ACT4GREECE - Interview




The choice of crowdfunding over other types of funding:

«Within the context of act4Greece, the Médecins Du Monde initially proposed the implementation of an action plan for the provision of medical and humanitarian aid to socially vulnerable groups of the inhabitants as well as population groups from other countries. These islands included Samos, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Nisyros, Pserimos and Telendos as well as Chios and the neighboring islands, such as Oinousses and Psara. Crowdfunding was used due to:

  • The lack of public funding to the public health sector as well as the immigration and asylum services due to the austerity measures imposed to counter the Greek financial crisis of 2009-2015.
  • The urgent need for medical assistance since

(a) the remoteness of the islands in question leads to poor health care conditions -lack of hospitals and doctors in several minor islands- and

(b) the huge influx of refugees from war-torn countries during 2015-2016 (about 800.000 people)

  • The need of the Greek solidarity movement to finance immediate actions for the relief of the refugee and local populace of the islands»


What contributed the crowdfunding campaign beyond financing:

That is, «the mobilisation of the society to face crucial social issues, along with social awareness concerning the insufficiency or total absence of medical care provided by state services and also the concepts of social solidarity and volunteering»

The challenge of communication in its crowdfunding campaign:

Communication was done in four steps:

«First, before launching the campaign, updates were carried out on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). The initiator of the platform (NBG) along with the strategic partners and the project holder (MdM) issued press releases to make the campaign known to citizens and entities interested in its scope and purpose. Secondly, informational material was digitally formulated to be used by the organization(s) to communicate with potential supporters who may use the platform for donations. In third place, follow-up and thank-you messages were sent to Supporters of the project. The names and contributions (of those who accepted to have them published) were published on the project platform. Finally, media communication and press releases were published regularly after the end of the campaign to present the campaign result as well as the benefits of the project implementation on the islands»

And as remarkable conclusions about the value of the experience of doing a crowdfunding campaign they point out:
  • Resources collected to cover needs for medical care, and the support and distribution of humanitarian aid;
  • Involvement of the crowd to support humanitarian actions and raise awareness regarding public healthcare and social solidarity;
  • Involvement of corporations donating to the campaign, therefore incorporating Crowdfunding in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy;
  • Crowd basis for crowdfunding in Greece remains small and needs to be strengthened. Such campaigns by platforms like Act4Greece help to broaden the social basis for crowdfunding as well as to channel contributions of corporations or big institutions to crowdfunding campaigns.