Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Background: Reward-based crowdfunding (RBCF) is an established funding mechanism for entrepreneurs, in which they present their ideas through campaign presentations to persuade backers. Compared to investors, who focus more on the merits of the information presented, crowdfunding backers pay attention to cues such as the entrepreneurs’ characteristics and the appeal of the campaign. Accordingly, researchers investigated cues, i.e., snippets of information embedded within different communication modalities that facilitate the interpretation of the campaign and entrepreneur. Thus, knowledge of how cues affect decision-making and funding performance has become important for researchers and practitioners. However, current research often investigated cues in isolation that are fragmented across literature and does not provide a straightforward understanding of how cues embedded in campaign presentations affect funding performance.

Method: This review synthesizes past RBCF literature to provide a comprehensive concept-centric categorization of how cues affect funding performance.

Results: The review analyzed 71 articles and identified three main research topics, namely “communication strategies”, “perceived entrepreneurs' characteristics”, and “appeal to emotions”. The review developed 14 corresponding concept-centric sub-categories of cues and reported their effects on funding performance (significant negative, non-significant, significant positive, inverted U-shaped). Vote-counting shows that some sub-categories tend to have overall positive or negative effects, with first indications of an often-neglected inverted U-shape effect. Yet, the effect’s direction is not straightforward for all sub-categories. Also, further research is necessary to explore what specific combinations of cues moderate, complement, or substitute for each other’s effects, including non-linear assumptions. Also, there is room to investigate fruitful, not yet analyzed, cues and theoretical lenses.

Conclusion: This review contributes to the RBCF literature by providing detailed insights into the effects of cues embedded within the campaign presentation on funding performance. Such a better understanding can benefit all involved parties.