A Quick DIY Guide for Medical Crowdfunding in India

A Quick DIY Guide for Medical Crowdfunding in India
March 15 05:41 2018 Print This Article

Crowdfunding in the west is self-reliant for the most part. Campaigners pick their own battles, form teams and resort to daily planning and execution. Fundraisers are thought of as end-to-end campaigns even for medical crowdfunding. Crowdfunding in India lies on a different, if not, opposite spectrum. Here, it is still new and misunderstood. Yet, there are at least 10 crowdfunding platforms that cumulatively raised more than Rs. 800 crores in the last decade. A majority lean towards social and medical crowdfunding, some towards creative projects and start-ups.

Crowdfunding in India is more sporadic and spontaneous. Crowdfunding platforms often have to invest in in-house writers, designers, editors, and campaign managers who guide each campaigner towards raising their goal amount. Tools have to be created, tips have to be given and calls have to make to guide the campaigner, right from creating a fundraiser to getting the funds to putting in a fund transfer request.

“We have a dedicated manager for each campaigner to explain the process from start to finish. We additionally also have to create free tools, like a day-to-day fundraising calendar and tutorial videos. And yet, we have campaigners who are clueless about fundraising,” says Khushboo Jain, COO of Impact Guru, India’s largest crowdfunding platform for medical patients and NGOs.

Here are some common setbacks crowdfunding in India faces:

  • Lack of Knowledge: Crowdfunding is only a decade old and while NGOs are accustomed to fundraising, individuals are still trying to catch up. There is also a dearth of blogs and information online that would explain crowdfunding in an Indian context. Most new campaigners have to refer to articles written for a largely American crowd and don’t find many of them working for them.

  • Scattered Social Media Presence: Most Indians are good with Facebook and have a larger network; some are excellent on Twitter and Instagram. Snapchat for crowdfunding is still undiscovered. But, most campaigners aren’t adept. Most of the times, they hail from lower-income families or rural areas where social media access is minimal.

  • Language Barriers: India has 26 official languages and while most platforms heavily rely on communicating in English and occasionally Hindi, campaigners often face trouble in being able to understand as well as express on the platform.

  • Social Stigma: Uploading photos of the patient and asking for donations is still embarrassing to many. Most don’t want to look like they are “begging for money” or “asking for charity”. Thus, they don’t aggressively go out to promote or share their campaign.

How to crowdfund for yourself: A Quick Guide

If you are new to crowdfunding and are raising costs for a medical treatment, here’s how you can lead your own campaign:

  • Map your resources: Make a note of all your potential donors, your network across channels – Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Email – and count all the people you could reach. Once you figure out this primary network, you will be able to gauge how to reach out to your secondary network too.

  • Build a team: One person can win a battle, but it takes a team to win the war. Bring together your close friends and family members to help you take care of the different aspects of fundraising like sending emails, thanking donors, sharing on social media, reaching out to influencers etc.

  • Schedule sometime and list tasks: Fundraising is a consistent effort. Schedule an hour each day to finish your tasks and manage your campaign.

  • Learn from others: Read the best blogs, look at some successful campaigns and see what they did right and copy their strategy. You can also join crowdfunding groups on Facebook to get to know what others are doing.


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