From Philanthropic Act to Strategic Policy Enabling and empowering grassroots NGOs

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Bangalore : Smile Foundation, a national level development organization, held a three day workshop in the city through their one-of-a-kind initiative “Empowering Grassroots” – Capacity Building of Community Based Organizations, which received a tremendous response from national and international grassroots NGOs. The aim of this initiative was to enable and equip community based organizations to achieve sustainability by aligning themselves with the CSR mandate under the Companies Acts 2013 and the growing middle class in India with high net worth individuals, in the wake of foreign institutional funding slowing down.

The programme witnessed global participation from industry experts, grassroots NGO’s and observers. It aimed to facilitate grassroots NGOs by educating them in building their capacities to mobilize resources for the sustainability of their projects, programmes and organizations without dependency on international aid. The outcome of this workshop was that community based organizations were instilled with the need to achieve sustainability through credible delivery, whilst at the same time they were exposed to various tools that they could used to scale up their management, operational and governance bandwidth to establish credibility transparency and accountability so as to facilitate resource mobilization and thus achieve sustainability.

In partnership with Wilde Ganzen, Netherlands, and taking learning from India and similar economies in the world, such as Brazil, Kenya and South Africa, Smile Foundation has built capacities of 500 grassroots NGOs in last two years under ‘Empowering Grassroots’ programme.

Speaking at the press conference, Mr Vikram Singh, Chief Operating Officer Smile Foundation said, “Whilst the ripple effect of the global financial crises of 2008 is now being felt in the NGO sector with the slowdown in foreign funding, there are new opportunities for resource mobilization under the Company’s Act 2013 and the growing middle-class with high net worth individuals. As Smile Foundation acknowledges the noble work being done by community based organizations at the grassroots level to bridge the gap in addressing social issues, we are committed to hand-hold them in building their capacities so as to help them achieve sustainability of their projects and their organizations by instilling in them the need for credible delivery and effective resource mobilization”

Mr. Robert Wiggers, Deputy Director Wilde Ganzen said,” Change the Game is an innovative program for supporting CBOs and NGOs in low and middle-income countries by strengthening their organization, learning how to mobilize local funds and resources, and enlarging their capacity to relate to local and national governments in order to promote service delivery. Robust organizations place the responsibility for combating poverty much more where it ultimately belongs, namely with governments, business communities and members of the middle class in emerging economies. Change the Game combines a series of workshops, learning events and coaching, digital learning modules and courses with a portal that presents 1,001 examples of good practices, information on relevant legislation and regulation and a series of practical tools and formats. The program starts this year in India and Kenya”

Smile Foundation is partnered with Wilde Ganzen which supports such programmes in four emerging economies of the world and is currently working with its National partners in other countries in expanding it to more than 2000 NGOs worldwide.