Publication Date

Spring 2016

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Natalia Ermasova, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mary D. Bruce, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dwight Vick, Ph.D.


Background: As traditional funding models become exhausted in response to fiscal constraints, successful leaders are forced to use innovative and non-traditional social entrepreneurial tools in order to bring their goals to life. One of these new tools is crowdfunding.

Purpose: This paper analyzes the relationship between social entrepreneurship, leadership and crowdfunding, as a growing number of nonprofits are deploying crowdfunding as a revenue stream for fundraising.

Methods: Analyzing nonprofit data from Kickstarter, this study utilizes descriptive statistics as well as two-sample t-test and logistic regression models to identify success metrics for crowdfunding being a viable financial model for the nonprofit sector.

Results: As a result of the analysis of 637 nonprofit projects on Kickstarter, some significant differences were found between the two samples. It appears that variables, such as goal, backers, and certain categories are predictive of project success, whereas project duration is not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Organizational leaders who choose to use crowdfunding for nonprofit and social entrepreneurial ventures can be aided by taking a careful look at metrics and variables during the planning stage. Crowdfunding has the potential to be a viable financial source for nonprofits, as long as social entrepreneurs or leaders understand how to set a realistic goal and chose a category that appeals to potential supporters .