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The amount of crowdfunding research that investigates funding success factors has been increasing. The existing research shows inconsistent evidence regarding how a prosocial project description affects funding success and largely ignores the issue of alignment/misalignment among different factors in affecting funding success. We suggest that funders’ prosocial motivation can be an important factor for this inconsistent evidence. We integrate the elaboration likelihood model and language expectancy theory and demonstrate distinct decision-making patterns from high and low prosocial motivation funders. Through three experiments, we provide evidence for alignment/misalignment effects among funders’ prosocial motivation, prosocial project descriptions, and platform types (donation-based vs. reward-based). While there are no differences for participants with high prosocial motivation across conditions, we find that participants with low prosocial motivation are more willing to contribute to a project that has alignment between the different factors, namely to a project that has a high prosocial description on a donation-based platform, or to a project that has a low prosocial description on a reward-based platform. This research sheds light on the crowdfunding and prosocial motivation literature.

This article was published Open Access through the CCU Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund. The article was first published in the journal Information & Management: