FIFA World Cup 2014 has been packed with surprises. Almighty Spain have fallen, England is on its way home, and Italy and Uruguay will battle it out to remain in the contest. Football has always had a substantial fan following in India. With action from the European leagues being beamed directly into our Indian homes, a new generation of adoring fans and superstars have been created.
Brands with big budgets such as Gillette, Samsung, Adidas rely on the popularity of the super star players to market their products to consumers. Non-profits and NGOs are also utilizing the frenzy around the event to draw attention to their cause and to increase their outreach.
Rang De, a not-for-profit online platform for crowd-funding microloans for livelihood and education for people belonging to low income households, is currently running an interesting FIFA World Cup themed campaign to raise more funds for its borrowers. The campaign allows people to pledge their support online to their favourite team/ player and redeem that pledge by providing a microloan to a borrower.
Started in 2008, Rang De over the last 6 years have raised more than Rs 22 crores as social investments from 6300+ social investors and supported over 28,000 low income entrepreneurs. Their efforts have been recognised through many awards, including the World Bank’s Development Marketplace Award and the Millenium Alliance Award and more recently the Bihar Innovation forum.
Rang De’s World Cup Fever campaign is an online platform that allows football aficionados to back their favourite teams and players by pledging their support on a public platform. Visitors can like pledges already made, make their own pledges, share it within their social networks. Currently active pledges on the microsite range from improbable ones such as a pledge to invest Rs 5000 if a non-European, non-South American country lifts the World Cup to pledges on a particular country winning the World Cup or a player picking up the golden boot.
Once the condition of their pledge is fulfilled, pledge makers can redeem their pledges by lending to a borrower from a low-income household on the Rang De portal. 100% of the amount lent through the campaign will be passed on to the borrower and the investor can expect the loan amount to be repaid to him in a year’s time.
Smita Ram, Rang De’s co-founder says,
At Rang De, we have seen that campaigns are an excellent way of reaching out to existing and potential social investors by appealing to their varied interests, tastes and emotions. For instance, last month we saw a lot of support for a campaign called the “Madness Project” that was started by an ex-intern, SiddharthAgarwal, who is currently cycling his way from Kharagpur to Mumbai. A lot of people who enjoy cycling, travelling, outdoor adventures could immediately align themselves to Siddharth’s campaign and his cause. In the same vein we are hoping that the World Cup Fever will appeal to football fans in India and abroad who wish to help out low income households take the first step towards financial stability.
Rang De had run a similar campaign during the 2012 ICC Cricket World Cup. The campaign had attracted a lot of attention on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook and Rang De had been able to raise nearly Rs 10 lakhs worth of micro-loans. Rang De is hoping that as the action moves closer to the knockout stage, more and more fans will join their campaign and help fight poverty in India.
Lets celebrate this FIFA World Cup and try to help a family in need by contributing our part towards this noble cause.