Aasra Trust – Sending Children to School with Dignity

It is not just about sending children to school, but sending them to school with dignity.

 

With this motto, Aasraa’s outreach program has successfully changed the lives of 327 children living and attending school in Dehradun’s slum areas. The Aasraa Trust was established as a social work trust focusing on education of underprivileged children in India. The children they work with, come from extremely impoverished backgrounds and are mostly rag pickers, beggars, addicts, runaways and orphans. Aasraa works towards empowering street and slum children through education, vocational training, nutrition, medical care, and providing shelter homes.

 

A lot of slum students were found to drop out of Aasra’s outreach program between the months of November to February in Dehradun. After some investigation, it was found that the little children were unable to stand the biting cold during those months. Since majority of these children came from low income families, their parents could not afford appropriate school uniform for the winter months, which was consequently affecting their learning and education program. Winters in Dehradun can be harsh, and the lack of winter school uniform did not help the situation.

 

The good people at Aasra were not about to let a slight weather condition meddle with the education of these children. In order for the children to continue going to school, without distressing their families, the trust decided to run a campaign on Impact Guru, and raise funds to provide each of them a set of winter uniform. The motive behind this campaign was to ensure that these students felt confident in going to school, and fit in with the rest of their peers. A set of winter uniform would include two full-sleeved shirts, two-worsted trousers/skirt, a sweater, a blazer, a cap, 2 pairs of socks, and 2 thermals.

 

Their target through the crowdfunding campaign via Impact Guru was to raise INR 2,00,000, but their story won the support of many, and the campaign achieved way beyond their target. Aasraa raised INR 4,20,407 within 36 days, as against their initial goal of INR 2,00,000.

 

So what was the secret behind their fundraiser’s success?

 

Use of audio-visuals

 

The team at Aasraa created a wonderful video explaining the plight of these children from financially weak homes, and the need for them to have adequate warm clothing for their health, as well as education.

 

Emotionally inviting campaign title

The title of the campaign –  ‘A sweater for Sonu’, itself, was enough to draw the attention of sympathizers, for it added a personal touch, giving us a glimpse into the lives of these amazing children.

 

Powerful narrative through their campaign story with honest goals

Their campaign story was a strong narrative about the problem and why it needed to be addressed. Moreover, it concluded with a proper break up of how the funds received through the crowdfunding campaign would be utilized. Their clear and honest goals instilled faith in the donors that their contributions would surely be put to good use.

 

Photographs of the children in school

Through their pictures of the outreach program, the donors were able to put a face to the children whose lives they would positively be impacting.

 

Proactive social media promotions

Additionally, Aasraa, along with our team at Impact Guru, were actively promoting their campaign in different circles, with the help of email marketing, and social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google+, and LinkedIn.

 

It surely did not take magic to put a smile on these children’s faces. All it took was careful planning and stellar execution by Aasraa and Impact Guru’s team. So what are you waiting for? Make sure that you tick mark all the above-mentioned points for your own fundraisers and make them stand out while making them successful.

 

Also, Impact Guru has recently entered into an exclusive partnership with Global Giving, which allows international donors in UK and USA to contribute towards campaigns on their platform. The reason being that the pattern of foreign donations in India has highlighted child welfare, education, rural development, and public health, as the categories with the most amount of foreign funding. This is a great opportunity for your NGO to raise money from donors in India as well as abroad!

 

Hurry! Make your fundraiser LIVE on Impact Guru today!

Famous Celebrities who Rescued & Adopted their Pets

Adopting a pet is the best way to own a pet, and you don’t need an animal welfare activist to tell you that. If you look around, especially in India, there are innumerable stray cats, dogs, and birds who loiter around the streets looking for scraps of food and water. Infact, animal lovers and welfare NGOs have helped animals by participating in the #PledgeABowl initiative this year, to help the urban stray this summer, by providing bowls of water, so that they don’t die of dehydration. All of these helpless animals need a home. Here to lead by example, these celebrities dismissed the concept of buying a pet from a breeder, and instead chose to adopt a pet that needed a loving home.

 

Have a look at your favourite celebrities with their unbelievably cute rescue animals:

 

George Clooney and Einstein

Clooney has already adopted his third dog, but his rescued cocker spaniel Einstein is closest to his heart.

 

Anne Hathaway and Kenobi

Anne Hathaway and her husband Adam Shulman have a new addition to their family – Kenobi.

 

Sandra Bullock and her 3 rescues

Poppy, a Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix with three legs. Ruby, a two-legged Chihuahua, and BeBe (not pictured), a Chihuahua that’s missing an eye.

 

Hilary Swank with Rumi and Kai

A strong animal rights activist, she is co-producing Fox’s Cause for Paws: an all star dog special show.

 

Jennifer Aniston and Sophie

Jennifer gave Sophie, a pitbull, a beautiful home.

Image via Celebrities and their Rescue Dogs

 

Miley Cyrus and Milky

This is Miley’s adorable white rescue pitbull named Milky.

 

Ryan Reynolds and Baxter

He fell in love with Baxter when he visited a dog shelter in Texas.

 

Charlize Theron and Tucker

A passionate animal welfare activist, she has adopted at least 4 rescue dogs.

 

Ariana Grande and Toulouse

Toulouse’s life changed after Ariana Grande adopted him from an animal shelter home.

 

Ed Sheeran and Graham

Here’s another cat person. Ed Sheeran adopted little Graham, and even made a Twitter account for him!

 

Selena Gomez and Baylor

Baylor is Selena Gomez’s 6th rescue pup.

 

Orlando Bloom and Sidi

He found Sidi while shooting for a film in Africa.

 

Miranda Lambert and her six rescues

We sure have a dog lover here. Miranda adopted 3 of them from a shelter home, and she found the other 3 in various places.

 

John Legend and Penny

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen added Penny, a three-legged pup to their family full of dogs.

 

We can all learn from these celebrities who chose to adopt rather than buy, and look to adopt our own community of stray animals, to help them in any way that we can.

 

Save our furry friends from dying this summer – #PledgeABowl!

Indian NGOs and Foreign Funding

NGOs and nonprofits in India play a vital role in the development and upliftment of the weaker sections of society. Majority of the Indian population is below the poverty line, with most people not having access to basic needs of food, water, and shelter. In fact, for people of lesser means, even access to education is considered a luxury rather than a necessity. Despite Government funding, we are still not able to tackle problems of poverty, unemployment, hunger, lack of  shelter, sanitation, clean water, and electricity, in all parts of India. It is the selfless operations of nonprofits and NGOs, that are undertaking necessary development projects to further our country’s growth story.

 

However, they have to rely on non-government sources for funding, and in the recent past, foreign funding and NRI donations have come as a blessing to them, and the country overall. In the past, Indian NGOs have raised more than INR 8,500 crores annually from international donors. Several Indian NGOs are establishing partnerships with overseas corporates, to ensure financial stability for their social operations. A huge part of this can be credited to the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulations Act), which was implemented in 2010, allowing NRI (Non resident Indians) and POI (People of Indian Origin) to make donations to NGOs in India. The benefits of the foreign donations to Indian NGOs are manifold –

 

NGOs can conduct operations on a larger scale

Earlier, Indian NGOs relied on philanthropic individuals, small donations, charitable trusts, and more recently, CSR initiatives for their projects. While these sources played a major role in kickstarting India’s social development journey, innumerable nonprofits and NGOs were forced to shut down operations or were limited to very small areas due to the shortage of funds. Adding NRI donations to the equation was hugely beneficial for them to scale up activities, especially since donations would usually be of higher currencies, and have greater value in India.

 

Financial stability and sustainability

NGOs and nonprofits have recognized the opportunity to gain financial stability by forming strategic partnerships with international donors, so that their operations can have long term sustainability. For instance, crowdfunding platform for NGOs in India – Impact Guru, recently entered into an exclusive partnership with Global Giving, which allows international donors in UK and USA to contribute towards campaigns on their platform.

 

NGOs are made accountable for utilization of funds

As per the rules stated by the Ministry of Home Affairs, NRIs can only give foreign donations to Indian NGOs if they are registered under the FCRA. Registering under the act makes them eligible to get foreign funding, but it also makes them accountable to share the details of their operations and be completely transparent about the utilisation of funds received. This is because they are required to annually submit income and expenditure accounts, as well as their balance sheet. It is a great way to avoid fraud and money laundering cases.

 

NRIs get a chance to give back to their country

Indian who live far away but still want to participate in social and community building activities get a chance to do so by making contributions towards causes they care about. Online donations through crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru have made it very easy to transfer funds for causes and initiatives in categories ranging from poverty, education, environment, medical expenses, and so much more. This way PIOs and NRIs have a way to give back to their country.

 

Tax benefits are a great incentive

Giving foreign donations to Indian NGOs allows NRIs and PIOs to get tax benefits, which can be claimed in their country of residence. This is a huge incentive for NRIs to participate in Indian social development activities.

 

Having discussed the benefits of foreign funding to Indian NGOs, we urge all nonprofits and NGOs to register themselves under the FCRA, as well as start fundraising campaigns on crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru, that are affiliated with notable international donors.
Receiving foreign funding can take your social project to the next level. Get started today!