“What Problems Does Crowdfunding Solve?”
The expansion of crowdfunding raises two related questions: what type of platform suits each project and how should existing platforms expand? The answer lies in analyzing the field of crowdfunding as a solution to four specific problems: gatekeeping, coordination, inexperience, and patronage. Using an inductive analysis of the largest U.S. sites, this article identifies the range of problems crowdfunding addresses and their performance to date. Crowdfunding succeeds in raising money within and across networks, but efforts to use crowdfunding to educate or to generate recurring revenue are less successful.