Already a key player in the crowdfunding industry, today Indiegogo rolled out a new platform targeting crowdfunding for charitable giving and important life events. Called Indiegogo Life, the platform targets people that need to raise money for emergencies, celebrations, and unexpected medical costs, among others.
In 2012, Karen Klein was a 68-year-old bus monitor who made headlines for a viral video showing her being bullied by young boys riding her bus. As a show of appreciation, an Indiegogo campaign was started to raise vacation funds for Klein. Seeking only $5,000, over $700,000 was eventually collected.
Indiegogo Life was built as a direct response to crowdfunders' needs. "We saw how many people started using the platform to raise money for themselves, or a loved one", says Indiegogo Chief Danae Ringlemann. Indeed, Indiegogo Life fills a segment that rival Kickstarter does not. In fact, Kickstarter expressly forbids charitable causes. For Indiegogo, these causes are huge and make up a large part of their business.
Currently, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding services are prime avenues for fraud. For Indiegogo, the personal services segment attracts much of that traffic. The creator of Karen Klein's vacation campaign, which raised nearly $700,000, eventually sought funding for himself. He created a page called, "Love for Max Sidorov too", with a link on Karen Klein's page. Eventually, Max's new campaign was removed by Indiegogo, but only after receiving countless complaints from the online community.
To combat this issue, Indiegogo will continue to use the same algorithms and protocols already in place. Ultimately, it is up to the users to report suspicious campaigns and owners. It is up to us to determine what constitutes a personal cause.