Why and how to give money?

NGOs and organizations working towards relief activities registered a tremendous increase in donations.

‘Is the rich world aware of how four billion out of six billion live? If we had been aware, we would have wanted to help, we would have wanted to be involved. , Bill Gates

The pandemic has shown us how the world stands united in the face of adversity.

We united against this deadly virus and to help the needy people by providing financial help or dry ration kits to the employees, and food to the less fortunate, providing cars to transport patients to hospitals or oxygen cylinders in different cities. Proceed to do it. ,

NGOs and organizations working towards relief activities have registered a tremendous increase in donations in the last two years.

But do we really need to wait for a tragedy of this magnitude to make us realize the fragility of human life? Are there not enough issues already that need our attention and intervention?

Having the power to improve the lives of others is a privilege that comes with one’s own sense of obligation.

How India donates

In India, religion plays a big role in influencing the way a person donates.

It is common to see places of worship or a religious leader of a cult like the following donating large amounts of money.

Needless to say, most of the time there is little or no accountability in terms of where these funds are used. All this is done in blind faith!

A handful of donors use the Internet to ‘research’ about them before donating to NGOs based solely on popularity, social media ads or verbal recommendations.

Then come those who ‘donate’ to the all-encompassing money set up by political parties or the central and state governments. Whether or not such contributions can be considered as ‘charitable giving’ is a different conversation altogether.

There is also a category of donors – we all know – who believe in helping the less privileged in their own circle, usually their domestic help, driver etc. provide groceries, clothing, or perhaps even sponsor the cost of your children’s education.

These donors want to do social good and bring about change. But due to lack of knowledge about NGOs or perhaps lack of trust, they choose a simple philanthropic journey rather than a structured and strategic one.

The last category of donors are those who are extremely clear and firm on the cause they want to support because of how strongly it resonates with them. For example, a donor who has seen a loved one suffer from a terminal illness will support an NGO working to provide a better life for the mentally ill.

To see the ‘impact’ of our donations, it is imperative that we, as donors, look beyond our immediate realm and expand our horizons. Think about supporting well-organized programs of NGOs that support the society at large.

After all, we are a product of the environment in which we live. We cannot expect a safe home without a safe neighborhood.

Why should you donate?

Your money is yours to spend but the resources belong to the society. We all know that countless people in the world are living in unimaginable conditions with lack of resources.

For India to become a stable society where opportunities are created for millions of people to pursue their lives, it is imperative that we support many good NGOs that help the less fortunate of our country and provide them opportunities to flourish.

We know from our years of study of NGOs that most of them work hard to raise funds for their programmes. They often do not have the bandwidth, expertise or access to manage fund-raising campaigns. Thus, they waste valuable resources in the process.

By donating, you are participating in a cause that is greater and more important than you. Research has shown that people who give to charity find themselves experiencing an overall better sense of happiness.

Crowdfunding is a ‘cool’ trend that has gained momentum in recent times where good causes invite friends and family to donate to the NGO/cause they are supporting.

There are lakhs of NGOs in India. How do you choose a ‘good’ one?

There are 10 million registered NGOs globally and of these 33 lakh are registered in India. It is reported that very less % of these have complied with the filing of Annual Return with the Registrar.

In India, around 22,600 NGOs are registered for receiving foreign contributions under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA). Since 2011, around 20,600 NGOs have lost their registration because they were violating the FCRA law.

Also, due to some notorious NGOs that are exposed by the media from time to time, there is a huge lack of trust among the donor community and there is a need for transparency in the social sector!

HelpYourNGO (HYNGO) has been established with the goal of promoting transparency in the social sector and helping donors make donation decisions in an enlightened, strategic and effective manner.

Transparency as a donor should be paramount. Your first choice of NGOs should be those that are transparent about how your donation is being used and share program reports in a timely manner.

It is your right as a donor to be informed. Another important factor to consider is the percentage spent on beneficiaries i.e. how much of your donation is actually reaching the final beneficiary and how much is spent on overheads and marketing expenses.

Needless to say, priority should be given to NGOs spending higher percentage on beneficiaries.

At HelpYourNGO, you can find and donate to 650+ NGOs in 13 causes rated financially and qualitatively, beyond statutory financial audits using structured and systematic analytical tools.

Our USP is to arrive at the percentage spent on the beneficiaries. Users of our website find this extremely valuable in making their donation decisions.

Our research analysts have shed light on how some of the most popular NGOs spend more than 35% on marketing expenses – if you knew about it, would you choose to support such an NGO?

Just as you don’t rely solely on desktop research or rumors to plan your financial journey, you should consider seeking expert advice to help you plan your philanthropic journey effectively!

How to decide the reason for support?

There are many good people in this world – we have all read about wealthy people pledging their wealth for social causes – but there is much more that needs our attention and resources.

Education, health, livelihood, women empowerment, gender inequality, rural development and many more.

Choose any cause that resonates with you and is consistent with your beliefs. If you can combine your philanthropic journey with your core workspace, it can be a beautiful marriage. A finance professional may choose to support programs that provide financial literacy, a car manufacturer may choose to support a program that provides skill development training to the underprivileged, an artist may choose to support a school that serves underprivileged children. Makes you aware of different forms of art.

Choose any cause you’re excited about and support a credible NGO verified/recommended by an expert.

How often should you donate – one time or recurring?

The answer is simple. Are you looking to make an impact?

If so, your charitable journey should be strategically planned keeping in mind the change you want to see in the target beneficiaries/community. Do you think a lump sum donation can achieve that?

HelpYourNGO launched Systematic Giving Plan (SGP) in 2018 – a first of its kind initiative in the world – which enables mutual fund investors to contribute 10% of their investment with any mutual fund, which is trusted and verified. Directed to support NGOs.

It aims to create a steady stream of fund flow to various UN SDGs and genuine and verified NGOs working towards the cause. SGP allows NGOs to focus on implementing the great work they do rather than wasting resources on fundraising – which they may not be good at.

University endowments and foundations invest their funds for long-term capital appreciation. For example, the Harvard University Endowment has created a fund of more than $40 billion (2020). The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s endowment was $49.8 billion (2019).

Typically, earnings/capital distributions from these endowments fund 30% to 50% of their annual operating budget. Imagine if NGOs in India could rely on the same pool of capital to implement their work!

No amount is too small to give. You can choose to pay as little as, or more, the amount you would spend on one month’s OTT platform subscription fee or the amount you would spend on buying a new home.

Have a SIP? How to start an SGP (Systematic Giving Plan)!

We know that the steps of the regulator, SEBI have already revolutionized the Indian Mutual Fund industry.

Overall, equity funds have assets under management (AUM) of around Rs 37 lakh crore. Even though 1% of this fund would be transferred to SGP units for distribution to NGOs to advance the UN SDGs, that would amount to Rs 370 billion of AUM.

And if 10% of this is distributed to hundreds of NGOs every year, it will be Rs 37 billion every year! This is a potentially cascading effect of SGP!

Quantum Mutual Fund is the first fund house to integrate its systems and investor base into the SGP framework and branded its product as Smile Suvidha.

The power of small (or large) donations deposited through SMILE units has the potential to systematically support NGOs selected by individual investors. Like Harvard University, these NGOs can then focus on improving the impact of their great work.

Products like SGP can leverage partnerships to unlock opportunities for stakeholders working towards social change and create a more equitable and just world.

In an era where we are no longer just focused on profit, let’s choose this simple yet powerful Systematic Giving Plan unit and help India achieve the SDGs.

A systematic investment plan secures our future. Systematic Giving Plan can secure the future of millions of people.

and the future of our country.

Conclusion

Take a moment to think about the legacy you want to leave. How much is enough? Or is it ever enough?

When do you say I’ve had enough and it’s time for me to start giving back to society?

Life is busy, and sometimes it can be easy to forget to express gratitude for what we’ve been given… do it when there’s still time!

Again, there is no right or wrong, but as Helen Keller said, ‘There is little we can do alone; We can do so much together’.

(This article is syndicated from Equitymaster.com)

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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