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Created on 02.04.2020

Pioneering, not panicking

Politicians and doctors have been compelled to act quickly in the current situation. But popular aid initiatives also get set up overnight every once in a while: the example of shows you what’s possible in such a short space of time if innovative people all work together.

We are seeing the concept of emergency aid being redefined in these times. Coronavirus is putting scientists and decision-makers under a tremendous amount of pressure. Time plays a much more important role now than it has in previous crises. On the one hand, the situation is becoming more dramatic by the day, on the other hand the prospect of things easing off in the short term are not exactly favourable.

The Swiss government is responding to the crisis with radical measures to be implemented as soon as possible. But aid from the Swiss people themselves was not far behind either. Even before the lockdown was announced, Alessandro Iacono observed how Facebook and WhatsApp groups were being set up all over Switzerland to help those people in risk groups with shopping and transport. A lovely idea, but one that threatened to get bogged down and fall short of its actual objective. “We thought if things carry on as they are, there will be absolute chaos where nobody will be able to find the relevant group for them anymore,” explains Iacono. And so the idea of was born: a platform bringing together all groups – both people seeking help and offering it – in one place.

This idea struck a chord. Just a day in and already 120 groups had registered on, and we continue to see around 100 more groups joining every day.

Donation tool live in 24 hours

To run the platform, has relied on donations. A digital donation tool was quickly set up through RaiseNow, a Swiss company that specializes in fundraising solutions, which it can roll out very quickly. “We just had to be lightning fast, and RaiseNow allowed us to set up the payment infrastructure on our website in under 24 hours”, explains Iacono. He was also impressed by the attractive package consisting of numerous popular payment options in Switzerland such as PostFinance, TWINT and credit cards.

Rapid response is the order of the day.

“Our mission is to use technology to enable people and organizations to do good,” explains Marco Zaugg, CEO of RaiseNow. Specifically, the company helps aid organizations, foundations and cultural associations raise more funds with simple tools, ensuring transaction costs are kept as low as possible. RaiseNow’s clients include international heavyweights such as the Red Cross, but also a number of small associations and initiatives. is a good example of how even small campaigns can benefit from the services of RaiseNow, which currently has 25 employees. Where you would normally need complicated payment agreements to receive donations, has succeeded in obtaining a full contract through RaiseNow that has made its fundraising initiative possible in a short space of time, and without any administrative costs.

The innovativeness of RaiseNow combined with its willingness to take unconventional approaches also really impressed PostFinance. Through the Corporate Venture Capital Programme, PostFinance acquired a minority interest in the Swiss start-up in 2017. Together they promote pioneering projects that help customers with money management. PostFinance is extremely proud to have done its bit in the current situation in cooperation with RaiseNow.

Act and respond quickly across the board – this is the maxim of the innovative people at RaiseNow and This is also the order of the day for all decision-makers who are trying to confront the virus head-on in the current crisis.

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