How much money can you raise using science crowdfunding?
What should your goal be? How many donors will you need?
If you’re thinking about running a science crowdfunding campaign, these are some of the questions that you need to answer before deciding on whether it’s a good idea to invest your time and effort. There are many resources where you can find general statistics on crowdfunding, but knowing the average amount contributed by Kickstarter backers isn’t going to to do you a lot of good, since you’re unlikely to be offering a physical or digital product as a reward for donors.
Aggregators like Krowdster allow you to look at statistics by category on some of the major platforms (including Pozible and RocketHub, which have formal “Research” categories), but they don’t give you very fine-grained information, and won’t include the majority of science crowdfunding campaigns that are run on research-focused portals and university crowdfunding websites.
Thankfully, a number of scientists, researchers, and bloggers have put together and published statistics on a variety of different science crowdfunding campaigns. This is a list of the resources I’ve been able to find. Please let me know if you come across any other science crowdfunding statistics resources.
|Biomedical funding is broken; crowdfunding is not the fix.||Lenny Teytelman presents data on 84 successful biology projects funded at the $3,000+ level on Experiment.com|
|Calibrating crowdfunding expectations||Lenny Teytelman presents data from 506 donations to the Protocols.io Kickstarter campaign (raised $54,600 in 2014).|
|Crowdfunding drug development: the state of play in oncology and rare diseases||Peer-reviewed article published in June 2014 in Drug Discovery Today - includes descriptive statistics on ~100 crowdfunding campaigns that aimed to fund cancer and rare disease research. (Authors: Nick Dragojlovic & Larry Lynd)|
|To Crowdfund Research, Scientists Must Build an Audience for Their Work||Peer reviewed article published in December 2014 in PLOS ONE reporting on the results of the first three rounds of the #SciFund Challenge, including analyses that identified the most important drivers of donations, which turned out to be Tweets, press contacts, and emails. (Authors: Jarrett Byrnes, Jai Raganathan, Barbara Walker, and Zen Faulkes)|
|Research My World: Crowdfunding Research Pilot Project Evaluation||Report on the 8 pilot science crowdfunding campaigns run by Australia's Deakin University on Pozible. 6 of the 8 projects met or exceeded their goals, generating about $50,000 from more than 700 donors. (Authors: Deb Verhoeven, Stuart Palmer, Joyce Seitzinger, and Melanie Randall)|
|Funding Goals for Successful Campaigns - Experiment.com||Describes the distribution of funding goals for the 168 successful science crowdfunding campaigns on Experiment.com as of August 2014. Average goal: $4,329.|
|Project Success Illustrated Through Social Proof - Experiment.com||As of October 2014, projects launched on Experiment.com only have a 40% a priori probability of success. This increases to a 92% probability of success once a project hits 40% of its fundraising target.|
|University crowdfunding by the numbers - a first look at the data - Funded Science||In an August 2014 post, I presented statistics on 206 campaigns hosted on university crowdfunding websites. Only 26% were science crowdfunding campaigns, raising an average of $6,228 each.|
|#SciFund round 4 analysis||Zen Faulkes summarizes the results of round 4 of the #SciFund Challenge. 23 projects raised $55,272. Full campaign data is also available.|
|Anatomy of the Crowd4Discovery crowdfunding|
|Ethan Perlstein provides data and a first-hand account of his successful 2012 Crowd4Discovery campaign on RocketHub, which raised $25,460 to fund a research project "to determine the precise location of amphetamines inside mouse brain cells".|
|Crowdfunding the Azolla fern genome project: a grassroots approach||Fay-Wei Li and Kathleen Pryer describe their crowdfunding campaign to sequence a fern genome. They raised $7,160 from 123 backers. Total page views for their campaign page were 6,191, for a conversion rate of about 2% (pretty good!). [Update via Andrew Wong]|
|Crowdfunding projects involving Australian university staff||Jonathan O'Donnell provides information on crowdfunding projects involving Australian university staff, for the period of October 2011 - January 2016.|