Think about the way humans donated money to charity 10-15 years ago. Mailed checks and Salvation Army buckets on city streets were very prevalent. Fundraisers at work or school were also popular. But these physical methods were awkward and inefficient. Luckily, the Internet proved to be a very helpful method of donating money to charitable causes quickly and effectively. And while all of these processes work and are still used today, there seemed to be one large issue with all of them: a lack of customization.
Before 2010, there weren’t too many ways to find all of the various charities scattered throughout the country or even the world. If there were particular causes that individuals cared deeply about, there wasn’t a proper channel for them to raise large enough funds; any funds collected through their methods were nominal at best. Then came along crowdfunding. Sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter changed the landscape of philanthropy, for the better.
With crowdfunding, minority communities can have a voice and be heard through the power of the Internet. In fact, crowdfunding is so large that individual philanthropic campaigns have earned more than $30 billion in donations. Those are large numbers.
So what does this mean for philanthropy? Well, this means that more and more people can access it. It allows for diversity in goals and charities and creates more transparency. Traditionally, donors will offer their money to a worthy cause (American Red Cross, UNICEF, etc.) and assume that these giant, far-reaching organizations will use their money properly. Well now, in today’s digital age, people want to see where their money is going and have more of a say in it. And crowdfunding offers that in spades.
For example, if a local child falls ill and the parents can’t afford the medical bills, they can turn to crowdfunding to raise money. The community, in turn, can see the immediate and definitive impact that their donations are having on this child, as opposed to a donation sent to a far-off country.
Crowdfunding can also assist traditional, smaller charitable organizations. Since these organizations have such limited marketing budgets, they can utilize these free tools to attract donors that they couldn’t otherwise. In essence, crowdfunding can act as a marketing campaign.
At the Opes Group, we wholeheartedly believe in philanthropy. We always enjoy working with philanthropic organizations, and we appreciate the grassroots strategies that crowdfunding can create. If you’re a philanthropic organization and you’re looking for new and exciting ways to entice donors, consider crowdfunding. After all, we all can get by with a little help from others.