The Weather Can Affect How Much Money You Raise

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We like to think we're a sophisticated species. After all, human civilization is a dazzling testament to our ingenuity, diversity, and persistence. Anything we devise should reflect our ability to respond in complex ways to any kind of stimuli.

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Alas, we're all animals at heart, and something as complicated as a fundraising campaign can be influenced by something as simple as the weather. Researchers in Denmark and California have just released a study tracking a measurable effect on crowdfunding performance by… sunshine.

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"[O]n cloudy days, funders invest between 10 and 15 percent less money in risky equity crowdfunding campaigns," said coauthor Ali Mohammadi. "We also show there is no differences between male and female investors, and find that novice investors react more to the gloomy weather."

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Earlier studies have shown this effect in other areas where we think we're being logical and independent: It may help or hurt to know that restaurant reviews can change, despite consistent service and food, thanks to the weather. In fact, our response to the atmospheric environment is so deep-rooted, it may come from early in our evolution. The perfect indoor temperature you like so much is closely tied to the climate in East Africa, where hominids first arose.

If all this leaves you feeling helpless, the researchers have some advice, like "targeting more experienced investors and engaging in campaigns at a later stage of venture development if possible," said Mohammadi. You don't need to predict the forecast, but "[o]n cloudy days, entrepreneurs can also increase their marketing activities in ways that reduce the negative effect of weather."

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