Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australian and New Zealand Communication Association


School of Arts and Humanities / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Rodan, D., Mummery, J., & Henkel, C. (2017). The charity model is broken’: Crowdfunding as a way to democratise, diversify and grow funding for social change?. In F. Martin (ed), Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2017 - Communication Worlds: Access, Voice, Diversity, Engagement.


Crowdfunding has become a billion dollar business for the digital platforms that enable it. Although crowdfunding has been used for over a decade to fund a variety of artistic or entrepreneurial individual and collective projects, more recently there has been an uptake by individuals and groups wishing to effect social change. Indeed, there have been arguments that crowdfunding’s capacity to tap into personal networks and ‘like-minded’ people – via social media networks, email and the internet – is reformatting funding for social change. Insofar as crowdfunding means that there are no gatekeepers such as government or corporate policy-makers able to direct or constrain public vision of the good, supporters argue that crowdfunding democratises the achievement of social change. Others exclaim that crowdfunding is just another neoliberal manoeuvre to ensure that the individual user pays for services – in this case, public goods – that should be, and would previously have been, funded by the state. What interests us in this article is crowdfunding’s potential for reformatting and rethinking ways to raise funds to effect social change by activists.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution- Share Alike 3.0 Australia License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Australia License.