Who We Are
This site is operated by Radha Swami, a Japan-based non profit organization. In June 2013 we were legally registered as a non profit organization in Japan (registered identification number: 0133-05-002062), and launched an online crowdfunding platform named “radha-swami.org”. This site is created in order to connect local Non Governmental Organizations (“NGO”) in the developing world with people in general like you and us, and create new projects for causes by your contributions that would otherwise not have been existed.
Our aim is to promote creation of new projects for people in need through our fundraising platform and lift up as many people in need as possible to come out of the challenges they face by enjoying development services provided by the NGOs.
To achieve this, our top priorities are:
1. “Impact of Contribution”: selecting projects that otherwise would not have been existed without your contributions.
2. “Impact of Project”: ensuring that the issues that the NGO is trying to solve with the project is related to development assistance for the underprivileged in developing countries, and the project can make a significant impact on solving the issues.
Key Features of the Site
1. You are given information on detailed project budget in every project directory page so that you will know how your contributions will be used. When project gets funded, the NGO provide Radha Swami with an auditing report for their project expenditure every month by the Chartered Accountant throughout the project implementation, so you will know whether the funds are used as per their project budget. If there is any surplus of contributions over the actual project expenditures, all remaining funds will be refunded to you according to the share of each contributor’s contribution. For details, please see our User Agreement.
2. You will receive Thank You Gifts from the NGO in exchange for your contributions. Most of them are made by project’s beneficiaries, so that you can feel the impact of your contributions. The type of gifts vary depending on the amount of contribution you make. For details, please see the list of Thank You Gifts in a project directory page.
3. We have designed an All-or-Nothing funding model: contributions to the project will be taken only if the project meets its funding goal within the specified deadline. Otherwise no payment will be taken.
4. The project is operated in developing countries and related to development assistance such as issues of poverty, human rights, health or education.
5. Progress reports from the NGOs for their funded projects will be updated at the early of every month in a project directory page, so that you will see the overall impact of the project.
Story Behind the Idea
Hi, there! I am Seiya Okawa, a founder and CEO of Radha Swami.
Ever since I saw under-privileged people such as a boy rickshaw puller who looks mere 10 years old, begging woman holding her baby, or beggars whose bodies were intendedly disabled for, obviously, a begging purpose while I was backpacking in Asian and African countries as a college student, I began to wonder what I can do to change the lives of those who suffer or not to make such miseries happen to any other people. After volunteering with a few NGOs, I studied Development Economics at the graduate school to deepen my knowledge.
The subject of study I found the most fascinating there was impact evaluation. By impact evaluation, we mean we see the impact of a project by comparing the ongoing outcome with the outcome of the case where “the project had not existed”.
Inspired by this impact studies, I thought that I would want to make my own impact to change the lives of people in need, and found my organization with my partner after graduating from the grad school.
However, the fact that everyone who suffers deserves to be helped made it difficult for us to determine which project should be implemented and who to choose as beneficiaries as our first priority. This experience led us to thinking about what we might have to do to achieve the target worldwide and coming up with the idea of online fundraising for creating a new project for causes worldwide.
We thought that running an online fundraising platform for a particular project with a detailed project budget with transparency on how the contributions were used, and running a platform where the contributors receive returning gifts from the NGO or beneficiaries to more closely see the impact of their contributions could enable more people to enjoy supporting NGO projects and thus would help more people in need.
It was with those thoughts in mind that Radha Swami was born: crowdfunding platform for causes.