Crowdfunding for development

March 13, 2024
Hands planting a tree

UNDP created the Crowdfunding Academy to develop campaigns that help the public connect to our work while raising non-traditional sources of revenue.

Photo: UNDP Uruguay 

Innovation is part of UNDP’s essence and is reflected in our every action. To better ensure the sustainability of our work, increase visibility, and connect with the public, UNDP advocates for change, and connects countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build a better life. We have a presence in 170 countries, and our goal is to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and end climate change. Our work is supported by governments, organizations, companies, and people like you. 

UNDP’s first crowdfunding campaigns began with the idea to leverage funds from the public to support local initiatives. Crowdfunding not only offers UNDP alternative funding, but also brings our work closer to the people and communities we serve. At UNDP crowdfunding means impact giving, a mechanism for individuals to take action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Crowdfunding Academy 2.0 

Through time we developed and grew our crowdfunding work and what started as single crowdfunding campaigns helped to create the Crowdfunding Academy (CFA). This online training boosted the crowdfunding community within UNDP. The first CFA started in 2015, continuing in 2020 after the COVID-19 outbreak. In the last four years we have organized four academies, with over 50 teams participating. It has resulted in 17 crowdfunding campaigns that have raised over US$3.1 million. 

This year UNDP kickstarted six global Crowdfunding Academies. The 2024 UNDP Crowdfunding Academy will be conducted in two phases, catering to six cohorts: a Global CFA, a joint CFA for Europe, Central Asia & Asia-Pacific, a CFA for Latin America and the Caribbean, a CFA for Arab States, and finally two CFAs for Africa, a general and a thematic one focused on nature, climate and energy. This initiative aims to equip teams with the expertise to organize and launch successful crowdfunding campaigns focusing on fundraising and community building, creating greater visibility for UNDP's work, and testing various innovations

The impact of the CFA extends beyond individual projects, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within UNDP and beyond. Crowdfunding campaigns connect people with UNDP, making anyone capable of supporting UNDP's work directly. As teams gear up to launch their campaigns, they are poised to drive meaningful change and realize their project goals, amplifying UNDP's worldwide impact. 


Four people holding a photo frame

People can donate to UNDP’s local initiatives, such as Rebuild HER business, a crowdfunding campaign from Ethiopia.

Photo: UNDP Ethiopia

Take action

Whether it's a local or a global initiative, contributing to active crowdfunding campaigns is the most direct way to get involved. Because transparency is critical, we publish the results on the Impact Giving website. In a world in continuous crises, we need to work together to ensure the progress of the SDGs. Ready to learn about these worthwhile campaigns? Here are just a few. 

In Türkiye, you can Save The Legacy 

On 6 February 2023, two severe earthquakes struck the south-east of Türkiye, affecting 11 provinces. The primary damage was in human causalities, but the destruction of the region's cultural heritage was another heartbreaking aspect of the disaster that needs global attention. This region is the "cradle of human civilization", containing the birthplace of the prophets of three world religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – whose adherents have lived in coexistence for centuries. The rich cultural heritage that has defined this region is at risk and needs our urgent protection. Because of the earthquakes 3,752 of 8,444 historical structures suffered significant damage, with a staggering cost of over US$2 billion. UNDP Türkiye has launched a global crowdfunding campaign to protect and restore tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Your donation will support the revival of the region's cultural heritage and help these communities rebuild and thrive. We have secured donations of $4 million for this cause. Today, we call upon you to stand with us and help reach our goal of $15 million. You can be part of this global response and help Türkiye’s post-earthquake cultural heritage endeavour to Save The Legacy

Support women’s businesses in Ethiopia 

The conflict in northern Ethiopia has resulted in devastating loss of lives, a massive humanitarian load, widespread displacement, and critical damage to infrastructure, services, and the economy.  

UNDP supports recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts with a broad spectrum of interventions, including economic recovery.   

However, we need your help to support women like Yetim, a 30-year-old mother of two who ran a tea house in her village but had to flee during the conflict.  

The Rebuild HER Business campaign is designed to support women striving to rebuild their businesses.  

In six months, the campaign has raised more than $300,000 from 2,552 individuals, as well as cooperation and development partners. All the funds raised in this campaign will be given directly to the women, with UNDP and our partners covering all operational costs.   

The women are also receiving psychosocial and other support through UNDP’s Peace Support Programme.     

Or, support UNDP’s global work 

Together we can create a more inclusive and sustainable future. Choose UNDP's central campaign if you want to give to a broader cause. Our global work aims to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. With your gift, we can change the trajectory of international development. 


Boy smiling

UNDP’s work can be supported by your donation.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan