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Can you, the internet, change the face of social good in India?

Piyush Jain
posted on 17th October 2016
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At any point of time in life, you are slightly more privileged than someone in this world. As largely embellished as that idea may sound, you know it is the reality you may more often than not choose to overlook. And yet there are people out there who live a less fortunate life than you.

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Growing up in India, terms such as poverty, hunger, unemployment, illiteracy, pollution, environmental degradation, and so on have resonated with us and most of us are aware of their presence alongside our country’s stated growth and development.

You may want to do good, serve those in need, encourage talent around you, or do something to bring a positive change in someone’s life. To bring about that positive change is now possible.

Answer this question, “How much time do Indians spend on the internet in a day?”

According to wearesocial, we internet users spend nearly 4.5 hours a day on the internet, out of which two hours may be spent on social media. That’s almost 17 percent of our time in a day. So, how about making good on that time by doing something for others?

The era of online fundraising and social good advocacy is here

You no longer need to be a nonprofit professional in order to be involved in social change. Over the years, with the advent of social media and the coming of new technologies, newer ways to do social good have been developed. Social crowdfunding is one of them.

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a social cause, project, or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. The fact is that a lot of good work is being done on the ground and while it’s hard to expose yourself to the grassroots organisations and social change-makers, social good networks are changing the face of philanthropy in India by connecting nonprofits and social causes with the public.

The concept of Daana dates back centuries in our country’s ethos and tradition. It also reflects on the fact that we have had the giving culture present among us for centuries on end, but with time and the emergence of new societies, we became more sceptical with our giving habits.

Today, India ranks number three in terms of purchasing power parity. Yet, according to the latest World Giving Index (CAF 2015), India’s position has only dropped to 106th in the world.

This noticeable drop in the giving habits of people reflects on the various challenges we as a philanthropic society are faced with. The 2015 Online Giving in India report by CAF tells us that 52 percent of Indian donors believe that a lack of transparency hinders donations to NGOs. And this is just one of the many reasons.

As crucial as community engagement is, we as a collective lot stop ourselves from coming forward and donating for a cause we can relate to, simply because we either don’t know where our money will go, or we don’t know if it will be spent wisely. And we are least aware of the impact our donation is going to make.

Crowdfunding is changing all of this.

How it works

Anyone with internet access in India can use social crowdfunding platforms to search for organisations and people doing good work for society, show support for favoured causes and nonprofits, search for volunteer opportunities, engage in online conversations about causes important to them, and garner support to fund those causes.

There are stringent due diligence processes in place for all such nonprofits and individuals wishing to raise funds for a cause, some of which include the submission of PAN card copy, bank account details, address proof for both individuals and nonprofits alike, and incorporation document, 80G registration certificate, and 12 A registration certificate solely for NGOs.

Now, let us look at two easy steps to begin crowdfunding for a cause or an issue close to your heart.

  • Step A: Just start by registering free of cost on any of the social crowdfunding platforms, choose from a host of causes, set your goal amount, and upload photo/video with your fundraising story. The more compelling the story, the more hearts it will touch, resulting in greater support for the campaign.

  • Step B: Once your campaign is ready and has started, share it with your family and friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media in a matter of a few clicks.

That is it. That is all it takes to be a do-gooder and create real impact by the mere use of internet and intent.

Now break the internet with social good!

Forget what they say about armchair activism; social crowdfunding is here to change the face of social activism not only in the country but around the world. With the proportion of economically active population (15–59 years) in India standing tall at 63.3 percent, unresolved issues such as unequal distribution of wealth and services, poverty, hunger, women’s empowerment, child protection, illiteracy, and livelihood enhancement could very well be a thing of the past. And you could be at the helm of this lasting social change.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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Authors
Piyush Jain
Piyush Jain is the Co-Founder and CEO of Impact Guru, an online fundraising and crowdfunding platform that helps non-profits, social enterprises, startups, and individuals raise money or donate to causes or projects. This Daan Utsav or Joy of Giving week, GlobalGiving and Impact Guru together are providing a platform to 20 leading Indian nonprofits to enable them to crowdfund for causes such as the trafficking of women and children, livelihood enhancement of the underprivileged, old age care, education of street children and of the girl child, and child labour rehabilitation, among many others.

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