Madad (Arabic for “help”) is an online donation platform for Egyptian NGOs. Founded in 2012, social projects selected by the operators and checked for their social efficacy can present themselves to donors. Although Egypt was ranked 110 of 187 on the 2014 Human Development Index, Egyptians donate almost a billion US-dollars a year. The majority of that is donated via the compulsory religious alms-giving practices of Zakat and Sadaqah, which requires Muslims to give a portion of their money to charitable causes.
The selected NGOs (as of 2015, only a handful) from areas such as education, the fight against poverty, or the environment present high-quality videos on the platform. They collect donations for concrete projects, partially as on conventional crowdfunding platforms with deadlines. These videos are created by the Madad team themselves, as the NGOs are not capable of delivering such high-quality content and do not know how to best represent themselves online.
Currently still largely self-financed, Madad takes between 3-7% of collected donations as fees, but in the future they want to offer their services to companies. Legally, Madad cannot currently process the payment procedure online. After clicking on the “Donate” button, donors have the option to choose between two payment procedures: deliver the money to the NGO themselves (“go to collection point”) or select “cash on delivery” and instruct a courier to pick up the money from their home and take it to the NGO. In this way, Madad shows two sides of the digital-social scene in Egypt: an extremely difficult regulatory environment, as well as the unbroken will of young digital-social pioneers to persevere and not give up hope that there can one day be effective online fundraising in Egypt.
We discovered this case through our Lab Around the World research trip.