Advisory Committee Chair
Timothy R Levine
Advisory Committee Members
Steven A McCornack
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences
Medical needs have become one of the top categories in online crowdfunding in the United States (Chandler, 2015). However, the level of donations falls short of what is needed to cover the high costs of healthcare (Norton, 2022; Young & Scheinberg, 2017). Therefore, more successful promotion of medical crowdfunding campaigns is crucial. This thesis research examined the influence of two persuasive factors, appeal type and cover images, in medical crowdfunding of lung cancer on backers’ donation behaviors on GoFundMe with manual coding and Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC). The study found no statistically reliable support for the hypotheses, perhaps due to the small sample size. The data suggested a potential positive relationship between empathy appeal and donation ratio and a potential negative relationship between rational appeal and donation ratio. The number of people in cover images was also found to be positively correlated with donation ratio. Potential reasons for the failure for the data to support the hypotheses are discussed along with limitations.
Zhao, Ziyu, "Persuasion in Descriptions of Medical Crowdfunding on GoFundMe: When Children Fundraise for Their Mothers' Lung Cancer" (2023). All ETDs from UAB. 85.