Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of crowdfunding






May be especially well-suited for early career researchers and early-stage pilot studies

Relatively cheaper and quicker way of funding research compared to traditional fundraising approaches and lengthy scientific grant applications

Provides an opportunity for the researcher to be directly accountable to public backers

Open to any research topic without eligibility criteria



Limited awareness of crowdfunding concept and organizers among the locals and backers in LMIC settings

Most organizers charge 5-10% of administrative and payment processing fees

Only suitable for raising small amount of funds

Likely to miss out supporters with limited/no access to internet and those reluctant to provide credit card information online if not approached through physical campaigns






Crowdfunding helps to democratize research and validate ideas on topics unexplored to expand the research landscape, particularly focusing on LMIC settings

Campaigners can grow their network and establish professional relationships for further research

Suitable avenue for researchers to conduct pilot/baseline research for preliminary data and support their project to apply for larger research grants

Although online-based campaigners can gain popularity through using other non-Internet-based channels such as university groups, community programmes, radio programmes, etc.

Provides an opportunity to receive external feedback from backers, experts, and others

May be particularly useful for women who sometimes face structural barriers in research grant applications



Few organizers (especially platforms) focused on LMIC researchers

In the absence of rigorous peer review process, crowdfunding may be criticized for projects with poor scientific merit

Gaining public trust is difficult due to perceived risks of fraud and deception as well as unfair allocation of funds

Most organizers are based in high-income countries with well-developed transaction processing routes. In absence of accessible and functional credit cards, it becomes difficult for campaigners and backers in LMICs to collect and provide funds respectively

Lack of proper government regulations in documentation and funds processing in LMICs