Net Prophet goes Kickstarter with PayFast to raise bursary funds

This is pretty nifty. Net Prophet is raising money for its bursary, Kickstarter style. The annual gathering of 2 000+ geeks is one of the bigger tech conferences on the South African calendar, and every year at the event the organisers raise money to help fund university education for students who would otherwise not be able to further their education. But instead of just auctioning off an iPad, the organisers decided to jump on the crowdfunding train.

This year the event has partnered with PayFast, an online platforms that facilitates payments and donations. “Legally speaking accepting donations is different from accepting payments, as all payments (those not passing through a bank, at least) must be for goods and services rendered as per the SA Reserve Bank. This impacts crowdfunding, and is part of the reason we haven’t really seen it in South Africa,” says PayFast Marketing Manager, Werner van Rooyen.

“So, within the legal constraints, we managed to build a crowd-funded site for Net Prophet (as they’re operating under the RAMP foundation NPO for this particular cause).”

With all that in mind, PayFast has set up a site for Net Prophet, the goal is to raise R90 000 (US$9500) in the hopes of helping three young people pay for their postgraduate studies.

It shows the goal, amount received, amount of donations made and a rolling list of the last ten donors. There’s also a hall of fame, with the top ten donors. With each R30 000 donated, the progress bar will indicate that another student received funding.

“Since there are some companies that can’t make on-the-spot donations and need to jump through some more formal hoops, we have the pledge feature. It auto-tweets when a successful donation has been completed,” says van Rooyen. “The Net Prophet bursary is a Socio-Economic Development initiative and money donated will earn you points during a B-BBEE audit.”

“It’s exciting, just merely to see how it will go with this trial run. Obviously since there is a bit of dev work involved, I might need to reserve this to big charity events, but I can see a lot of good that could come from this,” van Rooyen adds.



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