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In an informal survey of 192 people, only 20% agreed with the statement, “The ‘crowd’ does an effective job of preventing fraud and abuse on crowdfunding sites.” More, 23.9%, disagreed with the statement while a majority, 56.1% were neutral.
The responses were among those received to an unscientific survey I conducted for the purposes of this article in hopes of helping entrepreneurs and others better understand the thinking of the general public, or in the other words, the crowd.
The first question of the survey was to ask respondents, “What is the first word that comes to mind when you see or hear the word crowdfunding?” Kickstarter (including slight variations) was the most common word (17). Money was the second most common response (16). Fundraising was third. No other word came up ten or more times. The following word cloud includes all the responses.
Credit: Devin Thorpe
The first word you think of when you hear the word crowdfunding.
Responses to the question, “How do you feel about crowdfunding?” were all over the map. Many responses were strongly positive, highlighting the benefits to entrepreneurs and investors or backers. Some interesting negative responses that can help crowdfunders understand their audience included:
“Mixed. Some seem worthy causes; others are lame and too self-serving.”
“I have good and bad feelings on crowdfunding. I'm afraid of it being too much like pan-handling on the corner, but I see how it can benefit those in need.”
“Indifferent - more likely to give to crowdfunding for someone in need than for a business.”
“I feel inundated with crowdfunding campaigns. Maybe every now and then one will cross my path that I feel is worthwhile, but I could easily miss it due to my initial instinct to ignore them.”
“Like the idea of many being able to support a good cause. Concerned about being scammed by a fraudulent request.”
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