The Rise of Religious Fundraising Through Digital Platform in The Midst of Pandemic
Mon, 15 Jun 2020 || By Samuel Giovanno Johanes Pasaribu

Based on the online census that taken period up to April 2020, Indonesia has approximately 270 millions population which is diversified into religions which have been acknowledged by the government, comprise in Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism[i]. With the majority of its population bind to a religion, Indonesia is possessing a massive financial funding and social safety net from religious philanthropy activity. Philanthropy is an unseparated part for almost all religions that helping others has been recognized as a universal taught, resulting religion plays an important role in charities and non-profit organizations [ii]. People of Indonesia strong linkage between values, beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behavior become the motive for religious people to do charitable activity more intensely through religious institutions (intrinsic motivation). For instance, The Quran teachings in generosity as part of the virtuous trait for every Muslim to strive (Quran 2:272). In Protestant and Catholic, Philanthropy as in, Luke 10:25-27, have embedded the teachings of generosity as something required and obliged which could be implemented in weekly sermon as part of the procession to fund the churches social activity and made them able to be distributed to the worthy people and special occasion such as disasters. Including the Hindu and Buddhist that obliged philanthropy in donation as part of the solidarity act to give a positive impact for the social environment. However, since the Regulation of Minister of Health stipulated Large Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) on Permenkes No.9 Tahun 2020, which is specified on Article 13 Section 1b to follow the government order in restricting religious activity located in the house of worship for each of the religion[iii], as part of the prevention strategy to terminate the COVID-19 spread in the society. Persatuan Gereja Indonesia (PGI), Perwakilan Umat Buddha Indonesia (Walubi), Perwakilan Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI), Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) and Keuskupan Agung as religion representatives has been agreed to support government strategy or demand in limiting the ‘on spot’ religious activity into ‘dirumah’ in house religious activity.

However, the issue of restriction to the religious activity has emerged the fear to the inability of religious institution for collecting the social fund, from and for the religious members in doing the donation or ‘sedekah’ practice, thus impeding one of the Safety Net provided by the existence of religious institution as part of the strategy to minimize the socio-economic negative impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Digital platform becomes the answer to the religious donation practice which could not be conducted in a conventional way (face to face). Alternative social fund could be gathered by alternative digital way in QRIS (Quick Response Code Indonesia Strandard) as a rapid, efficient and safety digital payment from the people to the religious institution, QR-EDC (Quick Response Electronic Data Capture) which can be accessed through credit or debit payment, and the emerging Financial Technology as third-parties platform to gather the fundraising action which latter would be distributed back to the religious institution itself[iv]. The cooperation between religious institutions such as the NU CARE-LAZISNU and SenimanNU with Dana, Treasure, GoPay ,PayPal and KitaBisa as a third party to assist the fundraising activity[v], and other religious institutions such as LazisMuhammadiyah and Kitabisa. It is also available for the Christian and Catholic institutions, who are able to utilize the advancement of digital technology directly as an alternative to collect the social fund from the people being used to minimize the socio-economic negative impact derived from the slowing down economic activity occurred which has been acknowledged as a national disaster. For example, the GKI Kayu Putih Jakarta and GKI Gejayan Yogyakarta, who has successfully utilize the QRIS digital payment to alter the people's conventional way of giving offering[vi].


Since philanthropy categorized as intrinsic motivation which resulted as an intersubjective interpretation between a person and The God, philanthropy activity through digital platform could be justified in its ethical matter[vii]. Digital technology presence has eased the philanthropy and other fundraising corridors to provide and distribute financial inclusion and assistance to the people in need during the hard economic period[viii]. Even in the middle of the pandemic, where religious members could not exercise its religious activity maximumly, the people still be able to distribute the practice and implement the spirit of the religion on making a positive impact. The inability of the people to conventionally donate will not inhibit the process of the collection as digital technology developed to cater this issue, even this technological advancement has brought alternatives for the religious followers to maximize the fund collection activity and be utilized for inclusive social Safety Net development, transparent way of collection and efficient distribution to the essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Author: Samuel Giovanno Johanes Pasaribu (Research Assistant at CfDS)
Editor: Treviliana Eka Putri (Manager of Internal Research CfDS)

Read more articles written by Samuel Giovanno Johanes Pasaribu


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[ii] Arli, D. and Lasmono, H., 2014. Are religious people more caring? Exploring the impact of religiosity on charitable organizations in a developing country. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 20(1), pp.38-51.

[iii] Novelino, A., 2020. Pedoman PSBB, Seluruh Tempat Ibadah Ditutup. [online] CNN. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2020].

[iv] Bachdar, S., 2020. Social Crowdfunding, Fintech Yang Terlupakan?. [online] Marketeers - Majalah Bisnis & Marketing Online - Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2020].

[v] NUCARE, 2020. Saling Peduli Cegah Corona. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 May 2020].

[vi] GKI Kayu Putih, 2020. Warta Online GKI Kayu Putih. Warta Online 3 Mei- 10 Mei, [online] pp.1-23. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2020].

[vii] Rehobot, 2019. Cara Memberi Persembahan - Rehobot Ministry. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2020].

[viii] Irham, M., 2020. Pandemi Covid-19 Ubah Tata Cara Membayar Dan Menyalurkan Zakat, 'Apakah Sah Bayar Zakat Tanpa Bersalaman?'. [online] BBC News Indonesia. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2020].