Thiruvananthapuram: Are you a Malayali or someone who has noticed the havoc created in Kerala by the recent floods – the worst in a century? Do you feel frustrated over not being able to take part in the rescue operations or help the people here? Are you skeptical about the transparency of financial transactions involved in contributing money? If yes, know more about the Milaap, one of India’s most trusted online crowdfunding platforms. Milaap has collected a total of around Rs. 1.22 crore till now for the flood victims.
Through Milaap, people anywhere in the world can raise funds for healthcare, education, sports, disaster relief and other personal causes. Doctors have suggested this app to the economically weaker sections of society to raise funds for their patients.
Crowdfunding has advanced from what it used to be. Earlier, it was done mainly through ads on print media, which had a limited reach. But with the advent of innovative technologies, the concept has become more useful and advanced. Even a small amount can be donated to a campaign. People resort to this method to raise money for treatment of cancer, surgeries, launching a startup, producing a movie, building houses for the homeless and disabled, a better environment, providing necessary items for schools and the like.
Milaap has a well-equipped team which works around 15 hours a day to interact with the campaign organizers. The team working in the tech section of the organization constantly updates the platform with novel technologies. Recently, a chatbot was also introduced to make it easier for users to share their campaign. The platform does not charge anything for setting up a fundraiser. A team verifies the fundraiser.
Most types of online money transfers are allowed by Milaap. A fundraiser page in Milaap shows all the information about the funds they have received, number of donors and supporters. One can also contact the campaign organizer via the platform. The organizer can withdraw the amount received when needed. At the time of withdrawal, a fee of five per cent is charged from the funds raised, which is the revenue of the platform.
Anoj Viswanathan, Co-founder and President; and Mayukh Choudhury, Co-founder and CEO, Milaap, work on the product strategy of Milaap.
To understand the evolution of crowdfunding, one needs to go back in history. The famous journalist, Joseph Pulitzer, led the fundraising campaign for the Statue of Liberty. This can be named as the first fundraising campaign which was promoted through the press. The crowdfunding took place in 1874.