Crowdfunding sites don’t need to tell you where the thousands or millions of dollars they raise come from. “It’s right in the name!” they might say. “The crowd!” But Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform similar to Kickstarter but with a civic-minded twist, decided to parse the data to see what kinds of people were coughing up cash. What’s more, this being an election year, Indiegogo grouped states by political affiliation – Red, Blue, or “Swing,” as determined by The New York Times – to learn who of their users are more likely to open their wallets and contribute to a crowdsourced project: Democrats, Republicans, or…erm, Swingers?
The results, by and large, show that people in Democratically-aligned states are more likely to contribute to a project. Not surprising, right? After all New York, which contributed the most of any state, is famous both for its Democratic bend and a long tradition of encouraging artistic endeavors. It’s hard to walk through Brooklyn without bumping into some “artist” or another, and those are exactly the people to turn to crowdfunding to finance their art. The City’s billionaire mayor has been known to heap large sums of money on Lincoln Center and personally pay for civic improvements.
What is surprising, however, is the cut that Democratically-aligned donators take from the funds they raise. Both Republican and Swing states contribute more money than they take in, but Democratic states actually grab, on average, a 14 percent cut for themselves. Why, it’s like a fee on generosity. And the per capita disparity is highest for what Indiegogo calls “creative campaigns,” while less money went to “cause-related” projects and the smallest donations to “entrepreneurial” ventures.
Realize with Indiegogo, unlike Kickstarter, you don’t have to get anything in return. So, while the Blue states are more likely to open their pursestrings, they also seem to want something in return. Meanwhile, Indiegogo found that Red states are more “altruistic” (willing to give money without the expectation of a reward). They give at a lower rate but expect nothing in return, viewing their donation as charity. So bleeding heart liberal New York, the Bluest of the Blue, may have contributed more money to projects than any other state, but its altruistic donations were lower than Wyoming – a cowboy blood Red state – which contributed the least out of all the states.
Indiegogo goes into further depth on its site, but the results seem to suggest that if you’re looking to raise money for a creative endeavor and have something to offer in return, go with a Blue state (specifically New York, California, and, oddly enough, Oregon). If you’re simply looking to raise a little money and can’t offer anything in the way of rewards your best bet would be to target Red states (like Wyoming, West Virginia, and Arkansas).
I guess the ultimate lesson is that all politics are local, even with crowdfunding.
[Main image credit: mandiberg on flickr]