The Ushahidi community has been the main driver for the platform’s success. Here is an opportunity for fans, friends and Ushahidians everywhere to take part in a project that gives an added chance to Ushahidi deployments in the hardest hit areas of the world.

Ushahidi Rapid Response FundDuring a crisis situation, groups looking to use Ushahidi often need additional support beyond the software itself e.g. paying for hosting, supporting volunteers, SMS costs, etc. To this end, we’re engaging with GlobalGiving to help fund such groups.

What is the Global Giving Open Challenge?

“The Challenge is for participants to generate donations for their projects between September 1, 2010 (0000 hrs, EDT) and September 30, 2010 (2359 hrs, EDT).

Any project that is able to meet the challenge threshold of raising $4,000 from at least 50 separate donors will be invited to stay on at GlobalGiving. These projects will be eligible to continue receiving donations from the general public, private and corporate foundations through GlobalGiving and take advantage of GlobalGiving’s fundraising tools and services. “

Why the Ushahidi Rapid Response Fund is needed

Ushahidi needs a rapid response fund for deployments in response to major crises. The ability of groups (often volunteers) to respond quickly is considerably slowed as a result . While the technology itself is free, funds are needed for the non-tech side for instance, to do media outreach, to disseminate information by SMS, to set up a free short-code, to pay for a hosted server, and provide a space and some food for volunteers to work.

Examples abound for this type of work, including most recently the work by volunteer groups in Pakistan with the floods, the Mozambique riots and in Russia with the fires. Many times these groups don’t need very much money, it’s free software and volunteers who run it. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t costs that slow their response down though, and our goal is to overcome that challenge.

In a hot-flash crisis, every minute counts. We appreciate your assistance with this fund.

You can also help by spreading the word to people you know who can help (buttons are found here).