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Getting more than money through online crowdfunding

Stephanie Macht (School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia)
Geoffrey Chapman (School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia)

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration

ISSN: 1757-4323

Article publication date: 24 June 2019

Issue publication date: 9 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Many businesses invest significant resources to develop human, social and psychological capital, yet Crowdfunding (CF) activities have the potential to build all of these non-financial forms of capital at the same time as raising finance. The purpose of this paper is to explore the non-financial forms of capital that entrepreneurs and businesses using online CF activities can gain from their backers without having to ask for it.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used thematic, qualitative analysis to explore the comments and queries that crowdfunders posted on the publicly visible message board of individual CF projects on Kickstarter, one of the world’s leading crowdfunding platforms (CFPs).

Findings

Fund-seekers can gain more than money from crowdfunders: they can enhance their own human capital (e.g. knowledge of the viability of the project), social capital (e.g. the development of a bonding relationship) and psychological capital (e.g. self-efficacy and resilience) by effectively interpreting unsolicited comments and questions.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on typed comments on CFP message boards, which limits insights into underlying reasons and motivations. However, the qualitative analysis of message board comments demonstrates how this type of data can be utilised to explore crucial aspects of CF that have to date been neglected.

Practical implications

Comments from many crowdfunders can provide useful information to fund-seeking entrepreneurs and businesses, although some of it may require interpretation.

Originality/value

The opportunity for fund-seekers to gain non-financial capital from crowdfunders, without having to ask for it, has not previously been explicitly considered in the field.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the reviewers and attendees of the 2016 ANZAM conference for their valuable contributions to an earlier, developmental version of this paper, which was presented at that conference.

Citation

Macht, S. and Chapman, G. (2019), "Getting more than money through online crowdfunding", Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 171-186. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJBA-05-2019-0101

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited