Education crowdfunding has rapidly evolved to become the solution for students in India who often put their educational prospects on hold due to the lack of financial support.
“An investment in knowledge pays best interest.”- Benjamin Franklin
Education can be a necessity for some while it still remains a luxury for half the world depending on one’s socioeconomic circumstances. With more than half the Indian economy living on less than Rs 150 a day, it can be hard to pick a side between education and survival. Indians are beginning to embrace education crowdfunding, which is already a very popular concept in the West. It is enabling education to become an accessible necessity for everyone in the world. Education crowdfunding is the process of raising funds online from a large number of people for any education-based project.
One of the best things about education crowdfunding is that there is no payback liability and is thus a good alternative for students and their parents who resort to taking loans on high interest rates or worse yet, mortgaging their assets to fund education. It makes it easier for people within their network and strangers to donate as much or as little as they please towards education. Here are five real life use cases for education crowdfunding in India:
Education crowdfunding has rapidly evolved to become the solution for students in India who often put their educational prospects on hold due to the lack of financial support. It is a widely known fact that it is getting harder to obtain educational loans. Here, educational crowdfunding can step in and enable young minds in India to pursue the education that they deserve. Recently, Rachel Chacko was able to raise Rs 18 lakh for her dentistry education via crowdfunding. Similarly, Snehal Pawar also raised funds to fund her CFA Level 1 and so did Vijay Tayade who is a stage 4 cancer patient and needed to fund his children’s education.
NGOs working towards education
In recent times, education based NGOs in India have also seen the merit of using crowdfunding. They are increasingly realising the ease of crowdfunding versus the offline fundraising methods such as door-to-door fundraising, charity galas, call centre operations, which are not only time consuming but also expensive compared to crowdfunding. Some of them also use it as a supplementary method of fundraising in addition to their existing offline fundraising activities. Organizations like Teach for India, Magic Bus Foundation, Child Rights and You, Iskcon Food Relief Foundation etc have been known to give crowdfunding a shot.
Upgradation of the classrooms and teaching conditions of public schools
Volunteers and staff of public schools have successfully used crowdfunding to ensure a holistic educational experience for students in public schools. These schools often lack basic infrastructure such as desks, chairs, books, computers, essential teaching aid. Many such organisations have thus crowdfunded to provide better infrastructure to the students and thereby bridge the learning gap between public and private schools. Tanya Malhotra, a Teach for India fellow raised funds for her classroom for a Mumbai school and so did Deepakram, who is also a Teach for India fellow who raised funds for his classroom at a Corporation School in Chennai’s MGR Nagar.
International conferences and seminars
International conferences, seminars and educational tours have become more accessible as for students that have crowdfunded their travel intensive programmes. These programmes abroad often come accompanied with an exuberant price and often the students need additional financial support to cover their air ticket, accommodation, and other expenses. Yamuna, a young student from Tripunithura in Kerala, was able to successfully crowdfund to attend a MOOT conference held in Singapore.
Education based social enterprises
We have also noticed various education-based social enterprises crowdfund to be able to come up with services, products and technology, which will create a larger impact in the field of education in India. SEED Schools, a social enterprise, raised Rs 9 lakh so as to provide education to 29 underprivileged children through their intervention. As did Vchalk, an education technology social enterprise, that raised Rs 2.35 lakh to enable better learning for children in classrooms.
These trends prove that crowdfunding for education is a concept that is here to stay.
(By Khushboo Jain, Co-Founder and COO, ImpactGuru.com)