Source effects and cause involvement in prosocial online crowdfunding: A collective action perspective

Elmie Nekmat, Hong Wen Ng


This study investigates individual motivations to contribute to charitable crowdfunding campaigns from the collective action perspective. A three-group post-test with control experiment (personal source: close friends, family v. impersonal: organizational source v. control: no known source) accounting for individual predispositions (cause involvement, altruism, attitude toward crowdfunding, prior experience) was done. No significant effect of source personalness was found. Instead, a main effect on likelihood to donate to a charitable crowdfunding campaign depends on whether there was a source or not to begin with — with no known source being less influential than a personal and an impersonal source. Post-hoc analysis revealed a moderation effect of cause involvement to motivate greater donation likelihood when the source is perceived to be more personal. Theoretical implications for future research and practical suggestions for prosocial online crowdfunding for charitable purposes are discussed.


Crowdfunding; Collective Action; Source Effects; Personal Cause Involvement; Collective Action; Donation

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