Unisexual Ambystoma

Unisexual Ambystoma

Monday, June 4, 2012

SciFund Facts and Figures

Year two of the SciFund Challenge officially ended last Thursday and I was lucky enough to meet my goal with time to spare. This year, 75 total projects raised $100,345.00 for scientific research, solely through soliciting donations from the public.

I get pretty excited when I find a quarter, so I think that's a lot of money.

I've done my best to shower my donators with thanks, and I really do mean it. This was a neat experience that introduced me to crowdfunding and the details of advertising science to the public. I was amazed that I had folks donate to my project from all stages of my life: family, friends from undergrad, former colleagues, current colleagues, and new friends (I hope!). I was also struck by how frantic the work was to make a SciFund happen, particularly at the beginning of the project when I was investing quite a bit of time into Facebook, twitter, this blog, and email.

Like any scientific mind, I really couldn't wait to tabulate the stats for this process and visualize who my donators were, how much they gave, and when they chose to give.

Here is a timeline of my daily contribution amount over the month, directly reported by rockethub:

What is immediately apparent here is that I got two really large donations on the 8th and 16th, plus a number of smaller donations on the first day. All of the analyses of last year's data showed that projects that started well typically made the most money and more often reached their goal. I was pumped to accomplish this.

Overall, I welcomed 26 contributors that donated an average of $71.31. The range of donations was huge, going from $1 to $500 (woah!).  The most common reward was the customized SciFund project t-shirt, proving the age-old mantra that people love t-shirts.

Here is the breakdown between different types of contributors:

What was tricky about classifying my contributors was that the friend and colleague categories blend into one another. I know scientific colleagues who have become friends and friends who have become scientific colleagues. If we ignore that, the "friends" category bested my "family" and "colleagues" in terms of number of donations (7) and total contributions ($245.00). Those are pretty good friends, I think.

"Unknown" folks are individuals who I had never met before SciFund, and they represented the highest number of individual contributions (10), the highest amount of money donated ($1,184), and the highest average contribution ($118.40). When you look at the average donation (below), you can see that the standard deviation (the black bars) is very high in the "Unknown" donators. This is mostly because of two very large donations driving up the average.

Other interesting statistics:
32: number of tweets about my project
95: facebook "likes"
224: project video views
928: views of this blog from 11 different countries
1: pretty happy grad student(me)

So there you go. Thanks so much!

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