How Excluded Hong Kong Communities are Receiving a Boost of Support from Crowdfunding

Meet two Hong Kong residents who have so far raised HKD112,000 for the homeless, refugees and minorities of Hong Kong through online crowdfunding site SimplyGiving

They are seeking to raise a further HKD275,000 to make an immediate impact for communities that are often overlooked

Hong Kong, 4 July 2017

According to the Massolution 2015-2016 report, crowdfunding - a way to raise money through mass numbers of donors or lenders - is a global industry worth over USD34 billion.

In Hong Kong, crowdfunding for charitable projects is gathering pace. Crowdfunding platforms such as SimplyGiving are being used by passionate individuals and charities to raise funds for their personal quests to help minority communities.

Jeff Rotmeyer started ImpactHK a year ago. ImpactHK is a charity that undertakes Kindness Walks in Hong Kong’s poorest districts twenty times per month providing food, drink, free laundry, toiletries, clothing, bedding and more to 250 of Hong Kong’s homeless.

Rotmeyer signed up to SimplyGiving in late June. ImpactHK now has 16 individual fundraisers who are reaching out to their own networks to help finance the development of a new support centre for Hong Kong’s homeless.

“It is crucial for us to have a centre of our own, so that we have a physical base to provide multiple connections to help support individuals, including job creation and placement, accommodation, counselling, sports and mentoring, and much more. Our ambition is high, but with our quickly expanding volunteer base, it’s very achievable,” says Rotmeyer.

In just under two weeks, 155 people have donated an average of HKD600 each and ImpactHK are nearly a third of the way to hitting their HKD350,000 target.

Rotmeyer says, “We have still got some way to go but every donation, small or large, makes a huge difference. Crowdfunding sites like SimplyGiving are ideal for us as a brand new charity looking for a way to get off the ground– the team is really supportive and the platform is easy to use.”

Victoria Wisniewski Otero is also on a personal campaign to make a difference to minorities in Hong Kong.

This summer, Otero launched Resolve, a project to empower future community leaders from underrepresented communities for an inclusive Hong Kong.

Resolve's first fellowship will focus on ethnic minorities under the theme of racial equality and inclusion.

Although Resolve is not yet a registered charitable organization, Victoria is still able to leverage on SimplyGiving’s crowdfunding platform to raise funds in this start-up phase.

Otero says, “Resolve’s fellowship programme is designed to help shape the future community leaders of ethnic minorities and their allies in Hong Kong – to give them the skills to communicate positively, to speak up for a better future and to build tolerance amongst society. My Personal Fundraising page is to help cover the essential costs associated with kickstarting and delivering the pilot – from food and travel to materials and management costs.”

Both organisations agree that the main benefit of online crowdfunding is the ease with which you can reach your own network as well as complete strangers. The advent of social media has made it much easier to share these campaigns on social networks.

“Offline, I have also been raising seed funding, but the benefit of crowdfunding is getting in front of as many people as possible, quickly, to donate whatever they can and being able to promote this cause to new networks. Each and every amount makes the difference to help achieve the target and a substantial difference to the lives of others,” says Otero.

Nikki Kinloch, CEO of SimplyGiving, says, “We are seeing an increasing number of personal fundraisers from Hong Kong, who come from all walks of life and are looking to raise funds for a wide variety of causes ranging from small personal projects to ambitious missions such as those undertaken by Jeff and Victoria. We aim to make online fundraising easy, accessible, clear and transparent for everyone, and we are happy to help wherever we can.”

For more information on either of these fundraising campaigns, please visit:

https://simplygiving.com/Appeal/resolve

https://simplygiving.com/appeal/MakeABiggerImpact

 

Massolution Crowdfunding Report 2015-2016

http://crowdexpert.com/crowdfunding-industry-statistics/