Lok Sabha Elections: Crowdfunding startup helps raise funds for contesting candidates

As the Lok Sabha elections are approaching many people has filed their nominations to contest the elections including Tamil Nadu’s 111 farmers against PM Modi. However, many people are lacking resources to spend on their campaign.

In a similar case, a widow, whose farmer husband committed suicide, wants to raise awareness about farm crisis by contesting Lok Sabha polls from Maharashtra but she couldn’t campaign because of lack of money.

To help this kind of people to raise donations, Anand Mangnale has launched Our-Democracy, a crowd-funding start-up for this kind of candidates who want to make a change but don’t have resources.

Launched almost a couple of months ago, he has already signed up 12 candidates. The aim is to raise Rs 70 lakh for each, the expenditure limit of a candidate permitted by the Election Commission.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Atishi, CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar and Congress nominee Nana Patole, who are in the fray in the upcoming polls are also in the crowd-funding list.

To frame the funding process and the online pitch, they reach out to a candidate and give him/her a detailed questionnaire. As of now, they have raised Rs 90 lakh for their 12 candidates. Kanhaiya has been able to raise Rs 33 lakh, while Atishi has raised Rs 43 lakh.

Anand stated that “We ask each donor to submit a verifiable email and phone number. Any donor willing to contribute above Rs 20,000 has to upload his PAN card details. These are then shared with candidates.”

He further added that “We want to bring white money into funding. Our aim is to raise money for candidates with transparency.” OurDemocracy charges 5% of the total donation amount as its fee. It makes graphics and videos and ensures that the website is on par with top e-commerce sites.