400 strangers from across the globe raise 20 lakhs in just 2 days to help a 3-year-old Indian girl


Contributor : Chintan Siriya

We have heard a lot of stories on social media about good Samaritans helping complete strangers in the time of distress. A similar case happened when more than 400 strangers from across the world came forward to support a 3-year old Pune based girl Ira Mehta, daughter of Tejas and Pratima Mehta, who was undergoing treatment for a brain tumour in Mumbai.

To save their daughter’s life, the Mehtas did not leave any stone unturned. However, good treatment came at a high cost. They couldn’t opt for a bank loan as it would have been a risky proposition considering a lot of uncertainties. They couldn’t approach NGOs as they only support people from economically challenged backgrounds. They then considered the option of crowd-funding; however, they were apprehensive about asking for funds from strangers, until one of their friends, Chintan Siriya counseled them.

The crux of the campaign was to get the right message about Ira by the people who were complete strangers. An effective crowd-funding appeal has 3 essential elements – an emotional connects, practical details and enough evidences proving the request genuine. The campaign with a target of 20 lakh was raised in less than 2 days; a feat which is unheard of in the world of crowd-funding.

After thorough research, they decided to use the online crowd-funding platform – Crowdera, which is a completely fee-free platform, whereas other similar platforms charge anywhere between 8-10%. Founded in October 2014 in Palo Alto, California, Crowdera has so far helped several prestigious nonprofits and individuals.

Our sole purpose is to help thousands of people raise funds for what matters to them. We strongly believe that doing good should not be penalized and hence have kept our services completely free for individuals and NGOs, said Chet Jain, founder of Crowdera.

With the major innovations in the Fintech industry and increasing focus on the adoption of technology by various government initiatives, the funds flowing through online and these crowd-funding platforms have grown rapidly in the last few years. Also, the donations by Indian individuals have increased manifold in the last 5 years. According to the India Philanthropy Report 2017 by Bain & Company and Dasra, donations have increased from about 6,000 crores in 2011 to 35,000 crores in 2016.

Currently about 20% of these funds are donated through online platforms and this is expected to reach about 50% in the coming decade, as per the research report by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India. With the growing crowd funding agencies like Crowdera, individuals and NGOs will easily be able to raise funds for such medical emergencies, educational purposes and various other social causes.

No one should ever be in a situation where they have to use these services, however if they have to, they should be aware and open to ask for help from strangers in their time of need.

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