With the rise of crowdfunding as a new way of raising funds for projects, causes, campaigns and appeals, one may ask as to why we need crowdfunding platforms for the Muslim community.
“The one who starts a new day without going after Muslim issues, is not a Muslim“ Prophet Muhammad
As we see in numerous places, as Muslims, we have always been encouraged to care for everyone around us, including neighbours, friends and families, let alone fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. However with a population of 1.6 billion people scattered around the world, how do we find out about each other’s needs, community projects and causes worthy of support?
One of the main characteristics of a community is the way they are connected with each other, the flow of information between the individuals within that community and what makes them united. The latter is what we all share and believe in, One God, One Qibla, our beloved Prophet Muhammed and One Book. However unfortunately when it comes to being aware of each other, staying connected and getting notified of needs internationally, we see shortcomings across the board in the Muslim community. Some other communities from other religions or groups of people are far ahead of the Muslims in being connected, informed and united when it comes to supporting each other and fulfilling community needs. One way to solve these issues in our community is through crowdfunding.
Now, how does crowdfunding help us? How can we justify the need for it?
1. A single point of reference
There are many Islamic appeals, fundraising campaigns and projects going on around the world. However usually they do not manage to reach out to the wider Muslim Ummah internationally due to a variety of reasons. Muslim Crowdfunding platforms such as www.TahaFunder.com allow those caring for the wider Ummah to find projects they can contribute to in one single place. This makes it much easier for charities, organisations as well as individuals within the Muslim community to raise funds by presenting their projects on one single platform, with international exposure.
2. Easier process of fundraising
Using crowdfunding, those aiming to raise funds can present all their projects in one unified shape and form. This allows their followers to get familiar with their format, help building trust by showing an audit trail and the list of other projects, showcasing their videos and introducing their organisational activities to a wider audience. They will be able to build a base for their contributors, collect their data and send them updates about the projects they contributed to very easily.
Crowdfunding platforms utilise marketing expertise to help project owners hit their targets within the time frame of the projects. It is in the best interest of these platforms to make sure they have a high success rate in order to attract more projects to their platforms. So in a way, project owners will be outsourcing part of their marketing activities to those with the expertise. These platforms utilise variety of marketing methods to help the project owners raise funds needed by offering them free/affordable marketing or media products. These include TV ads, email campaigns, social media activities and the range of partnerships with companies aiming to get involved in community causes and projects.
4. Process of Pledging
It is often tricky for independent project owners to collect money from contributors in real life, wait for everyone to join, reach a target and then go ahead to execute the plans. Often the money needed for a project is not accumulated and what some people contributed to initially, doesn’t actually come to life. Crowdfunding solves this issue through the process of “Pledging”. Pledging is a new type of payment which is very similar to a “pending transaction” in many cases. Those who pledge to help a project, do not get debited unless other contributors join them to make a project 100% successful in raising the funds needed. If the project is successful by the End Time of a campaign, then all the contributors will get debited at the same time, otherwise and in the case of failure of a project to raise 100% of the funds needed, no money will be taken from contributors’ accounts. This makes it much easier for contributors to pledge higher amounts of money, being assured that money will only be taken from them if and only if others join them and help project hit their targets.
Community members can easily find out how much money a project has managed to raise, how it is progressing overtime, stay in touch with project owners and help the word of mouth being spread around around the world through social media accounts etc. Project owners will be able to clarify where the money was spent on, how it helped shaped the community and how it will evolve in future.
Project owners can offer incentives in the form of rewards in order to attract more audience to their page and get them to contribute. These can be both tangible and intangible. Rewards are a key part of the crowdfunding process which help a project raise funds faster and more efficiently.
by Mohammad Fahimpour