With the ever growing social media use in Uganda, many people in need of financial support have of recent turned to such social media platforms like facebook, twitter and whatsapp for fundraising as the easiest means to reach out to potential funders. Several car washes have been organized, network messaging via whatsapp among others. This is termly known as crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding refers to the practice of funding a project or campaign by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people through the internet.
www.friendsfund.org is a platform developed by Kampala Webhost Limited an Information Technology company having seen the need for a more Transparent and fun way of fundraising money in Uganda and in a local currency.
The Platform allows an individual or entity “project owner” to sign up at zero cost, publish a campaign stating the need, the target amount of money that they need to raise and the duration within which it should be raised. Several features are available on the platform to enable the project owner and the audience share the link on different social media including Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.
The project owner can choose a currency in which they want the project to be funded and among options available is our very own Ugandan Shillings. A new payment method has been developed where donors shall just enter their mobile money number on a secure gateway to effect the payment, an SMS is be sent for the donor’s phone to approve the mobile money transaction upon which if successful the website automatically detects the payment and the transaction is completed.
A project owner may also have his campaign in any other foreign currency supported by PayPal if he intends to attract international funding. The project owner must have a PayPal account and is able to receive such funds.
In order for a project to be funded successfully, the owner must engage as many people as possible starting with friends in his or her social circles. Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp is the deal breaker!
The website for purpose of transparency displays the progress of the campaign and the donors funding it. Once the targeted amount is reached or duration expires the funds collected are sent to the project owners mobile money account, a local bank account or PayPal account. The agency charges a small management fee of of the donations collected.