Greece might not get much help from Europe’s politicians, so Europe’s people are trying to step in by donating to the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The campaign, called the Greek Bailout Fund, is trying to raise €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) to save Greece from defaulting on its IMF payment.
That amount of money would be unprecedented in crowdfunding.
Thom Feeney, a 29-year-old who works in a shoe shop in East London, is not involved in Greek politics. He’s not in contact with the bankers or the heads of state; he has never even run an Indiegogo campaign before. But none of that is stopping him from trying his best to deliver funds to Greece before the country goes into default.
When asked if the Indiegogo campaign is a joke, Feeney replied, “No. I can understand why people might take it as a joke, but Crowdfunding can really help because it’s just a case of getting on and doing it.”
“I was fed up of the Greek crisis going round in circles, while politicians are dithering, this is affecting real people. While all the posturing is going on, then it’s easy for the politicians to forget that. I just thought, sod it, I’ll have a crack.”
It’s not a scam either — the campaign promises that all the Indiegogo contributors will be refunded if they don’t make it to the target goal on time.
Despite the enormous ambition, Europeans have answered the call. At the time of this report, the Indiegogo page shows that 17,583 people have donated €271,733 ($300,000) to Greece. The overwhelming popularity has crashed the site.
— Greek Bailout Fund (@GreekBailout) June 30, 2015
Feeney has another €1,599,700,000 to go and time is running out fast.
The Indiegogo campaign is also promising donors tempting rewards, all made and sent from Greece (assuming they make the target).
Donors will receive a week-long vacation in Athens, Greece, for just €5,000 ($5,600). On the cheaper side there’s also a €3 postcard of Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, €6 for a Greek salad, and €25 for a bottle of Greek wine (see the site for the full list).
At one point, Feeney was offering an island in Greece if someone donated the whole €1.6 billion, but the Greek government reportedly told Indiegogo it did not like that idea.
“OK, it might be a short while for the cash to get fully into the Greek economy, but hell – what is there to lose? Another Tesco Meal deal? Ah well. You get some tasty Greek things.”
Indiegogo is working out the logistics to figure how best to deliver the money to Greece.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]