AAAI Publications, Seventh International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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The Value of Completing Crowdfunding Projects
Rick Wash

Last modified: 2013-06-28

Abstract


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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