Close this search box.

Spreading Joy By Way Of Giving

Spreading Joy By Way Of Giving
Illustration: Saahil
Versha Jain – 03 October 2023

Last year, Sarika, an IT professional based in Noida who did not want to reveal her real name, spent Diwali with children at Saikripa, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works for homeless and abandoned children. The family, consisting of her husband and son, decided to not spend anything on crackers, expensive lighting and new clothes, and re-channelled the money as a donation to the NGO.

She says, “We wanted to have a different experience on Diwali with underpriviledged children. It was a wonderful experience. My son was hesitant in the beginning, but was happy at the end of the day.”

Everyone may have different reasons and modes of donating, but for most donors, charity generates positive emotions. A research paper, The Emotional Rewards Of Prosocial Spending Are Robust and Replicable in Large Samples, published in the Harvard Business School’s publications in December 2022, confirms that. In the paper, Harvard Business School assistant professor Ashley Whillans, Canadian researchers Lara Aknin of Simon Fraser University, and Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia, said that spending money on other people can increase happiness among donors.

Like Sarika, many people prefer to donate during the festive season, though many do it throughout the year. Anant Arora, chief sustainability and communications officer, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, says: “Many people choose to donate at monthly intervals, ensuring consistent support. However, some donors prefer to contribute during festivals, aligning giving with the spirit of celebration and sharing.”

The decision to do charity, however, is only the first step. The next and more crucial step is to select an NGO or a cause close to your heart. For Sarika, choosing the NGO was easy, because she found it in her neighbourhood and felt for the cause.

How To Select An NGO?

There are approximately 3 million NGOs in India working for different causes, according to various estimates. NGO-DARPAN, the government portal launched in 2015, where NGOs can self-declare their information, has 173,757 registered NGOs and voluntary organisations (VOs), as on September 13, 2023.

Choose The Cause: Anupam Roongta, 40, a research analyst based in Jaipur, feels for the cause of education and has been a regular donor for almost 10 years. Roongta, who picked up the habit of charity from his father, donates to several charities, including the Akshay Patra Foundation, which provides food to schoolchildren under the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan (formerly the Mid-Day Meal Scheme) in partnership with the government.

Charity organisations work in varied fields, from humanitarian to environmental causes. Therefore, it makes sense to choose the cause you feel connected to.

NGO-DARPAN shows that Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of NGOs registered with it, followed by Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The highest number of NGOs are working in the field of education and literacy, at 100,464. The health and family welfare sector is being catered to by 68,122 NGOs, followed by those focusing on children at 63,879.

Filter out the ones working in the area you feel passionate about, be it about uplifting underprivileged children, women empowerment, education, or global warming.

As it is a voluntary act, instinct plays a role in choosing the cause.

As for Sarika, the choice of Saikripa was an instinctive one. “While I was exploring NGOs to donate, I found Saikripa, called them and felt that it would be the right choice,” she says.

Check The Genuineness: Once you have zeroed in on the organisation, make sure you check how genuine and authentic it is. Do a basic search on the internet and check its website. If possible, visit the NGO to find out more details about its work. If you know someone who already donates to the NGO, you can check with them about the impact it creates on the ground. You may also want to compare it with a few other NGOs working in similar areas.

Moreover, if you want to donate to derive satisfaction, you may want to know whether your money is reaching the right people. Ensure that the NGO answers your queries to your satisfaction on how the funds are being utilised and the impact it is creating.

Anupam Roongta 40, Jaipur

The research analyst has been donating for the last 10 years, having picked up the habit from his father. He offers subscription-based stock recommendation service, and the online fee paid by his clients is redirected to the NGO


For instance, according to Roongta, Akshay Patra Foundation shares the utilisation certificate to each donor, disclosing the amount they donated, how it was utilised, in which particular district, which kitchen and how many students were impacted.

Arora says: “Each meal costs us Rs 15.57. Of this, Rs 8.56 is provided by the government in the form of subsidies and grains, while Rs 6.56 is raised through donations from corporate and individual donors from within the country and abroad. As for state-wise funding, it varies from state to state, depending on the number of schools and students covered under the programme in each state.”

In 2022-23, the foundation received approximately 53 per cent of its donations from corporates, 19 per cent from individual donors and about 27 per cent from trusts and other foundations.

Likewise, Smile Foundation receives around 10 per cent of its donations from individual donors. “Value-wise, individual donors contribute 10-11 per cent of our annual funds received on average. The remaining funds come from corporate and institutional supporters,” says Shived Saxena, head, Individual Giving, Smile Foundation.

Consider Tax Benefit: Besides the emotional benefits, charity also offers tangible benefits—you may get a 100 per cent tax deduction on the donation amount under Section 80G of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

This deduction is, however, available only on donations made to specific NGOs. The list is notified by the income tax department. For example, many private trusts do not have 80G registration and donations to such NGOs won’t qualify for tax benefits.

Says Gopal Bohra, partner, direct taxation, N. A. Shah Associates: “Section 80G (1) and (2) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 deals with the deduction on donation made by a taxpayer to any charitable organisation. There are around 10-20 items that are specified for a 100 per cent benefit; donations for the rest offer a 50 per cent benefit on the donation amount. These are subject to 10 per cent of the total income.”

For instance, donations to Smile Foundation, which has been working for the underprivileged since 2002, get tax benefit up to 50 per cent of the donated amount.

However, if you are making your decision to donate on the basis of this criteria, do remember that the deduction under Section 80G is not available under the new income tax regime.

Says Saxena: “We have observed that individual giving picks up after September each year and goes on till March, which marks the period for filing of income tax returns. April to August marks the relatively lean season in terms of individual giving in India. The month of October heralds a long festive season, and it applies across India.”

How To Donate

Money is only one of the ways in which you can do charity. Some other ways include volunteering, spending time with the beneficiaries and others.

Roongta is not able to spend time with the beneficiaries he donates to, but he has found an innovative way to continue donating. He offers subscription-based stock recommendation service, and the fees his clients pay online on his website go directly to the NGO.

When it comes to money, it is advisable to avoid donating in cash. That’s because Section 80G benefits are not available for any donation in cash exceeding Rs 2,000 in a year.

Amid the evolving fintech space, these charitable organisations and NGOs also receive donations through different modes, such as cash, cheque, unified payments interface (UPI), among others.

Says Arora: “Akshaya Patra Foundation accepts donations through monthly electronic clearing system (ECS), UPI, credit card, digital wallet, QR code on its website, bank and wire transfer, and cheques.”

In the end, it is up to you to think of charity as a one-time donation or a way of life but, more importantly, choose the one you feel for.
As for Sarika, she plans to go back to the same NGO this year, but this time she has also invited her extended family to partake in the festivities with the underprivileged children so that they too can experience the joy of giving.



Privacy Policy - Smile Foundation

Information Gathering

1. Smile Foundation collects information from the users in a number of ways, for example when the user:

  • Makes a donation
  • Signs up for a campaign
  • Signs up to stay updated

2. While forwarding a donation for Smile Foundation the well-wishers have to submit some personal information as it would help us ensuring genuine contributions:

  • Your name
  • Your email and mailing address
  • Your telephone number
  • Your payment processing details
  • Any other data as required

3. Smile Foundation does not collect or record the user’s personal information unless he/she chooses to provide it.

Use of Personal Information

1. General browsing of Smile Foundation website is anonymous and it does not register the user’spersonal information except the time, date and place of visits and the name of internet service provider. This data is used only for statistics and diagnosis.

2. By signing up for various services offered by Smile Foundation, the user explicitly authorizes us to collect information based on the user’s usage. The information is used to help provide a better experience to the user and is used as per the user’s specified instructions.

3. Smile Foundation keeps the user information strictly confidential and this information is secured safely. All relevant information collected through Smile Foundation website is handled and used by internal and/or authorized officials only. It is nevershared with any external agencies or third party individuals.

4. Smile Foundation uses the information givento it in the following ways:

  • To keep an accurate record of all the donations received
  • To update users about its happenings and developments through bulletins and newsletters, with an option of not to subscribe for the same
  • To make sure the user is receiving the most appropriate and relevant information
  • To find out more about the people who are visiting the Smile Foundationwebsite, donating, or joining its campaigns

5. Usually, Smile Foundation does not store user data. In case of specific sign-ups, the data is stored as per user request. The user can opt to delete all the information he/she has provided by simply requesting such by mail. All information, without exception, will be deleted in two working days.

Privacy of e-mail lists

Individuals who join Smile Foundation’s mailing lists via its website or through its campaigning engagements are added to its email database. Smile Foundation does not sell, rent, loan, trade, or lease the addresses on our lists to anyone.

Cookie Policy

1. Cookies are pieces of electronic information which will be sent by Smile Foundation when a user visitsthe website. These will be placed in the hard disk of the user’s computer and enable Smile Foundation to recognise the user when he/she visits the website again.

2. The user can configure his/her browser so that it responds to cookies the way he/she deems fit. For example, you make want to accept all cookies, reject them all or get notified when a cookie is sent. The users may check their browser’s settings to modify cookie behaviour as per individual behaviour.

3. If a user disables the use of cookies on the web browser, or removes or rejects specific cookies from Smile Foundation’swebsite or linked sites then he/she may not be able to use the website as it is intended.

Payment Gateway

1. SmileFoundation uses well-recognised and proven technology for payments. Payment information is transferred by the use of an SSL connection which offers the highest degree of security that the donor’s browser is able to support.

2. Several layers of built-in security, including an advanced firewall system, encryption of credit card numbers, and use of passwords, protect the collected information.

External Web Services

1. Smile Foundation uses a number of external web services on its site to display content within its web pages. For example, to display video it uses YouTube. As with the social media buttons, Smile Foundation cannot prevent these sites, or external domains, from collecting information on the user’s consumption of the content embedded on its site.

2. The Smile Foundation website contains links to other websites for the benefit of its visitors. This Privacy Policy does not apply to such other websites.

3. Smile Foundation is not expressly or impliedly responsible for, or liable to any loss or damage caused to a user by the collection, use and retention of Personal Information by such website in any manner whatsoever. It is important that the users review the privacy policies of all websites they visit before disclosing any information to such websites.

Changes to Privacy Policy

1. As and when the need arises, Smile Foundation may alter its privacy policy in accordance with the latest technology and trends. It will provide you with timely notice of these changes. The users may reach out to Smile Foundation if they have any queries about any changes made to its practices.

2. If you have any questions at all about Smile Foundation’s privacy policy, please write to us at: [email protected]

Refund and Cancellation Policy

Welcome to this web-site of SMILE FOUNDATION. We make public our policy on refund and cancellation of donations received for the social cause on payment gateway as under:-

  • No refund/cancellation for the donated amount by any donor will not be entertained, the online donations through the online payment gateway.
  • No cash or refund of money will be allowed.
  • If any in-kind support received by the donor from any where the material will be reached to the poorest of the poorer communities.
  • Once received the donation for a cause will not be refunded to the donor. No cancellation to be made. The donation will be used for the community development, children education or women’s empowerment.
Terms and Conditions

Use of this site is provided by SMILE FOUNDATION subject to the following Terms and Conditions:

SMILE FOUNDATION reserves the rights to change these terms and conditions at any time by posting changes online. Your continued use of this site after changes are posted constitutes your acceptance of this agreement as modified. You agree to use this site only for lawful purposes, and in a manner which does not infringe the rights, or restrict, or inhibit the use and enjoyment of the site by any third party.

This site and the information, names, images, pictures, logos regarding or relating to SMILE FOUNDATION are provided “as is” without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied. In no event will SMILE FOUNDATION be liable for any damages including, without limitation, indirect or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever arising from the use or in connection with such use or loss of use of the site, whether in contract or in negligence.

SMILE FOUNDATION does not warrant that the functions contained in the material contained in this site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or bugs or represents the full functionality, accuracy and reliability of the materials.

Copyright restrictions:

Commercial use or publication of all or any item displayed is strictly prohibited without prior authorization from SMILE FOUNDATION. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license by SMILE FOUNDATION to use any item displayed.

Documents may be copied for personal use only on the condition that copyright and source indications are also copied, no modifications are made and the document is copied entirely. However, some documents and photos have been published on this site with the permission of the relevant copyright owners (who are not SMILE FOUNDATION). All rights are reserved on these documents and permission to copy them must be requested from the copyright owners (the sources are indicated within these documents/photographs).

SMILE FOUNDATION takes no responsibility for the content of external Internet sites. Other websites that we link to are owned and operated by third parties and SMILE FOUNDATION has no control over them. The fact that we include links to other websites does not mean that SMILE FOUNDATION approves of or endorses any other third party website or the content of that website. We accept no liability for any statements, information, products or services that are published on or are accessible through any websites owned or operated by third parties.

Any communication or material that you transmit to, or post on, any public area of the site including any data, questions, comments, suggestions, or the like, is, and will be treated as, non-confidential and nonproprietary information. If there is any conflict between these terms and conditions and rules and/or specific terms of use appearing on this site relating to specific material then the latter shall prevail.

These terms and conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of India.

If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, the use of this site must be terminated immediately. SMILE FOUNDATION for Social Welfare Service is a registered at

161 B/4, 3rd Floor, Gulmohar House
Yusuf Sarai Community Centre
New Delhi-110049
Phone : +91-11-43123700

Supplementing & In Alignment with Government Initiatives


Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
National Education Policy
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
Digital India


Skill India
Enhancing Formal Skilling


National Rural Health Mission
Universal Health Coverage
National Digital Health Mission
Promotion of Govt. Health Schemes


Anaemia Mukt Bharat
Poshan Abhiyan
Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan
Anganwadi Strengthening