It is not surprising that in India the most often used, and also the most successful, kind of crowdfunding is for medical causes. Individuals run these campaigns most often, either for themselves, or for a friend or relative or a child, and usually between thirty and sixty day periods. On Indian crowdfunding platforms like Milaap, Bitgiving, and Impact Guru, tens of thousands of medical fundraisers have been hosted, summing crores in donations from a body of donors tapped in from the web.
Medical crowdfunding is establishing itself as a winning fundraising method in the minds of the Indian middle-class. These people are often, though not always young, use social media intensively, and have limited or no access to loans or medical insurance plans. They have enough income to support daily living and measured luxuries, but when a health scare of the magnitude of cancer is detected, or a grievous accident hits, they find themselves unprepared, financially, to handle the associated costs and manage the best available care.
Those who donate to medical crowdfunding campaigns are also similar people, but perhaps from a more diverse socioeconomic background set. What most donors have in common is the fact that they donate from a position where they have been able to make an emotional connect to the fundraiser story. They either identify with the campaigner’s cause, or have strong personal sympathies for it.
While crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru have a nearly foolproof due diligence process in place to ensure that all approved campaigns are authentic and the campaigner’s need genuine, there are some ways donors can make sure too that the campaign they want to support is not a fake, and their donation will really make a difference. Here are some things you need to check before making your contribution to a crowdfunding campaign.
- The story: The fundraiser story is where the campaigner explains their needs. Look for detail and check if there are any contradictions in the story. If you find a piece of information that seems to be in conflict with the campaigner’s claims, or simply factually incorrect material, you know this is not where you should put your money.
- Paperwork: Crowdfunding platforms insist that medical crowdfunding campaigners upload clear images of their prescriptions, medical certificates, and test reports confirming the illness they have. This is for the sake of authenticity. It has turned out that fraudulent campaigns have often come without these important pieces of documentation.
- Photos: A picture is worth a thousand words even in the crowdfunding space in India. Even a smartphone photo of the patient receiving treatment, or in their hospital room, goes a long way to build trust on the part of donors.
- Fund utilization plan: A campaigner owes their donors information on how they will utilize funds raised. Whether all of the target amount will go into surgery, or whether some will be for hiring professional help and into postoperative care, donors deserve to know exactly what difference their money can make.
As a campaigner, you need to know that transparency with your campaign plans brings in more donors, many of who donate generously because they feel empathy for you. It is important not to make light of this humaneness and to honor it with gratitude and public acknowledgement.