The Crowdfunding Study is the largest and most comprehensive research project on crowdfunding ever done, and we need your help to learn everything we can. Here are some FAQs on the project:
Who is conducting the study?
The project is being run by Prof. Ethan Mollick of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, with the help of Kickstarter. For the project creator survey, the survey is completely administered by Prof. Mollick. For the short backer survey, the survey is being administered by Kickstarter.
Why is this important?
Crowdfunding is a major phenomena, but it has grown so rapidly that there is a lot we don’t know: What happens to creators after the project is complete? How does a successful crowdfunding campaign affect the careers of the people who are involved in it? What can creators do to make backers happier? How should backers decide what projects to support? How is crowdfunding changing the demographics of who gets access to funding? What impact has crowdfunding had on arts, culture, and technology?
These questions, and many others, are very important – to creators, backers, to Kickstarter itself, and to researchers in a variety of fields. The goal of the Crowdfunding Study is to get answers.
What happens to my data?
For the project creator survey, Prof. Mollick is solely collecting the data and will keep your answers confidential – neither Kickstarter nor anyone who is not a university-affiliated researcher working with Prof. Mollick will have access to your individual results. Your email address will not be stored with the data, and no personal or identifying information will ever be revealed. Non-identifiable aggregate information will be used for research, (take a look at some of Prof. Mollick’s papers to see what this looks like) and will also be shared with Kickstarter and project creators. The shared information cannot be used for marketing, it is only high-level information giving aggregate results from the survey. The data collection effort was reviewed by the University of Pennsylvania Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol number 822617.
For the short backer survey, the survey is being conducted by Kickstarter and the data is being shared with Prof. Mollick. There is no personally identifying information in that survey, and the data shared will not include any identifiable information. The data will only be used as part of the Wharton Crowdfunding Study.
What do I get out of it?
First, you get to help advance the state-of-the-art in social science, helping answer key questions about crowdfunding and its impacts. Secondly, everyone who fills out the survey will get access to a special summary report that will show how your experience compares to other crowdfunders. Finally, Kickstarter has donated 100 prizes to be randomly given away to those who fill out the survey.
How do I get in contact with you?
You can email us at crowdfunding-survey at wharton.upenn.edu. You can also follow Prof. Mollick on Twitter at https://twitter.com/emollick
My name is Ethan Mollick, I am the Edward B. and Shirley R. Shils Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. I study crowdfunding, as well as entrepreneurship and innovation. I have been conducting research on Kickstarter for several years, culminating in the Wharton Crowdfunding Survey.