Words like underprivileged, poverty, hunger and illiteracy are commonly heard in a developing country like India. We’re desensitized to these phrases and throw them around casually. When we look at suffering, we feel a pang of pity and guilt for the briefest of moments and then move on with our lives. We do not know or make an effort to discover the stories behind the faces we pity.
The Story Behind
When a 16-year-old boy visited an orphanage in Lonavala, he realized the extent of suffering these words entailed and how he needed to appreciate the comforts of a home, sufficient nutrition and education. That day he decided that he would use his education and skills for greater good. Over the next few years, he went on to finish his education and had a thrilling spell of work at Wall Street. Yet, he felt something amiss and at the back of his mind, recalled the promise he’d made to himself. He soon found growing interest in social crowdfunding and delved deeper, setting up his own tech-for-good startup. This man’s name is Piyush Jain. Today he and his wife, Khushboo, are the co-founders of Indian crowdfunding biggie Impact Guru.
Why Social Crowdfunding?
The fuel behind social or NGO crowdfunding is twofold. First, 350 million Indians are willing to give, especially to social and religious causes, but often choose not to because of various reasons such as ill-functioning or corrupt non-profits or the lack of transparency in the flow of donations. Secondly, as of 2016, over 370 million Indians use the internet. Indians who use the internet spend two hours every day on social media.
Impact Guru sees that India needs to encourage giving among her own people to be able to save us from the evils mentioned in the first line – the ones we tend to overlook because we believe they are nearly helpless. And beyond encouraging people to give, India needed a better system for giving and this is something she can develop over time owing to the widespread use of the internet generally and social media specifically. Social crowdfunding provides scope for that system to evolve into sophisticated forms.
The Impact So Far
Impact Guru’s social crowdfunding platform gives the underprivileged the chance they deserve to voice their story and spread it widely on social media. Moreover, the team is passionate about making people trust that their support is doing good by providing a transparent process of giving, where donors can see where their funds go and how they contributed towards the betterment of a community. Impact Guru strives to make giving effortless and easy. The team successfully uses the social media habits of Indians to promote among us a collective goal towards the greater good on a safe and simple platform online.
The team works to bring together not only Indians in this effort. With their partnership with Global Giving, Impact Guru provides for givers to make a donation in India, US and UK and avail tax benefits in the process. In the two years since its inception, Impact Guru has helped raise 329 crore Indian rupees to positively impact hundreds of non-profits and their causes, and the lives of hundreds of individuals.