A conceptual framework for understanding crowdfunding

Tanya Y. Beaulieu, Suprateek Sarker, Saonee Sarker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing technology-enabled process that has the potential to disrupt the capital market space. In order for this process to work efficiently, it is important to clarify the issues surrounding the phenomenon from the founders’, the backers’, and the technology providers’ viewpoints. We begin with an ecosystem view to understand the stakeholders and their roles in the crowdfunding process. We review the literature with a focus on how current research fits into the overall crowdfunding phenomenon. Guided by typology and classification research approaches, we identify six distinct crowdfunding business models: private equity, royalty, microfinance, peer-to-peer lending, rewards, and donation. Based on identified roles and crowdfunding business models, we propose a conceptual research framework. We conclude by showing how current research fits into our proposed framework and offer suggestions for future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfunding models
  • Donation crowdfunding
  • Literature review
  • Microfinance crowdfunding
  • Peer-to-peer crowdfunding
  • Private equity crowdfunding
  • Research framework
  • Rewards crowdfunding
  • Royalty crowdfunding
  • Stakeholders
  • Typology


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