Charity Digital news recently caught up with David Mark, CTO and founder of M-Changa, a fundraising service which allows the user to spend less in fees to achieve much more than through traditional methods.
Could you describe the service that M-Changa provides and how it works?
Over two thirds of the world’s population live in communities without an adequate social safety net. This leaves millions of people worldwide without the means to smooth financial and lifestyle shocks, such as medical care and school fees. In absence of formal support, many in the developing world turn to family and friends on a reciprocal basis many times over the course of the year.
This system of reciprocal giving is under serious stain, as fund collectors attempt to reconcile payments from multiple payment systems and remotely convince their donors that funds are being used appropriately.
M-Changa solves this problem by tracking community payment and providing a safe, transparent and mobile accounting space for life’s most critical causes.
Are there any particular features that fundraisers can benefit from?
The product allows the instant and free creation of purpose driven fundraisers with collection of funds via mobile money channels and international credit cards. It also leverages the fundraiser’s mobile phone book and social networks to quickly spread the fundraiser to all required contacts.
Who are your major competitors and what makes M-Changa different?
M-Changa has a laser focus on irregular needs and life shocks that exist not only in Kenya, but many developing markets throughout the world. Our product works with the most basic mobile phone and allows you to collect funds much differently than you would with competing services.
In peer-to-peer mobile money or remittance systems (i.e Western Union), you would collect funds to a personal account which is not specific to a cause. M-Changa turns this practice on its head and gives group accounting statements for group initiatives. We then endeavour to ensure that every contributor has the precise transparency information that they need to feel comfortable with the transaction. This includes special roles for treasurers who help control the funds and ensure they are used for correct purposes.
What was 2013 like for M-Changa and what’s in store for 2014?
In 2013 we were new to the market and had to convince our customers that we could add value to their most precious causes.
In 2014 M-Changa has achieved over 100% growth per month in the number of contributions made on the platform. Contributors have realised the value of M-Changa and become fundraisers themselves. Next up for M-Changa are partnerships with financial services players who want to create sticky and emotional relationships with their customers. Secondly we are raising pre-series funding to build additional products and enable our app on smartphones and WhatsAPP.
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