Crowdfunding has quickly become a major source of fundraising as Americans everywhere turn to their friends, family members, neighbors, and even strangers for help in making dreams become reality.
However, despite its massive popularity, there are still concerns many have about donating to a crowdfunding campaign. Will be personal data be shared? What about my payment information? With online scams and identity theft at all-time highs, it's understandable why people are cautious about donating money online - even if it's to someone they know and for a cause they support.
So, if you have concerns about whether or not these services can be trusted, then this article is for you! Here are three reasons you can securely donate via registered crowdfunding platforms.
Reason #1: Federal Oversight
Registered crowdfunding platforms such as dreamOway are subject to oversight by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In addition, payment platforms crowdfunding sites use to process payments, such as Stripe or Bluefin, must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and be a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
FINRA’s actually offers a service known as BrokerCheckwhich allows consumuers to call and get more information about any payment system used by a web service. Their toll-free BrokerCheck hotline is (800) 289-9999. How’s that for accessible oversight?
Reason #2: Online Cybersecurity Requirements
Under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, crowdfunding platforms are required by law to implement specific security requirement for their payment modules. These include:
- SSL Connections - SSL stands for “secure sockets layer.” An SSL connection is created when a browser and web server establish an encrypted link that prevents others from breaking through. Before typing in any type of credit or debit account information, you should always be sure that you are using SSL connection.
You can double check this by checking for the lock symbol in the web address bar in your browser. All SSL-secured websites will begin with "https" and not "http".
- PCI Compliance. Having a secured connection is only the first level of safety for online customers. The second is adhering to PCI compliance. PCI compliance is a series of security standards platforms like dreamOway must enact to ensure that they are accepting, storing, processing, and transmitting credit and debit card information in a highly-secured environment. The FTC ensures companies are PCI compliant through regular independent third-party audits.
Reason #3: Community Feedback
As noted before, crowdfunding in and of itself is nothing new. Once upon a time, the entire base for the Statue of Liberty was financed thanks to thousands of small donations. The public only donated due to the name power behind the organization running the campaign: Joseph Pulitzer and his esteemed New York World newspaper.
Crowdfunding today relies on that same element of trust to drive people to donate. A benefit of our hyper-connected modern society is our ability to rate and share in the blink of an eye. If a platform is selling personal information or not allocating donations properly, the court of public opinion will rise against them quickly! A simple web search, or speaking to friends and family provides a reliable review of any service you may be considering.
dreamOway’s Commitment to Public Trust
dreamOway’s crowdfunding platform strives to be a trusted service for both dreamers and donors. Our entire platform is set-up to easily record and create your crowdfunding campaign and then seamlessly share it with friends, family, and the world’s donor community.
If you’ve never started a crowdfunding campaign, don't stress! You aren't alone. The good news is that our platform is built for people just like you trying to make their dreams come true. Check out our nifty blog post showing you step-by-step directions to kickstart your first campaign So what are you waiting for? Download the app today on iOS or the Google Play Store to get started!