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Crowdfunding—More than Money

Crowdfunding, the art of raising money by seeking smaller donations from a large pool of people, primarily through the internet, has changed the face not only of the non-profit world, but even of individuals and businesses. Such a large net of donors can result in millions of dollars being raised in record time.

Crowdfunding Has Joined the Arsenal of Weapons in the War on Ebola

By the end of 2014, more than $3M from donors in 68 countries had been raised through GlobalGiving.org for Ebola relief. Crowdfunding offers everyone interested in a particular cause the opportunity to make a donation and become a part of the movement. For example, an impoverished community in Mozambique made a $200 donation in November, which for them was equivalent to wages for two months.

GlobalGiving is crowdfunding on behalf of 29 non-profit organizations that are involved in Ebola prevention and relief. Donations have come from more than 3,800 individuals around the world. Private foundations have also joined the effort, supporting the globalgiving.org charity organizations. The Sall Family Foundation and Paul G. Allen Foundation each donated $100,000, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation contributed $400,000 and the Leona M and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust gave $2.2 million.

Crowdfunding Builds Institutional Capacity

The GlobalGiving platform does not stop with fundraising. The organization seeks also to strengthen the capacity of local groups and on-the-ground individuals engaged in the daily fight against Ebola. Utilizing the crowdfunding model, GlobalGiving is building networks, helping organizations connect to information and securing access to the latest technologies. An example is GlobalGiving’s outreach to a South Africa technology company resulting in the creation and distribution of an Ebola Care app which helps workers in the field to track, coordinate and manage patient care, follow-up, education, and also to compile data on survivors.

GlobalGiving co-founder says that the power of crowdfunding is not in engaging a large group of people to donate money, rather it is in the crowd itself that can be harnessed to bring to life ideas by pooling diverse resources, experience and intelligence to fight a common cause.