Crowdfunding is slowly becoming popular, seeping its way through even tier 2 cities and becoming a rising trend in urban areas. Initially limited only to startups and NGOs, it has risen to be effective for individuals as well. Students, patients, artists and even kind wellwishers are starting fundraisers to pay for education, medical treatment, bringing creative ideas to life or just helping out a family or friend in need. Crowdfunding in India has grown to find solutions to emergency situations and has come to the aid of hundreds who are making things happen with the power of the crowd.
However, the concept is still misunderstood by many. There aren’t many tools, guides or even articles online to help one understand crowdfunding in the Indian context. Especially individuals with no prior exposure are left wondering what they need to be doing and why their fundraiser is not raising enough or any money.
While a conversation on crowdfunding can go on forever, here’s an attempt to answer some common questions asked about crowdfunding in India.
How do I do crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is largely an online process where you pick a platform (there are currently 10 good crowdfunding platforms in India) and start a fundraiser on one. In order to create a good fundraiser, you will need to add a Title, a Story and a few Images and set a Goal Amount.
Once your fundraiser has been approved by the platform based on their criteria. (Most platforms approve the fundraiser within a day), you will have to share it in your circles, with your friends, family and others and ask them to donate small amounts that would help you reach your goal.
Once the amount is collected, you can send a request to your platform to disburse the amount to you.
Can I crowdfund for anything?
Yes, you can start a fundraiser for absolutely anything. However, not all things will get funded. Donors, especially in India, usually pick a cause according to need and urgency. One would raise funds faster for their medical treatment than to fund their travel. Before starting a fundraiser, ask yourself if your idea/purpose is worthy enough to be funded and make sure you already enroll a primary supporter base who would help you through the fundraiser.
I have started a fundraiser. Why is the money not coming in?
Very few people actually know that crowdfunding is a self-driven process. Once you start a fundraiser, the money doesn’t automatically come in. You must share the fundraiser with as many people as you can and also ask them to share it further. Share it on various social media channels to give it the most visibility. The higher the sharing the higher the donations.
Will I get the whole amount raised?
In most cases, no. Almost all crowdfunding platforms charge a basic platform fee which helps them cover the cost of maintaining the platform, admin costs and other charges. Additionally, you might also be charged a wire fee or payment gateway fee by the platform while transferring the money. The good news is that all these costs together don’t actually add up to more than 10% of the funds raised. So you can keep a good chunk of what you raise!
How does crowdfunding help during emergencies?
Crowdfunding has turned into a go-to option for people during emergencies. This is mostly because with a large and powerful network, one can raise lakhs overnight! Medical crowdfunding in India has helped patients pay for various medical emergencies like accidents, heart attacks and more. It also allows for quick disbursement of funds so you can get the fund you’ve raised almost immediately.