How many NGOs are there in Lebanon anyway? If you’re willing to count, there are 20 pages of acronyms and logos for you to click through over at Daleel Madani, and those are the ones they have listed. So let’s just say that, for a nation of about four million, there are plenty. is the latest attempt to "regroup everyone under one roof,” as co-founder Diana Soussa told The website is basically a Kickstarter-for-activists, where users can help support particular campaigns through a monetary donation, or an offer of volunteering their time.

Its first success story was a campaign for Himaya, which collected $10,000 to help Lebanese children who are victims of abuse.

While NGOs are their central focus, individuals have reached out to HelpForLeb with their own personal initiatives, too. In December, a Lebanese couple contacted the group with a plan to climb 5895 meters up Mount Kilimanjaro and match every meter climbed with one dollar. The funds go to Heartbeat, which takes care of kids born with heart diseases. "Lyna and Georges were able to make it happen in less than four weeks. So far, one heart operation has already been covered," said Soussa. “Donations can vary from $1 to $1,000 per transaction,” she explained, “and if you choose the ‘Volunteer Now’ button, our team will receive your request and put you in contact with the NGOs you want to help.”

One way that HelpForLeb differentiates itself from most crowd-funding sites is the active role it takes in helping NGOs produce their campaigns.

“The HelpForLeb team conducts research, field visits and interviews to verify the accuracy and transparency of the information provided by the party who wishes to crowdfund,” Soussa told “Once approved, the cause is published and fundraising will begin, typically for a three-month period. We help the NGO to build their respective pages by consulting and sometimes managing their descriptive texts, pictures and movies.” Another highlight of the site is that donors can choose to support NGOs even when there isn’t a specific ‘cause’ or active campaign listed.

Money matters are often an uncomfortable subject for activists in Lebanon, so one consequence of HelpForLeb’s work is breaking this taboo by indirectly showing the need to talk more openly about the infrastructures that keep things running. The idea for HelpForLeb itself began, like most things, with a funding opportunity. In 2013, co-founder Nadine Farrah was one of the winners of a Nabad Social Entrepreneurship award, which provided the seed fund to launch the project. Today, HelpForLeb sustains itself from a 7 percent fee extracted from every transaction, covering daily management, logistics, internet fees, electricity, website maintenance, advertising and other business necessities. The HelpForLeb team itself, however, works for free.

So far, the website has averaged 70 unique visitors per day, and has gathered more than $20,000 of funds, with the largest single donation processed so far at $1,000.

“The Lebanese need each other nowadays,” Soussa insisted. “In good times and hard times, we all need a little push to make our world move forward.”

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