UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Cross-sectoral interviews with crowdfunding platform designers and owners, 2015

Title details

SN: 852571
Title: Cross-sectoral interviews with crowdfunding platform designers and owners, 2015
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-852571
Depositor: Jo Briggs, Northumbria University
Principal investigator(s): Briggs, J, Northumbria University
McCole, P, Queens University Belfast
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: ES/M00371X/1


The citation for this study is:

Briggs, J., McCole, P. (2018). Cross-sectoral interviews with crowdfunding platform designers and owners, 2015. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 852571,

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Subject Categories

Employment and labour
Science and technology
Society and culture


Abstract copyright data collection owner.

Interviews on crowdfunding in the UK across domains of activity such as creative, investment and social-innovation, to elicit insights into the role of online trust and empathy in individual project success. Hereby success is defined as those projects that attract the founders' stated financial goal. This dataset consists of an interview with the senior marketing manager behind a major crowdfunding/peer-to-peer platform in the UK, to learn of their experiences, motivations and design choices as platforms owners; and an interview with two designers currently running a crowdfunding campaign in the UK.

The proposed research aims to comprehensively scope the UK online crowdfunding field and develop a 'taxonomy of UK crowdfunding'. This will map out current activities across domains (e.g. investment, reward-driven, philanthropy), economic scale, geographic location and economic 'reach' etc. to create a clear picture of the heterogeneity of the developing online crowdfunding sector in the UK. It will do this through a systematic search and review of existing crowdfunding platforms and related literature from across academic publications, crowdfunding practitioner reports, policy, reports produced by the charitable economic innovation and development sectors (e.g. NESTA) and business reports. A 'taxonomy of crowdfunding' will be developed which identifies and defines domains of activity against, for example, funders' motivations, to develop an understanding of the success factors in bringing projects to fruition. Following this, qualitative analyses will explore communicative exchanges within the social networks that are generated on crowdfunding platforms around particular projects, among and between project 'founders' and project 'funders'. Preliminary empirical research on Kickstarter by Briggs (2013), and analyses elsewhere of the 'success signals' of funded projects on this platform (Mollick, 2013) suggest that communication and building of a sense of community by project founders, with and among funders plays an important role in project success. In this context success is measured as a project idea presented on the site attracting enough backers to reach its stated funding goal and go forward to realisation. Building on this, and drawing from media and visual communications theories around mediated forms of representation, and marketing theories on trust signaling and commercial value networks, the research will examine if and in what ways trust is built by project founders within project networks and any potential impact on funders' behaviour, including buying and investment decisions. The proposed research will also explore the potential affective role of audio visual media, particularly in relation to empathy; and examine if and how founders signal 'pitch trustworthiness' in promoting their projects to potential funders using mediated forms e.g. video. The research will focus on UK-based platforms, and to a lesser extent international sites that enable use by UK-based founders. The proposed research aims to develop greater understanding around the potential of the crowdfunding model: from economic, social and cultural perspectives, while identifying its limitations and specific pitfalls for particular sectors and domains.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: 07 April 2014 - 10 July 2015
Country: United Kingdom
Geography: London, North East
Observation units: Events and processes
Kind of data: Audio
Method of data collection: Interviews through contacts in crowdfunding businesses and creatives with experience of running a campaign.

Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 06 July 2018
Latest edition: 06 July 2018 (minor amendments only)
Copyright: Patrick McCole, Queens University Belfast
Access conditions: The Data Collection is available for download to users registered with the UK Data Service.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Jo Briggs, Northumbria University


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