If you want to measure the constructive power of social media, look no further than the crowdfunding campaigns for Nepal earthquake victims, which have proliferated in the days since disaster struck the nation.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25th has claimed over 6000 lives, and left more than 10,000 injured. The Red Cross projects 7 million people may be displaced or affected by this tragedy.
The catastrophe has cleared the way for technology to ride to the rescue. Over $4 million has been raised by more than 553 campaigns between the three largest crowdfunding sites – GoFundMe, Crowdrise and Indegogo.
Facebook alone raised more than $10 million in a couple of days by giving options for its users to donate through its platform. In addition, its Safety Check feature allowed users that may have been affected by disaster to identify that they are safe.
The news of one of the worst calamities to hit the country in recent years shocked Nepalis everywhere, scrambling them to action.
"The minute I heard, I was like, non-action is not an option. I have to do something," said fashion designer Prabal Gurung who grew up in Nepal but now resides in New York.
Gurung, like many other Nepalis living abroad, quickly connected with his friends on Facebook and together launched a crowdfunding campaign on crowdrise.com. His fundraiser benefits Shikshya Foundation of Nepal, which has single-handedly raised over $485,000 of $750,000 goal in just a week.
"This is truly a wake-up call for our generation and the next to next. This is our calling, this is our time to really truly show up and walk the talk and build a sustainable, environmentally friendly country," he said.