3 Things To Watch Out For While Donating To NGOs

Donating towards a good cause can be the most rewarding feeling, isn’t it? But sometimes we tend to get carried away by the idea of doing charity, and rush into the process without checking some crucial details about the organization/ NGO/ nonprofit we’re donating to. For instance, if the NGO is not genuine, then your hard-earned money that you parted with for a good cause, may not actually reach the beneficiaries they were meant to.

In order to be sure that your funds will be directed towards the growth and upliftment of society, here are three things you could check for, before transferring money to an NGO:

 

Is the NGO registered?

Since NGOs are private institutions, it is not necessary for them to register themselves to conduct charitable work. However, there are certain benefits of registering under the country’s specific acts and laws. For instance, registered NGOs are eligible to obtain a legal status, seek assistance from government agencies, contract funds and support from the relevant departments, tax exemption from certain incomes, training opportunities, technical assistance, and concessions when obtaining vehicles, equipment and commodities. Moreover, NGOs in India that register under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Registration Act), are even eligible to get donations from a foreign source, which is a huge step for the financial stability of any nonprofit. Keeping in mind the benefits of foreign funding to Indian NGOs, crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru, that are affiliated with notable international donors like Global Giving, are able to help registered NGOs raise larger sums through NRI donations.

 

Will you be eligible for a tax benefit?

Did you know that Government of India provides tax saving benefits to donors, to encourage more people to contribute towards good causes that benefit society? The Income Tax Department allows an individual donor to claim up to 100% tax exemption under Section 80G, on the amount donated to verified charities and NGOs. It’s a great opportunity for you to plan your annual giving strategy in a way that will not only benefit others but also yourself! In fact, even NRIs who donate towards Indian NGOs are eligible to get tax benefits from their own country, if they donate via crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru.

 

Is your method of payment safe?

In the past, a lot of NGOs have been caught in money laundering scams, where donor funds were not being used for the right social cause. Every donor should check for the nonprofit’s accountability and transparency, as well as their past accomplishments and financial stability over the years. It is always safer to avoid donating in cash, and instead opting for written cheques, or even better, online payments. In fact, a lot of donors now prefer supporting causes through crowdfunding websites like Impact Guru, where they conduct a due diligence and verification process for anyone raising funds through them. Moreover, they offer safe and reliable payment methods to the donors, who can be sure that the funds will reach the right cause.

 

In conclusion, it is great to support causes that are close to your heart, but if your money doesn’t reach the right people, your contribution and deeds of kindness might be futile. Checking an NGO’s authenticity by logging onto their website or social media pages will only take a few minutes to ensure that your funds are put to good use. If you see the progress an NGO has made, you can even consider being an annual donor for them. Moreover, getting involved in social work needn’t mean just giving money; time, skills, and volunteering holds as much value as donations!

Effective Social Media Tips for Film Crowdfunding

The biggest struggle for any independent filmmaker is a tight budget, or rather no budget at all. That’s why up and coming aspiring filmmakers are turning to crowdfunding platforms to help them raise funds for their film ideas. But no matter how good your idea is, if you don’t have the right mix of resources and funds to create and promote your film, it will slip through the cracks. This article will explore social media tips that every filmmaker can use, to ensure his film gets successfully funded.

 

If you are new to crowdfunding, here is a list of the most effective social media platforms for your film fundraising efforts to get a powerful boost. We’ve also listed out ways to best utilize each platform.

 

Facebook

The biggest advantage of Facebook is its power of numbers, and the unlimited promotional campaigns you can run on it.

  • Create a film specific Facebook page, and share your crowdfunding campaign  link on it
  • Give regular updates about the film, shooting schedules and locations, and actors
  • Share your film teaser extensively, and ask people to like, share, comment, and give feedback about your film idea
  • Use Facebook Insights to gauge your outreach
  • Use Facebook Ads and post boosts for greater coverage

 

Twitter

Think of Twitter as the voice of the people, and use it to start conversations. For instance, if your film is about an environmental cause, get people talking about global warming.

  • Limiting words in 140 characters helps keep people’s attention
  • Start conversations about the cause of your film, tell people why it needs to be made
  • Use a hashtag for your film
  • Reach out to influential celebrities and ask for their support
  • Get your audiences involved in tests, quizzes, and games, and don’t be afraid to offer rewards such as free tickets, or secret screening access.
  • Use Twitter shoutouts to express gratitude to donors.
  • Ask for retweets, of course!

You may also like to read: 5 reasons why you should Crowdfund your Film

 

Youtube

Here’s where you should be sharing your trailers and teasers and all other updates about your film. In addition, share other clips that revolve around the subject of your film.

  • Ensure that your Youtube channel description details why you’re raising money, along with a link to the crowdfunding campaign.
  • If your film is an environmental cause, share clips of global warming and other environmental causes
  • Tell people the potential of this film in the environmental space if it gets funded
  • Post behind the scenes clips of actors and locations of your film

 

Blog

Every creative person should maintain a blog. Not only can you use it as a platform to showcase your work and put up our portfolio, but also create viral blog posts about your film, and the subject it is covering. Here are some benefits of maintaining a blog:

  • Draw in the community that is interested in the subject your film covers
  • Showcase your previous work
  • Use your blog to emotionally, and effectively narrate why you are raising funds for this film
  • Collect email from your audience so that you can use it to personally promote your crowdfunding campaign among potential donors.

You may also like to read: Essential Ingredients For The Perfect Crowdfunding Pitch for your Film Fundraiser

Crowdfunding for films is about interactions with the right audience and keeping them engaged in a discussion. This creates a buildup for your film. The success of your campaign relies heavily on how you market it, and to whom you market it to. A filmmaker can raise money online and use his crowdfunding marketing activities to not only raise funds, but also bring traction to his film, and vice-versa. All said and done, your film has a lot to gain from a good social media strategy for your campaign, but make sure you don’t go overboard because it might get perceived as spamming.

How To Get Foreign Funds For Your NGO And Why It Is Important

Charity may begin at home, but if we were to pay heed to recent statistics, more and more NRIs are actively supporting Indian NGOs with generous contributions. According to reports by the Ministry of Home Affairs, foreign funding to Indian NGOs has increased by 83% in the last two years. Indian NGOs raised Rs. 10,900 crores as the foreign donation in 2012-13 which almost doubled to Rs. 22,000 crores in 2014-15. In fact, a 2015 Impact India report states that even if the 2 million Indians in the US contributed 40% of their philanthropic income to Indian NGOs, the total sum could actually surpass the US foreign aid to India.

 

This rise is urging more and more NGOs in India to get the FCRA certificate that allows them to accept foreign donations. Yet the number of NGOs with an FCRA today is still very low at around 13,000 from over 2.5 lakh NGOs operating in India.

 

Here’s how foreign funding can help your NGO:

 

Foreign contributions can help multiply your NGO’s impact

Indian NGOs receive the highest donations from USA and UK followed by Germany, Italy, and Netherlands. The currency difference means even a small donation from there could be a large addition to your funds. These foreign contributions can help you expand your projects and put your plans into action much sooner.

 

Expand your donor base

Most NRIs donate based on loyalty to an NGO or a cause. This is partly because of the few number of NGOs they can donate to, and partly because residing far away, they share a relationship of trust with the NGO. They also respond to consistent progress in the cause that they support. This gives you a chance to expand your donor base drastically.

Achieve more with consistent donations

Unlike Indian donors who donate erratically, NRI donors are more likely to donate consistently over a period of time. The culture of giving is given huge prominence and now with the introduction of #GivingTuesday, more and more NRIs and PIOs are consciously giving towards causes they support. This ensures consistent funds that you can bank on.

 

However, attracting International donors to your organization can be a daunting task. Here are some ways in which you can attract foreign donors, once you have an FCRA.

Be Transparent

Establishing trust is crucial. Not only should you be open about your certification and licensing but also about how the funds are utilized, the areas you cover, the programs you run and the impact you’ve created. The more you tell the donor, the more he will come to understand and trust your work.

Use the Internet

The physical miles between you and the donor can be compensated by the internet. The internet is a powerful tool for the donor to get to know you. Have a massive internet presence. Keep your social media updated with news, activities, and results. Make your website mobile-friendly, send an e-newsletter, tweet, upload pictures – go the whole mile. It gives the donor confidence that the funds are reaching the right people.

Partner with a Crowdfunding platform

Crowdfunding helps you get small donations from those NRIs who can’t donate in large numbers yet. Usually, crowdfunding platforms already have a dedicated donor base from various countries which can help increase your exposure. Plus, these platforms follow a due diligence process and donors tend to trust NGOs who are on it.

Request funds for a specific project rather than the organization in general

Over the last 5 years, NRI donors are observed to have been more enthusiastic towards donating to a specific project rather than an organization. Goals, targets, and initiatives not only incur more trust but create a sense of direct impact with the donor – who is sitting miles away – as he can directly see what his funds will be used for.

You can now also offer tax incentives

While Indian donors get tax benefits on their donations with the 80G certificate, NRI & PIO donors usually have to donate to India chapters of organizations who have an International presence to get these incentives. Indian NGOs that only exist domestically cannot offer tax benefits and therefore often lose out to the bigger international ones. Impact Guru’s partnership with GlobalGiving – the largest global non-profit crowdfunding platform – allows you to give tax incentives to NRIs and PIOs in the UK and USA.

Click here to know more about how Indian NGOs can provide tax benefits to their US and UK donors on Impact Guru.

Also, here’s how to apply for an FCRA, in case your organization doesn’t have one.