Theory of Change

The overall objective of Empowering Grassroots is to make social entrepreneurs and social initiatives self-reliant and self-sustainable through in-country resources that are available, creating significant social impact through a multiplier effect.

The path taken to achieve the same is to invest in a capacity building trajectory, that aims to help these initiatives  build credibility and legitimacy with their stakeholders, improve the accountability and service orientation in their operations and thereby be able to gather support from civil society and government towards local social development.

The capacity building trajectory combines training, coaching, mentoring and handholding activity while building a community of change makers who shall learn and contribute to each other’s success through peer learning networks and communities of practice.


Smile Foundation offers a range of courses and modules for social entrepreneurs and initiatives at the grassroots, including the following:

Good Governance

This covers basic compliance and the implications of the same for social purpose initiatives that are generally registered as Trusts (Indian Trust Act, 1882), Societies (Societies Registration Act,1860) or Section 8 Company (Companies Act, 2013). The module also provides an overview of the role of the board both from a legal requirement perspective as well as from a good practice point of view.


The module helps local initiatives in developing key leadership skills and competencies in meeting the changing needs of the civil society & beneficiaries and delivering on the key performance areas. It also includes:

a) Change Management: thoughtfully and carefully re-aligning the initiative to adapt to the needs of beneficiaries, new technologies, sector changes, new government policies, shifting donor markets etc.

b) Crisis Management: dealing with the reality of a crisis situation and its effect on the operations of any such local initiative, and

c) Time Management.

Project Management

This module helps local grassroots initiatives to put things into perspective and streamline the operations right from planning, to implementation and evaluation. This module includes topics such as project management plan, design & cycle, strategic planning, logical framework, memorandum of understanding, monitoring & evaluation, SROI etc.


This module focuses on various methods and skills in order to enhance visibility and broaden the reach of a local social purpose initiative, thus ensuring credibility and accountability. This module includes elements such as skills and knowledge to develop communication plan, branding, annual reports, crisis communication plan, newsletter, social media posts, storytelling, tagline creation etc.

Resource Mobilisation

This module includes strategies that maximize the efficiency of existing resources as well as acquiring new resources for reach and scale.  This module talks about the skills and mechanisms to secure financial and physical capital, along with other kinds of resources. This comprises two courses, Local Fundraising and Mobilising Support.

Local Fundraising

Imparts basic knowledge and skills to successfully raise funds locally and diversify the source of income and increase the donor base

Mobilising Support

Provides knowledge & skills to identify potential stakeholders & their strengths and work together by complementing & supplementing government initiatives in catering to the last mile of the society

Young Changemakers

CtGA Youth is a programme under Empowering Grassroots that focuses on building the capacities of youth. It aims to support young people (13-24 yrs) in independently developing and implementing projects and advocating for social change. These youth are then connected with their peers from other countries through a digital platform, thereby creating a community of global change-makers.

As a part of the programme, the Chapter Leads selected from India are trained and coached on relevant modules along with coaching support. The training is customised to the needs of the youth to successfully pilot their projects and organisations. CtGA Youth was launched in 2020 with a batch of 5 Chapter Leaders from Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

Distinctive Features

Globally practiced training content, customised to the Indian context

Course delivered by a pool of trainers trained by the Wild Ganzen (WG) Foundation & the Management Development Foundation (MDF)

Support from Master Trainers

Training Trajectories Experiential in nature

Observable and measurable outcomes at the end of both the components of these training trajectories– training and coaching/mentoring

Organisations are able to develop a prototype of a fund-raising event plan or plan for a mobilising support campaign from the training

6 months long one-on-one coaching/mentoring process with each of the trainee organisations, where they are helped to carry out the fund-raising event or mobilising support campaign

Organisations also make their annual fundraising/resource mobilisation plans as well as networking/campaign strategy during the 6 months’ mentoring process

National Reach & Presence

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