Crowdfunding a New Church: A Multimodal Analysis of Faith-Related Giving Rhetoric on Indiegogo

Adam J. Copeland

Abstract


The development of Internet crowdfunding platforms has transformed how businesses, nonprofits, and even congregations seek funding from large numbers of donors who each give a relatively small amount of money. In particular, Indiegogo’s religion category for campaigns has developed into a platform used by Christian communities seeking funding for expanding their ministries. Drawing upon a rhetorical analysis of five faith-related campaigns that closed funding between December 2013 and April 2015, I consider how the giving rhetoric varies between the campaigns’ mode of communication, comparing their textual rhetoric to their video messaging. Using the lens of multimodal theory (Córdova, Shipka), I argue that while the textual rhetoric of the campaigns studied emphasizes communicating practical information about the ministry, the giving rhetoric of the campaign videos highlights a more personal, emotional connection between the ministry and potential backer.

Keywords


crowdfunding, rhetoric, giving, Indiegogo, church planting, multimodal theory

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11588/rel.2015.0.26248

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:16-rel-262482