Author - Sahara Moses

About Sahara Moses

She loves to talk in rhyme and verse, which can be rather cute,
But too much of a good thing can also cause irritation acute.
Okay, so we can't rhyme as effortlessly as she can. We send the rhyme-queen nothing but love.

Find more about me on:

Here are my most recent posts

Nepal earthquake 2015: Ketto to the rescue

Magic of crowdfunding

In a situation of a natural calamity, when there’s barely anything left to conserve, we as humans have the power of unity. That’s the power which came into practice when the crowd (from all across the globe) came together in support of Nepal earthquake-hit victims and started fundraising campaigns on Ketto. With the help of more than 7500 backers in less than a month, ‘Save Nepal’ raised over a crore – making Ketto the highest single entity to raise funds for CARE INDIA, one of the NGOs to provide on ground help in Nepal.

Forces behind the success of Save Nepal disaster relief drive

As the massive earthquake of 7.8 magnitude on Richter scale ravaged the Himalayan country – Nepal on April 25, 2015, Bollywood actor and co-founder of Ketto – Kunal Kapoor flagged off the first campaign in collaboration with CARE INDIA to provide survival kits to the quake-hit victims. With the death toll rising every hour, panic increasing in Nepal, Kunal got others from the film industry too to start campaigns in order to raise financial support for the victims. The network grew and the campaign went viral. In three days, Ketto raised Rs.40 lakh.

It was a collective effort that made Suport Nepal drive a major success. Where Bollywood celebrities like Varun Dhawan, Dia Mirza, Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma, Gaurav Kapoor, Vir Das, Sraddha Kapoor were nailing it, corporates, NGOs and individuals used the fundraising platform and raised a whopping amount of over 80 lac by 10 May.

On ground help

Within a week of the tragedy, the relief drive had picked up, payments were cleared immediately so that CARE INDIA could reach the affected areas ASAP. It was the result of team effort that made CARE INDIA one of the first one to reach Gorkha for help. The funds raised were utilised toward providing the victims with medicine, shelter and rehabilitation, as well as kits, including -tarpaulin, mats, hygiene kit(soap ,toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary napkins & disinfectants soaps) and blankets.

It was a situation when any help was great help. Being our neighbour nation, Nepal received immense support from India. We remember constant communication with campaigners who wanted to raise funds and reach Nepal to provide help immediately. Such names include – Bouncy Mehtha, Rohan Shrestha, the famous photographers.

With such kind of support, the situation in Nepal seems to improve. In fact, we plan to gauge the impact first hand and ensure things have moved smoothly in Nepal.

Our pledge

Ketto has been thriving to make crowdfunding an easy and effective way of supporting each other financially. It’s situations like Nepal earthquake, Uttarakhand floods, Jammu and Kashmir floods, when we realise how important it is to stand in unanimity. We are a nation, we are united, Ketto is just a medium to bring you all together.

We pledge to amass maximum support for your cause – be it disaster, social, technical, educational, personal. We are just a mail away. (info@ketto.org)

If nature has the power to destroy, we have the power to conserve. Together, let’s conserve humanity and kindness.

10 Things To Expect When You’re Expecting…To Crowdfund (for Creative Projects)

Ten things to expect when crowdfunding

So you’ve decided to start a crowdfunding campaign for your creative project. Awesome! Here is everything you need to know – to do and not to do – to have a successful one.

Behind The Scenes
  1. Start talking about your project on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media you use. Make people aware of your project before you launch your crowdfunding campaign. It will help when you begin reaching out to people for support.
  2. Your campaign’s goal amount should not be the entire amount you want to raise. First, get support from close friends and family. What you can’t raise with their support is the amount you will campaign for.
  3. To get support from your primary circle (close friends and family), make direct pleas. Meet them personally if possible or call them up on the phone. Tell them what your project is all about and ask them to support it.
  4. Your campaign page is mainly to pitch to relative strangers – friends of friends etc. Include all the basic information – what, where, when, why, who. Also talk about what you plan to use the funds for. Be clear and authentic with your campaign.
  5. A video helps. It doesn’t need to be long. 30 seconds is perfect. And be in your video. It helps authenticate your campaign.
  6. Rewards are important for creative project campaigns. Give your supporters perks for helping you financially. Be creative with the rewards. Give people exclusive experiences, i.e. things they can’t buy elsewhere. Like including their name in the credits of a film or album, giving them a chance to be an extra in a film, making them a caricature/portrait…you get the picture!
Action
  1. Reach out to your secondary circle directly via social media. Tell them you’ve already raised a portion of your goal and need their help with the remainder. (Again, face-to-face meetings and phone calls are the most effective.)
  2. Keep reaching out via social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email etc. Include your campaign page link everywhere and ask everyone to share the link with their network. Tell them it’s crucial to your campaign’s success that they do this!
  3. Thank each supporter within 24 hours of their having contributed to your campaign. It is gratifying to be thanked and will lead to good will for future campaigns if not repeated support for the current one.
It’s A Wrap
  1. When your campaign ends, don’t end communication. Keep updating your supporters on your project’s progress. And arrange for their rewards promptly. This is important for their support through your project and for future projects.

Keep these tips in mind to have a successful campaign!

 

The New Phase (Launch of Creative Projects)

Creative image for launch of creative project category on Ketto

Here’s the fateful story of three guys who started a crowdfunding website, Ketto, to make the world a better place, and  what they’re up to now. Hint: It’s pretty creative! 

The Beginning

The story of Ketto is the handiwork of fate. It was the mysterious forces of destiny that brought together the three founders of the crowdfunding website. That and the dream of a better world. How did it all begin? Well, the story goes that actor Kunal Kapoor, who supports several charities, had been noticing the challenges NGOs repeatedly faced while fundraising, and wanted to ease their struggle. He began thinking of ways to make this happen.

At around this time, it began to dawn on finance professional Varun Sheth that he didn’t just want to make crores for his clients; he also wanted those crores to have a significant social impact, to better the world in some way. He began keenly observing the business paradigm of social causes and soon quit his job to focus on it entirely.

Within the same timeframe, Zaheer Adenwala, a technology professional, had been tinkering with the idea of transferring the fundraising model onto an online platform. He felt that India’s time had come and wanted to take the country’s social sector into the age of technology.

This is when fate intervened and brought these three individuals together. The trio happened to meet, they chatted, they realised they had the same passion for positive change, and they decided to sync forces and bring their ideas to life.

That’s how Ketto came to be launched on none other than India’s Independence Day (15th August) in 2012.

The Evolution

Ketto began as a simple vehicle for charitable organisations to gain independence, so to speak; to be able to fundraise more efficiently, quickly, easily and safely. Soon, it became a vehicle of independence not just for charities but for individuals too. People began to not just give to their favourite charities in a secure online space, but also began to fundraise for the NGOs themselves.

The journey to empowerment was set. What followed next was its evolution. Next came the ‘microsite’, a mini-website where NGOs could not only have their own campaign page but their own NGO website within Ketto, complete with branding, logo placement and their customised URL. This site or host page displayed the campaigns started for the NGO by their supporters.

The next wave came through corporations who began to start their own microsites on Ketto, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. Several professionals began campaigns under the umbrella of a corporate to raise funds for an NGO – all displayed on corporate microsites.

Then Ketto took it further. We gave corporations the opportunity to use our fundraising platform as a tool for recruitment and as a team building exercise. Fundraising became a task with a deadline, given to recruits. It also became a fun competition for departments within corporations. Ketto became a multifaceted website offering several services, all for a good cause.

The New Launch

This brings us to the newest phase. We announce the launch of a brand new facet to fundraising on Ketto – the creative projects genre. This category allows anyone who wants to fundraise for a creative project to start campaigning for it on Ketto. A film, a book, a fashion line, a dance performance, a play, a music album – any creative project at all.

Today, Ketto is a tool of and for empowerment, of and for the mind and soul. Ketto is the key to a better tomorrow. On that note, we open the doors to all your creative dreams. Because every good cause deserves support.

Start crowdfunding your creative project here!

 

We Can Do It, Yes Vegan! (Veganism)

Vegetables and Veganism

Image courtesy Vegan Bites

To tip our hats to World Vegan Day (1st November) and celebrate Vegan Month, here’s all the skinny on the health benefits of Veganism

What is veganism?

Veganism is similar to vegetarianism, but whereas the latter is about excluding meats, the former goes a step further and also excludes dairy and dairy products. Veganism is not just about the food you eat. It is about the way you live. It is about being kind to yourself by eating healthier, and about being kind to animals by refusing to eat meat or any animal products and byproducts. This includes dairy and dairy products. A third dimension to veganism is refusing to wear leather and other animal skins as clothing or footwear.

What’s the concept behind veganism?

Why vegans choose not to eat meats is obvious – meat is the result of killing animals, birds and fish. Why vegans choose not to wear animal skins is obvious too – it also means killing animals. But what about dairy? We don’t kill cows to get milk, do we?

Agreed. We don’t kill cows for milk. But often, cows are kept in cruel conditions through their lifetimes. And since it is impossible for us to keep track of which farm our packaged milk comes from and what the conditions are in which the animals are kept, vegans shirk dairy altogether. So no milk and milk products equals no possibility of animal cruelty.

Is veganism a healthy option?

Undoubtedly. Switching to veganism does not result in being shortchanged on nutrients. There are alternative, kinder ways to get your dosage of calcium and protein instead of from milk, meat and eggs. Milk can be substituted with coconut milk, cashew milk and soya milk. Alternatives for meat include tofu and soya.

Is vegan food tasty?

Being vegan does not mean compromising on taste. Just because you refuse to harm animals does not mean you have to forego enjoyment of food. Nor does it mean giving up certain foods. Cheese made of cow’s milk is out, but that does not mean cheese made of coconut milk cannot be had! And did you know Oreos biscuits are Vegan? Hide’n’Seek biscuits too! No kidding! Being vegan doesn’t mean no desserts and no fun. You can make some delicious vegan cupcakes if you wished to!

It being vegan practical?

Logistically, it is not that difficult to live the vegan way. There are several ways to substitute dairy and meats. In a country that embraces vegetarianism, veganism is not that much of a stretch. Especially in a city like Mumbai. We may not have vegan restaurants abounding but we do already have restaurants that cater to Jains so it is just a matter of explaining what the food criteria are for being vegan. Restaurants can then cook you your meal as per your vegan parameters.

As for attire, saying ‘no’ to leather, fur and other animal skins is easy. If you like the look of it, faux is the way to go!

Is it easy to adopt veganism?

It depends on your constitution and personality. It depends on how passionate you are about adopting veganism as your lifestyle. Because that is what it is – a lifestyle overhaul. How much of veganism you want to adopt into your lifestyle is your choice.

What are the benefits of being vegan?

o   Since you will be eating healthier, you will have a bigger store of energy

o   You can say goodbye to constant sluggishness

o   Toxins in your system will reduce, making your system cleaner and more efficient

o   Your skin stands to improve

o   You may well lose a fair amount of weight from eating healthier

o   Your good karma will shoot up like crazy from the kindness you are doing on a daily basis

Are there any famous vegans?

There sure are! Jennifer Lopez turned to veganism to improve her health and happened to lose some weight too. Anne Hathaway is another actress who opted for a vegan lifestyle. Bryan Adams, Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia De Rossi and many other celebrities have chosen veganism because of their love for animals.

Want to raise awareness about veganism and its benefits? How about starting a campaign to fundraise for an animal shelter while spreading the good word?!

Start here!

 

Giving is Rewarding (Nargis Fakhri’s birthday campaign, Sidharth’s birthday campaign, rewards)

Giving is rewarding

Ah, birthdays. They are a happy time. Your birthday is your special day, to celebrate however you want. And what could be more special than sharing your joy with others? Your happiness would double, triple, quadruple…. In short, it would just keep multiplying with each person you share your joy with! One way to do this is – you got it – starting a fundraising campaign for a good cause with your birthday as the theme!

Bollywood actor Nargis Fakhri did just that. She chose to start a campaign in readiness of her birthday (Which was on October 20th – Happy birthday, Nargis!! Ketto wishes you goodness and joy always!), and raised Rs. 2,35,855 for the Jammu and Kashmir relief efforts. The funds will go a long way in helping the people of J&K rebuild their lives. And Nargis and her fans/campaign supporters will have earned a crazy amount of good karma. Hoorays all round!

Ketto intern Sidharth VD chose to celebrate his birthday with a fundraising campaign too. He chose his favourite cause of children’s rights. He hoped to help eradicate child labour and encourage education amongst underprivileged children. Being a student, Sidharth knew he would mainly be reaching out to his friend network which consisted of fellow-students. So he decided on the reachable funding goal of Rs. 10,000 and added rewards to his campaign to make things more fun for all who chose to support him.

What are rewards, you ask? They are sort of like party favours or the back-presents of a campaign. Like a thank you for supporting your campaign. These thank yous need not be tangible gifts. They could also be experiences, which are far more explusive than anything you would get from a shop. The cool thing about rewards is that they can be as creative as you want.

For instance, Sidharth decided to have four levels of rewards – for those who gave 100, 500, 1000 and 5000. For Rs. 100, Sidharth gave a thank you shout-out on Facebook. For Rs. 500 he gave a shout-out and a hug. For Rs 1000, he offered a unique experience – a meal of Maggi cooked personally by him. And for Rs 5000, he promised his supporters a dance performance at their wedding. Doesn’t it all sound fun?!

Rewards are not just meant for campaigns with a birthday theme. Rewards can be offered with any campaign. It all depends on how you want to create and promote your campaign. As you can see from Sidharth’s campaign, the cause he fundraised for is serious, his campaign content is heartfelt and his rewards are light and fun. This is one of the tricks to a successful campaign – a dash of fun. That explains why Sidharth surpassed his goal and raised Rs. 13, 661 in support of CRY’s efforts to end child labour.

Infusing a grave cause with a lighter tone helps balance out a campaign. It makes things fun and interesting, and makes people want to be a part of it. Why wouldn’t you want to support a good cause and have fun while you’re at it?!

So whether you’re planning a fundraising campaign for your birthday, wedding, anniversary, for Diwali, Christmas, Children’s Day or just because a good cause needs to be supported, think about adding some rewards to it! You don’t need to have a celebrity-sized fan-following to gather support for your campaign. (Though it doesn’t hurt to have a fan base! Birthday lady Nargis Fakhri’s campaign is point in case! Kudos to the actor for using her fame for good.)

Celebrity or not though, you do need to share your campaign with your network – friends, family, colleagues…the whole shebang! And of course, rewards wouldn’t hurt!

Want to start your own fun revolution for a good cause?

Click here!