As the need for research around the world becomes more competitive and traditional avenues of funding sources are reduced through budget cuts, it can be difficult for scholars to find ways to pay for their work. It’s not always possible to get private donors or cover the costs out of their own pocket, so a lot of researchers are looking for alternative routes to find their coverage, like crowdfunding.
This new funding opportunity is especially beneficial to those in the arts and technology research arena. It’s an innovative, and even fun, way to incorporate public engagement with scientific research. Scholars work hard to build an audience, or a fanbase, in which people donate to their favorite ideas. The success of how well a researcher connects with their fanbase and sells their product determines how much revenue they will raise. Because of this integral piece, the dynamic between investor and researcher changes with crowdfunding.
What is Crowdfunding?
The popularity of the internet has created a new Digital Era in which every industry around the world has been impacted by computer technology. With this change, crowdfunding was born and began to gain in traction after 2010. Crowdfunding is a method of Internet-based research fundraising in which donors can get a share of a new idea or project, or simply donate money towards its creation, via the internet.
The first six months of the implementation of crowdfunding brought forth nearly $200 million in research on technology and art-related ideas, and since then the investment opportunity has been heralded by researchers and donors alike. Now, scientists are attempting to take advantage of the money available through this alternative method as competition in almost every field of science increases and public funding opportunities through state and federal government decreases. Areas like physical science, mathematics, and engineering have been losing funding consistently over the past five decades.
But this decrease means crowdfunding investors now have a say in getting in on the ground floor for research and development, increasing the opportunity for a democratic science rather than a business, government, or industry-owned field.
How to Be Successful at Crowdfunding
The crowdfunding model typically supports the same method that charitable organizations have used. Through small donations combined together, a project with a large overhead budget is funded. The idea is that it’s easier to collect five dollars from one million people than it is to collect one million dollars from five people.
However, to get the attention of one million people requires the researcher to create a platform that attracts their interest and convinces them to donate their small (or larger) share of the funding.
To be successful at this, scholars have to talk about their work in a way that resonates with the audience, teaches them what the research is about and its potential implications, and convinces them to part with their hard-earned money.
Statistically, beginner and burgeoning students and scientists, as well as women, have a higher likelihood of raising money than their more educated or male counterparts. This probably has something to do with the approach of the platforms. As you’re more immersed in the world of research and science, you begin to forget how the average person thinks and you apply your research outline to them in ways they don’t understand or resonate with. Women also have a more dynamic, emotionally appealing approach in general. With crowdfunding, the dynamic between investor and researcher has shifted. You can’t approach a crowdfunding platform the way you’d have done with a funding stakeholder.
Instead, you have to reach them on the average lay person’s level. Convince them that what you have is valuable to the world, or at least to your target market, through a persuasive method that calls upon the old standbys of pathos, logos, and ethos. If you are attempting to hit only one of these thinking processes, you’re missing the wider audience.
You get to be part of a project in which you don’t have a regulation-ruled investor breathing down your spine to ensure you cross your t’s and dot your i’s. With crowdfunding, once the money is yours, it’s usually tied to very few stipulations, most of which you’ve already outlined in your platform. Use this opportunity wisely and invest the time to create a platform that attracts a wide, interested audience who are all cheering you on!
Impactio Can Help You Manage Your Research Project, Regardless of Your Investors
When it comes time to design your platform for your research in your project, you need a program that can help you reach a wide audience, like Impactio. It’s an all-in-one computer system that was designed for scholars and researchers to make creating all aspects of research streamlined and efficient. With Impactio, you have more time to dedicate to engaging your potential investors with meaningful connections and documentation.
Impactio gives you all the tools you need to store your information, design professional documents and web-pages, and follow the impact of your results via citation indicator reports. To create professionally finished products that will impress your crowdfunders or other stakeholders, turn to Impactio.