The other India growth story: rising donations

It isn't only global manufacturers who are enthused about India's impressive growth story. The country's fast growing gross domestic product and the burgeoning middle class, with rising disposable incomes, has an unusual player excited the global non-government, non-profit organisations, or NGOs, as they are popularly known.

"India's fast economic growth makes it an attractive market for fund-raising," says Samit Aich, Executive Director, Greenpeace India. "We are roping in more and more activists, fundraisers and donors to expand our presence here."

Like Greenpeace, many global NGOs, such as Oxfam, Save The Children, Care and Action Aid, have begun their fund-raising programme in India recently though many of these organisations have been present here for more than four to six decades. Most of these organisations did not even have an India office till recently and operated here as the offshoot of their global parent.

They have begun setting up offices in the past two years because Indian regulations do not allow entities not registered in India to raise funds locally. Save The Children, a leading global not-for-profit body working for underprivileged children, for instance, has had ties with India since 1920s. It was, however, in 2008 that it set up its India office and only in May this year that India was accorded the status of a "strong" member in its global alliance.

"A pre-requisite for being a strong member is to raise funds of a certain level and have a certain number of dedicated donors," says Thomas Chandy, CEO, Save The Children. Chandy, who has earlier worked with companies such as Coca-Cola, says he currently has 50,000 donors and "we are adding 6,000 more every month".

This, indeed, is getting reflected in the agency's income. While in 2009-10, the funds grew 46 per cent to Rs 60 crore against the previous year, this year, Chandy hopes the income to grow 50 per cent to Rs 90 crore. "Everybody wants to tap into the 'happy story' unfolding in India," says Chandy.

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