PERSPECTIVE 2018

Crowdfunding: Digital Solution For Any Cause : Piyush Jain, ImpactGuru.com

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Crowdfunding is a method of fundraising through which one can raise funds online with the help of smaller contributions from a large number of people i.e the crowd. It harnesses the power of social media and networks of people by asking each person to contribute a small amount to add to the goal amount.

Crowdfunding has contributed immensely to diverse causes, from launching a new product in the market to saving lives. The underlying causes of crowdfunding can be broadly categorized into three different facets. Medical Crowdfunding Undoubtedly, medical crowdfunding is one of the most popular forms of crowdfunding. With more than 70% of India’s population lacking health insurance, millions of people are pushed into poverty due to medical emergencies. 62% of health care costs in India are paid out of pocket There are no loans or interest to be paid off when it comes to crowdfunding as funds raised online is considered as a donation. Ayushman Bharat- the government’s latest scheme aims to provide an annual coverage of up to Rs. 5 lakh per family for 10 crore poor households for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

It has certainly given hope to a lot of people. Ayushman Bharat empanels the public based on socio economic and caste census, leaving out a significant number of the growing middle class population in India. Additionally, there has been a wave of apprehension considering its inadequate budget of Rs 1200 crores and its pace of implementation. When it comes to medical emergencies, immediacy and urgency is always a given. Medical crowdfunding definitely factors the urgency of the situation as it is a fast and efficient process.

Crowdfunding platforms have helped fill the vacuum. Sukhanya, a 58-year-old was able to raise Rs 16 lakhs in less than 4 hours for her rectal prolapse surgery on ImpactGuru. Stories like this go on to show that crowdfunding has made healthcare more affordable by enabling access to quality healthcare while transcending beyond socio-economic limitations. Creative Crowdfunding Creative professionals have definitely embraced crowdfunding in the recent times thereby strengthening the versatility of crowdfunding as a process. It has empowered artists to launch projects by enabling outreach and public vetting.

Right from film makers, documentaries to independent ventures, it has assisted them all. Wishberry has grown to become an important player in the creative crowdfunding market, having given voices to many dreams. Punyakoti-India’s first crowdsourced Sanskrit movie which raised a whopping Rs 40 lakhs has been made possible because of creative crowdfunding. More than just the financial angle, creative projects end up building a community of patrons and supporters in the process of crowdfunding, thereby making way for a lasting creative legacy. Nonprofit Crowdfunding In a country with over 33 lakh registered NGOs, nonprofit crowdfunding inevitably forms an important part of the moral fabric of the community.

Right from education to sanitation, it has lent its voice to many pressing problems in the society by mobilizing crowds to provide for the right cause. As a country, most of our population engages in some form of giving throughout their lives, either based on faith or cause area. According to CAF World Giving Index 2018, India tops the list for number of people donating money with an impressive count of 191 million people. Crowdfunding platforms like Give India/ Letzchangehave capitalized on the giving habit of the Indian population to be able to provide funds for the neediest. Rising internet access and digital payments penetration continues to complement the growth of the crowdfunding industry in India.

The recent relief efforts for Kerala floods stands as a testament to the power of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding has evolved to become a ray of hope for people to pursue their passion, to save lives and to provide for the underprivileged. Crowdfunding is undoubtedly one of the best thing that has happened due to technological growth and development.

(Views expressed in this article are of Piyush Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, ImpactGuru.com)

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