On giving, and not giving

India is a country with extreme disparities among its population. Typically in India, ‘Behind every successful person, there is another person. If one is in need of something, there is another who has access to more resources and is capable to fulfill that need.

Barring a few, every successful (whatever way one defines success) person is able to attribute his or her success to another person, the giver – it could be a parent, a relative, or a stranger in some cases. The giving can be of any form – guidance, pure money (say fees to be paid for admission into a particular course), a small introduction, or any kind of favour or advice.

Not all of us are able to ‘give’ in all forms, but many of us are able to give in one form or the other.

The question I always have is why do people, who are capable of giving in one form or the other, don’t give?! Almost everyone has an intention to give, many also have set targets for themselves on how much or what proportion of their total income to give periodically. However, those targets are not met usually.

From my discussions with many of my friends and colleagues, I realize the one significant barrier is ‘trust’. One is unable to do a scrutiny of the NGO, the cause, the individual to whom they would make a donation; and hence the obvious & a safe choice is not to ‘give’; or to give/donate to the same known NGO. It is after-all one’s hard-earned money.

Sometime back, I donated significant (to me, it was a significant) amount of money to an NGO to buy some educational material for a few kids. I want to know which all kids are using that material and what has been the improvement in their studies post the usage. I guess such basic information needs to be provided to every donor. The donor may not doubt the efforts of the NGO in utilizing the money wisely, but such information only builds more trust. Next time when I want to suggest to someone (who is unaware of this NGO) to donate for this NGO, it helps me to build a strong case.

That is what is unique about GiveIndia. The causes are as specific as they can be, and this helps track the usage of the donation and measure the impact. It gives a sense of satisfaction to the donor that the money is being spent exactly for the cause that it has been donated for. It works in the most strategic manner to build confidence in the donor to donate even more, and/or more frequently; and also advise others appropriately.

You can donate to a charity of your choice at www.giveindia.org

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