Smile Foundation kickstarts ‘Empowering Grassroots’

One World South Asia (10 July 2013)

Smile Foundation conducted the first day of its three-day workshop ‘Empowering Grassroots’. The workshop is a capacity building programme focused on guiding NGOs on avenues, sources and aspects of fundraising.

NGOs in India face many hurdles and issues in their day to day functioning, whether its funds, operations or branding. Keeping this in mind, Smile Foundation held a three-day workshop on capacity building for NGOs. The workshop was aimed at NGOs working at the grassroots and looked at helping them tackle the process of social change at the local level effectively.

NGOs from different parts of the country gathered to discuss about sources of funding and avenues of sustainable fundraising. The first day saw NGOs make presentations on their fundraising plans and their potential donors. The presentations were aimed at informing the gathering on how to raise funds in order to be sustainable. The event provided a platform for these NGOs to exchange and share their experiences and challenges with one another. Various innovative methods on how to engage and mobilize different groups and stakeholders towards supporting a good cause were discussed.

Vikram Singh Verma, Chief Operating Officer, Smile Foundation, talked about the role his organization looks at playing in terms of helping building capacity of NGOs, “Smile is a national development organisation that not only supports, but helps build capacities at the grassroots so as to make themselves sustainable. ‘Empowering Grassroots’ is an effort to bring various grassroot NGOs working in isolation on a similar platform for discussing about each other’s success and failures and get guidance from experts in the field”.

Talking about the thought behind the event, Santanu Mishra, Co Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said that the organisation aims to identify, handhold and build capacities of NGOs working at the grassroots, to achieve accountability, sustainability, scalability and leadership. Mishra added “This event is an extension of this effort in order to maximise reach and optimise returns by approaching and strengthening a large number of like-minded individuals and organisations globally.”

The first day of the event was a success, with many NGOs getting answers to difficult questions related to fundraising. The workshop is on for the next two days and will deal with many more aspects like management, branding and communication and governance; all of which are important for the good functioning of an NGO.