Is crowdfunding for me?

Statistics for Australian research crowdfunding 2011 - 2015. 79 campaigns raised $558,058 from 5,804 pledges. 16 campaigns raised no funds at all. Most raised around $6,500. The highest amount was $73,000. Some raised only $2. Only three universities had more than five campaigns in that time.
Crowdfunding at Australian universities, 2011 – 2015.

Is your research suitable for crowdfunding? What works and what doesn’t? This three-hour workshop is designed to help you to understand what you might get out of a crowdfunding campaign, and if it might work for you.

Crowdfunding provides a new way to raise funds for research. In essence, you are building a fan club for your research. Because it is new, it provides new opportunities, particularly for those who feel locked out of the existing system.

However, new ways of working aren’t easy. There is no road map. We are learning as we go. That is hard, but also exciting.

This three-hour workshop is designed to help you to understand if crowdfunding makes sense for you. By the end, you should know if you want to develop and run a crowdfunding campaign.

Audience: Researchers and PhD students looking to build an audience for their work.

Format: Face to face workshop. Bring your laptop – we’ve got some work to do.

Outcome: At the end of the three hours, you should understand:

  • How crowdfunding works for academics.
  • The different types of crowdfunding campaigns and services, and which might be best for you.
  • The skills and abilities required to undertake a crowdfunding campaign.
  • The work and time commitment involved in undertaking a crowdfunding campaign.
  • What you might gain from undertaking a crowdfunding campaign.
  • Roughly what your crowdfunding campaign might look like.



Jonathan O'Donnell

Jonathan O’Donnell has 15 years of experience helping people to find funding for their research. He is fascinated by crowdfunding because it is the first new funding mechanism that he has seen in all that time. To understand how crowdfunding works, he has reviewed all research crowdfunding campaigns run by Australian university staff to 2015, and has interviewed academics and administrators at the two most active universities in Australia. With his colleague, Tseen Khoo, he runs the Research Whisperer blog and Twitter stream (@ResearchWhisper).

This project is part of his PhD, examining crowdfunding as a research funding mechanism at Australian universities (RMIT ethics 19613 & 20729). He is examining the support required for crowdfunding, and seeking to understand the dynamics of crowdfunding within a university.