Author: Chet Jainn, Founder & CEO – Crowdera.
“Crowdfunding” is a fairly newly coined word but in the Indian context, the concept of crowdfunding dates back to ancient times. Since long, it has been a widespread practice in Indian society to raise funds (and generously contribute) towards cultural, religious, and spiritual causes. Many places of worship have been built, numerous orphanages are run, various charitable projects are brought to fruition – all through collective funds raised from and contributed by the society. For raising such funds from the community, the more familiar term has been – Chanda in Hindi or patronage/donation in English. The modern-day term ‘crowdfunding’ has originated in the west, especially about sourcing funds through technological and internet-enabled channels and platforms. Crowdfunding has emerged as a viable alternative for financing projects, particularly those having a mass appeal.
In the current Covid-19 crisis-ridden time, globally, the societies are in desperate want of all manners of help and assistance and much is being accomplished through crowdfunding. In India too, at this time, crowdfunding has emerged a powerful and effective enabler for resource mobilization, whether it is a nation-wide donation to the PM Cares Fund or my fellow society residents coming together to raise funds to help the poor in the area around our premises.
Many crowdfunding platforms have gone a step ahead and are not only enabling campaigns for others, they are contributing in their own steam to help alleviate the miseries of their fellow brethren. Crowdfunding platforms like Crowdera, GiveIndia, and Fuel A Dream, etc are running their campaigns to raise funds for fighting Covid-19. They have created some excellent and creative fundraising campaigns and have joined hands with many NGOs and CSR units of other organizations to fulfill the current requirements of society. Some platforms like Paytm, BHIM – UPI, Phone Pay are also acting like fundraising platforms and contributing to PM Cares Fund run under the aegis of Government of India to fight against Coronavirus.
The crowdfunding platforms have created their indigenous campaigns to spread awareness related to the pandemic and raise funds. The funds so raised fare being used for providing meals, rations, medical needs, a shelter for the pandemic-hit marginalized segments of society, and also for creating safety insurance for earnings for those who become a victim of the virus. The funds are also being utilized for obtaining crucial supplies for hospitals like PPE kits, ventilators, and other medical equipment.
TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT AT NO COST
Crowdfunding has emerged as a digital COVID-warrior during this pandemic. Technology is the key enabler for the modern crowdfunding process. Crowdfunding platforms are sharing syndicated solutions worth lakhs of rupees free of charge, with corporates and NGOs for quick effective campaigns especially on rapid syndication with their employees, influencers, other foundations, or charity partners to raise funds 10X more than through a regular crowdfunding campaign. Corporations will also be able to run private syndicates accessible exclusively to their network.
This initiative from gocrowdera.com is helping companies like Rapido, Repos, BYJUs, SirfTaxi, and Tartl to utilize the available expertise and technologies to engage their employees and partners in fundraising for the COVID affected. NGOs like ISKCON Varanasi, Shanti Sahyog from Delhi (an initiative by Dayal Singh College, DU), Human Welfare Charitable Trust, Mumbai; Swera Sansthan; Y4D Foundation, Pune; Elixir Foundation, Ahmedabad; Slum Soccer and Annamrita Foundation are also able to use the platforms’ crowdfunding and fundraising syndicate solutions for the greater good.
As the country battles with worsening situations, crowdfunding platforms are showing the way by helping individuals, small businesses, and causes to fight the crisis together. The generosity and altruism our society is extending today to its people will go a long way in supporting the nation in this crisis.