National NGOs look at leveraging domestic fundraising and innovation for sustainability


With international funding slowing and domestic fundraising taking off strongly, local NGOs have to up their game to win hearts and donations from local supports and companies. A five-day workshop by Smile Foundation in association with Wilde Ganzen's Change the Game Academy in Kolkata seeks to help organization crack the local fundraising.

Kolkata, 31 August 2019: Over the past decade or so dependence on foreign funding for national NGOs has been erratic and is on a slow down. As per a recent report there has been a decline of 40 percent in foreign funds for NGOs over the past five years. This coupled with global economic slowdown and emergence of corporate social responsibility and individual giving, is making local organizations look for ways to raise resources and support for the cause they champion within the national markets.

But this is easier said than done as most organization that are working at state level and rooted in the community also called community-based organizations or (CBOs) lack resources, mentoring and skills to leverage this opportunity.

Various new ideas and tools that are being tried out to raise funds and Change the Game Academy (CtGA) is one such programme, funded by the Wild Geese Foundation to empower the smaller nongovernment organizations in methods to become self reliant and sustainable.

“Funds from foreign are shrinking due to valid reasons, corporates are more systematic and in better control to invest, NGOs by and large lack with the skills and mainly the attitude to complement the policies of Government in place by either improving or setting them anew. As a result ‘Self-Sustainability’ is a big question for them,” said Mukesh George, a trainer working with Smile Foundation, who is part of the CtGA programme.

“Change the Game Academy (CtGA) addresses these issues through its Classroom Course approach by focusing on the aspect of Local Fundraising. The course brings forth the paradigm shift to the participants that Local Fundraising is more sustainable option in a longer run and they leave the room equipped with skill-set, ready with an event plan to fundraise,” he explained.

“We have seen that the Indian's are giving, hence we are seeing a growing trend in donations by individual philanthropists. They have ensured that the role of private funding continues to grow despite slowing foreign fund inflows. Similarly, funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is maturing, which has seen a growth of 12 percent the recent times, but a lot more needs to be done,” said Gargi Kapoor, In-charge, CtGA, India.

“These workshops help the civil society to rethink their business models, think strategically about its financial models and adopt new and innovative approaches that will help the sector maintain its independence and still be sustainable. The idea exchanges that happen through the workshops empower these smaller units with long term and short-term fundraising goals,” she explained.

The legislative environment and the policies related, economic downturn in the top-tier funding countries and changing donor priorities have made dependence on foreign funding a verytricky option. The need for smaller NGO’s is about finding financial stability, by diversifying their resources to have a healthy mix of long and short term funding, Financial sustainability is about diversifying financial resources in order to have a healthy mix of long and short-term funding, CSR donations, foreign and local donors as well as internally generated resources by events, fundraisers etc.

Jaya Shroff: Smile Foundation: jaya.shroff@smilefoundationindia.org | 9818194294

About Smile Foundation:

Smile Foundation is a national level development organisation reaching out to more than 600,000 underprivileged children, youth and women directly every year through more than 250 welfare projects on subjects such as education, healthcare, youth employability, and women empowerment across 25 states of India. Adopting a life cycle approach of development, Smile Foundation focuses its interventions on children, their families and the community.

Website – www.smilefoundationindia.org

Get Involved