The campaign on KitaBisa platform was meant to fund a shelter for homeless senior citizens, but netizens questioned its transparency
Indonesian crowdfunding site for charity projects, KitaBisa, today announced that it has taken down a campaign following allegations of misuse and lack of transparency.
The campaign in question aimed to raise funds to build shelters for homeless senior citizens in rural areas in the country. It was made by a campaigner who goes by the nickname Cak Budi (“Bro Budi” in East Javanese dialect).
Prior to starting a crowdfunding campaign on KitaBisa, Cak Budi was already well-known among Indonesian Instagram users for raising funds through his personal account to help senior citizens. At one point, he was able to raise more than IDR1.2 billion (US$90,000) through Instagram and KitaBisa.
Controversy brewed over the weekend when Cak Budi reported over Instagram that he had purchased an iPhone 7 and a Toyota Fortuner. The purchase led netizens to question the transparency of his campaign; some netizens pointed out that the donation received by each senior citizen was too small considering the total sum that the campaign has raised, while others question the need for an iPhone 7 and a Toyota Fortuner to support a charity campaign.
Apart from taking down the campaign from the site, KitaBisa CMO Vikra Ijas also announced that the iPhone 7 and Toyota Fortuner were purchased using the funds wired directly to personal bank accounts belonging to Cak Budi and to his wife, instead of the funds raised through KitaBisa campaign.
“The funds in the personal bank account was raised before Cak Budi created the page on KitaBisa, and our team was not able to monitor the sum that has been raised and distributed through the account,” Ijas explained in a press statement.
As the next step, KitaBisa said that it is working closely with Cak Budi and non-profit organisation Aksi Cepat Tanggap to ensure proper distribution of the funds.
Cak Budi himself later made an announcement on Instagram that the iPhone 7 and the Toyota Fortuner were purchased to support operations of his social projects, followed by a second announcement that he eventually plans to sell the smartphone and the car to fund his projects.
He also plans to post a copy of his personal checking account on Instagram for accountability.
Cak Budi first met KitaBisa CEO Alfatih Timur when the two guest-starred a talk show on national television. He agreed to start fundraising through the crowdfunding platform as he believed it will help build credibility for his projects.