Startup Review: Donate-ng Makes Crowdfunding Easy, but it has a Strict Approval Process
Donate-ng is an online fundraising platform that was launched in 2016. It was co-founded by Olakunle Olayinka, Segun Olojo-Kosoko, Ayodele Amusa and Aheeb Afeez. Its parent company is Twocan Solutions Limited.
More Nigerians are embracing the online option of raising funds for causes they consider charitable or suitable enough. An example is the goFundMe account that was created by fans of Big Brother Naija housemate; Erica.
Unfortunately this also has opened up an avenue for people to create fake campaigns and ask people to donate towards it. In April, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) warned against platforms that extort people by asking them to help raise money for charitable causes especially to reduce the impact of the COVID-19.
The fake campaigns that pretend to help people as well as fake platforms that provide avenues for defrauding people creates the need for platforms that can be trusted. There is also a need to verify fundraising campaigns and also to fund through platforms that remit money appropriately.
This is the space that Donate-ng was created to fill.
The startup allows individuals and organizations to create campaigns and invite people to contribute towards it. It also allows people to securely contribute financially towards projects.
Donate-ng has a web app on which it renders its services. There is currently no mobile app for users. After creating an account on the platform, you can create a campaign in four steps.
The first is to specify the details of the campaign as well as upload relevant images. The second step is to add more details to a description section for the project while the third is to add details of yourself if you have not done that before.
The last step is to submit the application and wait for the Donate-ng team to approve it.
I reviewed this startup to determine how easy it is to create campaigns and on how easy it could be for fraudsters to create a fake campaign and defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
I created an account and set up a mock fundraising campaign as a charity organization that would help to equip 300 females with web development skills. I filled the details and submitted the application and waited for feedback.
I received an email in response some hours later and was asked for documents like a letter of confirmation/affiliation from schools where the 300 students would join from. Here is a screenshot of the letter below.
While the process of setting up a campaign is easy, I Donate-ng appears to verify applications appropriately before it is approved and published on the website. Individuals, Alumnus, Charities, Religious Organisation, Corporate Organisation and Political Organisations can create fundraising campaigns for projects which may be charitable or not.
Alternatives to Donate-ng
NaijaFund is another crowdfunding platform that allows people create campaigns and raise money. The web platform is neither easy on the eyes nor is it easy to use but it gets the job done.
It approved the same campaign I tried to create on Donate-ng without verifying my email, phone number or detail relating to the campaign.
This implies that if you want to contribute to a project on NaijaFund, you should do your due diligence.
Donate-ng has been bootstrapped since it was launched. It was a part of the recently concluded HiiL Innovating Justice Challenge 2020. The winners are yet to be announced but the prize is 10,000 Euros and a 4-months accelerator programme.
According to Segun Olojo-Kosoko, Donate-ng has raised over N82 million which has impacted more than 69,000 individuals since launch.
In summary, Donate-ng provides a credible way of making donations to causes that are legitimate. You can check them out if you have any crowdfunding ventures in mind or want to donate to a worthy cause.
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