by Marivel Guzman
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. (photo/www.blackenterprise.com)
Crowdfunding is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” Forbes.com
Some of these sites, like Fundraise.com,CauseVox, DoJiggy’s Pledge software andFundly were set up specifically to help non-profits raise money to support their causes. Others, like Kickstarter and indiegogo, aren’t non-profit specific but have been used by charities to raise money to support their mission. Today, let’s talk about crowd-funding websites for non-profits: what they are, and how your organization can use them to raise more money quickly and efficiently.
I have been following many charity driven websites that are profiting from the necessity of people. These domain sites turn-out online business make very easy for anybody that wants to tap into the business to get on board betraying their own people when they use them to support this unethical enterprise. (Fundraising Authority)
Currently there are hundreds wordwide of domains used to collect donations.
Indiegogo and Kickstarter are two of the most successful online companies engaged in the donation business or attracting capital for new ventures, these two companies were create with the idea to help new enterpruniers out in their feet but soon it had evolved to more diverse capital attracting business.
Indiegogo, “When your campaign raises funds, Indiegogo charges a 9.0% fee on the funds you raise. If you reach your goal, you get 5.0% back, for an overall fee of 4.0%” indiegogo website.
youcaring, “How Does YouCaring Make Money If It’s Always Free for Everyone?
We are supported by thousands of contributors from all over the world who have a heart to help people in the middle of challenging life situations. We are incredibly thankful to our donors for allowing us to continue to help thousands of people everyday.”
GoFundme created October 2010, owner, Andrew Ballester, organization, California Product Shop Inc. whose President is Brad Damphousse a millionaire in the donation business.
The website that you are using is profiting from Gaza, Africa, South America, Syria, Iraq and any other country that suffer war.
The truth is that you can not know who is on the other side of the campaign.
The photo below is an example of a campaign for Gaza, the organizer of the campaign shows to be somebody profile name Jilu, if you click on the link, the the real name shows on a facebook profile as Mohammed Abdulmajeed, which seems to be the same person I interviewed via email, the same person that created IgiveOnline.com, if he is successful on the campaigns he organize he could be making a money out of the misery of Gaza, and if the campaigns that he hosts in his website are successful, he is making double the money.
We could call him entrepreneur, a visionary, a philanthropist, or simply a person taking advantage of a disadvantageous situation. You be the judge!
The campaigner is Mohammed with various projects, his goal 8,000 pounds.
- Water Plantation (Water Supply)
Click here to find out more : http://bit.ly/GazaWaterSupply
Uninterruptible Power Supply (Switch on Gaza)
Click here to find out more: http://bit.ly/GazaElectricity
- Celox (Stop the bleeding)
Click here to find out more: http://bit.ly/GazaCelox
Jilu Miah shows as the organizer of the campaign Rebuild Gaza, click on it and Mohammed real profile appears. (snapshots from IgiveOnline.com Rebuild Gaza
In a email interview Mohammed Abdumajeed said what made him fund Igiveonline. He is a college graduate from the United Kingdom, he is in his thirties and said to work for the education directorate. He studied creative design and worked in sales after college.
“Igiveonline.com was started as a way for me to collect donations for a cause I believed in. After seeing other websites and the charges associated with them, I sought to make my own online page for my fundraising so I could lessen the charges.” Said Abdulmajeed
Igiveonline like dozens other domains had turned out to be a huge revenue for their founders. Abdulmajeed said to have currently 15 to 20 campaigns going on.
These websites work as a gateway for campaigners that find it easy to just open an account and create a campaign, all they have to do is find a cause, register the cause and distribute the links with their friends in facebook or in any other social platform.
At first this look as a really good cause after all these websites work channeling money to people in need, but there is no accountability for the people that create these campaigns, all you need to do is post photos and a credible story and you have a business running.
According to Abdulmajeed he charges 4 percent fee to individuals, 3 percent to Non-Profits and 2 percent to registered non-profit, but who is he to decide who is non profit, or register non profit, is he some government agent with the power to decide who is is who?
I had noticed that few individuals were already collecting money long before the summer war in Gaza, some may be rightly given the money to needed people, some may have been defrauding their friends and followers, we never will know. But, something very very sure, crowd-funding is a booming business and multi-billion dollar business. Some websites collect from 7 to 20 percent depending on the level of advertisement; example of them Indiegogo , youcaring, GoFundme , Igiveonline.com, these websties allow the user to create campaigns where all they have to do is register and write a story about the campaign, these are just few of them, but after the summer assault to Gaza few more pop out.
We can not deny that there is great need in Gaza, and lots of families do not like the idea to go to make line to pick up bags of food, so they are using online campaigns to collect money, besides I heard from many friends that they are ‘proud to beg’, also many young people in Gaza is taking advantage and creating campaigns to buy camera equipment, to build their homes, buy school supplies.
Good or bad the online campaigns are making the CEO of crowd-funding billionaires.
We always have send money to Gaza without the use of NGOs, they have bad reputation specially the managers of the NGOs, they end up keeping lots of aid or favoring their families, that is a all well known situation in Palestine, non only Gaza, but West Bank as well.
Anyway we know better, if we know our friends we help them, if we feel they are cheating then is on us. In the mean time Gaza infrastructure needs to be reconstructed, but it seems that Palestinian Authority started using their leverage on the situation, and their position as “the ones in charge of reconstruction” to crack down on Hamas and take the political power from them.
The real situation in Gaza is not going to be fix by handouts, online campaigns, AID, NGOs, the situation in Gaza first will change when Israel remove the illegal blockade of their borders, and economy, and second, when the Israel occupation get dismantle once and for all.