Donors shooting for the seemingly impossible

Ingrid Srinath

 I was reminded of this article as I watched the remarkable fundraising drive for MAYDAY surge past US$5 million on the 4th of July. Billed as the super-PAC to end super-PACs, MAYDAY’s aims could not be further from the causes that Mari Kuraishi lists as being amenable to crowdfunding. It seeks no less than ‘to reduce the influence of money in US politics and elect a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016’.

Consider also the fundraising success of India’s Aam Aadmi Party in the recent national elections. The start-up (some might say upstart) political enterprise that emerged from the anti-corruption movement which swept India in 2011 surprised pundits with its crowdsourced fundraising campaign that has raised over Rs 350 million (almost US$6 million) from over 100,000 donors since December 2013.

It seems to me that while most non-profit crowdfunding initiatives thus far have focused on the immediate, tangible outcomes described in the article, appeals for causes that tap into a pressing social concern and do so in a manner that evokes a sense of agency among potential donors can indeed meet crowdfunding success.

Donors, it appears, are more willing to shoot for the seemingly impossible than fundraisers are to risk failure.

Ingrid Srinath

CEO, Hivos India

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