Fundraising Donation Platforms in India
Fundraising donation platforms have enjoyed quite a bit of success in India recently, thanks to the country’s increasing reliance on digital technology. The rise of online crowdfunding has been astonishing in the past few years alone. These platforms have emerged as a convenient way for both individuals and organisations to raise funds in support of varying causes.
While there is no doubt that these platforms have made the act of donations and raising money simple, there is a legitimate cause for concern associated with them. How do you know whether these fundraising donation platforms are reliable?
We at Let It Count decided to dive deep into the ever-growing realm of donation platforms in India for a concrete answer. We researched and evaluated some of the most prominent platforms currently operating in the country.
Here’s what we found:
The Boom of Platforms for Donations
In the past decade alone, India has witnessed a sudden boom in the number of fundraising platforms operating in the country. You can attribute this rise in popularity to the widespread availability of the internet, smartphones or the growing awareness to help.
From medical and social to entrepreneurial causes, individuals and organizations are gravitating towards these platforms to seek financial assistance from a wider audience base. Some of the most #trusted NGOs in India today rely on such platforms to meet their fundraising goals.
While this popularity has opened up new venues for fundraising, concerns regarding their trustworthiness are also being raised. In our research, while we found a plethora of platforms that were credible and transparent, we also encountered multiple unreliable ones as well. How to distinguish between the two?
This is where the following factors can come to your aid.
Factors to Consider When Assessing the Trustworthiness of Platforms for Donations
1. Trustworthiness and Accountability
A reliable fundraising platform will be transparent about its operations. Such platforms will be upfront with their audience and clearly convey their process of collecting and distributing funds. They may even allow the donor to fund the recipient directly without routing funds through them. It will be in your best interest to first assess a platform on the basis of its transparency.
Companies that work with the most #trusted NGOs in India, mention them on their website, clearly explain the process of funding, disclose their fee structures, etc. are platforms one can better rely on.
2. Verification and Validation Process
Fundraising platforms need to have a robust verification process in place to validate the identity of the campaign, it’s creators or the NGOs listed on their platforms. This ensures that only authentic causes are being published to receive funding support. A trustworthy platform will leave no stone unturned to filter misleading or fraudulent campaigns. Site visits, due diligence by experts, how comprehensive this Due Diligence actually is, Promoters and board verifications etc are some factors that distinguish the authenticity of one fundraising platform from another.
3. Fund Disbursement
Reliable platforms will have fund disbursement policies explained in clear terms on their website. These platforms should comprehensively explain how the funds gathered by them are forwarded to the intended beneficiaries and how those funds will be used.
They’ll also be upfront over the method of disbursement employed by them (whether it is through direct bank transfers or third-party verification) to ensure beneficiaries receive the financial assistance they need promptly.
4. User Reviews and Testimonials
Perhaps the most efficient way to assess a fundraising donation platform’s trustworthiness is by referring to user reviews and testimonials. A substantial amount of positive reviews serves as a good indicator of reliability.
5. Security Measures
A fundraising platform that does not invest in robust security measures is a huge red flag. Given the nature of online financial transactions, platforms for donations must have stringent security protocols in place to protect a donor’s personal and financial information. This involves setting up secure payment gateways and data encryption.
A genuine fundraising platform will have a process to ensure that the same fund is not being raised by an NGO/ Individual across multiple fundraising platforms, thereby creating a fraud corpus. Processes to check duplicacy, fund transfers, checks on final recipients etc form an important part to ensure the authenticity of a fundraising platform.
Finding an Online Donation Platform You Can Trust
Even among well-established platforms, the trustworthiness of fundraising donation platforms in India can vary significantly. While not as prevalent as they used to be, scams and fraudulent donation campaigns can still be found online preying on the generous among us.
So as a donor, one needs to conduct their own verification and thoroughly research a platform as well as the campaign before donation to/via it.
Furthermore, ensure the platforms are using secure payment methods and have robust security policies in place. If you have questions, the donation platform should help you connect with the campaign creator directly to have these questions or queries addressed.
Finally, the donation platform should provide comprehensive reports and stats that allow you to track a campaign’s progress and understand how your hard earned money is being utilised.
A donation platform that adheres to all of the above-mentioned protocols is one you can trust to support.
Remember, while there are trustworthy donation platforms out there, you are likely to encounter fraudulent ones as well. So we would suggest always doing your due diligence before you decide to donate to any cause. In essence, however, fundraising donation platforms can be deemed as a positive force for change in a country like India.
If you wish to contribute to a cause but don’t know which platform for donation to trust, we suggest you hop on to our platform – Let it Count (www.letitcount.com) . We connect you to social projects that have been verified for their authenticity through a very rigorous evaluation process.
We ensure complete transparency and leave no stone unturned to ensure your contributions have an impact on the cause you wish to support and you get a report on how your money is making a difference.
Get in touch with Let it Count to know more about how we make your donations count.