Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Spring 3-19-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr. Yusen Xia

Second Advisor

Dr. Baozhong Yang

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Zhang


Crowdfunding provides a convenient method with which to collect funding from an immense base of investors without geographic boundaries and intermediaries. In recent years, it has become entrenched as a surrogate funding source to traditional external finance for entrepreneurs. This paper offers an exploration of factors that propel crowdfunding ventures from a dataset of 182,216 projects and over $2 billion in funding from the two most common crowdfunding platforms based on rewards, namely, Kickstarter and Indiegogo. While previous studies have identified certain elements that lead to success in crowdfunding campaigns, this study delves into the pivotal success factors influencing funding success based on social capital theory. This study asserts that the strength of the promoter’s social network ties increases funder commitment to a crowdfunding campaign and funder trust, both of which lead to a successful campaign. We further predict funder’s perceived risk to be a critical factor in a campaign’s success. We explore prior studies in the literature with a common framework into various financing options and evaluate the crowdfunding paradox from funders, promoters, and online platform dimensions. This study also examines the potential significance of social capital, promoter commitment, and funder risk to crowdfunding campaign success, representing an addition to the literature. This empirical investigation is a quantitative study of crowdfunding campaign characteristics associated with influencing funders to make decisions to invest that uses the social capital theory as a conceptual framework. This model adds practical findings concerning crowdfunding campaigns. It also presents a reliable model for businesses to determine further how to tap into potential elements that can augment the success of crowdfunding campaigns in raising funds.


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