(Cross posted from Byte Channel)
Of the many startups that try to build up a social network in one form or another, this one is different. It does not have games, apps, or sharing in circles, but has profiles and pages, and has an asymmetric sharing. Pages are for organizations and can be linked from profile pages of children, which can be followed by the second kind of members, the Godparents.
Godparents.in is not just another internet startup. It is a platform that brings together thousands of underprivileged children in need of money for basic necessities like nutrition and education to willing donors. You would say there are numerous other organizations that do that, like CRY, Akshaya Patra, Smile Foundation et cetera. Godparents is different because it goes a step ahead and establishes a connection between the donor and the person.
By giving the child a name, a face, and a background story. And allowing you in making informed decisions on your donations, track where your money goes, how it is used, and most importantly how it impacts the lives of children that you choose to support, making Godparents.in a data-rich, transparent social-service-network specifically focussed at facilitating one-to-one financial support to underprivileged children.
Sample Preeti Upadhyay, who is a 10 year old girl studying in VII standard. She is good in studies and likes drawing, singing and reading stories. Her father is a daily wage labourer and mother a domestic help. She has two sisters and their parents meagre income is insufficient to meet her educational expenses. She requires a sum of Rs 8,600 per annum to take care of her school fees, uniform, books, and commute to school.
In addition to the above details, Preeti's profile page has a photo of hers, a list of her grandparents who have contributed towards her needs along with their contributions, and the NGO (with a link to the NGO page) that takes care for her.
So, Godparents.in establishes a three-way relationship between needy children, patrons, and NGOs.
A donor can go through the entire list of children's profiles and choose one or more of them to god parent. Every child has a total requirement and the amount left to raise. You may help a part or full of the remaining amount required. Godparents.in collects the money on behalf of the connected NGO, on which they have already had a due diligence done. The fund transactions are quite transparent with the incoming and outgoing funds listed on the site, including breakups of funds raised by NGO. Also accessible are regular updates on your Godchild's progress (through updates on child's profile) and the annual reports on the activities of recepient NGOs.
You can also connect to other godparents through their profile pages that have their brief bios with email ids and phone numbers If you feel good deeds should not be boasted, you can remain an anonymous Godparent. However, a public contribution adds to the transparency of the process. Your choice..
The novel idea was innovated by Shubham Shrivastava and Shivam Shrivastava. The creation and maintenance team for Godparents.in consists of a total of 17 volunteers, many of them IIT graduates and working in corporates in India and abroad. Apart from individuals, the effort has support from a few organizations as well. Microsoft supports Godparents.in under their 'BizSpark Global Startup Program', and Flipkart provides free publicity by distributing Godparents.in bookmarks along with the books that they sell online. As of today, the site has 15 NGOs and 415 godparents.
All the best Godparents.in. This will make a difference. I am signing up for a god parent right away.