Crowdfunding could help the United Nations finance its goals for sustainable development, researchers suggest
The United Nations should take inspiration from crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise cash to help meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a study published this month by researchers at the University of Oxford.
The researchers argue crowdfunding platforms use their global reach to harness the ingenuity of "system builders" - individuals or institutions that can orchestrate the work of SDG stakeholders.
"[System builders] will coordinate the donation efforts of citizens, corporates and public bodies towards higher funding targets, enable access to tax incentives and amplify SDG awareness via professional communication campaigns," the authors said.
The UN estimates meeting the SDGs, which include eradicating poverty and tackling climate change, will cost between $5tr and $7tr a year through to 2030.
It has already explored the role of crowdfunding to raise part of the cash with its Digital Good platform in 2015, but the researchers found private players such as CrowdRise by GoFundMe, Generosity by Indiegogo, and JustGiving outperformed the UN pilot in terms of innovation and best practice.
The UN should now couple the best practice operations of private crowdfunding sights with the aims of the SDGs to help integrate and co-ordinate funding towards the 17 global goals, the study said.
"There are favourable contextual conditions for the future growth of donation crowdfunding, lack of technological barriers to entry, and no crowdfunding platforms addressing SDGs operating according to the standards of successful platforms," the authors noted.