Rang De: The Football Pledge

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 02, 2014
Rang De, a Bangalore-based not-for-profit organisation, has kickstarted a campaign urging people to pledge support to the underprivileged while they cheer for their favourite soccer players.

Cheer for your favourite footballer and cheer for the underprivileged child. That is Rang De's message that visitors to its microsite see.

Rang De's FIFA campaign

Rang De's FIFA campaign

Smita Ram

Visitors can 'like' pledges already made, make their own pledges and share it within their social networks. At present, active pledges on the microsite range from ones such as a pledge to invest Rs 5,000 if a non-European, non-South American country lifts the World Cup to pledges on a particular country winning the World Cup or a player picking up the golden boot.

The social media campaign (https://www.facebook.com/rangdeorg?ref=br_tf) allows people to pledge their support online to their favourite team/ player and redeem that pledge by providing a microloan to a borrower. At present 14 people have pledged to support 7 teams and 9 players.

Once the condition of their pledge is fulfilled, pledge makers can lend to a borrower from a low-income household on the portal. Rang De is an online platform for crowd-funding microloans for livelihood and education of people belonging to low-income households. All the money lent through the campaign will be passed on to the borrower and the investor can expect the loan amount to be repaid to him in a year's time.

The campaign began a week ago and will continue till the last day of FIFA World Cup. Smita Ram, co-founder, Rang De, says, "Campaigns are an excellent way of reaching out to existing and potential social investors by appealing to their varied interests, tastes and emotions. We are hoping that the World Cup fever will appeal to football fans (in India and abroad) who wish to help out low income households take the first step towards financial stability."

Rang De is no stranger to such campaigns. One of its recent ongoing campaigns is called the Madness Project, which has people travelling from Kharagpur in Bengal to Mumbai to create awareness about Rang De. Their campaign around the ICC World Cup in 2011 reportedly fetched them around Rs 10 lakh. Several entrepreneurs pledged on their favourite cricketers at that time.

Rang De was born in 2008 with a belief that the peer-to-peer lending model could be leveraged to lower the cost of microcredit. Ordinary people, called social investors, can choose whom they want to lend to. The complete profile of the borrowers is on the website. Rang De gets a cut of 1 per cent on all the loans repaid by the borrowers. Investors can pay through credit cards, cheque drops and via banks.

The organisation claims to have attracted 6,384 social investors who have impacted 29,861 families. It claims to have received over Rs 23.4 crore in funding and repaid loans worth Rs 17.09 crore so far.

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