Archive - August 2016

Crowdfunding Is The New Temple For Charity

Temple, Church, Mosque. Charity, Support

India is home to many religions, some old and some very old. As we all know, each religious community marks its presence in an area by building brick and mortar structures with an idol representing its source of divine power. These structures also serve as centres of community service, where people living in impoverished conditions come for food, shelter, emergency relief or any kind of economic support.

There’s no denying that the power of religion is irreplaceable. However, the integration of technology and the internet has given rise to new avenues for charity.
The popularity of the concept of online crowdfunding has opened up gateways for anyone, anywhere to give and receive help.
For instance, earlier people who turned to temples, churches, mosques or gurdwaras to seek monetary support in case of an ailing family member or a broken house, now have the option of turning to each other through online crowdfunding. People in need can gather the same support online from family, friends, acquaintances and sometimes even strangers.

Here at Ketto, we’ve seen people crowdfunding to seek help for various causes such as – the treatment of a rare disorder like Cutis Laxa, battling sudden diagnosis of breast cancer, getting someone back on their feet after an accident, building a shelter for the needy and many more. Not just for seeking help, online crowdfunding has also been the right place to go to when it comes to earning good karma by helping in the form of donations. Donation boxes at these religious centres are equivalents of fundraisers on crowdfunding platforms.

On Ketto, at this very moment, anybody who wishes to help the society will be able to make a difference to any cause they believe in, by donating to the fundraisers on Ketto.
While charities at temples are largely run by donations from affluent people, online crowdfunding has created room for anyone, from anywhere to donate any amount they feel they can afford to. The gap between the rich and the poor has also reduced as even the poorest communities living in the most marginalised spaces are able to get support from people across religions and geographies. And all this through the power of online crowdfunding.

In reality, the underlying principle of religious centres and online crowdfunding is the same – to unite helpers and seekers so that the society can become a better place – a place of equality.
So the next time you find yourself or someone you know in a situation where there’s an urgent need for funds, don’t forget to turn to the new age temple for charity – online crowdfunding.

Changing Mindsets: A Peek In The Life Of An Indian Para Athlete

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Sports has always been the fountainhead of positive change, beyond geographical and cultural boundaries. India’s performance at this year’s Rio Olympics has been pleasantly surprising, especially as the women of our country came out with power packed performances. A relatively lesser known fact is that the Indian Paralympic contingent registers more wins than the able-bodied participants. They had a staggering number of 173 wins in the 2015 LA Special Olympics.

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Keeping with this feel, members of team Ketto got in conversation with Indian para-athlete, cyclist and inspirational celebrity Aditya Mehta. A Limca Book record holder and Asian cycling champion, Aditya runs the Aditya Mehta Foundation, India’s first and only NGO that supports Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to take up sports as a means of personal coping and livelihood generation. With an international presence, they do so through a series of counselling sessions, camps, engagement drives, programs and various other activities.

Here are 4 path-breaking ways in which Aditya Mehta is revolutionising the society for differently-abled sportspersons in India:

Changing Infrastructure 

Aditya has been ardently advocating for PWD-friendly infrastructure, in an attempt to make spaces as inclusive as possible.

“When I look 10 years back, I had lost all hope after my amputation. Going to the mall was difficult, as people had to carry me on their shoulders. Now I see people have started having ramps in malls and everything. People are also coming up with different concepts for PWD (Persons With Disabilities) friendly malls with ramps, washrooms etc.”

 The Aditya Mehta Foundation works towards rehabilitating civilians as well as the BSF jawans who lost their limbs on duty


The Aditya Mehta Foundation works towards rehabilitating civilians as well as the BSF jawans who lost their limbs on duty

 

Giving India It’s First Batch Of Qualified Classifiers 

“In a developing country like ours, there is shortage of qualified professional classifiers”, says Aditya. “Any para-athlete who wants to play an international tournament must obtain a classification certificate for categorisation of matches on the basis of the kind and extent of disability before s/he can play any championship. As of now, a player has to travel abroad for the same.”

Aditya’s next big goal is to sponsor classifier certification courses for 4 to 5 physiotherapists, so that any athlete who wishes to compete isn’t compelled to spend on travel abroad in the absence of locally present classifiers. This would be the first batch of qualified classifiers in India!

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Addressing The Need For Sponsors

The most important challenge today is the fact that para athletes need sponsors. However, the Aditya Mehta Foundation has managed to change that reality. They receive support from many celebrities who believe in the cause of the foundation. They are also running fundraisers for various causes on Ketto, where anyone who believes in their cause can support and contribute.

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Changing mindsets around disability

We always tend to look at a PWD with sympathy, as if they are disabled. Aditya is changing that understanding too. “People who showed me sympathy and called me bechara, now I call them bechara. They can’t do the things that I can do. Ask an able bodied to ride with me for my warm up. I am sure they will go home and sleep for 2 hours after. I truly believe that it is not about your body, it’s about your mind.”

“In three years, we have counselled 500 to 600 people, including 350 BSF jawans. The kind of appreciation we get, the smiles we see on people’s faces – that is life I feel.”

One of the participants at the infinity ride

One of the participants at the infinity ride

Sports changes lives. Not only is it a source of physical and psychological strength, but also the means to achieve the self and social dignity that everyone deserves to live with. If you feel that the achievements of our para-athletes deserve your love and support, you can share or donate to one of the multiple fundraisers that Aditya Mehta Foundation has started for para- sports.

Want to know more about Aditya Mehta and his work? Find out all the information here.

This Ganesh Chaturthi, Let’s Create Sustainable Festivities

credits: pinterest

The rain, the moss, a damp home, humid air, colder days, snakes and worms. That’s monsoon in India. On one of these nights, some of us dance our way to a water body, immersing the statue of a God. The immersion, it is believed, symbolises the end of all the bad things in our lives and marks a new beginning.

The lord of joy, happiness and success, we all look to Lord Ganesha before starting something new. In Hyderabad alone, more than 20,000 statues of the deity will be immersed in 10 lakes across the city this year. Around 300,000 to 400,000 deities are immersed in the waters of Mumbai alone, further deteriorating the already deplorable condition of our ecosystem. Adding to that are the firecrackers and loud speakers that we use to express our happiness.

Let’s all agree that the lord of good beginnings did not expect us to damage life in his name. Religious or not, there are some people in the country who think goodness can also come from the aftermath of immersed idols!

Let’s find out more about some interesting people who are celebrating Ganesha in the most unique ways:

Chocolate Ganesha For Kids

A baker by profession, Rintu lives her Ganesha celebrations by the ideal – “There has to be utilisation after immersion as well”. For the past three years now, she has been making edible Ganesha idols for her personal celebrations. She immerses her chocolate Ganesha in milk, post which she shares the flavoured milk with underprivileged children from various orphanages around the city of Mumbai.

With this video tutorial, she has made making chocolate Ganesha so easy that anyone can do it at home, and that too in just 5 minutes!

After bringing sweetness with her sugar and chocolate Ganesha, Rintu has also come up with the ‘Plant Ganesha’ this year. The idea is to make an idol around a plant in a pot. On the day of immersion, one just needs to pour water and the idol will turn into a lump of clay, that blends into the pot ecosystem. She is training people by taking workshops free of cost, so that anyone who cares isn’t left out.

Eco Friendly Gifting Ideas

Cleansing The System With Plantable Ganesha

Making festivities more sustainable is another organisation, called the (Desi Cows For Better India) DCBI Trust. They are making biodegradable idols of the lord. But that’s not their unique feature. What makes them special is the fact that every time you immerse an idol, either a waterbody is cleansed, or a tree is born!

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Each idol doubles up as a plantable pod, and a waterbody cleanser. Made with 100% natural ingredients that release effective micro-organisms on dissolution, this Ganesha cleanses the lake/sea when immersed in water. There is a seed in the statue that gives rise to a plant when placed in soil. This year, they decided to do something more. They crowdfunded to sponsor eco-friendly Ganesha celebrations of underprivileged families by distributing these idols among them.

Let’s celebrate this wonderful festival with a spirit of ‘oneness with nature.’ If you too have an idea for positive change and need funds to bring it to life, get in touch with us, and we’ll help you craft a fundraiser to go ahead with it!

Soon the festivities will fizzle out. Let’s hope that each year, more and more people like these emerge, so that we can have more sustainable festivities.

2 Ways You Can Help People Affected By Floods In Bihar Right Now

Credits: Twitter

The news of the aftermath of Assam Floods hasn’t even faded away, and another devastating flood situation has come to light. Bihar has been struck by floods that have been going on since around the same time as the Assam Floods. As per government reports, at least 24 out of 38 districts have been affected by the floods in Bihar. About 135 lives have been lost in the calamity that has left people immersed in waters that are chest-deep. For a story that has been going on for the past 41 years now, locals claim that this year has been as bad as the floods of 1975. In all, the Bihar floods have affected around 31.33 lakh people across 4,303 villages. The lack of availability of food in the area has forced many of the affected people to buy dead rats for meals, for a price of Rs. 40-50 per kilogram.

Credits: Twitter

Credits: Twitter

People in the affected regions have been living in such conditions for more than a month now, & it is high time that everyone intervenes in whichever way they can.

Here are two ways in which anyone can help:

Share This Information

A great starting point would be sharing the emergency contacts numbers mentioned below with people who can make use of them. You can also share these on your Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts, so that more and more people can benefit from this useful information.

Name of Help Centre Contact Number
Jigasha Call Centre 0612-2233333
NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) +91-9711077372
Bihar Disaster Management Authority 0612-2522032    info@bsdma.org
Disaster Management Control Room 0612-2217305
Sri. Vyasji, Principal Secretary, Disaster Management Department 0612-2215600
Donate A Relief Kit

So far only half of the affected people have been able to receive support at various relief camps set by the government. Authorities are expending a lot of resources and individuals to help the situation. The state disaster response authority is also adding daily updates on their website to share the response action that is being undertaken. Many NGOs have also come forward in support.

Some exemplary work is being done by Rapid Response, an NGO that is actively engaged in providing relief support to the affected families by providing them with food and sleeping kits. If you think supporting them is something you could and would want to do, you can contribute to their cause here.

Credits: Twitter

Credits: Twitter

Got more useful information? Please share it in comments below. If you feel like you could take lead on an issue, start your own fundraiser.

We strive for accuracy and fairness, if you see something that doesn’t look right, write to sakshi@ketto.org

Want To Know How Crowdfunding Works? Nothing Can Make It Easier Than This!

Credits: blogspot.in

As much as the term crowdfunding might sound complex, the entire concept behind it is quite simple and easy to understand. While some of us know crowdfunding and have used it in the past, here is a simple analogy for the uninitiated. Trust us, it doesn’t get easier than this.

Let’s go back to pre-school; remember the story of the thirsty crow? 

Once upon a time, there was a crow. He was very thirsty. After having struggled for a while, he found a large pot with some water in it. But the water was too shallow, so he could not drink from it. Then he got a brilliant idea.
Little by little, he trotted around, picking each scattered pebble. He collected each pebble and put it inside the pot. After a while, the water finally came up to the surface. The thirsty crow drank his fill and happily flew away.

Now imagine the story a bit differently.

Imagine you are the crow, while your thirst is your need. You could be in need of anything – higher education, disaster relief, medical or health support, or even the means to move ahead with a creative idea that you have. The gap between your thirst (need) and water (what fulfils your need) are the funds that you are falling short of. Each pebble that you pick and drop in the pot is a donation from someone who wants to, and can support your cause. The pot that contains water is the fundraiser page that you can create on a crowdfunding platform.

While the crow in the story had to fly to each pebble, you can find your pebbles using modern day tools like social media, SMS, e-mails or calls. With crowdfunding, everyone who is online adds to the possibility of adding another pebble in the pot. Little by little, each pebble can bring the needed resource to the surface, bringing you closer to your goal. Once the pebbles are enough, you will be able to quench your thirst. Or in terms of crowdfunding, your fundraiser would have been successful.

Explain crowdfunding easier than ever

Credits: pinterest

We love demystifying crowdfunding, so if you have any questions, leave a comment or you can even tweet to us using #SchoolOfCrowdfunding.

If you want to give explaining crowdfunding a shot, go ahead and share your ideas in comments.

4 Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Fundraiser

Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Social Media Promotion

At various points of time in life, we realise we need more money than what we have, to get things we need or like. It could be money for a medical emergency like sudden diagnosis of cancer or for an expensive piece of equipment you need to shoot a documentary.
After several cost cutting plans and peeping into your savings, if you still don’t have the amount you need, what can you do? Turn to online crowdfunding!

In the last 4 years, over 20,000 individuals have successfully used crowdfunding to raise money for personal needs, charitable causes and creative ideas on Ketto.

Before you start out, there are some doubts that are bound to pop in your head. Let’s address them right away!

Asking is not embarrassing

“How can I ask people for money on a public platform, isn’t it awkward?”

Ask how to make money online

credits: clipartkid

Trust us, it’s really not!

You’d be surprised to know there are people out there who are ready to support you with small or big amounts of money, kind encouraging words or simply help with reaching out to more people – all you need to do is ask. Remember, we all want to help each other and a crowdfunding platform like ours is where both helpers and seekers meet.

Just creating a fundraiser page is not enough

Many people have the notion that creating a fundraiser page on a crowdfunding platform is all they need to do to see donations pouring in. Using crowdfunding effectively can do wonders to your fundraiser but just like any other thing you do – the more heart you put into it, the better are your chances of hitting the goal. To reach out to people, you have to spread the word on social media and get in touch with all your family members and friends.

Social Media Celebrities

credits: pocketors.com

If you start a fundraiser on Ketto, you’ll be assisted at every step by a fundraiser manager assigned to you. So start a fundraiser, follow our tips and watch it become a success.

You don’t have to be a social media celebrity to raise funds

Many of us are apprehensive about taking our cause online for the fear that it might not be well received. Let us assure you that this is not the case – now or ever!

Social Media Influencer to Start a Fundraiser

Credits: Bigcrab.net

While having a following anywhere, online or offline can be a huge plus, it is not necessarily a prerequisite for one to start an online fundraiser. There is no fixed algorithm to know how much impact your story will (or won’t) generate until you have shared it with the world. Once you have, reaching out to celebrities and social media influencers who can help you with your cause is easy – all you have to do is ask!

This is going to be the best experience of your life!

People who have raised funds successfully have often been overwhelmed with the kind of support and love their fundraiser has received. Some have even gone ahead and included it in their CV as one of their most proud achievements.

Bring a smile to someone's face by starting an online fundraiser

Credits: Adventurewomen

Here’s what people who have used Ketto have to say about their crowdfunding experience:

“Within the first half an hour, when I received the first thousand rupees, that’s when I believed that this could actually work. And that pushed me to go wilder on social media. By the end of the day I managed to raise 1 lakh rupees, which I thought was impossible.”

Nishant (raised funds for a hit and run victim)

“All backers loved this fundraiser and came forward with their excellent support. I think, crowdfunding had never been so easy. People should definitely use crowdfunding platforms as they can raise funds for any cause and there is no limitation or boundaries for what so ever amount they wish to raise. Ketto is contributing to the society by helping people to realise their true self and any fund problem can be solved with it if the fundraiser owner is really serious for the cause.”

Shwetanki Sharma (started a fundraiser for the elderly and underprivileged)

So, you see, all those apprehensions are only in your head! Once you act on the fears that hold you back, the only way to look is forward! If you’ve been wanting to raise funds and have concerns/questions too, tell us in comments or you can write to us at info@ketto.org

 

 

Knot Of Protection: Celebrating Raksha Bandhan With A Twist

Celebration of Raksha Bandhan

India is a land of a diverse variety of religious beliefs and as a consequence, we also celebrate a wide variety of festivals. India is known for it’s larger than life festivities throughout the world. Today is Raksha Bandhan, another important festival that celebrates the ‘protective’ nature of the relationship shared by a brother-sister. The word literally means ‘the knot of protection’, something that siblings also tie on each other’s wrist as a symbol of the bond.

While the festival was initially limited to brothers and sisters from the Hindu fold, it hasn’t been left out from modernisation. We all have rakhi brothers and sisters, and we have stopped limiting our love to a religion or sect. People have also started challenging the typical archetype, doing so beautifully. Here are a few inspiring people who are positively twisting the idea of ‘Raksha’(protection) and ‘Bandhan’ (relationship).

The Sister Who Risked Her Life

hey

What if your brother, sister, or a loved one had failing kidneys? Would you go to the extent of giving them one of yours? Sounds like a Hindi movie plot to you, doesn’t it? However, it is the true story of a woman who decided to donate one of her kidneys to save her younger brother’s life. Due to lack of funds needed for the procedure, she started a fundraiser on Ketto, seeking help from others. Her will and love for the bond became her strength and helped her overcome any obstacle that stood in the way of her brother’s well-being. Now that’s what we call a real celebration of bonds, won’t you?

The Sister Who Protected Her Brother

The way we are looking at the dynamics of the festival is changing. As more and more women are becoming a part of the workforce, we are seeing a major shift in who takes up the role of the protector.

Imagine this. A guy named Arjun from Hyderabad develops a rare genetic disorder that has restricted him within his 10/10 room. This is because of disproportionate growth in his body, where one of his limbs has grown abnormally (to 163 kgs approx), keeping him away from light & open air for 5 years!

This is a true story.

arjun shalini

 

Had it not been for his sister Shalini and the power of crowdfunding, the wait for freedom and open skies would have lasted much longer. Arjun now has an equipment that allows him a social life, human interaction and sharing of experiences, all thanks to his sister Shalini and the 46 backers who supported her cause through Ketto.

Rakhi: A Celebration Of Bonds Beyond Blood

Who said that you have to be Indians to celebrate the Rakhi bond? In fact, you don’t even have to share the same race or ethnicity to celebrate the virtue of a brother-sister relationship. We can say so because of people like Uttam Banerjee, who helped two terror survivor sisters from Nairobi who were stuck in India after they had exhausted all their money on medical treatments and hotel bills. Who would have thought that the Kenyan sisters would find a brother timezones away, and one who would source many more brothers, sisters and believers for them – all through online crowdfunding.

kenya

 

Rakhi is the celebration of that bond which two people share without desire. We should make every possible attempt to nurture and protect the purity of this bond, irrespective of whether blood ties come with it or not! In a relationship where you vouch to protect the one you love, divisions of gender, race or religion hardly hold value!

Not All S/Heroes Wear Capes

Superheros

Who are s/heroes? Are they just limited to fantasy entertainment or do they exist in reality as well?

At Ketto, we have the privilege of meeting real-life s/heroes everyday. Now they may not wear capes but they carry their super powerful passion within them that translates their good thoughts into inspiring deeds.

Say hello to the Superheroes of Ketto!

Super Empowerer Nikhil Sarup
tara

The 82 year-old veteran dancer Tara Balgopal had a postal stamp issued in her honour back in the day. She was later living off charity in a dilapidated house at the mercy of her neighbours. While many of us were busy blaming the government and feeling bad for her, Nikhil Sarup took that extra step beyond likes and shares and decided to visit her in Delhi.

Our Super Empowerer used crowdfunding and raised more than Rs. 8,00,000 for her. She now has a proper, well-furnished house to live in, with electricity, a tiffin service and a way better life.

Super PawProtector Amee Mendez
Amee-Mendez-2

This woman has been taking care of about 47 dogs for 11 years now, all by herself! From their food to medical needs, Amee single-handedly takes care of everything until they get adopted by a capable, responsible family. She always puts her love and passion for animals above everything, even her own needs. With time it became difficult to tend to these dogs’ needs, so she turned to crowdfunding for help. And guess what? It just added to her super powers!

SuperDad Papa Reji

papa

Papa Reji has 24 children. Children affected with HIV have been living with him for more than a decade now. Despite limited income and means, he has successfully managed to provide them with the dignified days they deserve, some of which, he did through crowdfunding on Ketto. Fathering so many kids and protecting them from social evils for all these years makes him a definitive SuperDad for us!

Wizpowerer Prakash Aroor
sada

Nobody understands the power of empowerment through education better than a publisher! Wizpowerer Prakash Aroor did not protect coconut vendor Sadashiva from any accident or lethal event, rather he brought together the resources that he needed for a sustainable and progressive life. Through crowdfunding, Prakash gathered money from like minded socially active individuals, and now aims to support him with his personal health and daughters’ educational needs.

Neither is this doomsday, nor is there a Joker or Loki in this world. Our evils are much more real but the bright side is that we do not need superhero costumes or superpowers to combat them. All we need is the intent and passion to reach where we aim to.

Join the Quit India Movement 2016

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On 14th August 1947, at midnight, when the clock struck 12, as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru put it, we awoke to life and freedom, celebrating our first independent day. But did this day mark the end of our struggle in reality?
69 years after independence, we’re still fighting to free ourselves from evils such as lack of education, unequal opportunities for women, unprotected environment, limited access to healthcare and many more.

For all of us at Ketto, August 15 holds a lot more importance because it also happens to be the day we started our journey as a crowdfunding platform.
Since our inception in 2012, we’ve worked towards our vision of empowering individuals with a platform, so they can gather funds and create a positive change at a personal and/or a national level.

As we turn 4 today, we wish to start another Quit India Movement, this time for the homegrown challenges that need us to come together yet again.
Over 20,000 responsible people and 2000 NGOs of India have spearheaded the movement by teaming up with us and used crowdfunding to bring about an instrumental change in the following areas:

INR 3,59,15,783 has been raised to make healthcare accessible
INR 4,23,20,173 has been raised for the welfare of children
INR 73,80,647 has been raised to empower women
INR 2,06,11,706 has been raised to eradicate illiteracy
INR 72,24,972 has been raised for the welfare of animals
INR 13,05,839 has been raised to create a sustainable environment

What would you fight for?

Come, be a part of India’s Quit India Movement again, raise funds for an evil that you wish to free India from and don’t forget to spread the word.

Start A Fundraiser

How Crowdfunding Can Rescue You From Helpless Situations

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Reaching out to a crowd for help has existed in our lives since the beginning of human civilisation, or perhaps even before. At some or the other point in our lives, we all have reached out to our friends and family for support.
Using the internet as a medium for asking for monetary help became a concept only as recently as 1999, by the name crowdfunding. Along with being quick and convenient, what makes this approach truly unique is the number of people it allows you to reach, thus multiplying the possible help you can get.
It can rescue you from the most helpless situations that life throws at you. Here are 4 situations in which you can turn to crowdfunding:

After a natural calamity

Credits: NDTV

Credits: NDTV

Natural disasters are something that we have no control over. If you feel helpless looking at images of the aftermath, there’s a way to go beyond praying and hoping for their welfare. As a matter of fact, more than Rs. 100,00,000 has been raised for disaster relief through online crowdfunding for Chennai floods and Nepal earthquake with help from responsible individuals and charity partners.
For the recent Assam floods that displaced more than 18 lakh people and animals, fundraisers on Ketto have raised over 10 lakh so far. This was because there are people who care enough to want to do something about the situation.

When medical bills start piling up:

credits: NDR

credits: NDR

Unexpected events are parallels of one’s life, and we don’t always know what do about them. What do you do when someone you love or care about meets with an accident? If he is not financially strong, you might help him with all the cash you can spare, but that is not always going to be enough. You might end up asking more friends for help, but we all know how medical emergencies are- it’s like you’re on a sinking boat in the middle of the ocean. You’ve got to fill the hole, and you’ve got to do it fast!
This guy called Mangcha would have had to undergo an amputation, had his friend Nishant not started an online fundraiser in the nick of time. More than 4000 individuals have used medical crowdfunding to pay for their hospital bills and high treatment costs using Ketto.

When you want to help someone:

credits: theemotionmachine.com

credits: theemotionmachine.com

Many a times, we might also come across incidents or situations over the internet that spark a burning desire within us to do something to change the way certain things are. But what do we really do? Some of us might take to introspection, as in what could have been done, or just talk about it to our friends and tell them how we feel. There is another way to help so many stories you read over the internet everyday – take it up ourselves.
Here’s Nikhil Sarup’s story of how he made an 82-year old dancer, dance all over again by starting a fundraiser.

When you have a brilliant idea:

credits: licdn.com

credits: licdn.com

We’re the startup generation. By the time you reach the end of this sentence, someone, somewhere might have come up with an idea that has the potential to become a huge success. So, if you have a great idea and know the time is right, you don’t have to wait until you have accumulated enough funds to start. Put your idea out there through an online fundraiser and gather funds for it. Arjun Menon, raised money through crowdfunding to sponsor his participation in the esteemed sustainability project of Antarctica ‘2041’! So if you have a brilliant idea and you’re waiting for funds, let’s begin, shall we?
A calamity, pending bill, creative idea or simply helping something your care about- the power of people coming together can help you with any of your needs. Spread the word by sharing with the world so that persons in need can live and do better despite their means.