Most people would like to truly help those in need when they can, but donating money to large charities sometimes feels like a thankless task because there’s no direct connection between the giver and the recipient. It’s also true that donations can also get lost in charity administration costs, especially when organizations aren’t run efficiently. In the past we’ve seen India’s The Girl Store enable donors to purchase the actual equipment that provides young girls in disadvantaged areas the chance to receive an education. Now Kangu is a crowdfunding site that lets backers send their money to specific individuals who otherwise run the risk of dying during childbirth.
According to the startup, 90 percent of maternal deaths are entirely preventable and yet they’re common in regions where women can’t receive the hospital treatment they need for a safe birth. Much like any other crowfunding site, users can browse the individual cases that are being supported by Kangu. Each profile contains information about the mother, their personal situation, how much they need and how much they’ve raised so far, with the due date acting as the campaign deadline. Those who want to back their cause can pledge to pay any amount they like. The money will be sent directly to the vetted local healthcare provider the mother plans to use if their funding is successful, minus a 15 percent cut for Kangu. In return, backers receive pictures and updates during the pregnancy and news of a safe birth. Kangu is currently supporting women in Uganda and Nepal, although the startup hopes to expand to South America and the Caribbean in the near future.
We’ve already seen a range of crowdfunding sites that are now supporting individuals in their personal life challenges, from the more general healthcare-based Watsi, to Lexshares, which is now enabling crowdfunded legal battles. Are there other stones left unturned in the crowdfunding market?