#SciFund Crowdfunding Goals and Success

Recently, I was asked some questions about Goals for #SciFund participants that I hadn’t investigated since round 1. Namely, what’s do people usually ask for? Which of course led me in a few directions.

First, what do folk ask for?

The mean ask is $3356.33 with the median at $2500 over all three rounds. Or, for a round-by-round breakdown

Round Mean.Goal Median.Goal
1 4584.28 3500.00
2 2175.90 2000.00
3 3308.50 2500.00

So, the goal has is kind of bouncing around a bit. To see that visually:


Of course, this got me thinking – has the relationship between goal and success (weak in R1) ever really meant anything? Is it changing? So, I ran a quickie analysis…In general, it appears that larger and larger projects are hitting their 100% goal over time.


The analysis agrees – looking at how the observed log(Goal) was predicted by whether or not a project was funded at 100% and what round it was in, there’s an interaction between funded status and round. Basically, the analysis says the same thing as the plot – as we’ve progressed, bigger and bigger projects are hitting 100%!

Sum Sq Df F value Pr(≤F)
Fully.funded. 5.98 1 13.56 0.0004
Round 5.39 2 6.11 0.0030
Fully.funded.:Round 3.52 2 3.99 0.0212
Residuals 48.93 111

Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(≤|t|)
(Intercept) 8.3438 0.1092 76.44 0.0000
Fully.funded.Yes -1.0335 0.2366 -4.37 0.0000
Round2 -0.6946 0.1763 -3.94 0.0001
Round3 -0.3856 0.2280 -1.69 0.0937
Fully.funded.Yes:Round2 0.7463 0.3046 2.45 0.0159
Fully.funded.Yes:Round3 0.9003 0.3690 2.44 0.0163

Interesting, no?

gist of code to generate the above



  1. says

    Nice analysis, Jarrett!

    I’m curious whether conversion rates have also crept upward as SciFund has progressed? Here I define conversion rate simply as donors / pageviews, and there are reasonable proxies for pageviews if Google Analytics data is missing.

    At Microryza, the overall conversion rate across projects is fairly consistently in the 2-3% range, with temporary spikes (doubling even) in conversion rate precipitated by press/blogosphere/Twitter KOL mentions. Notwithstanding media coverage, conversion rates are higher at the beginning and end of campaigns. I would expect those features to be stable across rounds, but perhaps overall conversion rates are creeping up as accumulated knowledge of crowdfunding and best practices emerge.

    • Profile photo of Jarrett Byrnes says

      Yep – 2.06% in R1, 3.51% in R2, and 3.11% in R3. Lots of spread in the numbers there, though. Intriguingly, no relationship with total amount raised (p>0.18). Might be neat to dig into further.