From the last few years, the popularity of crowdfunding has been increasing. As many people donate an ample of amount of money to raise funds for the public. Usually, the crowdfunding is done to help newcomers in establishing their business, help students, help to raise fund for medical treatment, and help people who want to rebuild their homes after disasters.
This term also refers as “social media fundraising”, “online fundraising” or “peer-to-peer fundraising.” These days, choosing a crowdfunding platform is quite challenging because many types of a crowdfunding campaign are running on different online platforms like social media, email, or online websites.
Moreover, crowdfunding platforms are being targeted by cybercriminals for stealing money as it is soft target and people easily get emotional while reading ad of crowdfunding need.
So, you should think twice before donating money to any of crowdfunding platform. You can evaluate an online fundraising platform or a website with the following ways.
Who Is Behind the Platform?
If you want to invest or donate money on a reliable platform, you must check who is behind the selected page or a website. Therefore, you can check the ‘About Us’ page that provides all detail about the history of the backers, their experience, the goal of the campaign, and many more. Moreover, you may also come to know about their fundraising history, including their last campaigns and how successful they were, and how many people were helped. All such information helps you to check the authenticity of a fundraising page owner or a web owner.
Transparent Terms and Policies
Many cases have been seen, where the term and policies about investments and beneficiaries are not disclosed, and the investors feel cheated later. So, ensure term and policies of selected platforms before donating. All the fundraising platforms must have transparent term and policies about who are they, who is the beneficiary, how much money will be invested, and what assurances are being tackled, etc. Such mentioned information shows transparency and visibility of the platform. If not so, think before investing, because your money might be misused.
Web Security Lock
Crowdfunding platform must have a web security lock, as it provides security to the data that is transmitted between a web user and a web server. The official fundraising websites usually have an SSL Certificate that offers maximum protection for sensitive information against cybercriminals. SSL certificate does not only ensure secure data transmission but also protect the financial transactions between a web user and a web server. Thus, first, check the web security lock and HTTPS before domain name on the address bar of a fundraising website.
Next, check the selected platform is complying with PCI standards? PCI compliance is a set of safety standards that are designed to verify all the online platforms that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information. These security standards make sure that credit card information is being shared in a highly secure environment. Therefore, do not forget checking such security standards on selected platforms.
Reviews and Comments
Generally, fundraising platforms allow users to comment or review on their website or page about their crowdfunding campaign. So, you should check all the reviews and user’s comments for selected platforms. It will give you an idea about their reliability and campaign success.
Scam Protection Guarantees
Past a few years back, it was not possible to get fraud protection guarantee for your donation, but nowadays it is feasible, many online platforms offer scam protection guarantee to donators, beneficiaries and campaign organizers. The best examples are the GoFundMe Guarantee Policy and Airbnb. They are online markets where all the donators, beneficiaries, and campaign organizers gather. All can directly contact each other, and these platforms offer some amount in the form of guarantee to all its community members. Thus, you should donate money in one of them so that you will have peace of mind after donation.
Valid Contact Information
Usually, contact through email or a messenger is seen on most of the crowdfunding platforms. Do not rely on that; just contact the crowd funder through a phone call and ask them to visit them if possible. Moreover, you can ask detail of beneficiary from them. If the crowd-funder is genuine, they will give you all the feature that you request. Otherwise, there might be chance of fraud.
Don’t Be A First Donor
If you are donating money to your known person, one of your relative, family friends, you do not need to worry because you know their financial condition. However, on the contrary, if the platform or person behind is unknown to you. Never donate on such platforms as a first donator because they may run away with your money. They must have past achievements in fundraising campaigns. You should crosscheck all details before doing crowdfunding.
Donating money in a crowdfunding campaign is an excellent idea for raising needy people, but the evaluation of the selected platform is a must before donating money, as there are huge chances that your money may go in the wrong hands and it could be misused. You can follow all the security mentioned above tips for checking the authenticity of any fundraising platform.