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Funding to India Needs to Be More Strategic

23 November 2009 at 4:36 pm
Staff Reporter
International donors giving in India are not making the most of their money, according to new research from New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) in the UK and Copal Partners

Staff Reporter | 23 November 2009 at 4:36 pm


Funding to India Needs to Be More Strategic
23 November 2009 at 4:36 pm

International donors giving in India are not making the most of their money, according to new research from New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) in the UK and Copal Partners.


The research says those giving should consider how their money can make the most impact and encourage non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India to measure their results and be more transparent.


The findings, delivered in two reports, Giving in India and Starting Strong, provide advice for philanthropists on how to choose effective NGOs. 


The reports recognise the growing philanthropy market in India, but show that few charities measure the impact of their work and donors do not consistently ask for the right information. 


As a result, they say funding decisions are not based on impact, and the philanthropy market in India is not working effectively.


London-based NPC and Delhi-based Copal spent over a year researching the funding market and performance of local NGOs all over India. By speaking to over 150 NGOs, they found that only 3% were measuring their results in a robust way. 


According to one of the reports’ authors, Adrian Fradd, many donors just cannot be sure what impact their funding is having, or whether their money is going to the most effective charity.


Fradd says donors need to think more strategically, and there needs to be greater analysis of social issues and of individual NGOs to improve the impact of philanthropy.


The report comes as a series of events encouraging philanthropy in India are launched recently by GiveIndia (a leading Indian-based organisation that promotes transparency and credibility among NGOs). 


NPC and Copal estimate that private giving to causes in India could amount to several billions of pounds a year, coming from Indian nationals, Indians living abroad and other donors around the world.


Abha Thorat-Shah, Director of the British Asian Trust, which works with British Asian philanthropists, says this report is a very good reflection of philanthropy in India. 


He says it’s really a question of getting supporters to apply their business acumen to causes they are passionate about.


Chris Mathias, philanthropist and Chair of CMG Partners, has been involved in giving in India for many years. He says the nice thing about philanthropy in India is that when it works, the results are dramatic. 


NPC’s report on giving in India is the result of a year spent in India researching social needs and analysing dozens of charities working in Rajasthan, Delhi and across India. It provides a practical and useful toolkit for funders looking to give in the country. It also includes a simple framework that donors can use when thinking about where to allocate their funds, and suggests the solutions needed to fix the problems associated with giving in India.


The report can be downloaded at:

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