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Crowdfunding: the moderating role of the funding goal on factors influencing project success

Pinkow, Felix; Emmerich, Philip

Purpose: The factors determining the success of crowdfunding projects is one of the central aspects for crowdfunding researchers. Most quantitative approaches recognize the amount of funds targeted as an important control. However, little is known about the impact of the funding goal on other factors that impact crowdfunding success. We hypothesize that the effect of crowdfunding success factors might vary dependent on funding goal level. Design/methodology/approach: A dataset of 338 crowdfunding projects on the German crowdfunding platform StartNext, with a vast majority of projects founded in Germany and a few projects from international European founders, in the years 2015 to 2016 is analysed by conducting regression analyses controlling for varying funding goal sizes. We use the dependent variables success, the degree of success, number of project supporters and the average contribution per supporter and control whether the effect of independent variables such as comments, updates and social media depend on different funding goals. Findings: Our study indicates that the impact of the investigated success factors in fact strongly depends on the goal sizes of crowdfunding projects. By grouping projects into clusters of varying funding goal sizes, we find that the impact of individual success factors changes and that the funding goal plays a moderating role for factors impacting project success. Research/practical implications: These results help both researchers and future entrepreneurs to better understand supporter behaviour. First, we suggest researchers to include the projects’ funding goals as moderators in most cases especially when assessing success factors for crowdfunding projects. Second, future entrepreneurs should be aware that factors influencing the success of a crowdfunding project strongly depend on the set funding goal. Depending on funding goal, some factors become less relevant whilst other factors’ importance is increasing. Originality/value: The funding goal of a crowdfunding project determines whether instruments used by project founders have an impact on their project’s success. Although the funding goal is a central issue in crowdfunding research, it is often used as independent variable, in contrast we suggest incorporating it as a moderator for other success factors.
Published in: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, University of Economics