Covid-19 has brought to the fore unlikely Samaritans. Consider the example of Avi, a grade 10 student at the Shri Ram School, Aravali, Gurugram, Haryana, India. The teenager who otherwise was busy in his own pursuits was affected by the reverse migration of migrant labourers during the lockdown. In collaboration with the Indian Red Cross Society, he distributed more than 10K packets of food items including Parle G, Frooti, Mineral Water Bottles, Rooh-afza and meals.
The one positive aspect the pandemic has inculcated is that many more people are now aware of the sufferings of others and are willing to contribute towards lessening the same in any way they can. This has resulted in a positive impact for the fundraising and crowdfunding industry also.
Crowdfunding is set to expand its footprint in India in the post-Covid world. This positive trend is in fact, already manifesting in the current times with a high number of philanthropic campaigns being undertaken – whether in the terms of helping migrant workers, generating funds for covid affected or for food for poor & the needy.
Crowdfunding Growth & Potential
According to a study, the crowdfunding market size was $100.32 Bn in 2019 and has been projected to reach $224.67 Bn by 2024. The Peer-to-peer lending segment will account for the largest crowdfunding market share. The growth rate of the market is projected at a CAGR of almost 18%, the incremental growth of the market is anticipated to be $124.35 Bn during the forecast period.
The world is united during these tough times and is providing support to poor through generating funds to put food on their plates, providing them medical aid, helping them restart their lives and so on. Government relief efforts have been helpful, and some businesses are continuing to pay their workers for now with an uncertain future, but many have been left out without any income guarantee. Amidst no work in hand, daily wage workers were finding it difficult to manage the basic need of food for their family. As against other shortcomings, lack of food needs immediate relief for survival.
When The Giving Economy Gave, Generously & Helped Humanity Survive
When India came to a standstill during the lockdown, the country’s informal economy all but collapsed. More than 90% of the country’s workforce is estimated to be in the informal sector. According to the Economic Survey 2017-2018 87% of the firms in the country, representing 21% of total turnover, are purely informal, outside both the tax and social security nets. With the lockdowns preventing economic activities, lakhs of daily wagers, gig workers and those employed in the informal sectors found themselves out of work with no savings to fall back on.
The ‘giving economy’ came to the rescue of such hundreds of thousands of such people who received timely food, help and assistance from non-profits, other organisations and even individuals, through funds raised via crowdfunding.
The gig economy workers were also seriously affected by the lockdown as all their activities came to a standstill.
Rapido Driver Partners – Rapido, a start-up in bike taxi services, raised funds to help their driver partners. There are at least 3,50,000 Captains and their families, whose daily lives were in a jeopardy in the aftermath of the corona. Rapido tried to ensure that no family went to sleep hungry.
The Corona pandemic has impacted without discrimination not sparing anyone.
Crowdfunding Not Restricted To Battling Hunger Alone
Crowdfunding campaigns which had objectives beyond hunger alleviation also received equal support from the donors.
Pedalling Against Covid-19
Dr Amit Samarth, an accomplished Ultra Cyclist of India, who has successfully completed 9100 km Trans-Siberian Extreme race and 5000 km Race Across America, rode Non-Stop on his indoor cycling trainer set-up in Nagpur. The ride was to raise funds to fight Corona Epidemic and the collection was handed over to the Maharashtra Police Department which was at the forefront in the war against Corona. He attempted to cycle more than 1300 km in this 48 hours Non-Stop Cycling ride to raise funds.
There are many such countless stories where crowdfunding made it possible to bring in immediate and sustained relief to the affected without any distinctions. The corona crisis has been a binding factor in making many haves aware of the needs of the needy. The positive aspect of the crisis is that the haves are willingly giving to help out the latter. Compassion and empathy, once they make their mark are difficult to shrug off – the giving economy and crowdfunding will be on the rise from here on.