When a driver and his BPO-employed wife needed a hand to care for over 23 children they had rescued from the streets, the neighborhood offered, clothes, books, furniture and other basic utilities. The story warmed hearts of people around the world, and the Internet pitched in for the home rent, school fees, home repairs, school van and more so they can continue creating miracles without any challenges. This is the essence of crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is not a new concept in India. You might have dropped a rupee or ten into a donation box at the retail store checkout counter, or made a contribution to children raising funds for flood relief. It is the practice of raising money from a crowd for a cause where each person contributes a relatively small amount towards a larger goal.Why the sudden generosity?
Collective realization of the truth that at any moment, you are more privileged that someone else, is the reason why crowdfunding is trending in India today. This social change has a lot to do with how we consume social media. According to we are social, Indians spend nearly 4.5 hours a day on the Internet, which is almost 17% of our time in a day.
We do not just read human interest stories, but grow up around poverty, hunger, unemployment, illiteracy, pollution and environmental degradation. This has influenced the giving culture in India. Just like demand and supply relationship, when there are more needy people, there are just as many people willing to help.
Online fundraising is making it possible for you to make a difference, serve people in need, encourage talent, create a positive impact, and change lives around you every day. You do not have to be a social worker to help the homeless or an orphan. Crowdfunding empowers individuals to take the reins and lead the change.
How does this work?
Regardless of your social status, at any point in your life, you may experience a need for financial assistance. Abhishek Jain, a wealthy businessman, took to crowdfunding to save his 4-year-old daughter from a rare genetic disorder that needed cutting-edge technology and research unavailable in India. The treatment was estimated to cost Rs. 1.94 crore, which is hard to fund immediately even for the affluent.
On the other hand, an animal welfare non-profit broke the Internet by to rehabilitate a rescued elephant and help transport her to a new home.
Whether you are an individual or a non-profit, you can crowdfund for any personal or social cause. All you have to do is start a fundraiser on Milaap with these simple steps.
- Log in to your Google / Facebook account or create an account on Milaap using your email id.
- Fill in your contact details, write your story and add images/video.
- Submit the fundraiser.
Once your campaign is setup, you can share it with your friends, family, and acquaintances over social media. As your story is circulated across the Internet, people who connect with your cause contribute to show their support.
The most successful campaigns have three factors in common – compelling story, tangible income, and donor engagement. While the first two work just like any marketing pitch, the latter brings more crowd to your campaign. Donors always want to know where their money is going. As a beneficiary or a champion, it is important to constantly update the donor on the progress.
How do I participate as a donor?
Anyone with Internet access across India can log in to Milaap and search for organizations or people doing social good, or those in need of funds for a personal cause across various categories. You can show your support to the cause by contributing or by sharing the story on your networks, create support campaigns and advocate for the cause that is important to you so you can help fund them.
As a collective lot, we are hesitant to donate to a cause that touches our heart, simply because we are skeptic about how the money will be utilized. Most of the time, we least aware of the impact our donation is going to make.
Daana and then forget? No. The beauty of crowdfunding on Milaap lies in the satisfaction of knowing where your money goes with proof and being able to get in touch with the beneficiary directly for any details. Constant updates on the campaign keep you in the loop about the impact you are creating.
Both personal and social causes are always in need of financial support, and you play a major role in changing lives. Pick a cause you are passionate about, feel free to get in touch with the beneficiary for more information and contribute via any of the online/offline transaction options. Now let's get started on some social good.
I want my campaign to be a successDon’t we all? Somewhere along the way, crowdfunding has become the most preferred financing option for individuals in need and non-profits with a resounding cause. When there are over a thousand campaigns in each category, it is important to find creative ways to pitch your story so donors find it compelling enough to contribute and share. Here are a list of questions to ask yourself before you start a fundraiser.
- What am I fundraising for—a person, a cause, project, product or something else?
- Am I fundraising as an individual or part of an organization?
- What is my deadline?
- Who is my target audience?
- Do I have compelling content?
- How am I going to promote this campaign?
- Do I have a donor network to back me on this project?
- What if my campaign is not getting enough visitors?
Assessing your needs is important as it helps you build the right strategy. Marketing your campaign is easy if you just follow these 5 steps.
- First impression gets half the job done – Visitors who come to your page or view your social media post take less than 10 seconds to decide whether it is worth reading further. Create a compelling name, introduction and an image as part of your project to help you stand out. A video can say a lot more than 1000 words strung together. Be passionate about your pitch.
- Tell them how you are going to spend the money – Regardless of how critical the need is or how world-changing your cause is, you owe them all an explanation of how you’ll be using their money. Be transparent and provide documents to establish trust and credibility.
- Leverage your social networks – We are always likely to share something that our friend or family has posted. Apply the same rule to crowdfunding India. There is credibility since they know you, and the personal bond, makes them connect to your cause in a heartbeat. Drive your network to the campaign using the available social media tools on the campaign page. You can also use the promotional tools and spread the word by updating the cover picture on your Facebook page or printing out banners to put up in your office or residential community.
- Create regular updates – Donors and prospective contributors need to feel like they are on the winning team. Constantly update them on the progress of the campaign by posting photographs or videos.
- Gratitude is paramount – Contributors leave you messages. It is important to thank them for their timely help and engage with them in a conversation from time to time. A happy donor is more likely to return or even introduce another contributor.
You’ll get the most activity at the beginning and end of your campaign, but remember to work on it until you hit that goal, and continue engaging with the contributors until you achieve a happily ever after.
Are you passionate about a cause? Start a fundraiser today.