Crowdfunding (CFD) is particularly relevant nowadays because it can support the growth of social oriented ventures and it can be seen as a hybrid financial tool. Its characteristics match with hybrid organizations aims, helping them in achieving the multiple purposes that they pursue. In fact, CFD combines the features of being at the same time a financial and a communication tool: it adds to financial support other benefits for social entrepreneurship as for example the attraction of media attention, the collection of market information and the opportunity to test social ideas and products to a large scale of potential beneficiaries. Therefore, CFD investors’ decisions are guided by both economic output and social value commitment. Academic research has demonstrated that there is a strict connection between CFD and social entrepreneurship as social dimension of the project is a signal of additional legitimacy for the crowd and can influence the campaign success. Reaching the CFD campaigns goals, social entrepreneur can promote both the economic and social sustainability of the initiative and foster dissemination to its actual and potential stakeholders. Even if the social orientation of the venture influences CFD success, less is known about the role of CFD in scaling social impact of the project through the campaign. In fact, scaling social impact is fundamental to the process of solving social problems through entrepreneurial activities. Studies on this topic individuate three different strategies used by social organization to scale their social impact: branching, affiliation, and dissemination. In particular, the dissemination one, that consists in increasing impact without expanding the organization size and revealing which elements of the project are relevant for the impact thriving, fits with CFD campaign aims. In this realm, the aim of this study is to investigate the role of CFD – as a hybrid financing tool, in scaling social impact through the campaign dissemination. In the case of CFD, the competencies attributed to social entrepreneur to promote social change - organizing, communicating and evaluating - are extended to the campaign tasks. On this vein, information about social projects published on three worldwide operating CFD platforms (Indiegogo, Chuffed.org and Startsomegood) are collected and subdivided in the three areas where scaling can be promoted. In particular, variables related to the organizing task is detected in the presence of a structured group or institutional supporters in the campaign, for promoting further the CFD project; concerning the communication purposes CFD variables can refer to the online entrepreneur’s relational power, campaign updates and comments; finally variables for evaluating CFD progress are those related to accountability of organizations instruments (as the presence of inputs, activities, social impact description, financial projections and business plan). The dependent variable - the scaling power of CFD social campaigns - is measured by the number of supporters (backers) involved through their economic (financing amount) and social (campaign shares in the web context) commitment to the project. From a practical perspective, the results contribute in the individuation of hybrid frameworks and tools for scaling social impact of social entrepreneurs engaged in CFD campaigns. From a theoretical perspective, the study advances the hybridization concepts matching the ones concerning organization design and the financing tool. Furthermore, these hybridization features are determinant for the scalability of the multi-purposes projects addressing social problems.
A HYBRID TOOL FOR HYBRID PROJECTS: HOW CROWDFUNDING CAN SCALE THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP / Kocollari, Ulpiana; Pedrazzoli, Alessia; Cavicchioli, Maddalena. - (2018), pp. 1609-1610. (Intervento presentato al convegno XI Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business tenutosi a Valletta, Malta nel 12-14 September 2018).