A Decade of Charitable Crowdfunding and Its Impacts on the Social Justice Trajectory of Islamic Philanthropy in Indonesia





crowdfunding, Indonesia, Islamic philanthropy, social justice, grassroots philanthropy


This article aims to investigate the development of charitable crowdfunding and its impacts on Islamic philanthropy and its social justice trajectory in Indonesia. As the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia has thrived and undergone some legal and programmatic revolutions to promote social justice through Islamic philanthropy. However, this study demonstrates that the rapid growth of charitable crowdfunding in the last decade has some impacts on the social justice trajectory of Islamic philanthropy, particularly in the areas of inclusivity, sustainability, and governance. This study draws from the case of Kitabisa, the largest crowdfunding platform in Indonesia, by conduct-ing interviews with the founders and users and observing their online interactions on the platform and social media. This study also collects data on Muslim philanthropic Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that actively used Kitabisa to raise funds, with special attention to Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT), one of Indonesia's largest Muslim philanthropic NGOs. This study found that the trend of crowdfunding has amplified the inclusive space in Indonesian philanthropy where Muslim NGOs actively provide social services and enact collaborations with non-Muslims. However, through crowdfunding, Muslim NGOs have become more accommodating toward short-term social programs or ‘charity’. The crowdfunding trend has also raised accountability and transparency issues in Indonesian philanthropy. This study argues that the broader involvement of grassroots actors, either individuals or informal communities, through crowdfunding explains its impacts on Indonesian Islamic philanthropy’s trajectory for social justice.

Author Biography

Bhirawa Anoraga, Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia

Bhirawa Anoraga is a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII). His research focuses on Islamic philanthropy, crowdfunding, online movement, and youth in Indonesia.


Abubakar, I., & Bamualim C. (Eds.). (2006). Filantropi Islam dan keadilan sosial: studi tentang potensi, tradisi, dan pemanfaatan filantropi Islam di Indonesia. Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, Syarif Hidayatullah

State Islamic University.

ACT. (2020). Laporan keuangan. https://act.id/laporan_keuangan

Anoraga, B., & Sakai, M. (2023). From pemuda to remaja: Millennials reproducing civic nationalism in post-New Order Indonesia. Indonesia and the Malay World, 51(150), 209-230.

Aspinall, E. (2014). Health care and democratization in Indonesia. Democratization, 21(5), 803-823.

BAZNAS. (2016). Laporan keuangan. https://baznas.go.id/keuangan

BAZNAS. (2018). Laporan keuangan. https://baznas.go.id/keuangan

BAZNAS. (2020). Laporan keuangan. https://baznas.go.id/keuangan

BAZNAS. (2023). Outlook zakat Indonesia 2023. https://www.puskasbaznas.com/publications/books/1737-outlook-zakat-indonesia-2023.

BBC. (2017). Kasus Cak Budi: Akhirnya Fortuner dijual dan donasi Rp1,7 milyar disalurkan. BBC News Indonesia. https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/trensosial-39789188

Benthall, J. (2022). Commentary on philanthropy in Indonesia. Journal of Muslim Philanthropy & Civil Society, 6(2), 91-100.

Boellstorff, T. (2020). Rethinking digital anthropology. In H. A. Horst & D. Miller (Eds.), Digital Anthropology (pp. 39-60). Routledge.

Bornstein, E. (2009). The impulse of philanthropy. Cultural Anthropology, 24(4), 622-651.

Bowen, J. R. (1986). On the political construction of tradition: Gotong Royong in Indonesia. The Journal of Asian Studies, 45(3), 545-561.

BUAAI. (2018). Simpati untuk korban bom Surabaya. Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/campaign/bualumsforsurabaya

CAF. (2021). CAF World Giving Index 2021: A Global Pandemic Special Report. https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2021-publications/caf-world-giving-index-2021

Doan, M. A. & Toledano, M. (2018). Beyond organization-centred public relations: Collective action through a civic crowdfunding campaign. Public Relations Review, 44(1), 37-46.

Dompet Dhuafa. (2016). Laporan keuangan. https://publikasi.dompetdhuafa.org/laporan-keuangan/

Dompet Dhuafa. (2018). Laporan keuangan. https://publikasi.dompetdhuafa.org/laporan-keuangan/

Dompet Dhuafa. (2020). Laporan keuangan. https://publikasi.dompetdhuafa.org/laporan-keuangan/

Dompet Dhuafa. (2016). Santunan publik untuk korban bom Thamrin. Kitabisa [online]. https://kitabisa.com/campaign/bomthamrin

Donation Collection Practices Regulation. (1980). https://peraturan.bpk.go.id/Details/66625/pp-no-29-tahun-1980

Eikenberry, A. M. (2006). Giving circles: Growing grassroots philanthropy. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 35(3), 517-532.

Fauzia, A. (2013). Faith and the state: A history of Islamic philanthropy in Indonesia (Vol. 1). Brill.

Fauzia, A. (2017). Islamic philanthropy in Indonesia: Modernization, Islamization, and social justice. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 10(2), 223-236.

Fauzia, A., Hidayati, S., Garadian, E. & Anoraga, B. (2022). Toward action: Islamic philanthropy for social justice in Indonesia. Social Trust Fund.

Fealy, G., & Ricci, R. (2019). Contentious belonging: The place of minorities in Indonesia. ISEAS Publishing.

Fealy, G., & White, S. (Eds.). (2008). Expressing Islam: Religious life and politics in Indonesia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Fundraising Law. (1961). https://peraturan.bpk.go.id/Details/51166/uu-no-9-tahun-1961.

Gellert, P. K. (2015). Optimism and education: The new ideology of development in Indonesia. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 45(3), 371-393.

Gopay, & Kopernik. (2020). Gopay digital donation outlook 2020. https://kopernik.info/id/temuan-laporan/publikasi.

Hartnell, C. (2020). Philanthropy in Indonesia. A working paper. Philanthropy for social justice and peace in association with Alliance, Filantropi Indonesia, Indonesia for Humanity and WINGS. http://www. psjp.org/the-role-of-philanthropy-insociety-2/

Harvey, J. (2011). Defining 'global philanthropy’. Alliance Magazine.http://www.alliancemagazine.org/blog/defining-global-philanthropy/

Hefner, R. W. (2000). Civil Islam: Muslims and democratization in Indonesia. Princeton University Press.

Indonesia Dermawan. (2022) Marah...Sedih..., Indonesia Dermawan. https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg6uYirL9dk/?img_index=1

Jung, D., Petersen, M., & Sparre, S. (2014). Politics of modern Muslim subjectivities: Islam, youth, and social activism in the Middle East. Springer.

Jurriëns, E., & Tapsell, R. (Eds.). (2017). Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and divergence. ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Kailani, N., & Slama, M. (2020). Accelerating Islamic charities in Indonesia: Zakat, sedekah and the immediacy of social media. South East Asia Research, 28(1), 70-86.

Kasri, R. A., & Indriani, E. (2021). Empathy or perceived credibility? An empirical study of Muslim donating behaviour through online charitable crowdfunding in Indonesia. International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, 15(5), 829-846.

Kitabisa. (2016). Yayasan/komunitas anda ingin sukses menggalang dana online? Pelajari caranya disini! Kitabisa. https://blog.kitabisa.com/yayasankomunitas-anda-ingin-sukses-menggalang-dana-onlinepelajari-caranya-disini-2/

Kitabisa. (2017). Laporan keuangan. https://kitabisa.com/about-us

Kitabisa. (2018a). Laporan keuangan. https://kitabisa.com/about-us

Kitabisa. (2018b). Online giving report 2018: Insights for nonprofits & brands. https://blog.kitabisa.com/kitabisa-online-giving-report-2018-indonesia/

Kitabisa. (2020). Laporan keuangan. https://kitabisa.com/about-us

Kitabisa. (2022). Tentang Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/about-us

Kozinets, R. V. (2015). Netnography: Redefined. Sage.

Latief, H. (2014). Contesting almsgiving in post-new order Indonesia. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 31(1), 16-50.

Latief, H. (2016). Philanthropy and “Muslim citizenship” in post-Suharto Indonesia. Southeast Asian Studies, 5(2), 269-286.

Layton, M. D. (2016). Philanthropy at the community level: Supporting community empowerment. In T. Jung, S. D. Phillips, & J. Harrow (Eds.), The Routledge companion to philanthropy (pp. 159-170). Routledge.

Lim, M. (2013). Many clicks but little sticks: Social media activism in Indonesia. Digital Activism in Asia Reader, 43(4), 636-657.

Lim, M. (2017). Freedom to hate: Social media, algorithmic enclaves, and the rise of tribal nationalism in Indonesia. Critical Asian Studies, 49(3), 411-427.

Menchik, J. (2016). Islam and democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance without liberalism. Cambridge University Press.

Neumayr, M., & Handy, F. (2019). Charitable giving: What influences donors’ choice among different causes? Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 30(4), 783-799.

Nugroho, Y. (2012). Localising the global, globalising the local: The role of the Internet in shaping globalisation discourse in Indonesian NGOs. Journal of International Development, 24(3), 341-368.

Nurita, D. (2022). Masalah di ACT: Kampanye Berlebihan, Pemotongan Donasi Hingga Penyelewengan Dana. Tempo. https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1608454/masalah-di-act-kampanye-berlebihan-pemotongandonasi-hingga-penyelewengan-dana

Petersen, M. J. (2015). For humanity or for the Umma: Aid and Islam in transnational Muslim NGOs. Oxford University Press.

Phaholyothin, N. (2017). Moving beyond charity to philanthropy? The case of charitable giving in Thailand. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 10(2), 185-203.

Piliyanti, I., Latief, H., & Anwar, S. (2022). Technologizing Islamic philanthropy during the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia. Journal of Muslim Philanthropy & Civil Society, 6(2), 120-141.

Pragiwaksono, P. (2015). Bangun kembali #MasjidTolikara Papua. Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/campaign/masjidtolikara

Resolute, A. (2018). Sumbangan Keluarga 5 Polisi Korban Teror Depok. Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/campaign/polisikorbanteror

Retsikas, K. (2014). Reconceptualising zakat in Indonesia: Worship, philanthropy and rights. Indonesia and the Malay World, 42(124), 337-357.

Sakai, M. (2012). Building a partnership for social service delivery in Indonesia: State and faith‐based organisations. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 47(3), 373-388.

Sakai, M. (2014). Establishing social justice through financial inclusivity: Islamic propagation by Islamic savings and credit cooperatives in Indonesia. TRaNS: Trans-Regional and-National Studies of Southeast Asia, 2(2), 201-222.

Sakai, M., & Isbah, M. F. (2014). Limits to religious diversity practice in Indonesia: Case studies from religious philanthropic institutions and traditional Islamic schools. Asian Journal of Social Science, 42(6),


Salido-Andres, N., Rey-Garcia, M., Alvarez-Gonzalez, L. I., & Vazquez-Casielles, R. (2021). Mapping the field of donation-based crowdfunding for charitable causes: Systematic review and conceptual framework.

VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 32, 288-302.

Sciortino, R. (2017a). Philanthropy, giving, and development in Southeast Asia. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 10(2), 129-138.

Sciortino, R. (2017b). Philanthropy in Southeast Asia: Between charitable values, corporate interests, and development aspirations. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 10(2), 139-163.

Silarus, A. (2016a). ‘Bangun kembali #ViharaTanjungBalai.’ Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/campaign/viharatanjungbalai

Silarus, A. (2016b). ‘Klik untuk donasi - santunan publik bom Gereja Samarinda.’ Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/bomsamarinda

Skinny Indonesian. (2018). YouTubers untuk korban Surabaya #KamiTidakTakut. Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/campaign/youtuberspeduli

Snyder, J., Mathers, A., & Crooks, V.A. (2016). Fund my treatment!: A call for ethics-focused social science research into the use of crowdfunding for medical care. Social Science & Medicine, 169, 27-30.

Sumarto, M. (2020). Insecurity and historical legacies in welfare regime change in Southeast Asia – Insights from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Social Policy and Society, 19(4), 629-643.

Surya, A. (2016). Klik untuk donasi – Bantu panti asuhan & jompo Berkat Kasih Immanuel. Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/campaign/bantubki

Tanjung, E. (2022). Dampak kasus ACT, Baznas: Tingkat kepercayaan donatur ke lembaga filantropi turun. Suara.com. https://www.suara.com/news/2022/07/09/163249/dampak-kasus-act-baznas-tingkatkepercayaan-donatur-ke-lembaga-filantropi-turun

Van Bruinessen, M. (Ed.). (2013). Contemporary developments in Indonesian Islam: Explaining the "conservative turn". Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Wahid, A. (2018). Santunan korban bom Surabaya #KamiTidakTakut. Kitabisa. https://kitabisa.com/campaign/kamitidaktakut.0

We Are Social. (2023). Digital 2023: Global Overview Report. https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2023-global-overview-report

Yuda, T. K., Damanik, J., & Nurhadi. (2021). Examining emerging social policy during COVID-19 in Indonesia and the case for a community-based support system. Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development, 31(1-2), 13-22.

Zhou, H., & Ye, S. (2018). Legitimacy, worthiness, and social network: An empirical study of the key factors influencing crowdfunding outcomes for nonprofit projects. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 30(4), 1-16.

Zuhri, D. (2014, March 22). ACT galang solidaritas dunia Islam bersama komunitas. Republika Online.







Current Research on Southeast Asia