Some ways you could make a difference by crowdfunding to raise money in the wake of a disaster
Crowdfunding for disaster relief has proven to be an effective and powerful tool, allowing anyone to offer their support by raising money to help families and local communities rebuild their lives when disasters such as floods, earthquakes and tsunamis strike.
Floods occur as a result of considerable rainfall, storm surges or failing flood defences. Immense forces of water destroys buildings,shops, houses and vehicles, ultimately devastating entire communities.
After unprecedented rainfall in Hebden Bridge (a small village in Calderdale), the river Calder burst its banks. John, a local resident set up a crowdfunding page for the local music shop which had such severe water damage that it required complete refurbishment.
Headteacher, Chris crowdfunded to help Calderdale’s flood affected schools. His campaign raised over £29,000 meaning that much-needed items such as books and classroom furniture could be replaced.
When an earthquake struck Nepal on 25th April 2015, Basu lost his uncle, his house, and his ability to earn money all at once. Louise set up a crowdfunding page, and quickly (with the help of the community) she was able to raise enough money to buy tin, so Basu could build temporary shelter, to protect him and his family and start the process of rebuilding their life.
Tsunamis are enormous sea waves produced by undersea volcanic eruptions. In the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, a quarter of a million people died and two million people were left homeless.
Desperate to help the Thai children in a village she had volunteered in, Cecilia raised almost £500 for an orphanage established after the tsunami.
When Hurricane Joaquin hit Baracoa, there was no clean water as the wells were contaminated. Water was in short supply, as it had to be bottled or boiled. In a country where the average salary equates to around £20 a month, whether a surgeon or a gardener, Rachel recognised that it was going to be a long road ahead to put homes, schools and the community back together. She raised almost £1,500 on her JustGiving Crowdfunding Page
To provide immediate relief, Molly initially set up a Crowdfunding page to buy food, water and medical supplies, including fuel for planes and boats bringing them in. The next mission was to begin rebuilding houses.
Whilst many choose to give to or raise money for charities who provide aid on the ground after natural disasters, Crowdfunding offers an alternative for those who have a connection to specific projects or people in need.
Donors are able to see the impact of their donation because often, the fundraiser builds their page with the intention of delivering the relief themselves. The ability for the Crowdfunder to post updates throughout, allows the donor to feel a more direct connect with the cause they are supporting.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been raised globally, by people reacting to the situation in Calais, and the wider migration crisis in Europe. CalAid, a non profit organisation, raised £164,890 to deliver goods to those living in makeshift shelters at the British borders, surviving in terrible conditions.
How can you help?
As technology advances, we are finding more ways to predict disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. Even still, the power of people reacting quickly to send resources to affected areas is needed more than ever. Crowdfunding for disaster relief allows people to come together to make good things happen where it’s needed most. It makes it possible for people from all over the world to contribute.
You could consider creating a Crowdfunding page to:
Raise money to fund your own volunteering in an area affected by a natural disaster
Raise money for a nonprofit disaster relief organisation or group of volunteers working in an affected area
Raise money to buy immediate relief such as clean water, food or clothing to send to disaster areas
Raise money towards long term goals, eg: building materials
Crowdfunding for disaster relief: Top tips
Spread the word. Like with anything you do, the more effort you put in the more you’ll get out. Promotion is super important. The best way to spread the word about your campaign is via social media but you could also put posters up in your local area, write letters or print flyers. You could even share your page in the comments section of online news articles related to your cause.
Reach out to local media. Create a press release. Getting your story in the local (or even national) news is a great way of attracting more supporters. It can sometimes be up to two weeks before you’ll see your story in print, so it’s a good idea to do this before your campaign kicks off.
Tell a compelling story. Get to the heart of what you’re raising money for and why it matters.
Explain exactly how the funds you raise will be used. Do your sums and research exactly how much each item will cost. Honesty encourages potential donors to donate.
Contact local businesses. They may be willing to match funds that are donated to your page. Communities stick together when hard times hit.
Post updates to your page regularly. Remind people of the urgency of the situation and thank your supporters - after all, without them you wouldn’t be able to do what you’re doing.