Sustainable crowdfunding: insights from the project perspective
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMæhle, N. (2020). Sustainable crowdfunding: Insights from the project perspective. Baltic Journal of Management, 15(2), 281–302 10.1108/BJM-02-2019-0079
Purpose This paper explores the peculiarities of sustainable crowdfunding from the project perspective. The research question is: what are the distinctive features of sustainable crowdfunding, in terms of crowdfunding motivation, platform choice, crowdfunding costs and relationships with backers? Design/methodology/approach The current study follows a qualitative approach, through conducting in-depth interviews with representatives of sustainable projects, which have had successful crowdfunding campaigns. The selected projects represent various industries and crowdfunding models. Findings Sustainable entrepreneurs have both financial and non-financial motivations for crowdfunding. A distinctive feature is the importance of community engagement, since the community spirit of crowdfunding is well suited to sustainable projects. The choice of the crowdfunding platform is more complex for sustainable entrepreneurs, as they need to consider the platform's sustainability. Sustainable entrepreneurs also have to put more effort into their communication activities with potential backers, to compensate for the intangibility of sustainability claims. Moreover, they need to have a greater focus on building relationships with backers due to both the community spirit of their projects and legitimacy issues. Originality/value The current paper contributes to the limited literature on sustainable crowdfunding and the literature on funding of sustainable businesses and can act as a foundation for further research in this field. Current findings also have high practical value. Crowdfunding platforms may use the insights provided here to better meet the needs of sustainable entrepreneurs, while sustainable entrepreneurs can better understand what they need to pay attention to in their crowdfunding campaigns.
Author's accepted manuscript/postprint