Crowdfunding public projects: Collaborative governance for achieving citizen co-funding of public goods


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ISSN: 0740-624X

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Type of work: Article (academic)


e-Government & e-Administration | Innovation | Participation


crowdfunding, PSPP, matchfunding


This study explores the potential of crowdfunding as a tool for achieving “citizen co-funding” of public projects. Focusing on philanthropic crowdfunding, we examine whether collaborative projects between public and private organizations are more successful in fundraising than projects initiated solely by private organizations. We argue that government involvement in crowdfunding provides some type of accreditation or certification that attests to a project's aim to achieve public rather than private goals, thereby mitigating information asymmetry and improving mutual trust between creators (i.e., private sector organizations) and funders (i.e., crowd). To support this argument, we show that crowdfunding projects with government involvement achieved a greater success rate and attracted a greater amount of funding than comparable projects without government involvement. This evidence shows that governments may take advantage of crowdfunding to “co-fund” public projects with the citizenry for addressing the complex challenges that we face in the twenty-first century.