Ten years ago, there did not exist any means of crowdfunding in India. Today there are multiple platforms to choose from. While crowdfunding isn’t a common concept in India, it is an option a lot of people turn to these days, especially the urban population, youth and newer NGOs. Crowdfunding platforms are generally the safest, most convenient and easiest way (if done right) to raise funds. Most Indian crowdfunding websites are user-friendly as well.
Crowdfunding has been a successful concept outside of India for many years now, and is absolutely safe, if you choose a reputed platform. Starting a fundraiser can be ideal for anybody – all you need is an existing presence on social media and a bit of support from family and friends. Anyone can raise funds – whether you’re using it to fund a documentary, an idea, a small business, a medical procedure or a social cause if you run an NGO.
However, crowdfunding is still an alien concept for most Indians. However, crowdfunding is essential for a country like India, with a growing population, especially in rural areas where communities grow quickly but often do not have access to basic necessities to support itself, including education, healthcare and inhabitation facilities.
Don’t keep yourself in the dark. Make sure the process is as transparent for you as possible. Find out more about crowdfunding in India and how crowdfunding works. Transactions over the internet have always been treated with some scepticism by many Indians. The best way to get started and to ensure you have a smooth experience while you raise money for your cause is to get educated on fundraising tips.
Crowdfunding India: Choosing a Platform
So how do you choose the best platform for you? Here’s a quick look at the top crowdfunding Indian platforms.
- Fundraiser focus: If you’re looking to raise for an NGO, a cause or for your medical bills, Impact Guru is your best option. Pick a cause you love and start a fundraiser today!
Though Impact Guru does take on social enterprise and personal fundraisers as well, these are the kind of fundraisers they are most willing to accept. Ketto, BitGiving, Dream Wallets and Crowdera are willing to accept almost any kind of project under the sky, while Wishberry takes on only a limited set of artistic campaigns. Catapooolt and Start51 strictly prefer to take on fundraisers for tech innovations and startups. Start51 has even mentioned that NGOs are prohibited from raising funds on their platform. Some platforms like BitGiving and Wishberry put fundraisers under rigorous selection criteria before accepting them, while others like Impact Guru do not.
- Micro-lending: Milaap is one of the few crowdfunding platforms that also lets you microlend, where you can lend money to people whose projects you relate to.
- Success Rate: Impact Guru’s crowdfunding platform has raised the most in India, followed by Milaap and Ketto.
Since its inception in 2014, Impact Guru has raised the most a crowdfunding platform has in India, a whopping 329 crores, followed by Milaap with 215 crores and Ketto with 100 crores. Wishberry stands fourth, having raised around 11 crores. Catapooolt has raised 1 crore rupees. Combined, imagine how much successful crowdfunding has been done in India – and how many communities have been empowered and made improved! Join in the spirit of giving and donate for a cause you care deeply about today.
- Lowest charges: Impact Guru and Start51 charge the lowest fee.
Impact Guru’s fee starts from 5% for individuals. BitGiving asks 6-10%, Catapooolt and Wishberry both ask 10%, though the latter poses extra compulsory charges for campaign consultation and other optional charges if you choose their social media and PR services. Ketto and Fuel a Dream both charge 9% along with added taxes. Crowdera is the only free platform, though they have confirmed they will start charging soon and Milaap asks the highest price at 7.9-10.9%.
- Flexibility in funds: BitGiving, Start51 and Wishberry strictly follow the “all or nothing” model.
The “all or nothing” model is used widely by many crowdfunding platforms, not only in India. This model specifies that once you’ve set a goal amount and started raising funds, you either meet your target and receive funds, or you receive nothing. In case your target is met in part,your donors are reimbursed.
These platforms use this model under the assumption that if you haven’t been able to raise the funds you needed, then your project is probably not well designed. Impact Guru, Ketto and Crowdera do not use this model on their platforms; they disburse whatever funds you’ve raised, once they’ve deducted their fee. If you’re unsure about how the flexible model works, Impact Guru has an exhaustive list of frequently asked questions.
A few other platforms like Dream Wallets and Fuel a Dream offer you the option of choosing a model (either “all or nothing” or a flexible model) yourself, depending on the needs of your fundraiser and their respective conditions.
- Other features: Impact Guru and BitGiving let you create a support fundraiser to raise funds for an existing fundraiser that you want to support so you can share it under your name with your contacts.
The existing crowdfunding platforms in India, though relatively new, already strive to provide the best service possible to their campaigners. Though they charge extra, BitGiving, Milaap and Wishberry provide assistance and social media publicity for your campaigns. Start51 lets you donate as little as 51 rupees but limits you from raising from more 5 lakhs. Impact Guru lets you choose the suggested amount you request donors to donate and poses no minimum goal amount.
Most crowdfunding platforms not only let you, but encourage you to offer rewards to donors for specific donation amounts. For example, for a donor who has given Rs. 5000, you can do a personal social media shoutout or for a donor who has donated Rs 10000, you can send a prototype of the project you are working on.
If you’re new to crowdfunding, you might tend to simply start a fundraiser, add a basic story and share it with your family, hoping that works. While this is the minimum you are required to do to kick your fundraiser off, if you really want those donations to pour in and make your campaign a giant success, take some time to read through all the features your platform provides. Read up a bit on leveraging social media – you’ll be amazed at all the tricks and tips that will help your campaign take off! Make sure to catch up on the time tested fundraising ideas.