Specialists of crowdfunding in India will agree that there are three top questions that a new campaigner asks most frequently. The first is “What is crowdfunding?” If this question is satisfactorily answered, the second and third questions, which are “How does crowdfunding work?”and “What are your best tips for a newbie?”are also covered somewhat.
There is another question central to the crowdfunding model, which is asked less often. It is not surprising that this important question is so under-discussed, because crowdfunding is promoted as a simple, user-friendly, and digital process that anyone can manage efficiently. While this is true, there are people in India still who have no access to the internet on a regular basis, and who have no virtual social lives or networks, and for many of these people, getting an online donation from a primary acquaintance is unthinkable.
What support do people need?
So the question is not asked enough. “Ï have no social network, no Facebook account, and no familiarity with how the internet is used. Can I still crowdfund?” The poor, who need help through crowdfunding the most, have little scope to ask. Donations in India go largely into the fundraisers of campaigners who have excellent social media presences and a strong virtual voice.
How are we to ensure that the culture of crowdfunding benefits everyone in need, irrespective of their social class? What can we do to make crowdfunding perfectly inclusive? Are there ways of helping other than by making a donation?
Take a look at this list. We have put together ideas for offering support to campaigners crowdfunding in India.
- Run a campaign on behalf of another: If you know someone who urgently needs funds for medical treatment but has no identity on the internet, the best thing you can do for them is to start a fundraiser for them. Use your own social network to promote the fundraiser, and ask your friends and family for donations. This is a big responsibility to handle, beginning from creating the campaign to handing over raised funds to the family in distress. If you think you can invest the time and energy, go for it.
- Create a support fundraiser: Your friend or acquaintance may not have the mindspace, or even the time, to adequately manage a fundraiser after they’ve started one. Remember, they have a sick person on their hands to look after, or a big social reform project to brainstorm. For these people, create a support fundraiser (most crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru allow this facility). Share independently for better visibility and to attract more donations. Funds raised are directly transferred to the main fundraiser account.
- Make a donation: What all crowdfunding campaigners have in common is a large and urgent need for money. Making a donation to a fundraiser is direct aid. Campaigners will generally offer you insights into how your contribution was used, after the fundraiser closes and enough time has gone by for fund use to have taken place.
- Share: If you are unable to help with money, share the fundraiser. Post the campaign link to your Facebook timeline, tweet it, and post a photo on Instagram with an engaging and clear call to action. Blog about the fundraiser. Ask friends to share as well. A single share has potential to increase chances of getting a donation up to five times.
- Help offline: Offline help can take on too many forms to include in a list. Assistance in money, a useful contact, a discount opportunity, or just a listening ear can make worlds of difference to people battling tremendous adversity. Believe that whatever you offer has a use, so go ahead and contribute with funds, time, or labor.
Donation in India is shooting up and a culture of giving is slowly coming into being. This is the time to become involved with philanthropic projects and give unabashedly to those in need, simply with what you have.