Sudhanshu Sharma, Founder of Charitism
At Sugermint, our aim is to bring to our startup community some of the motivational and inspiring success stories and interviews from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As part of this endeavour, we invited yet another passionate entrepreneur Sudhanshu Sharma, Founder of Charitism, an online donation platform for an exclusive interview with us.
Who is Sudhanshu Sharma?
Sudhanshu Sharma , 23 year old, belongs to Alwar, Rajasthan, was in his final semester of engineering (Amity University Rajasthan) at the time, started Charitism as a start-up in 2019. Later, the start-up was incubated by the Rajasthan government and received seed capital from NCR based angel investors.
How did you get your idea or concept for this charity platform?
Sudhanshu Sharma: I was approached by a few friends in college who were fundraising for a cause to teach the slum children and were facing challenges to continue their noble work due to lack of funds, which turned out to be a common problem with charities in india.
So I started an online donation platform to raise funds for social causes but as I met more and more potential donors I realised that people were keen to help and donate but their major concern was lack of transparency that inspired the idea of Charitism .
Since I started the initiative as a middle class student who had an education loan, I was expected to keep this as my part time hobby while working my full time job but my decision to turn it into a full time startup came as a shock to my family.
What motivated me to pursue my dream against the odds and convince my near and dear one to keep patience was the magnitude of the problem and the urgent need to solve it.
What service do you offer at Charitism?
Sudhanshu Sharma: Charitism is India’s most trusted crowdfunding platform that helps donors track how their donations are utilised by the charities.
It keeps a track of every penny donated and shows the projects donors help to fund with videos, photographs and GPS locations.
We’ve been working to support a range of causes, including homelessness, animal welfare, child education,etc.
Our mission is to establish donor trust in charitable giving, and our vision is to achieve 100% transparency in the process.
What is unique about your online donation platform?
Sudhanshu Sharma: In today’s technological age, where a person can use apps like Uber and Swiggy to check the fare of his cab and track his lunch, it’s only natural for him to want to know how his donations are spent.
We discovered that one of the main reasons individuals are hesitant to donate is that they don’t trust nonprofits because of the fraud and scam stigma that has been associated with their image as a result of prior occurrences of corruption.
According to a CAF survey, 36% of participants answered that “Knowing for sure how their money will be used is the top factor that will make People inclined to donate more to charity.”
We believe that a donor should be able to see how his donations make a difference in someone’s life, so we provide photographic evidence of every donation that is labelled with the donor’s name and given to the intended beneficiary.
What made you choose this type of donation platform?
Sudhanshu Sharma: The passion for work came with the first wave of corona and the mass migration of labourers from one city to another.
The situation was emotionally devastating to witness and since I was equipped with digital resources, it almost became a duty to serve during the pandemic.
For many starting months, I myself went to ground with various NGO teams, risking lives of my friends and family but was supported by everyone who knew me.
My single Instagram story brought so much donation that I could start to help various unnoticed communities like folk artists and sex workers and as I started sharing the the transparent updates with.
What was your mission at the outset?
Sudhanshu Sharma: Charitism’s mission has always been to establish trust with transparency while creating the impact. we are working relentlessly to bring multiply our impact in lives of all the stakeholder from donor to beneficiary.
How many employees in your organization?
Sudhanshu Sharma: We have a Jaipur based team of 11 youngsters empowering the startup in the field of technology, marketing and operations.
Our donors love us for bringing them a safe and secure way to donate, which drives our tiny team to work tirelessly.
What’s your organization’s goals?
Sudhanshu Sharma: After successfully combating corruption in the distribution of relief material in India, our next goal is to promote transparency across the world in long term initiatives such as operations of schools, hospitals and shelter homes.
We plan to partner with corporates and emerging startups for their social branding campaigns and strategies the utilization of CSR budget.
Charitism is presently preparing for its seed funding in order to scale the company and assist NGOs and donors around the world.
How do you build a successful customer base?
Sudhanshu Sharma: We received a enormous word of mouth for our unbelievable transparency and over the same we build over peer to peer awareness strategy powered by virtual volunteering and social media advertisements.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Sudhanshu Sharma: We noticed a drop in fundraising after first wave of Covid wave and made us incurve major losses to operate sustainably but to we recovered by learning that we shall present various causes to the donors, better oppurtunities to donate which relates with their personal needs and desire to give.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Sudhanshu Sharma: Y combinator has been a great inspiration to build something people want while charity water has inspired us to ensure transparency on in a longer run and with bigger projects.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Sudhanshu Sharma: We have made various mistakes but trusting few NGO partners on our current policies of transparency have once made us understand that regular audits and continuous improvement in the transparency policies are very much required to ensure that the funds of our donors reaches the intended beneficiaries.
If you had one piece of advice to startups just starting out, what would it be?
Sudhanshu Sharma: One piece of advice is that before starting anything you shall think about why you are doing it, maybe write it down on a paper or on in your notes so whenever times get tough you can always turn on that page to reassure the mission you started.
“Our work touches lacs of lives, transforms hundreds and uplifts the one we live in service of others. Everyone can try to do a little better which together will make this world a better place.”
Does your platform help the community or society?
Sudhanshu Sharma: Charitism is making a great difference in the society by bringing the NGOs the strength to work on ground towards various causes that need immediate attention while showing the same to the donor community as an transparent , secure opportunity to be a part of the greater good.
We think that when people work together toward a shared goal, they can accomplish amazing things. We are dedicated to establishing a worldwide community that strives to make the world a better place via long-term action and assistance.
We hope you find the inspiring story of Sudhanshu Sharma, Founder of Charitism useful and inspiring through your entrepreneurial journey and will keep you inspired.
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