By Prarthana Mitra
It was a day mired in doubt and despair for fifteen-year-old Deekshit as he shuffled between home and hospital, where his mother lay in a critical condition. Having exhausted all their means on her brain surgery, ventilation and rehabilitation before this, Deekshit was running from pillar to post trying to secure Rs 15 lakhs for her rectal prolapse surgery. This was before he put up a fundraiser on crowdfunding platform ImpactGuru on Tuesday.
Within 3.5 hours, his campaign titled “Help Sukanya” generated the target amount, with help pouring in from all quarters for the young boy from Bangalore. This was also a record for ImpactGuru, which has impacted over 100,000 lives over the last 4 years, mobilising over Rs 130 crore across 15 countries and teaching crowdfunding basics to over 1,000 nonprofit organisations (NGO).
Cause and Impact
Founders Piyush and Khushboo Jain are leading the philanthropic shift towards online fundraising, tapping into the interwoven cultures of online influencers and the power of social media marketing. Crowdfunding has immense potential to help raise lakhs for patients, Piyush said, especially when available health covers are largely inadequate due to low credit scores, need for collateral or due to high risk of death. Backed by a cavalcade of influencers, ImpactGuru is offering NGOs, medical patients, and those with personal emergencies or educational needs, the road to a silver lining.
It is the only crowdfunding platform with an AI-supported story builder for medical fundraisers, with a template for all campaigners to write and develop their own stories, which is pivotal for attracting backers and benefactors. Deekshit’s heartfelt campaign was able to accrue such massive attention quickly, because of the personal account he presented to potential influencers. Furthermore, you can attach pictures and documents like medical bills and prescriptions to plead your case with conviction.
Notable among ImpactGuru’s crowning achievements is raising a record Rs 51, 89,273 for young Riaa Kulkarni based in Australia, who was diagnosed with an accelerated brain cancer. Besides a strategic partnership and technological integration with GlobalGiving, the world’s largest nonprofit crowdfunding platform, ImpactGuru has also raised $2 million in Series A round co-led by India’s largest hospital chain Apollo Hospitals Group. ImpactGuru is also the first such platform with a mobile application to launch campaigns and accept and track donations with ease.
They have also initiated a unique programme #DoctorsForGood for medical practitioners across India. Harvard alumnus and former investment banker Piyush spoke to Qrius, saying, “The objective behind the initiative is to provide a platform for enrolled doctors to refer patients who are in need of funds for their treatment.” ImpactGuru also helped raise Rs. 7, 82,000 for Yash Charitable Trust, looking to open a cafe which employed people with developmental disabilities.
Having found his calling during a fellowship with US non-profit Instiglio, Piyush was inspired to help non-profits with social impact bonds and non-equity financing and soon ditched his career at Wall Street to found ImpactGuru. His business and life partner Khushboo clubbed her expertise in branding and communication with his knowledge in technology and finance, launching their collective vision on a crowdfunding platform.
ImpactGuru started as a part of Harvard’s startup incubator, Venture Initiation Program, which aimed at giving everyone the equal chance to voice their needs, seek help and alleviate poverty and inequality. Piyush said, “Our primary target customer is the huge lower and middle-class population that is either uninsured or insufficiently insured for expensive medical treatment in case of terminal ailments.”
“Our greatest moment of pride was when we partnered with Project Inspire,” said Piyush, “to facilitate fundraising for 20 young changemakers impacting Asia Pacific.” The initiative co-founded by Singapore Committee for UN Women and Mastercard provided an international platform for young entrepreneurs and philanthropists to pitch their ideas for a better world for women and girls in the Asia Pacific. With several such horizons to scale, ImpactGuru is slowly establishing itself as the go-to platform for lives at stake.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.