Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Public Service

Committee Director

Meagan Jordan

Committee Member

David Chapman

Committee Member

Ben Clark


Recently, through the development of online technology, civic crowdfunding has emerged as a way in which to connect citizens to community problems and projects. The growth and early success of the field underscores the importance of better understanding civic crowdfunding, how it works, and how it may impact local government. Through a mixed-methods design, this study investigates the growing field of civic crowdfunding in an effort to better understand what types of projects are proposed, where they are proposed, and why some civic crowdfunding proposals may be successful while others are not. Strengths and challenges of civic crowdfunding are discussed, as well as implications for participants, local government, and the growth of the field.

The results highlight several different types of projects being proposed on civic crowdfunding platforms with the most prevalent being sustainability projects. These projects are generally low in cost, non-controversial, and visible within the proposing community. The results further reveal money and engagement to be the most important factors in determining project success. The lower the project goal, the more money raised, and the more individuals participating in a given campaign all have significant impacts on whether a project proposal achieves its funding goal. Finally, implications are discussed and ideas for future research are offered.


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