Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Feldner, Sarah B.

Second Advisor

Gilkerson, Nathan

Third Advisor

Berg, Kati T.


Crowdfunding has revolutionized non-profit charity fundraising strategies. The development of web-based, crowdfunding platforms has increased direct communication and transparency between non-profit charities and potential donors. The non-profit fundraising marketplace is highly competitive; therefore, organizations must demonstrate their legitimacy in order to raise and maximize fundraising dollars. In order to determine how organizations build legitimacy on crowdfunding platforms, a rhetorical analysis was conducted on 18 donor request profiles from, the largest web-based crowdfunding platform for non-profit charities. Non-profit charities soliciting donors through crowdfunding platforms focus their rhetorical strategy on building three legitimacy claims: cause, organization and platform.

Included in

Communication Commons