Kitafund is a medical and humanitarian crowdfunding platform launched in May 2019.
Its founder is Tengku Ahmad Syamil who also founded Skolafund, a platform for educational crowdfunding.
Behind him is his reliable founding team who verify any applications on Kitafund to ensure that all fundraising on the platform is legitimate and justified.
Transparency in crowdfunding
Kitafund aims to make giving and helping others as easy and transparent as possible so funders needn’t worry about being scammed by irresponsible individuals.
“Our main focus is to help increase the transparency between donor and recipient, therefore making it easy to help those who are in need,” Tengku Syamil said.
The platform facilitates this transparency by having information on how much funding is needed, how much has been funded, and how much more needs to be funded.
The reason behind Kitafund’s creation is to minimise scams and fund abuse cases that are common with fundraising by individuals using personal accounts via social media.
It’s common for us to see people online asking for funds with claims of medical emergencies, and we wonder how legitimate their stories might be.
Some people create such believable scams by taking genuine stories from others and linking their own bank accounts so any money funded goes to them instead of the intended recipient.
There’s also the issue of people who raise more than needed with the money going directly to their bank account and funders left in the dark about how much the recipient has received.
People are becoming increasingly aware and wary of fundraising requests on social media thanks to scams, which makes it hard for people who genuinely need monetary help to raise funds.
The application and verification process
Kitafund combats this by allowing people to submit an application on their website or via their #kitafundhotline.
Once an application comes in, the team will go through the steps of verifying the request.
“We verify by getting official documents and making sure the funding requested is sensible,” Tengku Syamil supplied.
When all the information checks out, Kitafund will then launch the fundraising campaign and begin raising money.
Money raised on the platform does not go the recipient’s bank account, but instead is paid directly to respective hospitals for bill-related payments.
In cases where recipients need funds to pay for follow-up treatments and appointments, Kitafund can transfer the money to their personal accounts with proof of receipts and invoices before making the transfers.
“The duration of each campaign by default is 30 days but can be shortened or extended if needed,” he explained.
The funds raised can be withdrawn anytime as long as recipients declare what the withdrawal is for based on the items already listed in the campaign.
Any actions pertaining to the campaign will have their details listed out under the “Updates” tab on the campaign page and funders will be alerted so they can keep track of what the recipient is doing with the money.
Who Kitafund can help
When asked what criteria there are for users to set up a campaign on Kitafund, Tengku Syamil replied, “Users with the genuine need of assistance for medical bills and needs, and have tried conventional means but were unsuccessful or had insufficient funds.”
Campaigners who are interested in starting campaigns under medical, humanitarian or social causes are also welcome to put their campaign up on the platform.
With the existence of other crowdfunding platforms like EdSpace Projects Sdn Bhd and Give.my, Kitafund needs to find a way to differentiate itself from them and Skolafund.
Kitafund’s focus lies in medical emergencies and social causes while Skolafund raises funds for access to higher education and related opportunities.
Meanwhile, other fundraising platforms like EdSpace and Give.my concentrate their efforts on primary and secondary education instead.
Kitafund also differentiates itself by offering support to campaigners in raising funds by giving tips and guidance to them almost daily, and are always open to help where needed.
Making differences in peoples’ lives
For the first few months after launching the platform, Kitafund is using minimal financial resources to operate.
To keep Kitafund active, it charges an 8% fee for every transaction made on the platform.
The fee is broken down into 5% going to administrative operations and 3% going to payment gateways.
*Editor’s Update: The information in the previous paragraph has been updated based on new information from Kitafund.
As of now, there have been 72 campaign launches on the website with over 11,000 funders who have contributed to them.
The platform managed to crowdfund its first RM100,000 within 18 days of launching, and over RM541,000 has been raised today since its launch in May.
How Kitafund ensures it retains campaigners and donors is by getting updates from the people they’ve helped.
When donors get updates and are able to see the differences that they make in real peoples’ lives, they’re more likely to return to the platform and fund more campaigns.
Kitafund hopes to continue its service to people in need while also building and nurturing relationships with hospitals and social aid organisations.
This is to provide people with other options in the case of issues that cannot be helped through crowdfunding.
Ultimately, Kitafund’s goal according to Tengku Syamil is: “To be the main platform in SEA for communities of good people from all walks of life to come together and do what they can to help others, make quality healthcare accessible and create social impact through various initiatives.”
- Find out more about Kitafund here.