It’s hard to know exactly how much money changes hands today through GoFundMe, Indiegogo, Kickstarter and the thousands of other crowdfunding platforms out there. Without any U.S. oversight or coordination, gathering accurate and complete data is next to impossible. But there’s no doubt that crowdfunding is on the rise.

Still, estimates exist. Online crowdfunding campaigns are raising more than US$34 billion a year around the world, according to one, up from around $1.5 billion in 2011. Another source pegs the amount of money raised via crowdfunding in North America alone at $17 billion in 2020.

Although these campaigns help pay for everything from hospital bills and COVID-19 relief for restaurants to college tuition and launching new companies, little research about it has been done. To see which kinds of charitable crowdfunding campaigns garner support and why, we teamed up with other colleagues at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Here are four of our main findings.

  1. Crowdfunding supports social justice
  2. Crowdfunding is popular among younger people and people of color
  3. Crowdfunding can be less charitable than it appears
  4. Little crowdfunding aids strangers

Read the full article about crowdfunding by Jacqueline Ackerman and John Bergdoll at Philanthropy Daily.