An Examination of Unaddressed Research Gaps in Reward-Based Crowdfunding Performance and Success

Entrepreneurs’ options for raising capital have changed dramatically in the 21st Century. Of the new options for individuals and businesses to raise funds, none has received more attention in the last decade than crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding, having emerged from crowdsourcing, allows fundraisers to collect funds from funders, usually via the internet, and most often through an intermediary, the crowdfunding platform. The most studied type of crowdfunding is reward-based crowdfunding in which funders receive a reward from the fundraiser for pledging funds to a campaign. What factors impact the performance of reward-based crowdfunding campaigns is of vital importance. Similarly, knowledge of the recent advances in the field including the remaining research gaps, which have so far been underexplored, is also pressing. The purpose of this systematic review is, therefore, to answer two, interrelated questions. First, what performance and success factors have been recently discovered in the RBCF literature (2018-2020)? Second, what are the remaining unaddressed research gaps in reward-based crowdfunding performance and success?
This review produced several key findings. In addition to the many gaps already identified in previous crowdfunding reviews, this review identified several novel gaps. First, the extant literature has not fully addressed the importance of a variety of macroeconomic factors in determining the performance of campaigns. Second, there is a paucity of research concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on campaign performance, or how funder motivations and behaviors have been affected. Third, there has been a lack of research on fundraisers whose campaigns are “self-hosted” on their own websites bypassing crowdfunding platforms altogether. Lastly, this review did not identify any studies that attempted to understand the effects of funders canceling or decreasing previously made pledges to a campaign or what motivates funders to change their pledges mid-campaign.

Authors: Matthew Grace


Cite as: Grace, M. (2023). An examination of unaddressed research gaps in reward-based crowdfunding performance and success. Muma Business Review 7(1). 1-22.