrepreneurial
crowdfunding (DECF). The funders in DECF are not always highly financially literate; rewards are
normally based on monetary incentives like debt and equity, but may also include non-monetary
incentives such as small gifts often referred to as “perks”. Crowdfunding has a strong presence in the
global economy and is being recognised as a potential key driver of social impact in the 21st century
(Herzenstein et al, 2011). Approximately US$2.7 billion were contributed through crowdfunding
platforms in 2012 and this figure is projected to grow to US$96 billion by 2025 (World Bank 2013).
However, recent research (Greenberg & Gerber 2014) informs us that approximately 58% of projects
do not meet their funding targets, leading to project failure. Since the crowdfunding platform mediates
the relationship between funder and entrepreneur, more persuasive crowdfunding platforms may help
reduce this failure rate. The purpose of this study is to examine the mechanisms of persuasion in
digital entrepreneurial crowdfunding platforms. More specifically to address the following research
question: How are platforms for digital entrepreneurial crowdfunding (DECF) designed to persuade
users to contribute financially? Furthermore, the use of technological platforms for the purpose of
seeking investment and funding for initiatives raises an interesting question in the digital age. Are the
investments pledged on such crowdfunding platforms truly based on the users’ evaluation of the
viability and value of the initiatives or are they fundamentally influenced by the persuasive design of
the digital platform intermediary? One of the objectives of the study is to seek to answer the above
question by exploring the effectiveness of specific design features of the crowdfunding platform in
terms of influencing the amount of investment pledges. Such knowledge has important social
implications especially if the crowdfunding initiative was geared towards the achievement of
philanthropic or social benefit.
This study draws upon a body of literature across information systems (IS), information technology
(IT), management and psychology. More specifically across the areas of: DECF Motivators; Dual-
Processing Model of Persuasion (DPMP) Modes; Persuasive Systems Design (PSD) Model, and the
Literature Coding of Association of Information Systems (AIS) Journals; as below and in section 2.1.
DECF Motivators: There is a plethora of literature on what motivates individuals to contribute to
crowdfunding projects. Given the focus on digital entrepreneurial crowdfunding (DECF), this
literature was summarized into five “DECF motivators”: (1) material incentives (Macht &
Weatherston, 2015), (2) communication techniques (Hui & Gerber, 2015), (3) propinquity
(geographical and cultural closeness) (Zheng et al., 2014), (4) community and status incentives (Hui &
Gerber, 2015), and (5) escrow (no money is transferred until enough pledges are received and the
target is reached) (Wash & Solomon, 2014).
DPMP Modes: To understand the psychological mechanisms behind persuasion, we draw on the
Heuristic Systematic Model (HSM) (Chaiken 1980) and the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)
(Petty & Cacioppo 1986). These are similar and have been referred to collectively as a Dual-
Processing Model of Persuasion (DPMP) (Bohner et al 2008; Friestad & Wright 1994). The DPMP
posits that people process persuasive messages in two possible modes of thinkingdirect and indirect.
In the direct mode, people think deeply, carefully, and logically about the persuasive message, in the
indirect mode, people are influenced more by feelings and emotions rather than by logical reasoning.
PSD Model: The Persuasive Systems Design (PSD) model, developed by Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009), is a set of guidelines on building IT and systems that are persuasive by design. Like
the CFPD model conceptualised in this study, the PSD model is informed by DPMP theory, with the
dualism of direct and indirect modes of persuasion being core underlying assumptions (Oinas-
Kukkonen & Harjumaa 2009). The PSD model’s most significant feature is its set of 28 system
qualitiesnumbered from 01 to 28 for the purpose of this study. This is elaborated on in section 2.2.
Literature Coding of AIS Journals: Insights from the literature were further enhanced through a review
and coding of 50 articles, sampled from the last five years of the AIS Senior Scholars’ Basket of 8
Journals. These were selected based on their relevance to DECF, the DPMP and the PSD model. They
were then coded according to their context and scope of application, theoretical frameworks, research
model dimensions, and research method. This helped validate the appropriateness of using the DPMP
and augmented the CFPD model with additional findings from recent, peer-reviewed research.
At this stage of the study, we have synthesized the framework of the PSD (Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa, 2009), with the literature on the DECF motivators to conceptualize the CFPD model (Table
1) that will help us in the content analysis (Elo & Kyngas, 2008) of the five crowdfunding platforms.
Specifically, we tried to map how each persuasive design principle within the PSD (Oinas-Kukkonen
& Harjumaa, 2009) could be related to the DECF motivators identified in the literature. Each
persuasive design principle within the PSD (Oinas-Kukkonen & Harjumaa, 2009) was contextualized
in the DECF context via our understanding of what motivates investors in such crowdfunding
platforms. To facilitate the mapping exercise, we collapsed some of the PSD principles into more
manageable categories: 1) Social: the extent to which the presence of others is felt and appeals to the
motivation of propinquity as well as that of community and status incentives, 2) Utility: the extent to
which the platform is usable and friendly and appeals to the motivation of material incentives, 3)
Presentation: the extent to which information is presented clearly and appeals to the motivation of
communication techniques and 4) Credibility and Reliability: the extent to which safeguards are in
place against opportunistic behaviour and appeal to the motivation of escrow. In addition, we used our
review of the last five years of the AIS Senior Scholars’ Basket of 8 Journals to operationalize and
identify possible observable manifestations of the PSD principles which are at an abstract theoretical
2.1!Proposed CFPD Model
The CFPD model synthesises the streams of literature into a single model of the features that
crowdfunding platforms could use to enhance persuasiveness. Each of the features has a unique
identifier (e.g. CFPD-07b). The numerical component (e.g. 07) refers to the PSD system quality on
which it is based, and the alphabetical component (e.g. b) increments as required. In addition to the
theoretical grounding provided by the PSD model, many features were further theoretically grounded
using literature from the review of DECF motivators and/or the literature coding of AIS journals.
PSD Principle
Identifier & Name
CFPD-01a: Every
Dollar Counts
Emphasize how small increments help
towards a big target (e.g. progress bar,
“$X remaining” symbol)
CFPD-01b: Praise
During Checkout
Praise the funder just before the payment
process is completed.
CFPD-02a: On-Site
The crowdfunding platform has its own
PSD Principle
Identifier & Name
payments processing system within the
platform itself, rather than directing the
funder to an external system.
CFPD-03a: Categories
The use of categories (e.g. Art,
Technology, Food, Journalism) so that a
funder interested in a particular category
can quickly access it.
Chiu et al (2014)
CFPD-03b: Nearby
The crowdfunding platform obtains the
funder’s location using geolocation
services or prior user input (e.g. shipping
address) in order to show projects that are
occurring in geographical proximity.
Agrawal et al
(2011); Burtch et al
(2014); Lin &
Viswanathan (2014)
Personalised Homepage
The homepage shown to funders after
logging in has panels that can be
rearranged to show the most relevant
Ho & Bodoff (2014)
Contribution History
Dashboard providing information about
projects that the funder has contributed to
in the past, e.g., how many perks the
funder has received.
Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009)
CFPD-06a: Showcase
of Successes
The funder is shown examples of
successful projects.
Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009)
Credibility and
CFPD-07a: Escrow
Until Target Reached
No money is transferred from the funder
until the project receives enough pledges
such that it reaches its funding target.
Agrawal et al
(2011); Haas et al
(2014); Wash &
Solomon (2014)
Contribution Simulation
Funders can participate in a game in which
they are given some allowance of virtual
money, which can be allocated to various
projects. At the end of the game, funders
are shown which of their projects have
succeeded, as well as the perks they would
have received.
Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009)
CFPD-08a: Praise
After making a financial contribution, the
funder is shown or sent a message
communicating a sense of appreciation,
respect, and/or admiration.
Mitra & Gibert
(2014); Tirdatov
CFPD-09a: Identify
The crowdfunding platform systematically
identifies perks and helps facilitate their
delivery (e.g. digital download, entry of
shipping address).
Gerber & Hui
(2013), Greenberg et
al (2013), Macht &
Weatherston (2015)
CFPD-09b: Digital
Perk Delivery
In addition to shipments of physical perks,
funders receive digital perks that can be
instantly downloaded (for instant
Chiu et al (2014);
Wells et al (2011)
CFPD-10a: Project
The funder is shown or sent a message
listing potential projects that they might be
interested in funding.
Wattal et al (2012)
A component on the platform makes
recommendations based on a funder’s
prior behaviour /contributions.
Adomavicius et al
(2013), Li &
Karahanna (2015)
CFPD-11b: Search by
The platform allows the funder to search
for projects by geographical location.
Agrawal et al
(2011); Burtch et al
(2014); Lin &
Viswanathan (2014)
CFPD-11c: Timed
Potential funders who spend more than 90
seconds looking at a page are shown a
status bar suggesting that they might want
to make a financial contribution.
Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009)
CFPD-12a: Slang
Usage of colloquial language, wording,
and expressions.
Wang et al (2014)
CFPD-13a: Emoticons
Use of emoticons, either Western or Asian
format. In graphical or text mode.
Wang et al (2014)
CFPD-13b: Similarity
with Funder
Funders are shown commonalities they
have with the entrepreneur, e.g. same
interests, life experiences or hobbies (e.g.
Burtch et al (2014);
Galak et al (2011);
Zheng et al (2014)
PSD Principle
Identifier & Name
graduated from the same school).
Social Role
The crowdfunding platform assigns an
anthropomorphic personality to particular
features of the platform.
Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009)
Credibility and
CFPD-15a: Project
History Timeline
A timeline of a project’s history and future
plans is generated. The project’s owner
can make entries about what steps have
been taken to advance the project and any
milestones attained.
Frydrych et al
(2014); Herzenstein
et al (2011)
Credibility and
CFPD-16a: Trust and
Safety Advice
A page that advises funders about how to
stay safe on the crowdfunding platform
and avoid unreliable projects.
Cyr (2014); Fang et
al (2014); Wells et
al (2011)
Credibility and
CFPD-17a: Minimal
Third-Party Advertising
There is minimal third-party advertising
present on the crowdfunding platform.
Cyr (2014); Fang et
al (2014); Wells et
al (2011)
If web-based, HTTPS is used to deliver
Cyr (2014); Fang et
al (2014); Wells et
al (2011)
Credibility and
CFPD-18a: Identify of
There is information revealing the identity
of the project’s entrepreneur(s).
Frydrych et al
(2014); Herzenstein
et al (2011)
CFPD-18b: Identify of
Platform Owner
There is information revealing the identity
of the crowdfunding platform’s owner.
Cyr (2014); Fang et
al (2014); Wells et
al (2011)
Credibility and
CFPD-19a: Curated by
There is a list of projects that the platform
owners have identified as being of
particularly high quality.
Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009)
Credibility and
CFPD-20a: Project
Third-party endorsements (e.g. logos) of
the project.
Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009)
CFPD-20b: Platform
Third-party endorsements (e.g. logos) of
the crowdfunding platform.
Özpolat et al (2013).
Credibility and
Presentation of
Entrepreneurs are provided with a blog or
newsfeed in which they are able to
periodically upload evidence of
preparation and/or progress relating to the
Frydrych et al
(2014); Greenberg
et al (2013);
Herzenstein et al
Schwienbacher &
Larralde (2012)
Social Learning
CFPD-22a: Share to
Social Media
A button that enables the funder to
recommend a project on social media
platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter).
Matook et al (2015)
CFPD-22b: Share
Reasons for
Funders who contribute financially are
asked to publicly share their reasons for
contributing. These reasons are then listed
on the project page so that future potential
funders can consider them.
Choy & Schlagwein
(2015); Goh et al
(2013); Yin et al
CFPD-23a: Compare
with Friends
Funders can compare amounts contributed
(e.g. against friends derived from social
networking platforms).
Burtch et al (2013)
CFPD-24a: Incentives
Word of Mouth
Provide incentives for funders who are
able to recruit additional funders.
Oinas-Kukkonen &
Harjumaa (2009)
CFPD-25a: Display
Fellow Funders
The names of other people who have
contributed to a particular project are
shown to the funder.
Burtch et al (2013)
CFPD-27a: Tiered
The quality of perks offered to funders is
proportional to the timeliness or quantity
of the contribution.
Gerber & Hui
(2013); Greenberg
et al (2013); Macht
& Weatherston
Recognition on Project
The names of funders who contribute
financially to a project are listed publicly
on the project page. Also listed is the
amount they contributed.
Belleflamme et al
(2014); Gerber &
Hui (2013);
Greenberg et al
Table 1. CFPD Features Tabulated
A content analysis of five real-world crowdfunding platforms was undertaken to identify the CFPD
features implemented within those platforms, results are presented below in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Content Analysis Results
The approach was “directed” (Hsieh & Shannon 2005) and “deductive” (Elo & Kyngas 2008) and
involved matching content with pre-determined a priori categories rather than exploring a dataset post
hoc. The CFPD model’s features provided such predetermined categories.
In order to obtain rich data clarifying the names and descriptions of CFPD features, the second stage
of this research-in-progress will be to conduct a series of semi-structured interviews. Participants for
these interviews will be university students, alumni, and contacts thereof, sourced primarily from a
large Australian university who have previously contributed funds to one of the five crowdfunding
platforms identified in the content analysis. Semi-structured interviews will provide the researcher
with the ability to delve further into the social and technical aspects (Myers & Newman 2007) as to
why investors choose to contribute money in the context of DECF platforms. This research-in-
progress paper reports on findings from the pilot study. We conducted four interviews, participants
were required to view screenshots obtained from the content analysis, grouped by CFPD code
(feature). In the case where screenshots were not available, mockups were created and shown to the
participants. After each group of screenshots (per CFPD code/feature), the interviewer asked questions
about whether the participant had recognised that feature before, whether the participant had found it
to be persuasive, and whether it had made the participant more inclined to contribute financially.
Based on the participant’s responses, the interviewer asked further questions to explore any salient
comments made by the participants.
Picture (screenshot or mockup)
CFPD-04a (Personalised Homepage): Regular funders, who “back multiple
projects at a time” and thus belong to a “backers club”, found this feature
persuasive. They can use this feature as a one-stop location to check all their
projects or monitor a category for new projects. However, others did not value
this feature, because they identified themselves as “one-off” infrequent funders.
This result suggests that the persuasiveness of some features such as CFPD-04a
is dependent upon the frequency with which a funder makes financial
CFDP-03b (Nearby Projects) and CFPD-11b (Search by Location): These
two collectively addressed the issue of geographical propinquity. Some had a
preference for local projects, while others expressed a sentiment that “a good
Picture (screenshot or mockup)
project can come from anywhere” and that sometimes local projects are more
for trivial personal matters. One participant stated that some places such as
Silicon Valley (San Francisco Bay Area) have a certain “location prestige”.
Economics literature about regional clusters explains that such places do have a
tangible competitive advantage particularly in terms of entrepreneurial
innovation (Eisingerich et al 2010; Huber 2012; Manning 2013). This
corroborates with findings by Mollick (2014) and explains why some funders
prefer these global powerhouses over their local ones. In many cases, one’s
local neighbourhood might be a predominantly residential area with no
entrepreneurial innovation, and may explain why some participants associated
local projects with trivial personal matters. This suggests that the
persuasiveness of some features such as CFPD-03b and CFPD-11b depends on
the funder’s perceptions about prestige with respect to regional clusters, both
locally and globally.
CFPD-07a (Escrow Until Target Reached): Some participants stated that this
feature increases their likelihood of giving money due to a perceived decrease
in the level of risk. Others, however, stated that they were not motivated by the
presence of escrow because they tended to be “emotionally invested” in
projects they would feel disappointed even if they did not lose money. This is
in line with the psychology literature on disappointment (Bell 2012; Oliver
1980), which reveals that one’s perceptions of an outcome will result in feelings
of satisfaction or disappointment independent of the actual outcome. Therefore,
even an escrow mechanism (which addresses actual outcomes rather than
perceptions) cannot remediate the disappointment that emotionally invested
funders feel when a project fails. Such remediation is only possible by
managing expectations so that the actual outcome will be perceived more
positively (van Dijk et al 2003). This result suggests that the persuasiveness of
some features such as CFPD-07a depends on the extent to which a funder gives
money due to emotional attachment instead of risk and profitability assessment.
CFPD-11c (Timed Infobar): Some were positive about this feature, describing
it as a “convenient” feature that “might actually give me the extra push” others
were quite averse to it, commenting that the 90-second timer is “too pushy”.
This is in line with the theory of psychological reactance, which clarifies the
DPMP by stating that when a persuasive message is too direct, it invokes a
feeling within the persuader that his or her freedom to make an autonomous
decision is being violated (Brehm 1966). This suggests that the persuasiveness
of some features such as CFPD-11c, which attempt to leverage the direct mode
of persuasion too strongly, may actually become counter-productive.
Table 2. Preliminary Findings Tabulated
The results from the pilot study were positive for the CFPD model. Every feature was found to be
persuasive or useful by at least one participant. Some of the results were particularly salient as shown
in the participantscritiques. Findings from the preliminary interviews are presented in Table 2.
The second stage of the research project will be to engage at least two more assistants who will act as
independent coders to increase the rigor in the content analysis. These independent coders will
perform the same steps in the content analysis as stated above. These two independent coders will visit
the same five crowdfunding platforms and evaluate if the technological features as derived from the
CFPD are present or absent. The results will be evaluated by computing the hit ratios and inter-coder
Kappa values (Tinsley and Weiss, 1975). If the hit ratios and Kappa values exceed recommended
thresholds, this implies a high degree of congruency among coders linked to the classification of
elicited technological artifacts in relation to the theoretical conceptualization of the CFPD.
In addition, we envisage undertaking a series of semi-structured interviews with approximately 15
users of crowdfunding platforms or, until theoretical saturation is reached. During this process, we will
aim to further refine the CFPD and to explore the contextual factors identified in the preliminary
findings (frequency of contribution, perceptions about regional clusters, degree of emotional
investment and sensitivity to psychological reactance). These contextual factors will be extracted
through a systematic and rigorous analysis of the interviews beyond what we have currently
demonstrated in the preliminary findings presented in this research-in-progress paper. In these
interviews, we will be especially interested in delineating the level of influence which the design of
crowdfunding platforms has on these users and the level of self-discretion these users accredited to
themselves when making the decision to pledge funding. We will first determine which of these design
principles are associated with assisting users in evaluating the value of the initiative and those that
could potentially be distracting to such evaluation. Subsequently, we will try to determine if the users
were predominantly influenced by design features associated with the former category, or if they were
predominantly influenced by design features in the latter category. This will allow us to understand if
investments pledged on such crowdfunding platforms are truly based on the users’ evaluation of the
viability and value of the initiatives or if are they fundamentally influenced by the persuasive design of
the digital platform intermediary. Unlike the context of e-commerce where the implementation of a
high level of persuasive mechanism is not only expected and recognized to have limited implications
beyond the relationship between the users and the e-commerce vendor, one could question if the
societal costs of implementing such mechanisms would be the same in the crowdfunding context.
Specifically, would it be socially responsible for vendors to implement such persuasive mechanisms
which in turn may potentially distort the true worth of an initiative when seeking investment on a
crowdfunding platform? Such a question is extremely pertinent in our study considering that the
decision of whether or not to fund an initiative extends beyond the relationships between the investors
and the fund-seekers and could determine the potential impact on society be it positive or negative.
This research-in-progress paper has described a proposed crowdfunding platform design (CFPD)
model including its theoretical grounding. We have provided results from a content analysis of five
major crowdfunding platforms with respect to the proposed CFPD model, as well as preliminary
findings from four semi-structured interviews providing some insights to the contextual factors
affecting the persuasiveness of CFPD features. For theoretical purposes, the value of the CFPD model
is that it provides a focused solution to the problem of insufficient persuasiveness in the context of
DECF and also addresses some gaps in the current literature. Existing literature tends to consider
persuasiveness but not in relation to platform design (Gerber & Hui 2013), or it considers platform
design but not in relation to persuasiveness (Hui & Gerber 2015; Hui et al 2014; Kuo & Gerber, 2012).
The discovery of contextual factors affecting persuasiveness also represents a useful potential
theoretical contribution in providing nuanced understanding on how crowdfunding platforms may be
designed to serve users from all walks of life. The contextual factors identified through the first and
second stage of our research are likely to serve as precursors to the conceptualisation of moderators to
our CFPD model. For practical purposes, the CFPD model assists those in the business of designing
crowdfunding platforms, including professionals such as software developers, user experience (UX)
designers, and business analysts. This study provides a holistic framework against which these
professionals may assess their existing crowdfunding platform designs or create new crowdfunding
platform designs. As these professionals improve the persuasiveness of their crowdfunding platforms,
it is anticipated that project failure rates should improve from the 58% identified by Greenberg &
Gerber (2014). Ultimately, our interviews will also seek to shed light on whether the investors’
discretion is still intact in their evaluation of an initiative, or if they have been somehow overwhelmed
by persuasive mechanisms to arrive at the optimal decision on whether or not to fund an initiative on
the crowdfunding platform. Such knowledge has important implications particularly so if the
crowdfunding initiative is for the purpose of philanthropic or social benefit.
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... Regarding the online channel(s) employed to foster, promote, and spread DCF campaigns for charitable causes, enablers mainly relate to: (1) the choice of channels and (2) the channel strategies. The most prevalent channels in the literature are social media (Bergamini et al. 2017;Berliner and Kenworthy 2017;Bernardino and Santos 2016;Korolov et al. 2015Korolov et al. , 2016Li and Wu 2016;Tan et al. 2016;Lee and Hsieh 2013); SNS (Aprilia and Wibowo 2017;Bergamini et al. 2017;Sura et al. 2017;Zhong and Lin 2017;Castillo et al. 2014;Ordanini et al. 2011); DCF digital platforms (Bergamini et al. 2017;Berliner and Kenworthy 2017;Flanigan 2017;Hossain and Oparaocha 2017;Kim and De Moor 2017;Bernardino and Santos 2016;Gleasure and Feller 2016b;Wang et al. 2016;Yang et al. 2016;Belleflamme et al. 2015;Ordanini et al. 2011); DCF sites (Budak and Rao 2016;Snyder et al. 2016;Beaulieu and Sarker 2015;Solomon et al. 2015;Pitt et al. 2002); donor-to-nonprofit (D2N) online marketplaces (Ozdemir et al. 2010); use of mobile devices (Choi and Kim 2016;Bellio et al. 2015;Chen and Givens 2013); and text messaging (Bellio et al. 2015;Chen and Givens 2013). ...
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