The Harvard Club of Mumbai, IvyPlus Network, and crowdfunding platform Impact Guru are bringing together India’s Ivy League community to fundraise for a social cause. The community has already raised over INR 85,000 in less than two weeks from individuals and hopes to raise a lot more for nonprofit Indus Action that enables children’s right to quality education.
India’s crowdfunding culture, still new, is banking on the growth of the internet and social media boom in the country. The “Wine. Dine.(Feel) Fine Mixer” is happening on September 19 in Mumbai and is spearheaded by Impact Guru, a crowdfunding platform for NGOs, incubated at Harvard Innovation Lab. Impact Guru empowers individuals and corporates to give to nonprofits in India by providing a simple and social way of raising money for social causes through crowdfunding. The platform was inaugurated by Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi.
The fundraising event is in partnership with the Harvard Club of Mumbai and IvyPlus Network which consists of 40 elite US and Europe based academic institutions such as Penn, INSEAD, London Business School, MIT, and Stanford. The Sep 19 event is raising money for Indus Action, a nonprofit which lets underprivileged children access their right to quality education. Indus Action was started by a Harvard alumnus and seeks to mobilize public resources and empower communities to solve India’s deep-rooted problems in areas such as education, public health, law enforcement and accountability.
As a platform, Impact Guru is banking on is the power of social media. According to Founder and CEO, Piyush Jain, a Harvard alumnus himself, social media is playing such an important part in our daily lives that everyone’s Facebook wall is now an invaluable digital real estate that has a potential to be used for social good. Impact Guru is the first platform in the world that rewards the act of sharing a charity fundraiser on social media by making a donation per Facebook share. The amount of the donation per share could be as high as Rs 1,000 depending on certain conditions. This Impact Guru innovation is called SMILE or Social Media Impact Linked Engagement.
Platforms like Impact Guru are trying to solve a problem the 3.3 million non-profits across India face, everyday trying to find alternatives to traditional forms of fundraising which are often inadequate and always expensive. According to Impact Guru’s research, the fundraising cost for nonprofits is as high as 35% of the funds raised. With its technology platform, the cost can drop to as low as 5%, the lowest in the crowdfunding industry.