Crowdfunding campaigns provide producers with a number of benefits, beyond the strict financial gains. The following are non financial benefits of crowdfunding.
Profile – a compelling project can raise a producer's profile and provide a boost to their reputation.
Marketing – project initiators can show there is an audience and market for their project. In the case of an unsuccessful campaign, it provides good market feedback.
Audience engagement – crowd funding creates a forum where project initiators can engage with their audiences. Audience can engage in the production process by following progress through updates from the creators and sharing feedback via comment features on the project's crowdfunding page.
Feedback – offering pre-release access to content or the opportunity to beta-test content to project backers as a part of the funding incentives provides the project initiators with instant access to good market testing feedback.
Proponents of the crowdfunding approach argue that it allows good ideas which do not fit the pattern required by conventional financiers to break through and attract cash through the wisdom of the crowd. If it does achieve "traction" in this way, not only can the enterprise secure seed funding to begin its project, but it may also secure evidence of backing from potential customers and benefit from word of mouth promotion in order to reach the fundraising goal. Another potential positive effect is the propensity of groups to "produce an accurate aggregate prediction" about market outcomes as identified by author James Surowiecki in his book The wisdom of crowds, thereby placing financial backing behind ventures likely to succeed.
Proponents also identify a potential outcome of crowdfunding as an exponential increase in available venture capital. One report claims that If every American family gave one percent of their investable assets to crowdfunding, $300 billion (a 10X increase) would come into venture capital. Proponents also cite that a benefit for companies receiving crowdfunding support is that they retain control of their operations, as voting rights are not conveyed along with ownership when crowdfunding.
As part of his response to the Amanda Palmer Kickstarter controversy, Albini expressed his supportive views of crowdfunding for musicians, explaining: "I've said many times that I think they're part of the new way bands and their audience interact and they can be a fantastic resource, enabling bands to do things essentially in cooperation with their audience." Albini described the concept of crowdfunding as "pretty amazing."
Risks and barriers for the creator
Crowdfunding also comes with a number of potential risks or barriers.
Reputation – failure to meet campaign goals or to generate interest results in a public failure. Reaching financial goals and successfully gathering substantial public support but being unable to deliver on a project for some reason can severely negatively impact one's reputation.
IP protection – many Interactive Digital Media developers and content producers are reluctant to publicly announce the details of a project before production due to concerns about idea theft and protecting their IP from plagiarism.
Donor exhaustion – there is a risk that if the same network of supporters is reached out to multiple times, that network will eventually cease to supply necessary support.
Public fear of abuse – concern among supporters that without a regulatory framework, the likelihood of a scam or an abuse of funds is high. The concern may become a barrier to public engagement.
For crowdfunding of equity stock purchases, there is some research in social psychology that indicates that, like in all investments, people don't always do their due diligence to determine if it's a sound investment before investing, which leads to making investment decisions based on emotion rather than financial logic.
Crowdfunding draws a crowd: investors and other interested observers who follow the progress, or lack of progress, of a project. Sometimes it proves easier to raise the money for a project than to make the project a success. Managing communications with a large number of possibly disappointed investors and supporters can be a substantial, and potentially diverting, task