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“Healthcare. For every person on the planet.”


Watsi is a nonprofit donation-based crowdfunding platform founded in the year 2012 that allows donors to fund medical healthcare for individual persons in developing countries without access to affordable medical care with a system, that provides that all proceeds can be used for medical treatments without commission fees. [1]

Who is behind the platforms?

The organisation was founded by Chase Adams and was inspired by a woman that boarded a bus and asked for donations for pay for her son’s healthcare. Now the NGO consists of a small team based in San Francisco that want to provide healthcare for every person on the planet. So far 8.434 people have funded healthcare for 2.988 patients in 19 countries. They have several medical partners to provide a low-cost high-impact medical care. It is the first NGO that was funded by seed accelerator Y Combinator, a mentor-based three month long and highly competitive program. [2][3][4][5]

Apperance of the platforms

On the main page Watsi features three featured campaigns, the link to all patients, to an universal fund and to the gift cards. The site is written in English and the currency for contribution is US-Dollar. The platform has a clean design and a high-quality graphical layout. The visitor is invited to meet the patients and is shown one picture of the person nearly almost smiling and happy and having hope for the future, followed by a personal description of the person’s life and character and further to the sickness and the medical care they need and the cost of offering that care.

Who is addressed?

The platform addresses only to individuals and starts with donations of 5 Dollars. The platform is written in englisch and the donations are given in Dollar. There is no commission fee and the whole money is spent for treatment for one specific person. Due to small donation goals the donor has the feeling to take a real part in the healing process of a human and can help to improve the life of a person who was never met before. [6]

Registry and privacy policy

To make a donation an account has to be opened and information as name, email, address and country are being collected but not shared with third parties. Cookies from Watsi and Google Analytics collect also information about the use of the site. A Transparency Document enables to see all money transfers of the bank account as well as travel expenses and the cost of office supplies from the organisation. The donator can choose between a single donation for one specific profile or a recurring donation for an universal fund whereat the payment will be collected at the time of the donation. 100% of the donation is used for medical treatment and Watsi will pay the payment fees. The organisation reserves the right to cancel a donation at any time and for any reason; if this happens the users will be notified and have the possibility to refund their donation within 7 days, otherwise the donation is reallocated to other Profiles. The profiles of the patients are sent to Watsi through the medical partners in the third-world countries. If the profile matches to the criteria and is accepted, Watsi guarantees to take over the costs for the healthcare. It is posted online thereafter and the donators can start funding until the necessary amount is reached and can be transferred to the specialists.

Risks and criticism

It is not clear what criteria must be fulfilled for being accepted to the site as a profile/patient, but it seems to be smaller diseases at the amount of 1.500 Dollars with a high healing rate and improved life for the patients. Donating money is very easy and also save by using PayPal services, no extra information has to be given, the process is fast and easy. Watsi is a very appealing website that and leaves the visitor with a sense of delight to help and be part of a small community that improves someone’s life. A positive and hopeful feeling is created when regarding the websites and the feeling that you can actually help with a community. The website provides a very good medium to spend money for a social concern, it is easy to use and very clear.


  1. https://watsi.org, downloaded 2014/12/11
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/business/watsi-a-crowdfunding-site-offers-help-with-medical-care.html?pagewanted=all, downloaded 2014/12/11
  3. http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/25/healthcare-crowdfunding-platform-watsi-grabs-1-1m-from-tencent-paul-graham-vinod-khosla-ron-conway-and-more/, downloaded 2014/12/11
  4. http://www.ycombinator.com, downloaded 2014/12/11
  5. http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/10/20/inspiring-story-behind-crowdsourcing-platform-watsi-y-combinators-first-non-profit/, downloaded 2014/12/11
  6. http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/30/watsi/, downloaded 2014/12/11