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Why should people join your crowdsourcing?

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Why should people join your crowdsourcing?

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Some of the best crowdsourcing efforts attract tens of thousands of participants.  With such a vast number of participants, the chances of financial reward for most will be pretty slim.  Those slim odds don’t seem to be putting people off however, so what are some of the motivations for participating in crowdsourcing?  This blog will explore some of the main ones.


Ok, lets get the obvious one out of the way first.  Financial gain is generally speaking the primary means of extrinsic motivation.  As I’ve mentioned previously however, crowdsourcing projects can offer a wide range of financial packages, be that a direct reward, equity investment or a profit sharing type arrangement.

Whatever method is chosen for your own crowdsourcing, the financial terms offered to participants will need to reflect the outcomes expected of the process.  The most common forms of financial remuneration are:

  • A prize for the winner
  • Revenue share
  • Partnerships
  • Equity investment

Fame and exposure

As we see with the crowdsourced TV talent shows, the motiviation for many participants is the exposure they get from appearing on television.  In more traditional crowdsourcing events however, the exposure is more likely to come from the media or perhaps an official awards ceremony from the sponsors.  The key to get the most out of this method of motivation is to ensure that any exposure occurs outside of the individuals personal network.

Performing a social good

Another primary intrinsic motivator for participants comes from doing something socially worthwhile.  Experts such as Dan Pink have long espoused the virtues of motivating employees by providing them with a higher purpose.  There are many types of social good, but all share the characteristic that they provide participants with something worthwhile to contribute to.

The experience

The final main outcome people look for when participating in crowdsourcing is the experience.  The chance to work on a challenging problem is often a prime motivation for people outside of a traditional organisation.  This experience can fall into various categories, including:

  • The learning experience from honing ones skills on a challenging problem.
  • The social experience from interacting and engaging with interesting people.
  • The joyful experience of participating in something that is fun.

If your crowdfunding project can provide participants with one of these outcomes then you stand a strong chance of securing a good number of participants.

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