Doctor Turned Campaigner: What Is First Time Crowdfunding on ImpactGuru Like?

By: Sonali, Diamond

Published On: January 25, 2022

Situated in Khandpe, a remote area in Karjat, Om ABODE Social Innovation Institute is an NGO run by Om Creations Trusts. The institute works as a home-away-from-home; a multi-functional ecosystem for individuals with special needs across a spectrum of age groups and disabilities. When approached by its founder, Dr Radhike Khanna, with the request of conducting a medical camp for certain indigenous tribes, villages, and old age homes in Khandpe - a young doctor took it upon himself to help those who do not have access to modern healthcare services.

ImpactGuru’s campaigner Dr Burhanuddin Chhatriwala, pursued his MBBS from Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College, Pune. Post which he interned with JJ Medical College in Mumbai. He also worked in Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre for Covid duty. Currently, he is working in Orthopedics in Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Hospital, Sion.

A Doctor Turned Campaigner

Dr. Burhanuddin Chhatriwala has been closely associated with this NGO for a long time so he witnessed personally, the hardships that it went through during the Covid pandemic. Pondering upon the idea to conduct a basic health and dental camp to help the people in the village, a friend suggested he create an online fundraiser to raise funds for the camp. The 24-year-old doctor took initiative and acted upon the idea by choosing to crowdfund on ImpactGuru. The fundraiser was thus created on the crowdfunding platform in India to raise money towards COVID relief and medical supplies for the elderly and underprivileged. 

So what did Dr Burhan’s first-time crowdfunding experience look like? Read on to find out!

Sonali: What made you start this fundraising campaign on ImpactGuru?

Dr Burhanuddin: I have personally known and been associated with Om Creations NGO for a long time now as I also have an aunt who has an intellectual disability. The NGO takes in individuals and students with special needs between the ages of 18 and 45 and gives them vocational training. They make amazing chocolates, diyas for Diwali, and other handicraft items for which they are fairly compensated. Even my aunt gets a cheque from the NGO based on the work she does there. However, the pandemic greatly affected the institute's ability to function optimally as all activities came to a halt, and funding was severely affected. 

So around November 2021, when we went to meet the founder, she requested us to conduct a health camp at Om ABODE in Khandpe village as the village is quite far from any health centres. Oftentimes, there is barely enough network out there. So people suffering from Covid-19 or any other health issues do not get medical treatment until it’s too late. This then became the main motivation behind starting a medical camp!

How would you describe your crowdfunding experience on ImpactGuru?

So I was already considering raising funds on ImpactGuru, as it is a well-known name in India. I decided to fully go ahead with it when a school friend of mine recommended the same. Once I submitted the necessary documents, ImpactGuru’s team did a thorough check and verified the fundraiser. Post which, I immediately shared it with my social circle. It’s a different feeling when a cause you are passionate about is also supported and loved by those around you. I saw donations pouring in immediately!  On the very first day, we raised around ₹21,000. By the second day, the fundraiser had raised about 68% of the goal amount already! What further helped the fundraiser is that, probably seeing that my camp was for Covid supplies, ImpactGuru offered to match 10% of the donations generated for a specific number of hours for one day. 

So this really helped and boosted a lot of donations helping us reach around ₹51,000 at the end of the second day. 

How user-friendly was your entire fundraising journey with ImpactGuru?

The process was quite easy and user-friendly for the most part. Also, ImpactGuru does most of the work for you. They made a WhatsApp group of around 5 people. I was mostly corresponding with the person handling accounts. The campaign manager walks you through the entire process and tries to simplify it for you as much as possible. The withdrawal process is also quite well-structured to make sure the funds raised are transferred securely and utilized as promised. I had been informed that fund transfers usually take 1-3 working days after your request has been approved in the case of donations received from within the country.

Want to start a campaign but don’t know How? Read Fundraiser Campaign: A Complete Guide

Any tips for the campaigners who are raising funds for the first time like you?

So not just crowdfunding, I actually raised funds in general for the very first time! I think initially - for a few days - campaigners have to rely heavily on their personal network. Once the campaign is live, it reaches more people but you have to make sure that you believe in your fundraiser before you expect other people to. That’s why I kept sharing it as much as possible on my own as well. Since I wanted to raise funds in a short time, I knew ImpactGuru would be the right choice as I had read that they once raised ₹2 crores in just 48 hours. 

I also know that ImpactGuru provides assisted fundraisers where they help amplify the fundraiser’s reach through their channels. So there, ImpactGuru’s fundraising team can really help you - especially if you have a higher goal amount.

Read: Fundraising 101: A Complete Guide To Raising Money For Any Cause

How did the campaign help you with the medical camp?

Honestly, I did not expect to get such a great response in mere days. Initially, I wanted to raise a very small amount but the medicines that we provided for vitamin or iron deficiency and other needs are costly. So I increased the goal amount as conducting such health camps is not easy and unexpected expenditures like additional medicine costs, tests expenses, etc always come up so I wanted to make sure that we were well prepared.

We utilized the funds raised on performing blood tests, checking blood sugar, blood pressure, conducting the lipid profile like cholesterol, uric acid, as well as other basics. We even performed quite a few extractions, fillings, and other basic dental procedures as well. This would not have been possible without my team who worked alongside me without even charging for their time and service. So a big Thanks to Dr. Adnan Chhatriwala, dental surgeon, Dr. Shrushti Tanna, Zaynab Penwala, Founder of Penwalas, and Mrs. Fatema Fakhruddin Chhatriwala for their help.

Would you opt for crowdfunding again??

Yes, if it’s a big amount where the camp requires different specialities then I’ll probably raise funds online through ImpactGuru. Instead of sending messages on WhatsApp to everyone, crowdfunding is the easier and more professional way to raise money.

Any message to our readers as a Doctor or as a campaigner?

If you can dream it, you can do it! In December the conduction of a medical camp was just an idea. I thought of what could be done but didn’t know how to. I just started raising funds with ImpactGuru without any clue but things fell in place one after the other! I am happy that I went through this route. All I will say is that if you think it’s impossible then it is impossible, If you think you can do it then you can do it.

Like Dr. Burhanuddin, if you too have a cause close to your heart that you want to raise funds for, start a fundraiser here. For any additional queries, reach out to us on 18008912903 or [email protected] 

You Can Also Read: 7 Tips To Help You Virtually Fundraise Faster Amidst The COVID19 Crisis