Crowdfunding Backers are not Deterred by Celebrity-Usage

Over the course of the last couple years as crowdfunding websites have gained significantly in popularity, several celebrities have used them to raise funds for their own projects. For example, Zach Braff used crowdfunding to raise $3.1 million to produce his film “Wish I Was Here.” Director Rob Thomas raised $5.7 million to make “Veronica Mars” the movie. Singer, Amanda Palmer raised over $1 million to create her new album.

Some have criticized these celebrities for using crowdfunding instead of paying for their own projects. Although there are no rules against it, many feel crowdfunding is an opportunity for those unable to get the investment they need on their own to make their dreams come true.

Despite this criticism, each of the projects received more funding than they asked for. They were huge successes, which strongly suggest users are not opposing celebrities using the platform as well. Many backers stated they were excited to be apart of something big or they were happy to contribute to a creative project.

The overall support for crowdfunding has increased dramatically over the last year. According to assistant professor of management, Ethan Mollick, from the University of Pennsylvania, in 2012 the amount of money spent by backers on crowdfunding projects rose 81%. This brought the total spent to $2.7 billion.

Despite these numbers, the success rate is still less than 50%. This means that money was spent on less than half the campaigns launched. Mollick went on to explain that succeeding in a campaign is actually the easy part for most. Managing and fulfilling rewards is actually the difficult part. Mollick explains that 75% of campaigns end up being late delivering rewards to their backers.

Despite these drawbacks, the popularity of crowdfunding continues to grow. Users are eager to back projects; especially film and music projects, which have the highest success rate.


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