GiveIndia – Creating a Culture of Giving to Change Lives

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GiveIndia (Giving Impetus to Voluntary Effort) is a non-profit organisation in India. It is an online donation platform that channel and provide resources to credible non-governmental organisations across India to alleviate poverty by enabling the world – individuals and organisations – to raise and donate funds conveniently to any cause they care. GiveIndia has impacted millions of lives across India over the last two decades. The NGO works across ten causes and lists charities ranging from charity for children to charity for education, health, employment, elderly, disability, human rights, environment, youth and women’s empowerment. We spoke with Priyanka Prakash, Director, Head – Online Giving, Marketing & Partnerships to know more about the NGO, with special highlights on its partnership with Blind Welfare Society (BWS). 

When did GiveIndia start its operations? What made you decide to take this route to make a difference? 

We started our operations in 2000. The aim is to become a credible link between people willing to donate and the grassroots NGOs which work for the poorest of the poor. Our primary mission is to create a culture of giving in India. By promoting efficient and effective giving, we believe we can provide greater opportunities for the poor in India. 

MIHOTE ASHADEVI 
Mihote Ashadevi lost her husband a few years back. She started living with her sons who ill-treated and physically abused her, giving her a harrowing time during the stay. She was soon pushed out of the house and was roaming the streets when a good samaritan took her to Neptune Foundation – a Mumbai based old age home and our NGO partner. 

Through your monthly donations to their programme – Sponsor the Food Expenses of Poor Senior Citizens in an Old Age Home – she is now receiving nutritious food, has a place to stay and has found a new family.

How does this work? Do share in detail how you collaborate between, say, a particular NGO and donors. What is the duration given for each project to finalise or, does that vary according to the amount a project requires?  

We begin with identifying the right NGOs that are working in the field. We have our due process to verify the NGOs we partner with which covers the legal, financial, and implementation aspects of the donations. We work to ensure that the donations are being channelled to the programme and organisation of one’s choice. Currently, we partner with 2,200+ NGOs. 

We ensure that every donation does what it is supposed to do – change lives. Our primary objective is to make social giving to trusted NGO projects and verified medical causes a credible and straightforward experience. Every project is different, with its timelines.  

We are proud to have played a role in enabling giving across all segments of our society – everyday givers, HNI givers, corporates and foundations. Over the last 20 years, we have enabled giving through pledges, payroll giving, crowdfunding, monthly giving, CSR grant management, collective giving, etc. 

 

Is such fundraising for each NGO a one-time project or, do you help them multiple times whenever they need help?

It depends on the NGOs. If they have multiple projects that require funds, they can list these programmes on our platform. We have many nonprofits fundraising for their programmes on our crowdfunding platform and our monthly giving platform.   

Garima

Garima is a student of Class XII. An ambitious girl, she loves to communicate with people and educate them about relevant social issues. She has been working as a grassroots girl leader for over two years. Recognising her outstanding spirit to make a difference in her community, our NGO partner Milaan Foundation wanted to support her dreams of becoming a changemaker.

Through monthly donations to their programme – Help Create Future Women Leaders – Garima now receives support and tutoring and has even started counselling parents in her community to invest in girls’ education. She also took up several important initiatives during the pandemic to help her community members by building awareness on COVID-19 through wall writing and poster making, sharing helpline numbers, etc. Garima is determined to uplift girls in her community to achieve equality.

Why do NGOs need a platform like GiveIndia to raise funds for themselves? Are you confident that it is more effective to do this on their behalf rather than pursuing it on their own? Could you share facts/statistics to justify this?

Our crowdfunding platform brings both convenience and choice for fundraisers and donors in a safe, high-trust environment. There are many reasons why NGOs should partner with us. They can raise funds for multiple causes. We have a robust but simple verification process; we charge zero per cent platform fees, giving NGOs maximum funds. All the donors get tax-deductible receipts for their donations. And we accept donations in currencies from around the world. Besides, we organise online fundraising challenges for NGOs and provide them with training and incentives to participate.  

What are the different verticals in which your organisation is involved in fundraising?  

We are proud to have played a role in enabling giving across all segments of our society – everyday givers, HNI givers, corporates and foundations. Over the last 20 years, we have enabled giving through pledges, payroll giving, crowdfunding, monthly giving, CSR grant management, collective giving, etc. 

What is your pan-India presence regarding collaborating with and raising funds for NGOs? 

We are an online platform, so there are no geographical boundaries, and neither do we restrict any fundraising collaboration based on geography. We have a robust network of 2,200+ NGOs spread across the country in almost every Indian State, Union Territory and city. These NGOs partner with us throughout the year for several fundraising opportunities. 

Turning to Blind Welfare Society, how did you come across their cause. What made you take up the project? 

Being a part of our expanding NGO network, we received stories of the interventions of the Blind Welfare Society and then started a dialogue with their team to get details about the need. On being convinced with the narrative, beneficiary stories, involvement of the founders and the leadership team and the care needed for the girls, we decided to go ahead with the fundraiser. 

Compared to other verticals, is there more response from sponsors to donate to the physically impaired? How inclined are you to raise funds for the physically impaired considering past funds raised through such initiatives? 

Stories of distress, emotions and urgent requirements augur well with potential donors. Such stories are relevant in the cause of disability and, thus, fundraisers about NGOs working for this cause have a better chance to meet their target.  

We are committed to helping both NGOs and individuals in need of funds. While fundraisers like these help NGOs take care of their live programmes and care centres, we also help individuals who wish to raise funds for a health emergency in their families through medical fundraisers on our crowdfunding platform. 

Can you tell us more about this particular fundraiser – Blind Welfare Society (BWS)?  

Blind Welfare Society strives to improve the quality of life for 40 visually challenged girls in their shelter home in Delhi through education, employment and free accommodation. BWS was founded by R.P. Bhola, a visually impaired person. It is now run by his son, Dheeraj Bhola. The Society requires roughly Rs 1.74 Lakh for each girl per year to ensure they receive proper care, but because of the financial crisis created by COVID-19, they are struggling to meet these costs and keep their gates open for every aspiring visually challenged girl in need. 

Do you have a specific target for BWS? What is the total amount raised so far, and what is the target? 

We aim to raise Rs 70 Lakhs, out of which Rs 43 Lakh has been raised so far. 

How will the funds help BWS? 

The funds will help BWS provide holistic (nutrition, education and healthcare) care to the 40 visually impaired girls residing in the shelter home. Many of the girls were abandoned by their families because of their disability and gender discrimination.

Do you have standalone fundraisers?

We are committed to helping both NGOs and individuals in need of funds. While fundraisers like these help NGOs take care of their live programmes and care centres, we also help individuals who wish to raise funds for a health emergency in their families through medical fundraisers on our crowdfunding platform. 

Are you planning to collaborate for fundraisers globally? If yes, are you in talks with any NGO or initiative?  

People donate to our fundraisers from around the world, and we launch fundraisers every month. There are a few more in the pipeline, including ones with Cheshire Homes and SOS Children’s Village, among others. 

What is GiveIndia’s vision for the future? 

We are a poverty alleviation programme enabling giving back. We have set lofty goals for the future. For instance, in the next five years, we hope to become one of the largest giving platforms in the world to support 10,000 NGOs from the current number of 2,200. We would like every Indian who is in a position to give to contribute to our mission. There is no reason for 300 million Indian citizens to continue to live below the poverty line.