Even this staggering number may be less than the actual number of NGOs active in the country. This is because the study, commissioned in 2008, took into consideration only those entities which were registered under the Societies Registration Act,1860 or the Mumbai Public Trust Act and its variants in other states.
While the government will begin studying the finances of the sector in the second phase of the survey, estimates from within the sector suggest that NGOs, or NPIs, raise anywhere between Rs 40,000 crore and Rs 80,000 crore in funding annually.
The government has been the biggest donor — Rs18,000 crore was set aside for the social sector in the XI Plan — followed by foreign contributors (according to the latest figures available, around Rs 9,700 crore was raised in 2007-08). Around Rs 1,600-2,000 crore was donated to established religious bodies such as the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams.
Individual donors are emerging as the biggest and most lucrative source of funds. According to an internal study by a leading foreign NGO headquartered in the UK, donations by individuals are expected to have grown from around Rs 2,200 crore in 2005 to Rs 8,100 crore by a conservative estimate, and to around Rs 21,000 crore by more liberal estimates.
Private sector companies, one of the biggest donors in the developed world, are, however, yet to wake up to the phenomenon of charity and philanthropy in India. Indian companies spend less than one per cent of their annual profits on such activities, against 1.5 per cent to over 2 per cent spent by their UK and the US-based counterparts, says the study by the international NGO.
“The government study included, these are all broad estimates. Nobody really knows the ground reality because this sector has grown very fast in the past many years. Besides, there have been no efforts to maintain an official database or even to encourage such entities to be transparent about their activities as well as fundings,” said Soumitro Ghosh, founder CEO, CSO Partners, a Chennai-based organization set up to encourage transparency in the functioning of the sector.
I am a PhD student at the University of Southern California with research interests in robotics. I did my undergraduate studies from IIT Bombay. Being a member of NGO Post is an attempt at doing something for the community that I am a part of.
Most of my posts here are due to Chandni (htt.....read more