Making grassroots NGOs future ready


New Delhi : Smile Foundation, a national level development organization conducted a three-day capacity building programme for grassroots NGOs in order to enable and equip them to participate in the process of social change at the local level effectively. The workshop was conducted under the guidance of Subject Experts, Trainers and International Observers.

Aptly titled ‘Empowering Grassroots’, the programme focused on facilitating the NGOs at the grassroots to become self-sustained as well as bring excellence in their functioning. With the changing dynamics and developmental needs, genuine grassroots NGOs are required to be trained and prepared for sustainability in the immediate future. 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.

Addressing the programme, Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, Chief Operating Officer, Smile Foundation, said, “Smile Foundation sees itself not a Funding Agency, but as a National Development Organization that not only supports but helps to build capacities at the grassroots so that they eventually become self sustainable. Empowering Grassroots is an effort to bring various grassroot NGO’s working in isolation on a similar platform to discuss, ask question, learn from each other success and failures and get guidance from bigger players in the field”.

The three-day event saw interactive sessions on key aspects; involving local support for sustainable fundraising, project management, better fund utilization, need of correct communication and brand building, meeting the expectations of donors, communicating with the stakeholders, leadership and the practice of good governance in respect of audit and financial matters etc.

Smile Foundation has so far built the capacities of 500 grassroots NGOs under Empowering Grassroots programme in last two years. This year 500 more grassroots NGOs are projected to be covered under the programme. By 2015, the aim is to reach out to 5000 similar NGOs across India.

The three-day programme also offered the participating NGOs an opportunity to share their experience and challenges with one another. Many interesting insights were shared during the sessions, starting from various innovative methods of engaging people towards supporting a good cause to the methodology of communicating and showcasing the real work to a wide section of the privileged society.

Talking about the thought behind Empowering Grassroots, Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co Founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation, said, “As an organization Smile Foundation has always aimed to identify, handhold and build capacities of genuine grassroots NGOs to achieve accountability, sustainability, scalability and leadership. Empowering Grassroots is an extension of this effort in order to maximise reach and optimize returns by approaching and strengthening a large number of like-minded individuals and organizations globally.”

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