The UNHCR and Kickstarter are trying to crowdfund more support for refugees

The UNHCR and Kickstarter are trying to crowdfund more support for refugeesimage

07 Oct 2015

As the conversation about Europe’s refugee influx continues, one question that keeps coming up is where—and how—to find the massively depleted funds needed to help stem what many are calling the largest-scale human movements of our time.

That’s why the UN’s refugee agency is trying an approach anyone who spends time on the Internet has come across by now—crowdfunding.

This week the agency partnered with Kickstarter for a campaign to raise money for essentials like food, water, shelter and medical facilities for asylum seekers showing up on European shores daily by the thousands.

As you probably know, Kickstarter campaigns usually feature a target amount of money and a certain number of days to reach it. If that goal is reached within the time frame, the campaign’s organizers get to keep it and whatever extra spills in (minus a five percent cut for Kickstarter). If it falls short, organizers don’t get any of the funds.

However, apparently inspired by a White House suggestion to Kickstarter a few weeks ago, this campaign is atypical — it has no funding goal, no all-or-nothing rule and the company says it will donate its regular cut toward the cause. Plus, contributions are US tax-deductable.

With six days left in the campaign, the UNHCR has so far raised over $750,000 with 12,601 backers.