Can feta cheese and olives save Greece from financial disaster? It sounded like a joke at first, but it just might work. An Indiegogo campaign to bailout Greece from its colossal debt. Honestly, I didn't know you could run a €1,600,000,000 EUR campaign on the popular crowdfunding platform, but apparently you can. The campaign is up and running. Can this actually work? They say the best ideas are those that at first sound completely nuts, but slowly take root.
The Greek Bailout Fund campaign was started by a London resident named Thom Feeney. He writes about what inspired him;
"All this dithering over Greece is getting boring. European ministers flexing their muscles and posturing over whether they can help the Greek people of not. Why don't we the people just sort it instead?"
I think we can all identify with this sentiment a bit. Sometimes the news media has such a prolonged frenzy over this or that 'crisis' that we get sick of hearing about it all day and just want to get up and fix it ourselves. This time, that just might be possible. Feeney lays out the simple math by stating that the EU is home to 503 million people. If every person in the EU contributed just a few EURO each they could raise enough to bailout Greece.
In step with crowdfunding tradition, the campaign offers lovely Greek rewards for various pledge levels:
- €3 - postcard from the prime minister of Greece Alex Tsipras
- €6 - Greek Feta and Olive salad
- €10 - small bottle of Ouzo
- €25 - bottle of Greek wine
- €160 - Greek food basket
- €5,000 - Greek holiday for 2, 1 week, all inclusive (EU residents only)
- €1,000,000 - All the gifts and the eternal love and gratitude of the Greek people
The campaign has already raised €12,518 from 853 people in it first day. That's a nice start, but it still has an amazingly long way to go to hit the €1.6 billion mark within the next 7 days. As of writing, the campaign is gaining €xx per hour. With approximately 168 hours left, if this pace is maintained the campaign could raise €71,995 by the July 6 deadline. Not anywhere near the ballpark of the goal. This is a far-fetched idea, but I like the idea, so I will try to stay optimistic. Even if the goal isn't reached, it is a lovely act of solidarity and may give a nice little boost to the troubles Greek economy.
People are showing their support and solidarity on the comment board. Cheering on the Greek people by sending their love from nations such as the UK, US, Serbia, Russia and Columbia.
Patching up the Leaky Bucket
Okun's famous 'Leaky Bucket' metaphor refers to the fact that as money is collected via taxes and redistributed some of that money is lost along the way to bureaucracy. Imagine all the local tax officials and IMF personnel who must be paid along the way. In a way, the crowdfunding campaign bypasses all that waste and just lets the people fund the bailout directly. Of course, Indiegogo would be getting their fee. The platform charges 4% of funds raised if a campaign meets its target. If it falls short, that percentage jumps to 9%. Even if the Greek Bailout Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and gets a 25% discount off the fee, that could end up being a nice profit for them.
So what do you think? Can Indiegogo set crowdfunding history?