Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 27, Issue 3–6, pp 1137–1151 | Cite as

Examining Community Dynamics of Civic Crowdfunding Participation

  • Martin Mayer


Over the past decade, crowdfunding has emerged as a legitimate, albeit niche, resource for public service delivery. Predicated on utilizing the resources of the crowd to address public issues, civic crowdfunding has the potential to offer citizens a greater role in service delivery and community development. This study investigates community dynamics and their potential impact on project success in jurisdictions proposing civic crowdfunding proposals. The results highlight the dynamics and characteristics of communities where project proposals are likely to find funding success. The results further highlight several potential opportunities for future research to better understand how and why these projects truly work.


Crowdfunding Community Demographics Participation Inclusion Crowdsourcing Community investment collaboration Local government Non-traditional service delivery mechanisms 


  1. Ajay Agrawal, Christian Catalini, and Avi Goldfarb (2013). Crowdfunding: Social frictions in the Flat World? NEBR working paper 16820. Google Scholar
  2. Baeck, Peter and Liam Collins (2013). Working the Crowd: A Short Guide to Crowdfunding and How it Can Work for You. London, UK: Nesta.Google Scholar
  3. Belleflamme, Paul, Thomas Lambert, and Armin Schwienbacher (2013). Crowdfunding: Tapping the Right Crowd. Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 585-609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bingham, Lisa Blomgren, Tina Nabatchi, and Rosemary O'Leary (2005). The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government. Public Administration Review, vol. 65, no. 5, pp. 547-558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bovaird, Tony (2007). Beyond Engagement and Participation: User and Community Coproduction of Public Services. Public Administration Review, vol. 67, no. 5, pp. 846-860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brabham, Darren C. (2009). Crowdsourcing the Public Participation Process for Planning Projects. Planning Theory, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 242-262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brabham, Darren C. (2010). Moving the Crowd at Threadless: Motivations for Participation in a Crowdsourcing Application. Information, Communication & Society, vol. 13, no. 8, pp. 1122-1145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brabham, Darren C. (2013). Crowdsourcing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Brandsen, Taco and Victor Pestoff (2006). Co-Production, the Third Sector and the Delivery of Public Services: An Introduction. Public Management Review, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 493-501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brito, Jerry. (2008). Improving Government Transparency Online. Public Manager, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 22-26.Google Scholar
  11. Brudney, Jeffrey L. and Robert E. England (1983). Toward a Definition of the Coproduction Concept. Public Administration Review, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 59-65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bryson, John M., Barbara C. Crosby, and Laura Bloomberg (2014). Public Value Governance: Moving Beyond Traditional Public Administration and the New Public Management. Public Administration Review, vol. 74, no. 4, pp. 445-456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark, Benjamin Y., Nicholas Zingale, Joseph Logan, and Jeffrey Brudney (2016). A Framework for Using Crowdsourcing in Government. International Journal of Public Administration in the Digital Age, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 57-75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davies, Rodrigo (2014). Civic Crowdfunding: Participatory Communities, Entrepreneurs and the Political Economy of Place. Graduate thesis. MIT, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  15. Demediuk, Peter, Rolf Solli, and Petra Adolfsson. (2012). People Plan Their Park: Voice and Choice Through Participatory Budgeting. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 185-198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Denhardt, Robert and Janet Denhardt (2000). The New Public Service: Serving Rather than Steering. Public Administration Review, vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 549-559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. DeSisto, Tony (2016). Personal Communication, 22 January 2016.Google Scholar
  18. Dixon, J., and Dogan, R. (2002). Hierarchies, networks and markets: responses to societal governance failure. Administrative Theory & Praxis, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 175-196.Google Scholar
  19. Estellés-Arolas, Enrique and Fernando González-Ladrón-de-Guevara (2012). Towards an Integrated Crowdsourcing Definition. Journal of Information Science, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 189-200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gerber, Elizabeth M., Julie S. Hui, and Pei-Yi Kuo. (2012). Crowdfunding: Why People are Motivated to Post and Fund Projects on Crowdfunding Platforms. In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Design, Influence, and Social Technologies: Techniques, Impacts and Ethics. Pp. 1-10.Google Scholar
  21. Griffin, Zachary. (2012). Crowdfunding: Fleecing the American Masses. Case Western Reserve Journal of Law, Technology & the Internet, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 375-421.Google Scholar
  22. (2016). Federal poverty level. Accessed July 1, 2016.
  23. Hemer, Joachim. (2011). A Snapshot on Crowdfunding. Working papers firms and region, vol. R2/2011, pp. 1-44.Google Scholar
  24. Howe, Jeff. (2006). The Rise of Crowdsourcing. Wired Magazine, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 1-4.Google Scholar
  25. Howe, Jeff. (2008). Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business. New York, NY, Random House Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Irvin, Renee A. and John Stansbury (2004). Citizen Participation in Decision Making: Is it Worth the Effort? Public Administration Review, 64(1), 55-65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jordan, Meagan, Juita-Elena Yusuf, Martin Mayer, and Kaitrin Mahar. (2016). What Citizens Want to Know About Their Government's Finances: Closing the Information Gap. The Social Science Journal, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 301-308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kettl, D. F. (2002). The transformation of governance: Public administration for twenty-first century America. Baltimore, MD: JHU Press.Google Scholar
  29. Lambert, Thomas and Armin Schwienbacher (2010). An Empirical Analysis of Crowdfunding. Social Science Research Network, vol. 1578175, pp. 1-23.Google Scholar
  30. Lindsay, Drew. (2015). Local Governments and Non-Profits Test Crowdfunding for Civic Projects. The Chronice of Philanthropy.
  31. Mayer, Martin (2016). Civic Crowdfunding and Local Government: An Examination into Projects, Scope, and Implications for Local Government. Ph.D. Dissertation. Old Dominion University. Norfolk, Virginia.Google Scholar
  32. Mayer, Martin (2018). “Crowdfunding and Social Policy” in Farazmand (Ed.), The Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration. New York, New York: Springer Reference.Google Scholar
  33. Mayer, Martin and Robert Kenter (2015). “The Prevailing Elements of Public-Sector Collaboration” in Morris and Miller-Stevens (eds), Advancing Collaboration Theory: Models, Typologies, and Evidence. New York, New York: Routledge Press.Google Scholar
  34. Mayer, Martin and Robert Kenter (2018). “Public Sector Collaboration and Social Policy” in Farazmand (Ed.), The Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Springer Reference.Google Scholar
  35. Mergel, Ines (2015a). Open Collaboration in the Public Sector: The Case of Social Coding on GitHub. Government Information Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 464-472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mergel, Ines (2015b). Opening Government: Designing Open Innovation Processes to Collaborate with External Stakeholders. Social Science Computer Review, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 599-612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mergel, Ines and Kevin Desouza, (2013). Implementing Open Innovation in the Public Sector: The Case of Public Administration Review, vol, 73, no. 6, pp. 882-890.Google Scholar
  38. Miglietta, Angelo, Emanuele Parisi, Matteo Pessione, and Flavio Servato (2014). CrowdFunding and Local Governments: A Financial Opportunity for a New Liaison with Citizens. In Conference Proceedings, 16th Toulon-Verona Conference “Excellence in Services”. University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, pp. 485-495.Google Scholar
  39. Milward, H. B., and Provan, K. G. (2000). Governing the hollow state. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, vol. 10, no 2, pp. 359-380.Google Scholar
  40. Mollick, Ethan. (2014). The Dynamics of Crowdfunding: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 1-16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Noveck, Beth S. (2009). Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  42. Robbins, Mark D., and Bill Simonsen. (2002). A Dynamic Method of Citizen Preference Revelation. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 445-462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Seltzer, Ethan, and Dillon Mahmoudi. (2012). Citizen Participation, Open Innovation, and Crowdsourcing: Challenges and Opportunities for Planning. Journal of Planning Literature, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 3-18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stoker, Gerry. (2006). Public Value Management a New Narrative for Networked Governance? The American Review of Public Administration, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 41-57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. United States Census Bureau. (2016). Poverty. Accessed August 18, 2016.
  46. Zuckerman, Ethan. (2014). New Media, New Civics? Policy & Internet, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 151-168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public ServiceOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

Personalised recommendations