Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

University of Pennsylvania


University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


Unlock Unlimited Opportunities: Get 50% Off Your First Month of Coursera Plus
Crowdfunding, the practice of raising small amounts of money from large numbers of people, has enabled people around the world to start new businesses, fund initiatives, and raise money for themselves and others. Yet, not all crowdfunding efforts reach their desired goal. Why do some succeed, while others fail? This course will reveal the science behind successful crowdfunding, drawing on data from hundreds of thousands of campaigns. You’ll learn different types of crowdfunding approaches, and receive detailed advice on what to do (and what not to do) when crowdfunding. You’ll also have the unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with key players in the field with exclusive interviews from the founder of Indiegogo to successful campaign creators, to get the information you need to set your crowdfunding initiative up for success.


  • Module 1
    • This module was designed to give you a deep understanding of what crowdfunding is and what it does. You’ll learn the definition of crowdfunding, compare the two most prevalent types—equity and reward-based—and understand how crowdfunding is different from other approaches to raising capital. You’ll explore critical components of crowdfunding, and discover the importance of community and social networks in a successful crowdfunding campaign. By the end of this module, you’ll gain a better understanding of how crowdfunding works, and use your power of social connections to ensure success for your campaign.
  • Module 2
    • In this module, you’ll explore how to prepare for a successful campaign, including how much time you should expect to spend and how much money you should seek to raise. By looking at the different types of rewards and reward levels, you’ll be able to weigh the benefits and costs of reward types for your campaign, and find the right balance that will work for your budget. Then you’ll learn about both successful strategies and common pitfalls in preparing for your crowdfunding campaign, such as the use of helpers or consultants. By the end of this module, you’ll have built effective strategies for preparing and budgeting your crowdfunding campaign, and be able to tackle any issue that your campaign might face in achieving its goal.
  • Module 3
    • This module was designed to help you develop and manage a live crowdfunding effort, from pitching your idea to ensuring long-term success. By discussing examples of both high-quality and low-quality pitches, you’ll learn what makes messages memorable and be able to craft an effective pitch for your campaign. You’ll assess the differing benefits of showing prototypes and teaser trailers, and explore some of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs have faced when delivering their projects and how to avoid them. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to employ a toolbox of approaches to craft a convincing pitch, and be prepared with the best solution to any situation.
  • Module 4
    • In this module, you’ll examine some of the science behind crowdfunding, including how crowds think, and how fraud and failure is spotted. By looking at examples of studies done on collective thinking and decision-making, you’ll learn about Linus’ Law and how the crowd exerts rational criteria when determining which campaigns are fraudulent or worthy of support. You’ll gain a better understanding of your backers and better leverage their influence to bring success to your own campaign. You’ll explore who is successful in crowdfunding campaigns, and the experience of women to see the value of sharing common ground with your backers. By the end of this module, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the components for success in crowdfunding campaigns, and be able to leverage them to successfully fund your startup or other ventures.

Taught by

Ethan Mollick


2.5 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 394 ratings

Start your review of Crowdfunding

  • E10
    The course is about just two platforms and uses information from the US market only. These platforms do not adapt their payment systems for funding in other countries, so the information is not valid for the rest of the world. It seems just one long…
  • Profile image for Filothea Favatas
    Filothea Favatas
    Useful mainly through the interviews with the people who have insights into the world of crowdfunding. Also, great research to back relevant advice for entrepreneurs willing to use this method.

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.