What the Budget of 2017 means for crowdfunding in India

The budget 2017 has brought both challenges and opportunities to the nonprofit sector in India. The two main announcements that impact the development sector are expected to completely change the landscape of how people do charity and how nonprofits accept it. The first is the cut down on the limit of cash donations one can make, second is the alterations in the tax exemption clause.

 

The recent demonetization move in India revealed what digital India will look like in the years to come. That said, social problems won’t be going away anytime soon, so the need to fundraise is indispensable.

Let’s discuss what the Union budget announcements of 2017 will mean, and how they will impact the world of crowdfunding.

 

Reduction in amount of cash donation

 

SOLAR ENERGY (2)

 

The amount of cash that one can donate anonymously to an organization has been reduced from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2,000. This is a major crackdown on political funding. It is a bold step towards curbing illegal activities and money laundering that nonprofits may be involved in. In any case, it will always be more beneficial for a genuine donor to give donations with proper documentation and through registered banks because it will add credibility and accountability to the organization’s utilization of the funds.

 

So what does this mean for crowdfunding in India? It means that nonprofits need to start embracing technology and digital tools to raise money for their cause. No longer can they sustain themselves in this competitive ambiance, by using traditional methods of fundraising. They will have to invest their efforts in online fundraising platforms such as Impact Guru.

 

Removal of clause 35AC

 

SOLAR ENERGY (3)

 

Clause 80G allowed a tax rebate of almost 50% and 35AC of almost 100%. The union budget 2017 announced the removal of clause 35AC, which has been a cause of worry for the development sector. It allowed 100% tax exemption to individuals and companies that donated to certain specific charities that are required to be verified by the central government. Experts believe that removal of this provision will also remove the most valuable incentive that motivates people and organizations to donate.
With regards to crowdfunding, it means that nonprofits will have to use newer and more creative techniques that incentivise people to donate. Online crowdfunding platforms use digital and social media tools, as opportunities to draw in funds. 

Therefore the time has come for more people to shift to such platforms and create new processes to sustain that conducive environment for giving in such times of unpredictable dynamism. 

More and more charities have begun to see the need for digitization in achieving their social mission, and the announcements in the Union Budget of India 2017 seem to be a positive catalyst for it. It remains to be seen how nonprofit organizations react to the changes that are coming their way.

For any queries regarding online donations, you may visit Impact Guru and speak to our fundraising consultants for more clarity on recent developments.

5 apps and devices which help women feel safer

One of my most poignant revelations about the world came to me when I was just a child.

I sat with one of my parents’ friends and listened with horrified wonder at stories of their trips to South Africa. Coming from England, my travelling experience hadn’t extended further than Scotland until I was into my late teens, so these tales of distant lands plagued with violent crime both compelled and repelled my young mind.
For the first time, (but certainly not the last) I became overtly aware of my own fortunate circumstance to have been born in a place so safe. I had never experienced the fear that many people undergo each day of harassment, abduction, exploitation, murder, rape, attack, robbing, theft or many of the other horrific crimes that I learnt existed that day. Until then, the extent of my anxiety of the world came from getting lost on the Lego floor in Hamley’s.
Voicing this point, my own perceived safety in my own country was then questioned by those wiser than I was; would I feel safe walking through a dark alleyway? Would I leave the house late at night on my own? Would I leave my door unlocked whilst I slept?
I concluded reluctantly that the feeling of safety is subjective to what we feel comfortable with. I was familiar with the norms and levels of danger within my own culture so had learnt what scenarios to avoid. It was a pure, simplistic philosophy that could only come from a child, but the sad, stark reality of it has stuck with me ever since; nowhere in the world is truly safe.
Unfortunately, as far as safety and vulnerability is concerned, my gender hasn’t been as favourable as my geography. According to the UN, 1 in 2 women worldwide were killed by their partner or family, in comparison to 1 in 20 for males. 2.6 billion women worldwide live in countries where marital rape is still legal, and 98% of the victims of 21 million human trafficking victims worldwide are women.
Thankfully today, something my young mind wouldn’t have been able to fathom, there is a whole host of apps and devices have been developed to help women across the world feel safer. I could write a whole other blog on the positive influence the internet has had on women’s safety awareness, attitudes and building movements that fight acceptance of these crimes. [link to other blog on this when written]. But for now, I’ve listed below my top five apps and devices that I rely on regularly. Thank you technology.

 

1. StaySafe
This app allows a GPS track you for a pre-set amount of time and will send an emergency text to your contacts if you don’t respond to its check-in when that time is up.

INDIA CAN BE THE NEXT YOUNG SUPERPOWER!

Today’s Indian youth are out to get the world. They are math wizards and creative geniuses, actors and scientists. Most of all, they are making us proud!

The recent UN reports revealed that with 356 million 10-24 year-olds, India has the world’s largest youth population, creating unprecedented potential for economic and social progress.

But while on one hand we have top colleges churning out engineers, doctors and our world famous I.T guys, there is another part of the our country where the youth seems to be struggling to even sum up a day’s meal.

There is a stark contrast in terms of the education, training and development and the standard of living between the youths in different factions of our country, in fact it is observed that one fifth of our population survives on less than a dollar a day.

 

The divide between the urban and the rural youth: Story so far.

India’s vast diversity and it’s drastic demographic transitions over the last few decades, are the main reasons for uneven distribution of education and other developmental benefits across the country’s youth.

The shocking reports published by IRIS Knowledge Foundation reveal that a person in an urban area has a 93 per cent greater chance of acquiring training than someone in a rural area.

While 12 million youth enter the workforce in India every year, due to poor education and negligible work/soft skills; large numbers still remain unemployed. Surrounded by a society with growing poverty, discrimination and general lack of information, the youth living under such circumstances are often at a risk of falling prey to anti-social and inhumane activities.    

Bridging this disparity will be a gradual process and with the help of proper investment in education and employment opportunities, the future of India’s youth is headed in the right direction. Let’s take a look at what the government and many other organisations in India are trying to develop permanent solutions to these disparities.

Bridging the gap: Giving equal opportunities to every youngster in India.

Skill-training-education

The Indian government has truly picked up it’s pace and has been striving to level up with global benchmarks in terms of development and empowerment of the youth.

Efforts are being made to reduce the wide gap between those who have access to education and skill development opportunities and those who do not.

  • Youth Spark ProgrammeThe government’s recent arrangement with tech giant Microsoft was a bid to bridge this gap. Microsoft’s YouthSpark Programme, a company-wide, global initiative, aims to train 80,000 youths, help 65,000 in acquiring employment and aid 15,000 of them in starting their enterprise in the next 3 years.
  • Skill India Launched in 2015, “Skill India” aims to train over 400 million Indians in different skills by the year 2022.

Amidst the growing uncertainty about the future of this young nation, skill India is much more than just a quick fix! Through the skill India campaign the government  aims to raise the standard of the poor by ensuring better wages and dignity of labour.

It also aims to address some of the biggest grassroot issues concerning the youth of India like illiteracy and unemployment. The Skill India campaign initiatives like National Skill Development Mission or the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) or the Skill Loan scheme not only help youngsters gain access to steady incomes, but also instills a sense of pride and self-worth amongst those young people who participate in these initiatives.

Going digital: Using the internet to empower the youth of India.  

DIGITAL INDIA

The internet provides the perfect platform to create a global space for an individual. Accessing information and developmental advice through online portals like Indian Youth.net or Youth for India has been a boon in the field of development and training among the youth. With the government’s introduction of the Digital India campaign the internet has been made easily available even in the rural and semi urban regions of the country.

CROWDFUNDING

Some organizations like  ESDECS India are also leveraging the internet to crowdfund for their initiative. This way they can not only raise funds to provide free training to the rural youth, but also create awareness about their work and in the process transform the lives of many young people!

MAKING AN IMPACT USING SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media platforms  like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube are also being used by major icons and official authorities to reach out to the youth of the country. For instance renowned cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was roped in  as a major endorser for the skill India campaign (Watch Sachin’s skill India campaign video) so as to reach out and connect with the masses .  Likewise there are unlimited benefits of including the internet to disperse learning and development to the Indian youth.

indian-youth

The youth are the future, and with 65% of our working population under 35 years of age ,India is a young country in a literal sense. However we can reap this demographic advantage only if the youth are armed with the right education, training and most of all their unique identity in the global market.

In comparison to our western counterparts like Germany that is known for it’s meticulous apprenticeship training programs that are known to be one of the best in the world; We still have a long slope to scale.

However, if we even manage to successfully execute the long term plans we have currently chalked out, we can definitely rise with shining colours.       

But there is also something you can do to empower the youth of India.  You can  support initiatives like ESDECS India and help the youth of our country receive the education and training that they deserve.

And YOU can help India become the Next Young Superpower! (click here to know how)