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.

 

Fundraising @ LetzChange: Making the Experience Better  

At LetzChange, we are always working hard to find better ways to allow people to communicate and raise funds from their social networks. In the recently concluded Giving Premier League, we promoted the fundraising tool, which enabled people to urge their social contacts to support their campaign for charities, via personalized emails. What came as a sheer encouragement for our efforts was that a lot of campaigners used the service, which resulted in more than 22,000 invites being sent in the 40 days.

We always recommend that fundraisers select and segregate their contacts and only send invites to those who they think will be interested in the said campaign. However, we are changing the way this communication used to take place as it was observed that there were attempts to send mass messages to their out of date contact lists, resulting in a lot of hard bounces (unsent emails).

To make the entire process better, we are now allowing people to connect their own Google accounts to their LetzChange profile. In doing so, the invites and thank you emails will be sent from the person’s own account, instead of our servers. This will make the invites more personal, giving them a better chance of landing in the recipient’s inbox instead of spam and allow invitees to have successful conversations. Our servers will also manage sending the messages in batches, so that we comply with the limits set by Google.

We hope the experience of fundraising at LetzChange will only get better, as our team strives to come up with more tools that help our partners scale up, without any hurdles.

#GivingPremierLeague: Introducing Teams and Crossing the 25 lakh mark

LetzChange is proud to announce the launch of the Giving Premier League, India’s first ever fundraising challenge where we are curious to find the most generous region in the country.

This is where NGOs, working to serve various causes have been clubbed together based on their geographical region to form teams. These are teams of hardworking Samaritans who have dedicated their lives to bring about a change because they believe that their vision, passion and initiative can make a difference in this world. This is their chance to not only network with other like-minded people in the region but also appeal to generous donors to contribute in the development of their region.

After putting in gruelling amounts of effort to ensure that each Team was well balanced and had equal number of NGOs as well as a good chance of winning in the league, here’s presenting the teams for this year!!

Bengaluru Bravehearts

Telugu Titans

Chennai Changemakers

Empathetic East

Northern Knights

Heartland Heroes

Magnanimous Maharashtra

Each state is well represented and each team has a mix of NGOs that are representing multiple causes like education, child care, women’s welfare, elderly care, etc.

The biggest giving league is on, in the first twenty days itself we have crossed the 25 lakh mark, every 10 minutes there is a new donation coming in and the social media feed is buzzing with #GivingPremierLeague.

The LetzChange team is really excited and brimming with active arguments and sometimes cheeky insults as Regional Managers defend their teams passionately.

It’s getting crazy competitive in here, and we want your help to win. So what are you waiting for? Lend your support to the NGO you find most deserving in your region here.

 

Introducing Giving Premier League 2017: India’s Biggest Fundraising Festival

With an aim to help NGOs complete their fundraising targets at the end of the financial year,  LetzChange is proud to present the ‘Giving Premier League 2017.’ This is a one of its kind online fundraising event where donors can contribute in the development of the region they hail from, by supporting the team that represents their home town.

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From a Little Boy Running Away From Misery, to a Man Facing Challenges Head On

There are traffic signals in every part of the city and there are people associated with those crossings. While we might get accustomed to their faces but their existence becomes worth only a passing glance.

It’s almost as if we register their presence absent-mindedly and rarely do we pause to think of their identity. Rarely do we ponder about their past or the future that awaits them. And since ‘they’ might not be closely related to us, their situation is not of immediate importance.

Many of them are run away kids, who have left their homes and families behind, in the naivete hope of finding a better world. One such child was Brijesh, who, fed up of his family, for they gave up on the mischievous child who got scolded wherever he went.

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Gramin Samassya Mukti Trust: Creating Opportunities for the Deserving

In the Hindi movie Talaash, Kareena Kapoor who plays an escort makes a heart wrenching statement “jinn logon ki ginnti hi nahi hoti, unke liye kya justice?” And momentarily, going beyond our day-to-day concerns, we are forced to think about the plight of commercial sex workers.

Knowing that poverty doesn’t hold many doors open, we are forced to think about what could possibly serve as a beam of hope and happiness for Continue reading “Gramin Samassya Mukti Trust: Creating Opportunities for the Deserving”

Daan Utsav Week Challenge 2016: For NGOs, with Love

Daan Utsav is a beautiful festival celebrated from 2nd to 8th October, across the length and breadth of the country to highlight the undying spirit of charity. Numerous corporates, not-for-profits and volunteers came together to extend the generosity. Even PM Narendra Modi inspired our countrymen to participate, on his famous Mann Ki Baat radio show

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Daan Utsav: Celebrating the Invaluable Joy of Giving

The Joy of Giving Week is observed from 2nd to 8th of October to celebrate the spirit of generosity, charity and giving. The idea ‘kuch bhi do, dil se do’ summarizes the essence of this festival.

Daan Utsav is a beautiful concept in itself. It’s about taking out time from our busy schedule and going beyond the confines of our own lives, to touch someone else’s.

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#WorldDayAgainstChildLabour: From Darkness to Hopes of a Bright Future

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The belief of children being God’s gift is nothing beyond mere tokenism. With children loitering around the streets helplessly, it is evident that child labour is on the rise in every nook and corner. Entrapped in the vicious circle of poverty and ignorance, these children fall prey to traps of trafficking, bonded labour, prostitution, petty thefts, among others.

Moving Forward against Child Labour

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Nobel laureate, Kailash Satyarthi who religiously advocates for children’s welfare, collaborated with internationally renowned photographer Robert Fogarty in the Dear World Project. The project photographs child labourers rescued by Satyarthi with their ideas of liberation and freedom written on their bodies. Indeed, a noble way to empower them.

Also, this World Day Against Child Labour, which was celebrated on June 12th, some rejoice came from the revised Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour. Hoping to carve a bright future for these innocent kids, the scheme aims at increasing the compensation of children caught in bonded labour, tenfold. The scheme also expands the ambit of bonded labour to trafficking, prostitution and begging.

LetzChange their Lives

LetzChange is proud to have partnered with Sabuj Sangha, a non-profit that works towards helping child labourers get back to the enlightening path of education. The organization runs the National Child Labour School, initiated under the Government of India’s National Child Labour Programme (NCLP) and skillfully prioritizes placing child labourers into formal schools. Not only do the children receive vocational training and mid-day meals, they are also provided with monthly allowances and regular health check-ups. You can help the NGO by making small contributions, which would help them in reaching out to more such young ones who intend to come out of the web of child labour : http://bit.ly/1tr6Z8H

Giving in India: Treading a Rocky Terrain

In India, for a majority of mango people, the very idea of ’giving’ would make them uncomfortable. Their responses for acts of generosity would range from “Will my tiny contribution even matter”? to “This seems like a fraud”! or “This is India, nothing will change here”. Their pessimistic attitude towards donating could be attributed to their lack of understanding of the concept of collective giving. This  usually deters them from doing their bit towards the needy. The testimony to the gloomy picture painted above is The World Giving Index, which aims at ranking the most charitable countries in the world. In the 2015 rankings, India lies at an abysmally low rank of 106 out of 130 countries surveyed. Also, India had a steep fall from 2014 and 2013 rankings, which were 69 and 93 respectively. These daunting statistics makes one ponder on the reasons that hold the common man back from donating.

Scepticism or Lack of Awareness?

Scepticism comes naturally to Indians, which further gives rise to a perception that NGOs lack credibility. Bain and Company, a leading consultancy, in its India Philanthropy Report 2015, states that 50% donors surveyed could not find a credible organization for their donations. This probably also throws light on the fact that individuals are either not aware about the functional charities in their vicinity or unclear about how can they help these organizations. Thus, people prefer to donate directly to the beneficiary. For all those who doubt the credentials of registered NGOs, what makes them believe the authenticity of individuals? This hesitance ultimately results in a push back for the potential NGOs.

Bhagwaan ke naam pe…

More than lack of awareness or intent, people’s belief in donating to religious places acts as a restraining force in directly reaching to the needy. Donating huge amounts of money to their respective place of worship is people’s way of relieving themselves from the bad deeds they have committed. India Philanthropy Report 2015 showcases that 27% of donors preferred donating to religious places.

Although digging deep into how the donated money is spent is a herculean task, it will not be an exaggeration to say that the amount, if donated to a well-intentioned (registered) NGO, can usher in better results.

Not for Everyone?

It is also believed by many that donating is an elitist activity. Only developed countries and financially stable societies can spare surplus funds for the betterment of the needy. However, we have witnessed that people have gone out of their ways to bring lasting changes in the lives of the underprivileged. The recent example being that of the Chennai floods, where the country stood by the people of the state and helped re-build it, brick by brick! Our campaign with Bhumi aimed at raising funds for those affected by the floods, received an overwhelming response as we raised more than Rs. 1 Crore in about a week.

Going Forward…

It is undeniable that there are lots of bottlenecks in embracing the giving culture in India. Donors and NGOs need to work hand in hand to create a mutually conducive environment for generosity to blossom. Charities must be transparent and receptive to donors’ needs. Also, donors need to be more liberal and smart while making donations and should give equal weightage to verifying the credentials of the non-profits. Probably, when people realize that even small contributions could make a big difference in many lives, would they step up to contribute and spread the culture of giving in India. It is only step by step can we get rid of the societal stigmas. All that is required is everyone to come together and extend their hand towards the poor and the under privileged.