Amber FundMe launched to strengthen charities
MichaelMcNaughton,managingdirector of theAmber Group

AMBER Innovations has launched a crowdfunding platform, Amber FundMe, which will, among other things, raise funds for small businesses, particularly charities, social enterprises, and non-profit organisations.

According to Michael McNaughton, managing director of the Amber Group, many Caribbean countries have not yet been able to capitalise on the effectiveness of crowdfunding because of the unavailability of localised technology and banking offerings.

This was underscored in the 2018 World Bank study on The Potential of Crowdfunding in the Caribbean.

“However, in North America, the United Kingdom, and Africa, many businesses, charities, and social causes have found success and now Jamaica will have access to these opportunities,” said McNaughton.

To be able to engage the Amber FundMe platform, businesses will have to complete a registration form, as well as upload supporting documents for verification purposes. Interested entities should visit amberfundme.com for more information.

After receiving approval, they will be prompted to detail the project or cause with supporting images and videos, the amount they want to raise, and its duration.

McNaughton pointed out that Amber FundMe has a secure built-in payment gateway which will see donations collected, authenticated, and sent to the campaigners' local bank accounts.

“Crowdfunding platforms outside of Jamaica have proved to be very exclusionary for local businesses and require a United States bank account for settlement of donations. We are pleased to be able to bring this innovation to our local community,” said McNaughton.

“These businesses will not need an e-commerce account to collect donations, but must have a bank account in the business' name,” he added.

Businesses seeking to utilise Amber FundMe's platform must be in operation for at least one year, and the funding they intend to raise must support a social cause.

Campaigners will also have the option to update donors on the status of their projects from start to finish.

“Accountability and transparency are a few of our guiding principles at Amber. What's great about Amber FundMe is that persons looking to raise funds will have access to a global community to support their causes. Our platform will also allow them to pull insights and demographics on the donors for auditing purposes and to measure the success of the campaign,” McNaughton said.

There will be an opportunity for donors to earn rewards which they may choose to redonate to future campaigns.

Donors will be able to earn reward points, which can be later used to redonate to future campaigns.

There is no cost to set up a campaign, but a competitive transaction fee will be charged for using Amber FundMe's platform.

“Amber's mission is to do good in the world through technology, and this product, like all our products and services, is an extension of that mission. Amber FundMe will provide a platform to empower businesses to do good in the world, one community at a time, through one campaign at a time. As we say in Jamaica, 'One one coco full basket,' ” declared McNaughton.

Amber Innovations is the software development arm of the Amber Group. The technology company is behind the recently launched Travel Pal app.

BY JASON CROSS Observer staff reporter crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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