Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Let me tell you a story: An exploration of the compliance-gaining effects of narrative identities in online crowdfunding textual appeals
by Anderson, Kenton Bruce, Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2016, 111; 10013543
Abstract (Summary)

This study assesses the compliance-gaining impact of specific micronarrative identities on non-profit fundraising in the online environment. It examines the effects of narratives in crowdfunding requests in the non-profit category of entities on the peer-to-peer (P2P) crowdfunding website Indiegogo. The study has several goals: 1) distinguish micronarrative identity claims from longer narratives and explore the compliance-gaining influence mechanisms behind both simple, micronarrative identity claims and longer narratives, by exploring previously studied and newly described identity claim categories in the texts of non-profit donation requests; 2) explore the relevance of recent claims about trust in the for-profit lending realm for their applicability to the realm of non-profit donations; and 3) determine the relevance to nonprofit funding requesters of narratives relaying need information. In study #1, in-depth inductive analyses were conducted to identify the types of narratives nonprofit entrepreneurs are employing in their crowdfunding requests, while in study #2 multivariate analyses were used to investigate the relationship between the use of micro-narratives and the success of crowdfunding requests. The study found narratives containing mentions of need, children and victim terminology have a significant impact on funding success rates for non-profit lending requests. In addition, hipster and hero narratives significantly affect the number of funders. The study also supports previous research finding that the discrete number of narratives is negatively correlated with funding success. By implication, having a coherent narrative seems more important. Secondly, regarding other elements of the campaign, such as making regular updates, adding photos and perk levels, and longer campaigns – it appears that providing current information and visual imagery leads to greater funding success, as does providing more choices of perk levels. Finally, with the narrative structure variables, longer campaigns help, as does having one’s request professionally written or being low in illiteracy. These findings have potential implications for requesters attempting to crowdsource funds on Internet lending sites.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Saxton, Gregory D.
Commitee: Stefanone, Michael A., Woelfel, Joseph D.
School: State University of New York at Buffalo
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 77/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication
Keywords: Crowdfunding, Crowdsourcing, Indiegogo, Micronarrative identity, Narrative, Nonprofit fundraising
Publication Number: 10013543
ISBN: 978-1-339-48089-3
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