How venture philanthropy is helping Indian NGOs do good better | Devex

How venture philanthropy is helping Indian NGOs do good better | Devex.

By Alys Francis

The fact that most NGOs have not been able to scale is “a clear nod toward lack of capacity” at a time when it’s needed more than ever, Aparna Sanjay, general manager of Social Venture Partners Bangalore, told Devex.

Most NGOs in India were started by someone in the community and run on modest budgets, often topping out at 500 million rupees ($8 million) annually, according to Vidya Shah, CEO of Edelgive — a charitable foundation that the Edelweiss Group, one of India’s leading financial services companies, established in Mumbai in 2008. Shah shared with Devex that while these NGOs can build and execute programs, “there’s hardly any knowledge around building an organization.”

That’s where nonprofits like EdelGive, SVP India — the local affiliate of Seattle-based SVP that seeds organizations in major cities in India, including Bangalore — Dasra and Smile Foundation come in.

Using the venture philanthropy method, they usually incubate NGOs for three to five years, providing 500,000 to 10 million rupees in funding annually, often tied to achieving set milestones.

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