Wednesday, December 19, 2018
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Crowdfunding Tips for Non-Profits

Large scale crackdowns on non-profits under the current right-wing government in India has resulted in a lot of non-profits losing their licenses. Schools that teach Dalit students, health organizations, lawyers’ collectives have all been affected as their licenses under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act have been revoked. They are, supposedly, “detrimental to national interest” as said in the letters that they received from the home ministry claims.

The bone of contention seems to be that non-profit organizations engage in a lot of activism. They rally the public against polluting industries, exploitation by big corporations, caste and religion-based violence and discrimination, violence against women and the queer. These are things that are not liked by the people in power. As a result, non-profits have to find alternative avenues to access funds to continue their good work. Crowdfunding in India can be that alternative road.

Crowdfunding is a process in which a large number of people raise tiny amounts of money and raise a large amount usually for a cause. This way, no one person feels too pressurized. Crowdfunding has aided medical causes, NGOs and businesses to raise money. NGOs, which are now running out of funds can use crowdfunding to raise money for their activities.

Crowdfunding can be done in different ways. It can be donation based and reward based. Donation based crowdfunding involves donating small amounts of money to reach a target amount. In rewards-based crowdfunding, you do not just donate money, you get something in return. This may come in the form of a memento, a t-shirt or something completely different. It is the natural conclusion to donations-based crowdfunding. If you want to raise money online, here are some things that you need to know.

  1. Firstly, you need to figure out exactly what kind of work you want to raise money for. Do you want to raise money for your organization or any one project? You would also need to figure out exactly how much money it is that you need. Once you have this, you can start a fundraiser.
  2. You have to start your fundraiser on a crowdfunding platform. There are many of these. Impact Guru is a trustworthy crowdfunding platform in India. You should pick a crowdfunding platform that has experience doing your kind of work. Your crowdfunding platform should also be able to provide you with a campaign manager.
  3. Write your fundraiser. This should be written in clear language. Explain your purpose well. Your fundraiser is a collection of text, images and video through which you make your point. Use the latter two well. Upload pictures of the work you have done before. Make a campaign video.
  4. A campaign video should be short and well done. It should engage the audience from the beginning and should never exceed two minutes. It should be able to summarize your text through images and sound.
  5. Publicize your campaign through social media. Use all social media platforms available to you including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram. For the last two, create posters to circulate online with links to your fundraiser.
  6. If you think your social media reach is not enough, consider raising funds with a team. Your team can effectively reduce the burden of your work. They can share your posts and your fundraiser and help in creating noise about your campaign.
  7. If you think one fundraiser will not be enough, consider creating a number of support fundraisers. Support fundraisers raise a part of the target amount, give your campaign a lot of visibility and reduce your workload. Your team members can be in charge of the support fundraisers.