Emotional Attachment within Crowdfunding: An Exploratory Study

David Jean Heldager & Miléi Minamishima

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim of this thesis is to discover how and when a crowdfunding backer becomes emotionally attached to a crowdfunding project, and how this knowledge be applied to affect a crowdfunding campaign. While still a new phenomenon, crowdfunding is revolutionizing the field of entrepreneurship by changing the way start-ups, projects, and products are funded and supported. With funding coming directly from the customer or consumer and with the unique possibility of communicating directly with its backers, crowdfunding campaigns are inherently communal and social. However, research into what motivates people to back a project, and why they feel compelled to invest in a potentially unfinished project with zero guarantee of a tangible return is still lacking. Since there is rarely an overwhelming prospect of financial reward, it could be that backers are driven by emotions –- perhaps a form of emotional attachment arises when backers stumbles upon a project that resonates with their own personal values or passions. However, the relation between crowdfunding and the role of emotional attachment has yet to be investigated. Therefore this thesis aims to explore the field of emotional attachment in the context of crowdfunding through diverse theoretical and methodological approaches in order to ensure triangulation, which will support and establish the scientific credibility of our findings. In order to probe into the strongly subjective perspective entailed in understanding emotional attachment, this thesis furthermore builds on both quantitative and qualitative data in the form of a quantitative pilot study questionnaire, a larger questionnaire, and finally 17 qualitative interviews. Based on our analysis of the theoretical framework, the statistics from selected crowdfunding platforms, and our collected data, this thesis suggests that a backer may becomes emotionally attached to a crowdfunding project when they are motivated through an intrinsic desire support the community, or through bond-based attachment to the creator if the backer is committed to the creator. Although beyond the scope of this particular study, the thesis offers suggestions for further research into this field.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages207
SupervisorsMatthias Trier