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The Influence of Signals on Donation Crowdfunding Campaign Success during COVID-19 Crisis


Abstract: In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic devasted public health agencies and the federal government across the world. Bridging the gap between underserved populations and the healthcare system, the donation-based crowdfunding campaign has opened a new way for suffering individuals and families to access broader social network platforms for financial and non-financial assistance. Despite the growing popularity of crowdfunding during the pandemic crisis, little research has explored the various signals that attract potential donors to donate. This study explores the effects of signaling theory on the success of a crowdfunding campaign for food relief launched in GoFundMe during which the United States was severely affected by the pandemic with a surged number of coronavirus infected cases from 1 March with 134 confirmed COVID-19 infected cases to 29 July with 4,295,308 infected cases according to World Health Organization. The following results show that the three different signal success measures are important to the success of crowdfunding campaigns: (1) signals originating from the campaign (Title, Description, Spelling Error, Location, and Picture); (2) signals originating from the fundraiser (Social Network, and Update); and (3) signals originating from the social interaction of the fundraiser with the crowd (Comment, Follower, and Share). These findings provide insight and bring additional knowledge contribution to the crowdfunding literature.
Keywords: crowdfunding / donation-based campaign / COVID-19 / Coronavirus / food relief / signaling theory

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