Everyone wants to give in Kind to an NGO!!


What if your business was not measured in terms of profit it made?

What if your salary was the number of smiling faces and organizations you have served?

Seems so delightful, right? This is what an NGO (Non Profit Organization) does.


An NGO is a non-profit, citizen-based group that functions independently with no or minimum Government intervention. It may be involved in international philanthropic, developmental, or social missions. They aim to serve specific social or political purposes.

Contributing to an NGO can be a very fulfilling experience. These Non Profit Organizations rely on a variety of sources for funding their overhead expenses. Funding sources include private donations, membership dues, philanthropic foundations and grants from local, state and federal agencies.


Even in our day-to-day lives, we come across people or organizations asking for donations. Sometimes we donate, but most of the time we hesitate. Sometimes we fail to recognize that the little amount we donate to these NGOs might create a huge impact on society.


Have you ever been puzzled why the fundraising campaigns by the NGOs in India seem to fall flat? People are willing to volunteer/ donate in kind in lieu of monetary donations. The fundraising drives that they conduct are many times unsuccessful and there is always a lack of fund. However, such NGOs get their supplies of rations but their fuel tank is devoid of fuel (here, funds).

 Let’s try to look at some of the possible reasons behind this psychology of the contributors. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of potential donors and understand why they would donate their hard earned money to an NGO. No one wishes to serve as a donor clearly. Our altruism is probably innate and there is a dark side to it.

 There are several other reasons why people do not donate to these Non Profit Organizations. The first-ever exercise by the CBI in 2015 to map registered NGOs revealed that India has at least 31 lakh NGOs - more than double the number of schools in the country, 250 times the number of government hospitals, one NGO for 400 people as against one policeman for 709 people. The huge number of NGOs already present and working (as of 2015) creates a doubt on their credibility as well.

 People prefer to donate something which cannot be used for any personal benefits by these NGOs. They prefer to donate items (mostly perishable) more so that their donations are distributed immediately and aren't hoarded by the NGOs for their personal uses.

 The old proverb ‘Neki Kar Dariya Me Daal’ comes into play and donation to an NGO might not be anonymous, since maintaining anonymity leads to less transparent working of the system. Moreover, providing food, cloth and meeting necessary needs is considered to be more noble than donating money. People still believe in donating to a temple, mosque, gurudwara or other organizations, rather than an NGO. Indian citizens are truly devoted to their religion and consequently, faith based NGOs attract a huge donation.


Many NGOs do not work with full transparency. People are skeptical about them and there is a lack of trust in these philanthropic organizations. They believe that they do not spend the money in the right way. NGOs have faced high-profile scandals in the past few years that have led donors and Governments to question how we can rebuild trust in these organizations.


We need to create a culture of identity and solidarity through authenticity. This might prove to be the most cost-effective means of sustaining trust with the public. An important tactic that an NGO can use to trigger fundraising is to use compelling images and focus on one victim instead of several to help develop a feeling of community.

 Effective communication is the key to the cause of philanthropy. The NGOs need to communicate effectively to spread their cause. The volunteers should be passionate and their communication skills should be developed, only then will they be able to develop to take the cause forward and encourage people to donate more.


Signing off,

Riya Shakchi.

We at Ur Gesture are doing our best to bring as much transparency as possible to these fundraisers. We do this by listing the specific needs of the NGO and the Expense under that head. We hope to remove the distrust contributors have in their mind and help the society be a more collaborative space!!


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