“Giving was finally trending in India”: Our #DaanUtsav winners speak about their crowdfunding experience!

By: Divya Kilikar

Published On: November 15, 2017

At Impact Guru, we celebrate the joy of giving every single day, doing what we do. So you can imagine how thrilled we are when Daan Utsav arrives! It helps us share that joy with you, making it all the more special.

Daan Utsav is India’s solo philanthropic 9-year-old festival and is also called the Joy of Giving Week.

It spans from 2 October to 8 October and motivates people all over the country to step forward and spare some time or money to make a change in someone else’s life. In 2016, over 5 million people celebrated the joy of giving during the Daan Utsav week!

At Impact Guru, we strive to spread the word about the festival and involve more organizations in the spirit of giving. We held a humble donation drive for Tarang, collecting stationery for underprivileged children at our office. We did our bit to encourage people to participate in Daan Utsav, writing about events held by NGOs around the country.

Daan Utsav may have lasted only a week, but this year, we were feeling a bit greedy! We’re always looking for chances to engage with NGOs and to do what we can to aid their journeys, whether it’s to help a farmer afford his liver transplant, or make a slum child smile with a gift, or feed a stray dog. So we decided to stretch the festival to a month-long crowdfunding challenge on Impact Guru. We hoped this would give NGOs a platform to do more for their wonderful causes! We used this opportunity to present a fun challenge to all NGOs and a chance to win exciting prizes!

The Daan Utsav Crowdfunding Contest 2017 started on September 15 and ended on October 15. During this month, we’ve seen over 60 NGOs manage to collectively raise 20,00,000 rupees. We hope to be able to engage more organizations and push the figures higher next year. Now we’re delighted to share with you the stories of our lovely winners for this year!

How GREAT Foundation picked up their game seamlessly

The NGO that raised the highest amount of donations is GREAT Foundation, Pune with Rs. 3,07,488. Global Research Education and Training (GREAT) Foundation strives to ensure quality education for underprivileged children by providing them material, remedial teaching, career counselling and training teachers in government schools in modern teaching techniques.

GREAT Foundation crowdfunded with us for their venture, Project Udaan, to raise funds to help pull underprivileged families out of poverty by ensuring a quality education for their children. Project Udaan has taken in around 40 children to train for competitive exams.

"75% of students that go to IIT come from prosperous families. We want to change the stats," says Viney Kirpal, the IIT professor who ran the fundraiser and Project Udaan.

Project Udaan strives to coach children from government schools in English, math and science so they can attempt to join internationally reputed colleges like IIT. Though they had some trouble getting people to donate at the start of the fundraiser, we applaud their successful effort in managing to hit it off soon enough.

“I’d say what helped push the fundraiser forward was determination. We didn’t stop; we really made the best effort we could to find donors from every nook and corner we could look and it worked. Few donors know about the tax benefits Impact Guru has to offer!” She adds, in reference to the tax benefit option we provide international donors on our platform in partnership with Global Giving.

“Keeping in touch with existing donors proved to be effective,” notes Viney.

She also saw how the challenge of the contest helped stir things up. “The concept of Daan Utsav was not familiar to most donors we spoke to, but they found the idea of a crowdfunding contest exciting and were eager to join in the competitive spirit! Our friends, our existing donors and many other contacts were surprisingly supportive, sharing the fundraiser with their networks without any persuasion. It was the first time we had ventured into crowdfunding.”

With a happy sigh, she tells us, “It was rewardingly exhausting, fun and a great learning experience.”

How Making a Difference made a hit out of their campaign

The NGO that raised the highest amount of Indian donations is Making a Difference with Rs 3,05,015. Making a Difference operates under the strong belief that depriving a person of their education is a misdeed. Founded by an accomplished teacher, MAD strives to empower communities through health care drives, civic awareness and most importantly, education.

Their latest venture is into village development and modernization, and for this, they are working to build a skill development centre attached with a hostel facility in Yashwant Nagar, Maharashtra. Students will be given technical training, life skills and business skills. The strength of their fundraiser came from their base of volunteers. Making a Difference has many devoted volunteers who work with several MNCs, and they spread the word about the fundraiser by creating support fundraisers for the main entry and sharing them on their own social media platforms.

Aasraa Trust managed to rope in the most foreign donations!

The NGO that raised the highest amount of foreign donations is Aasraa Trust with US $200. Aasraa Trust feeds about 1500 children in Dehradun every day in 5 different learning centres. Initially founded to work with the children living in a riverbed slum in Dehradun, Aasraa soon branched out to provide shelter, vocational training, medical care, nutrition, education and essentially, to focus on the empowerment of street and slum children around Dehradun.

For our Daan Utsav Crowdfunding Contest this year, Aasraa chose to crowdfund for Project Street Smart. This project aims to take in street children who beg for a living and provide them with art therapy and literacy and tailor them to start attending school. Presently, they have over 500 children undergoing the programme. Aasraa managed to raise over Rs 1,10,000 in the period during which the contest ran!

When asked about how they acquired their donations, Ekta from Aasraa Trust tells us, “We exploited social media to the fullest! We constantly updated and posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and asked our donors to share an update on our fundraiser as well. We made sure to send emailers to all our contacts, urging them to donate to our cause. It worked. New donors were enthusiastic and existing donors were willing to be a part of our cause again.”

Aasraa has at present managed to take in 516 beggar children and send them to school after a year or so of training. Aasraa strives to afford transport, uniform, study material and other necessities for these children on a daily basis and this is by no means a small feat.

“We had little trouble with our fundraiser, and the staff at Impact Guru is kind and understanding, doing their best to sort out whatever transactional issues our donors may have faced.” Ekta goes on to tell us.

These fundraisers are still active and would be delighted to have your support! Take a look at their pages for a detailed story of their projects. A lot of our other entries did a fabulous job with their fundraisers as well! We offered raffle prizes to three more wonderful NGOs that outperformed themselves. Dr. L Subramaniam Foundation crowdfunded with us to provide an artistic and cultural education to underprivileged children and stood third in the most amount of funds raised during the contest! The fundraiser will be featured in our “Trending” section for a week. Next on the list is Mumbai First- with their hit Adopt a Book fundraiser, they win free fundraising consultation from the ones who know it all – the experts at Global Giving! ICare's fundraiser to restore eyesight to people living in rural areas won our third raffle prize, and they’ll be getting a free video made by our in-house team, showing their work and story!

 

Though we’re sad Daan Utsav is over, we’re proud of how our entries flourished and hope to make the festival even bigger next year! Do you have any ideas on activities we can involve NGOs in on our platform for next October? If you would like to get in touch with us about an idea you may have in mind, don’t hesitate! Drop us an email!