We've told you about Google matching donations to help with the refugee crisis in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. Now Kickstarter, the crowdfunding website, is breaking new ground with a fundraising campaign to help Syrian refugees.
Kickstarter has never run a nonprofit campaign before, nor allowed them on the site. But the White House encouraged the campaign, which is raising money for the United Nation's Refugee Agency to help Syrian refugees with food, water, warm clothes and even care and education for children affected by the crisis. According to a White House blog post, other corporations like Instacart, Twitter, Airbnb and Starbucks are helping raise money for the refugee crisis as well.
Announced on Tuesday, the Kickstarter campaign had raised over $1.2 million from over 19,000 backers on Thursday. Even small donations can make a difference - the campaign points out that just $15 can provide a mat and sleeping bag for a refugee driven from their home by war and violence.
The crisis has reached staggering proportions. The campaign site explains, "This year alone, half a million refugees have found their way to Europe. Many of them arrive exhausted, malnourished, and carrying the few possessions they could save. Six thousand more are arriving in Greece each day. Globally, more than half of the refugee population is under 18. Often, children end up separated from their loved ones, lost in strange new places."
There are a few ways this Kickstarter campaign differs from anything else you've ever seen on the site, other than being the first nonprofit campaign. All of the contributions will be collected immediately, and there is no "goal." Kickstarter is waiving its normal 5% fee, and Stripe, which processes the payments, is waiving its fee as well. Contributions are tax-deductible and go straight to the U.N. Refugee Agency.
To help out with the refugee crisis by donating to the Kickstarter campaign, click here. And stay tuned to our Happening Now page for all the latest news on where technology intersects with your life and the lives of those around the world.