LetzChange Merges with GiveIndia to Boost Crowdfunding for Charities

100 deserving underprivileged kids will go to college this year, thanks to 1845 supporters from across the globe, who donated more than Rs. 69 lakhs in total to provide them scholarships. This was made possible by a campaign, “I Am The Change”, that was run by Team Everest, a Chennai based charity, using LetzChange’s crowdfunding platform.

Over 300 such nonprofits use LetzChange’s platform today to fundraise for various causes from their supporters worldwide. LetzChange Foundation was set up in 2014 by Vikrant Bhargava, a philanthropist and an alumnus of IIT and IIM. LetzChange has since launched many innovative products like peer-to-peer fundraising tools, event-based online fundraisers, a charity booster program and is helping non-profits across the country successfully embrace online fundraising.

GiveIndia, India’s largest and most trustworthy giving platform, today announced that LetzChange is merging with it, to accelerate their shared vision of a strong giving culture in India. In its 18-year journey, GiveIndia has already facilitated donations of over Rs. 330 crores from more than 10 lakh donors through payroll-giving, online giving, and subscription giving, to 200+ GiveAssured nonprofits on its platform.

Commenting on the merger, Vikrant said, “Both LetzChange and GiveIndia have a very strong mission alignment, and our offerings are very complementary. Joining forces with GiveIndia will allow us to serve both donors and nonprofits with even better products in their efforts towards uplifting the poor.”

GiveIndia also shared its plans to invest over Rs. 15 crores on the combined platform, primarily focused on online subscription-based giving and scaling crowdfunding offerings. Atul Satija, CEO of GiveIndia, added, “Our mission is to promote effective and efficient giving. Together with the passionate and committed team of LetzChange and a great platform loved by non-profits, we are looking forward to serving the charities even better, and help them change the world a little faster.”

Online giving is still in its infancy but it’s growing fast. There is a lot of work required to make it easier and a more gratifying experience for donors. This merger and the commitment to invest further seems like a much-needed step in the right direction.

LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18: All is Great that Ends Grand

The LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18, after giving us some great weeks full of excitement and happy anticipation, has finally arrived at its glorious end. The 2018 edition of this challenge, stretching itself over a period of about 50 days between 10th February, 2018 and 30th March, 2018, has been quite an enriching experience for charities both new and old to the crowdfunding space. We are happy in the fact that we could be of help to our partner non-profits in closing their financial year on a high note, with their cumulative donations on our platform reaching the roof-shattering amount of 4 Crore rupees! Together with the participating non-profits, we have broken our own previous records. We express our gratitude to all the participating charities for the tremendous efforts which they have put in into making the LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18 the explosive success it has been.

LetzChange, being a tech-for-good organization, has always focused on elevating the ease of operation for non-profits by providing them with technological assistance in the form of our easy-to-use fundraising tools. Our fundraising tools are tailored around the concepts of crowdfunding and networking, so that the charities can easily garner donations through effective networking using their existing donor base. The conventional methods of fundraising, though promising in some ways, have been very limiting. The non-profits in our country have forever struggled with the task of increasing their outreach, and the traditional offline ways of collecting donations over snail mail has not proven to be a piece of cake either. With the advent of so many innovative technological advancements in this field, the non-profits of today are slowly steering themselves towards the new ways of fundraising and the benefits of getting rid of the age-old inhibitions against technology are countless.

Here is where our social fundraising tools come into play. Using our peer-to-peer fundraising tool, the people who are willing to help, but aren’t financially in a position to make hefty donations, can show their support by inviting people from their social circle to donate or come stand in support of a social cause. This approach, in addition to helping NGOs meet their financial requirements, also helps them in expanding their supporter base.

One of the primary objectives behind the conception of LetzChange Fundraising Challenge has been to familiarize charities with the many perks of online fundraising and crowdfunding. In order to iron out the beginners’ apprehensions for the charities newly venturing into the online giving space, we came up with the Charity Booster Programme, introduced as a subset to the LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18. The charities covered under this programme were provided with personalized assistance at every step of the challenge, with dedicated relationship managers answering their queries, helping them strategize better for their fundraising pitches, and also providing them with marketing material customized as per their requirements. And to keep the charities invested in the task of escalating from offline to online mode of fundraising, LetzChange provided them with the opportunity to win rewards in order to encourage them to perform better.

Among the charities which are already conversant with the concept of crowdfunding, and have been participating actively in all the previous editions of the LetzChange Fundraising Challenge, we saw some really fierce competition for the Mega Rewards. The charities contested each other in a healthy light as we watched their every move with excitement. The last few days of the Challenge, especially, were filled with a lot of excitement, with the participating non-profits leaving no stones unturned to emerge out as the winners of the challenge. The Challenge culminated with Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan winning the Mega Reward, which meant that they won a flat 50 percent matching grant on the total amount in donations. Stood second the non-profit Team Everest, which walked away with a 30 percent grant on the total amount in donations procured during the LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18.

We hereby extend our heartiest congratulations to the winning non-profits, and also to those charities who finished just inches away from the coveted Mega Rewards, but were very much successful in expanding their supporter’s base during the LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18; which was our underlying motive. And as we progress forward on our path embedded with many more new endeavors and challenges, we wish our partnering charities all the very best. LetzChange aspires to be of help to you in your deep labour of enriching the lives of those in need, and we promise to making the task of fundraising easier for you by taking technology in our stride. Happy Fundraising!

LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18: Halfway through this Prolific Journey

LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18 is proving to be a massive success with the participating NGOs approaching it with the celebratory enthusiasm one reserves for the festivals. And a festival it is: a celebration of the spirit of giving, of people coming in support of those in need and of the social causes they strongly care about. The LetzChange Fundraising Challenge’18 was originally conceived to help NGOs close the financial year on a high, and with every new edition of the challenge it is evolving into a more fulfilling experience for the non-profits, helping them grow their network along with winning exciting rewards and garnering a lot of support in the form of donations.

LetzChange has provided all NGOs with dedicated relationship managers who are assisting them during the challenge, providing them with all the necessary information and encouraging them to fire all cylinders to win the coveted mega rewards. Also, to keep their level of motivation high, the participating NGOs are being rewarded matching grants on the unique donations coming in on their campaigns. The NGOs too are reciprocating by being actively involved in the challenge, effectively employing our peer-to-peer fundraising tools to weave an ever-expanding web of supporters.

Our primary aim during LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18 is to help NGOs augment their donor base through networking; echoing the underlying philosophy of LetzChange, which is of “simple, social giving”. Yes, the donations flowing in are elemental for the charities to smoothly carry on with their operations, but we strongly believe that with a network of loyal supporters which stays with them even after the challenge ends, the NGOs will find it easier to further their task of improving the quality of life of the underprivileged. The benefits that the NGOs shall reap during this fundraising festival stand in direct proportion to the number of campaigns they create on our portal. The larger the number of campaigns created, the more expansive will be the network of their supporters.

We have already come midway into the LetzChange Fundraising Challenge ’18, and are immensely pleased with the form it has assumed so far. Till date, a total of 2,344 different supporters have pitched in to raise a cumulative sum of Rs. 57,71,785 through 383 peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns on our platform. We thank the participating NGOs for their kind cooperation, and for the faith they have shown in LetzChange throughout their journey with us.  Also, to the NGOs who are yet to jump on the bandwagon, we urge you to grace us with your participation in the LetzChange Fundraising Challenge’18 and benefit from its ever-growing list of perks; for there is still some time left before the challenge culminates. Happy fundraising to you all!

Internship Programme: How LetzChange is Nurturing Young Talent

LetzChange proudly announces a three-month internship programme for willing and deserving candidates who are in search of a sturdy foundation to start building their careers upon. LetzChange is hosting this programme with the aim of nurturing young talent and shaping them into confident individuals who prove to be valuable assets to any organization they work for, in the future.

This year, the interns shall be helping us with the operative communications during the LetzChange Fundraising Challenge 2018. They will be closely working with our core teams, consequently learning how to communicate effectively as well as learning to build and maintain relations with people within and without an organization. They will be directly interacting with our partnering non-profits; providing them with all the necessary information and guidance, and keeping them well-briefed with the ongoing proceedings of Fundraising Challenge ’18. This internship, along with being helpful for people looking forward to working in the corporate sector, is also a great educative opportunity for the individuals who care about bringing some repair to the social fiber of our society, and are planning to settle in the development sector in the future. It will verse them well with the ground realities of this area of work and condition them with the abilities elemental for handling managerial responsibilities in any budding or established NGO.

Our former interns have largely benefitted from being a part of our team and have scaled great heights in their respective careers. Conversely, their enthusiastic approach towards the tasks deployed to them have brought about positive results for our organization as well. And, in a scenario where the interns have proven to be great resources, we have never shied away from retaining them, endowing them with important positions within the organization. One of our former interns, Pranav Varma, impressed us with his dedication and effectiveness as a Partnerships Intern and we couldn’t let him go. He now works as our Partnership Associate and is an indispensable part of the Marketing and Communications team. He dexterously manages our relations with our partnering charities and is the primary face of the organization for the stakeholders of the sector.

A message for all potential opinion makers in our nation’s ever-expanding social sector- If you feel that you are someone who has an undying interest in the world of societal development, an opportunity to work with our team would offer you with an inside view on the whereabouts of the sector, along with deep insights into the challenges faced by committed Indian charitable organisations.

For queries or inquiries on such opportunities, reach out to us at jobs@letzchange.org

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017: A Reminiscence

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017, held on 19th November 2017, was an immense success with thousands of people thronging the venue for showing their support to the participating runners and charities.During ADHM 2017, we harnessed the charity angle of marathons to create awareness about our partnering non-profits. As many as 38 different non-profits registered through LetzChange for ADHM 2017 and together raised an impressive cumulative sum of ₹ 17,90,140 rupees for the various socioeconomic causes they dedicatedly work for. Continue reading “Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017: A Reminiscence”

Running for Change: How LetzChange Spread the Colours of Giving in the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2017

LetzChange - Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2017

LetzChange recently concluded the charity fundraising for Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2017 as their official fundraising partner. It was a privilege for our team to enable close to 50 non-profits to leverage the widespread popularity of the event for raising funds.

This year, thanks to the dedication and hard work of several volunteers (of the partner NGOs), we have managed to raise a cumulative of Rs. 40 lakhs within a span of two months preceding the runs, which were held on August 19th and 20th, in Hyderabad.

How it all started

The journey started with LetzChange hosting the partner organizations for a workshop in Hyderabad, to teach and discuss with them the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising and how it was the most ideal way to expand their donor base. They were provided with a live demonstration on the method through which anyone could create campaigns for their charity and invite their friends to garner support. This would only them to find new avenues to reach out to potential donors and impact investors.

Participating in the workshop and understanding how to optimize not only the fundraising tool but features such as e-receipts, made charities realize how much they raise is directly proportional to the amount of effort they are willing to put into training their team and effectively communicating with their donors.

100% impact

The fact that we ensure 100% impact by not charging a single rupee from any donation implied more organizations came forward to participate in the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2017. Our team ensured their smooth onboarding on the platform after thorough verification of their registration and legal documents and trained them via presentations and informatory discussions.

NGOs too, were fast learners and put in a lot of hard work and used the platform exceptionally well. They rose to the occasion and optimized the media attention generated by the marathon to get more people talking about their cause and raising funds. Around 270 campaigns were created for the partner charities, gathering close to 1500 unique donations, till September 5th, 2017.

Culminating on a high…

The race day was exceptionally energetic, invigorating us with the excitement shown by the participants and NGO volunteers, leaving us with great memories. This proves that marathons are one of the best mass events to help charities in reaching out to more donors. The only thing required is to make them aware about this rising phenomenon and guiding them to use such events to their benefit.

Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2018, here we come! 🙂

 

 

You are not disabled, until you think so! The motivational story of Dolly Sahare

To be able to fend for oneself, is the biggest source of independence, self-respect and self-confidence. Many people however are unable to get decent employment due to reasons not under their control. Many times, people need to put extra efforts to achieve something because they do not start from the same level as others.  Dolly was one such girl who had her share of hardships, owing to her hearing and speech impairment.

She had a humble beginning.  The family of five was raised by her mother, with the help of her brothers’ modest incomes after her father passed away. Although the means available were limited, Dolly worked hard to fight the odds. She wanted to prove herself and become financially independent to support her family, just like her brothers did.

Her disability however, brought another set of problems- her underdeveloped interpersonal skills.  Being the only member in her family with a disability, she had trouble expressing herself and as a result, did not make friends easily therefore limiting her social circle. She was excluded from the village community because of the severe communication barrier.  Her mother was quite worried because she could see Dolly struggling through her childhood years.

Nonetheless, Dolly worked on herself.  She studied up till 12th standard from a special school in Nagpur after which she joined a distance course in B.Com. Her loved ones, who always motivated her to do better in life, advised her to join Youth4Jobs.

Youth4Jobs provides vocational training to youngsters and hones them according to the needs of the industry.  She enrolled at the Nagpur Training Centre where she was taught English, Computers, Life Skills and received customised training in Hospitality. Not only did the acquired skill-set land her at a job with Le- Meriden Nagpur as a steward but she also gained more exposure by mingling with people from different walks of life, gaining from their experiences and becoming more confident in herself as a person. Dolly now earns an annual salary nearly equivalent to the combined salary of her brothers, along with numerous other perks. She saves a substantial amount that is sent home. She is extremely happy and her family is very proud of her!

She is one of the many persons-with-disability who have decided not to give up on life. ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’ and organisations like Youth4Jobs & Amhi Amchya Arogyasathi are working to assist strong willed individuals like Dolly to carve a career and a create a quality life.

If you too want to motivate someone to be the best version of themselves, in spite of what life throws at them, log onto LetzChange to know more about how Amhi Amchya Arogyasathi is working to bring a positive change.

Fighting drug abuse: Building a new life!

Adolescence is a scary and fascinating period of life to be in. You are young and free, with not much responsibilities to shoulder and your entire life is in front of you. In a way, you are the master of your own destiny, willing to take risks and flirt with danger.

Karma was one such boy from Panipath. As a young and experimental child, he got exposed to cannabis pretty early in his school days and continued its regular use even after his marriage at the age of twenty. Moving out in search of work and making new set of friends gave him the opportunity to learn more about life.  Unfortunately, it also exposed him to newer substances to abuse. He started using injections and enjoying the euphoria that the recreational drugs gave him.

Slowly however, he developed a dependence on these substances and started losing touch of reality. Regular doping had an adverse effect on his overall health, decreasing his efficiency and ultimately, he lost his job due to irregular attendance.

One day he met one of the outreach officers of Turning Point Foundation (TPF) who was on rounds around injecting spots. Karma spoke to him and saw this as an opportunity to start afresh. He started visiting the TPF drop-in centre regularly and doing odd jobs. Recognising his interest in work, he was appointed as a peer educator.

He was one of the first few beneficiaries of the Oral Substitution Centre when it was started in the district hospital.  After one year of Oral Substitution Treatment he decided to leave drugs completely. It was during this time that he was appointed as a peer educator. Taking up responsibility to ensure that others do not fall into the vicious cycle, meant that he would have to discipline himself first, practice what he preached and continuously struggle in the period of recovery and relapse. As he was finding strength within himself by assisting others to fight with their drug problem, a generous donor from Germany extended financial support under the Peer Progression Program to sponsor vocational training for Karma’s wife, in sewing and tailoring. Later Karma got himself admitted in the TPF de-addiction centre while his wife opened a tailoring centre in their village.

Karma’s wife with her sewing machine, sponsored by the donor associated with Turning Point Foundation

Thanks to their own will to build a better life for themselves and the unfaltering support of volunteers as well as donors associated with Turning Point Foundation, Karma is leading a healthy and productive life. He is not dependent on drugs anymore and is the master of his own destiny, in the truest sense.

There are numerous people like Karma who fight with their own addictions, one day at a time. They are all in need of a helping hand, a savior to assist them in this journey. Offer someone a ray of hope today. Extend your support to Turning Point Foundation 

The Giving Premier League: a recap!

What started as an experiment to discover the most generous region in the country, left us in amazement, with a total or Rs 1.17 Crore being raised, over a period of 40 days, thanks to the contribution of 6772 supporters of the 105 NGOs participating.

Giving Premier League 2017 - Results

Empathetic East led the League with a cumulative of 33 lakh being raised with Parivaar Education Society raising the maximum amount of Rs 26 Lakh, followed by Northern Knights at 3 lakh where Project KHEL raised the highest in their team. The others, Heartland Heroes, Bengaluru Bravehearts and Chennai Changemakers raised approximately 18 to 15 lakh.

LetzChange allows NGO supporters to raise funds by launching campaigns, where they can invite their friends, family and involve their connections. The whole idea of leveraging their social network to raise resources for the cause that they are passionate about, was well recorded this time as approximately 74% of the total funds raised, i.e. Rs. 73 lakh+ has been collected on these campaigns itself.  A huge token of appreciation to Deepa Araganji (Vidya Poshak) and Poornima Achari (Vidya Poshak) as well as Navin Vishnoi (Sant Singaji) for campaigning for their organizations and securing the highest number of donations.

The Giving Premier League was an attempt to bring the people of the country together, to develop their region by making active contribution to NGOs in their zones. The teams were carefully divided, ensuring that each geographical part of India was well represented and each zone had a somewhat equal number of participating charities.

So we had Chennai Changemakers, Empathetic East, Bangaluru Bravehearts, Magnanimous Maharashtra, Heartland Heroes, Telugu Titans and Northern Knights in the running to prove that theirs is the most generous region in the country.

The NGOs are working for diverse causes, including childcare, education, women empowerment, skill development and livelihood. It was a brilliant opportunity for NGOs in zonal clusters, to collectively attract people/ potential donors and showcase the multiple activities undertaken by them to serve their beneficiaries.

Every year LetzChange hosts the fundraising challenge to incentivize NGOs to garner resources by offering a matching grant up to a certain percentage, according to how much the organization has raised. However the previous formats usually asked for linear thinking on part of NGOs, to get more donors or persuade them to donate more.  However this year, what was different was the grouping of 10 to 12 NGOs together, whereby some were well established in the development sector and others lacked exposure. It was an attempt to make the NGOs learn from one-another about better utilization of the LetzChange portal for raising funds as well as leveraging the massive reach of social media to draw attention to their cause.

Throughout two months that the League Challenge was ongoing, the team managers assisted NGO founders/persons-of-contact of charities, to understand their strengths and weaknesses and leverage this opportunity to maximize their incoming donations as well as win the highest amount as matching grant.

The NGOs raising the maximum amount along with the highest number of unique supporters would have received a matching grant of 30% and 25% respectively however, no participating NGO would have left the league disheartened as LetzChange assured a minimum of 15% as matching grant for every participating NGO. The rest would have won based on their performance, depending on the slab system as given below.

Slab System for rewarding participating NGOs

All NGOs have a different set of strengths and weaknesses, depending on their volunteer network, beneficiary network or corporate partnership and multiple other factors that contribute to its growth and well-being. This is that time of the year when NGOs come together to put in concentrated efforts to achieve targets. It’s beautiful to see volunteers passionately work towards making their organization win the highest prize money by optimizing their strengths in accordance with the basic ground rules laid out.  They are willing to conduct live events, push their boundaries to reach out to more and more donors as well as undertake innovative campaigns during this time.

The most successful NGOs are those that have worked hard throughout the year, putting in consistent efforts to communicate their vision and providing regular updates about their performance, to their beneficiaries a well as volunteers. Networking takes time, so does adoption of technology. And the best performing NGOs are those, who, year after year make efforts to be better at not only the former but patiently help donors understand the ease with which they can use the portal and the simplicity in social giving that they can experience.

The results were unexpected. For the longest time Heartland Heroes was leading with Northern Knights in tow. However, weeks before the ending, Empathetic East took a lead as Parivaar Education Society charged ahead and finished first!

The Giving Premier League was a joyous experience indeed, engaging the entire team in the planning and execution of the campaign, from the very scratch.  While the team saw a brilliant ending to the financial year, one can only imagine what the future holds for the championship in the years to come.

Giving Premier League 2017: The Journey That Was

Giving Premier League 2017

What happens when the entire nation comes forward to give?

The Giving Premier League, an initiative to help Indian charities in expanding their donor base through empowering tools and rewards, was concluded on March 25th, 2017 and the results were exemplary, to say the least. With the intention of bringing awareness about non-profits that are contributing towards the welfare of the society, the potential donors were enthused to make a contribution to the charity or a cause of their choice.

Non-profits from across the nation engaged in fundraising in the digital space as they represented teams from seven different regions across India, with the ‘Empathetic East’ team, comprised of NGOs from West Bengal, Orissa, Assam and Bihar, emerging the winner by raising a total of over Rs. 26 lakh . As a contributing grant for the winning team, LetzChange’s partner organization Letz Dream Foundation matched 30% of the total amount raised by the qualifying NGOs of the Empathetic East, thereby taking their total donation value in excess of Rs. 33 lakhs. The second position in the League has been secured by the ‘Northern Knights’ team, comprised of NGOs from Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, who raised more than Rs. 24 lakh.

Giving trends observed at the culmination of the competition revealed that education was the most preferred philanthropic cause for donors, with more than 60% of the total donations raised for non-profits in the education sector. Parivaar Education Society, a Kolkata based organization working for the overall care and development of underprivileged and vulnerable children, including orphans, street children, abandoned and impoverished children from tribal areas, collected the maximum funds of over 26 lakhs, followed by Sant Singaji Education Society, a co-educational college with a focus on educating the rural youth, based in Madhya Pradesh, which collected almost Rs. 14 lakh. The Society for Development Activities, based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, collected over Rs. 11 lakh for their flagship initiative ProjectKHEL that uses the concept of play and fun as development tools to engage with children and impart life skills education.

The aim of exercises like these is to remove physical barriers that stop prospective donors from contributing to society, by allowing them to use our dependable platform along with their own social networks, to raise funds for the causes they believe in.