How to Crowdfund a Platform Cooperative Like a Human
To build cooperative platforms on the Internet, crowdfunding can seem ideal.
Intuitively, this makes sense. Desperation and necessity inspires most co-ops. They can only accept non-extractive investment, which puts venture capital out of the picture. And so, co-ops view crowdfunding as a digital barn-raiser, one that builds community without tapping it out.
In practice, many co-ops struggle with crowdfunding. Very few campaigns lead to what Arlie Hochschild’s book The Managed Heart calls “deep acting,” our genuine emotions at work. Instead, they fall back on “surface acting,” the kind of behaviour associated with fake smiles and guilt parties. Most often, they strain volunteers, stress supporters, and fail at their goals.