Corporate Funding for the Social Sector – Joy Sharma and Sudeep Gupta, Founding Partners, Impactify

The CSR Journal Magazine | April 2019 Edition

For a long time now, the social sector has been facing critical issues pertaining to funds – or a lack thereof, to be precise.

After the CSR mandate in the Companies Act, 2013 came into effect since 2014, there is a new available pool of funds for the social sector, which is funding from corporates in the form of money allocated by them for their CSR projects. In FY2016-17, the total CSR spending by Indian companies reached INR 13,465 crore across 21,117 projects. This fund size is expected to grow to INR 20,000 crore over the next three years, according to a report by the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM).

With the size of international funds reducing and government funding not being adequate to scale projects, corporate sponsorship is emerging as a valuable source of funds for NGOs.

However, corporates require project proposals from NGOs to offer a well-defined business case along with KPIs, expected outcomes quantify the impact, provide detailed timelines etc. NGOs usually face challenges in complying with these requirements due to the fact that there is no supportive ecosystem for them, nor any specific systems and tools to guide them.

Although they do have access to consultants and subject matter experts to guide them, these resources also command a significant sun in fees for their services, leaving little money to be invested towards capacity building.

What Are The Solutions To These Challenges?

2. Capacity Building

Consistent capacity building and training are crucial to enabling NGOs to make their teams more efficient by equipping them with new skills, which includes working with the latest technology. The teams working on projects for specific sub-sectors must also be trained on how to approach programme execution in a particular geography or area like education, healthcare, sanitation, etc.

2. Organizational Capability Building

Besides building capacity among the people, NGOs also need to institutionalize systems and processes. Technology can play a critical role here in providing the necessary tools that can help organizations establish these systems. Today, it isn’t enough for NGOs to simply make do with basic Internet or email. Rather, they need specific technological tools to organize workflows, plan projects, and map out a detailed strategy to execute them.

3. Managerial and Subject Matter Expertise

Access to qualified experts ensures confidence in donors, and creates a strong case for them to contribute to projects. From identifying opportunities, to creating concept notes, and detailed proposals, experts can help define the aims and objectives, metrics, and methods of undertaking projects.

On the other hand, the challenges that require the most amount of effort, time and money from corporates are identifying the right partner NGOs and finding innovative ways to monitor implementation of projects and measure the impact.

For Profit social ventures like Impactify, are providing NGOs as well as corporates with the necessary support and expertise to enable them to plan, report, and monitor their efforts using technology as a tool.

Published by : The CSR Journal | Vol I | Issue III, April 2019