How to Support NGOs in India

Thursday 9 June 2016

While modern day NGO operations can span geographies, governments and incredibly diverse cultures, a single person's contribution can mean a lot. No matter how much you can donate, you can definitely make a difference. Charities are incredibly well organised, and can quickly bring new talent and skills onboard. All you need to consider is the amount of skill, time, and investment you are willing to make. Every minute counts when you are helping your fellow man, woman and child. Here's a list of a few ways in which you can help support an NGO in India.

1. Donate to charity

One of the easiest, fastest, and most effective ways you can propel an NGO forward is through monetary support. NGOs can do a lot more for the society if tens of thousands of people are putting their trust in an NGO to help save children and their families from hunger, poverty, illiteracy and even certain death.

How to donate online?

You can easily donate online via modes like net banking, credit card, debit card, etc. Your kind gesture will translate to joy, hope and health for thousands of children. You are also helping the thousands of motivated volunteers, officers and employees working in an NGO and in civil society at large. Donations to a reputed charity earn you tax exemption, which means you do get some kind of reward for your service to others.

2. Start a career with an NGO

No matter what your skill set or background is, you can contribute to an NGO in some way or the other. Working with an NGO gives you an incredibly rare opportunity of turning your vision of social justice into an actual strategy for change. Unlike a corporate setup, you're not driven by short-term targets, but big picture thinking. Along with technical know, it is your passion and demonstrated commitment, you can rise through the ranks, and will see you involved in million dollar projects that can benefit thousands.

3. Become a grassroots volunteer

The engine of any NGO's functioning is its grassroots volunteers who live by a noble idea of service before self. This role will see you live and work with other like-minded people driven by this passion and sincerity. It could be adverse environments like disaster zones, or peaceful hillside communities which need education, medicine and counseling - you'll be there to make a difference.  And you’ll find yourself learning several DIY (Do It Yourself) skills much faster than most corporate enterprise setups.

4. Do fundraising for an NGO

Fundraising is critical to sustaining and scaling any NGO's operations, and this is one department that is never short of opportunities. Here's how you can help:

i. Donations can be raised through door-to-door donation drives, or public venue activities in malls, shop kiosks and airports

ii. Products made by children/adults working with the NGO can be sold, and have a willing market, especially for beautiful handicrafts that will generate a fair dignified income

iii. Grant proposals with action points, budgets, and measurable objectives can be pitched to philanthropists, corporates, Institutions, funding agencies, and government bodies

iv. Fundraising events: Celebrities and performers regularly chip in for fundraising events such as dinners, charity sales, etc

V. Online fundraising: Crowdsourcing websites are an increasingly powerful medium of driving sales, and online fundraising activities can be complemented via social media, through e-mailers and other web contents.

5. Freelance with an NGO

If you can't join an NGO, you can still contribute your skills in a professional capacity in your free time, as a freelancer. You'll have deliverable goals, including fundraising targets, providing aid and relevant skills like IT and logistics, etc.

6. Campaign for NGOs

Ordinary folks are the groundswell of NGO support, and social media allows anyone to reach millions about an NGO's work, causes, fundraising targets and more. Campaigns educate and involve stakeholders for NGO goals, targets, and issues they're attempting to create awareness for.  These campaigns are often 'shareable' on social media via dedicated, prominently advertised hashtags and online activities, making participation easy and fast.

Conclusion

With such numerous possibilities, helping an NGO is simply a matter of intent. You can support a charity, either as a donor, a volunteer, or a corporate social responsibility (CSR) investor. There are tens of thousands of charitable organisations in India, all addressing diverse causes. The environment, children, education, economic growth, cleanliness - no matter what you find meaningful, there's an NGO working on it right now. And sooner or later, you’ll have enough money to donate, making your contribution even easier and more meaningful.