Yesterday me and Lijo went to Kadamakudy Islands to visit and evaluate some of the potential housing project cases. We were blessed with this beautiful sunset at the Pudussery bridge.
- Credibility of the idea and the promoters are the key success factors for every crowdfunding project.
- Credibility of the promoters is the most difficult to achieve. It has to be built over a long period of credible track record.
- During execution phase of the project, trust of all the stakeholders have to be built by bringing in absolute transparency of the project (funding, expenses, project progress, project risks, forecasts of time and cost). This is achieved through continuous communication. We used whats-app group, facebook page and the wordpress blog for this purpose.
- Probability of scope creep is much higher in crowd funding projects, as the expectations of the beneficiaries escalate during the project execution, when they understand that it is funded by multiple people , hence the illusion that there is plenty of money.
- There has to be a key project manager, who owns the entire project, and accountable to the sponsors.
- For one of our projects, we started raising funds from people. Then another sponsor who was willing to sponsor the entire project turned up, scuttling our initiative to generate public interest in the project. In fact we started receiving donations for this project and we had to get the permission from the donors to use the funds for another similar project. Getting a single sponsor is good for the beneficiary and at the same time it is a risk for crowd funding.
- Ensure that the beneficiary have not sought / applied or is eligible for any alternative funding, before going for crowd funding. Other wise it will lead to point 6. Sometimes we will be preventing a better opportunity (funding) by linking them to your crowdfunding project. There are many larger sponsors out there. So please check whether the project under consideration is eligible for any other source of funding.
- Funds have to be distributed against the milestone completion only. Pay it directly to the vendors and service providers. Do not entrust money to the project beneficiary.
- If we are constructing a new house, the risk is very low compared to demolishing an existing house as the onus of raising sufficient finding to complete construction falls on the project manager. In such cases, do not even start without sufficient funding. In new constructions, we have the freedom to start developing and show progress as soon as funds start coming in. This in turn will generate more interest among the sponsors, resulting in better funding.
- We started with one project (home for a person whose house was washed away during the floods) based on impulse and intuition. That gave us more confidence to venture into the second project, and the funnel is growing. It would have been better if we had managed it as a program, with a standard design, bill of material, budgeting and funding for the program, than for individual projects.
Hope to come out with more lessons learned as we progress further.
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Sanal is an eighteen year old boy from Chariyamthuruth, near Kadamakudy, Kerala, India. His house is destroyed during the Kerala flood 2018. After his tenth standard with 70% marks, he is learning plumbing with the only ambition of standing on his own legs as fast as possible. He stays in his house along with his mother who is not mentally stable and with his father who is a coconut plucker. The condition of his house is very sad. It can collapse any time. A core group of five local women brought this story to public with a Facebook video. Today we (Sanesh Paul, Lijoe Chakiath and Me) visited the house and verified the conditions and found it as one of the most eligible cases which need support. We are knocking at your doors once again to support this cause. We will ensure absolute transparency into the project through daily progress updates and accounts.
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While making the donation mention the reason as ‘Rebuilding Sanal’s Home’
Funds received so far : Rs. 7200
Project progress: Initiation