Smile Foundation organised a three-day capacity building programme, Empowering Grassroots, to enable and equip genuine grassroots NGOs to participate in the process of social change at the local level effectively, by enhancing their scalability and sustainability. The event was conducted from July 10-12, 2013, under the guidance of subject experts, trainers and international observers.
The grassroots NGOs in India have been doing remarkable work in different areas of social development. By engaging directly with the community, these NGOs are able to identify and address the specific concerns of the people. But unfortunately such initiatives are unable to sustain themselves due to lack of support, adequate communication channels and proper governance.
Smile Foundation has built the capacities of 500 grassroots NGOs in the last two years under its Empowering Grassroots programme. Addressing the programme, Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, Chief Operating Officer, Smile Foundation, said, “Smile Foundation sees itself not as a funding agency, but as a national development organisation, that not only supports but helps build capacities at the grassroots so that they eventually become self sustainable.”
The event held interactive sessions on key aspects like building local support for sustainable fundraising, project management, better fund utilisation, need of proper communication and brand building, meeting the expectations of donors, communicating with the stakeholders, leadership and the practice of good governance. By bringing together NGOs from all over the country, the programme also provided them a common platform to share their experiences and challenges.
Talking about the thought behind Empowering Grassroots, Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co Founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation, said, “As an organisation, 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 optimise returns by approaching and strengthening a large number of like-minded individuals and organisations globally.”