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McCormick in the Media

McCormick Professor Explains the Popularity of Crowdfunding on Marketplace Money

Elizabeth Gerber offers four reasons why people participate in crowdfunding

Elizabeth Gerber, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, communications studies, and the Allen K. and Johnnie Cordell Breed Junior Professor of Design, was recently interviewed by American Public Media’s Marketplace Money about the phenomenon of crowdfunding.

Elizabeth Gerber

Gerber identified four primary reasons why individuals support crowdfunding projects: a reward for giving, a connection to the people behind the project, the desire to be a part of the group, or the desire to support efforts analogous with their beliefs.

Gerber added she believes the allure of crowdfunding lies in the understanding that even after money is given, donors remain connected to the cause. 

“What's interesting about crowdfunding is that when you give money, you're not just giving money and the exchange is over, the relationship lasts. So the content creator will keep you engaged in a way that you wouldn't otherwise,” Gerber said.

Read the article and listen to the segment on Marketplace Money and read Gerber’s Five Tips to Help You Succeed at Crowdfunding.