All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Timothy R Levine

Advisory Committee Members

Steven A McCornack

Kelly Morrison

Document Type


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.



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