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CAF India releases ‘Online Giving in India’ research report

9 September 2015

Nearly 80% of the donations are still raised offline while online donations represent less than 10% of the total revenues amongst the NGOs working in India, according to a research report titled ‘Online Giving in India – Insights to improve results’ by not-for-profit organisation Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India.

The research report also revealed that 20% of all giving in India will occur online within two years and 50% within 10 years, indicating a gradual but conservative increase in giving through online medium in India, according to CAF India, which is committed to nurturing the culture of giving and has been devising innovative strategies to enable companies on their strategic CSR investments.

  • 80% of respondents indicated that they still raise the majority of their funding offline. Online donations generally represent less than 10% of their total revenues.
  • Two-thirds of our respondents indicated that in their view Indian NGOs are “not very well equipped” to take advantage of digital platforms to raise funds.
  • 30 NGOs interviewed to find out Online Giving trends in India.
  • Research conducted to find out the motivations, challenges and successes of online fundraising in India today.
  • Aims to fill key knowledge gaps in the sector to identify key fundraising trends in India and readiness to take advantage of digital platforms to raise funds.

Meenakhsi Batra, CEO, CAF India said, “Over the recent decades, the giving landscape has undergone great change. Online donations have gradually paved their way into the giving scenario and have become an intrinsic part of the life-changing work done by NGOs. This report, envisaged as a pilot study, focusing on the online giving landscape in India, represents a critical first step to collecting information on digital trends/practices in the sector. The second phase of the report will cover online giving from the donors’ point of view’’

Some of the other key findings of the report include:
  • Respondents pointed out that online donors are easier and less resource intensive to track, thank, keep informed and re-approach for future donations.
  • Two-thirds of our respondents indicated that in their view Indian NGOs are “not very well equipped” to take advantage of digital platforms to raise funds.
  • The ability to measure and track a campaign and its results is far more precise for online fundraising activities than for offline ones.
  • They’re actively exploring the use of email fundraising, ad-words, Facebook lead generation and crowdfunding.

Peter ter Weeme, Founder, Ethica Strategy said, “The report yields a number of interesting and useful insights that offer the highest opportunities to drive results and impact for online giving in India. It will prove to be a valuable tool to a broad array of NGOs and can be a valuable contribution to building the capacity of the sector.”

The consolidated insights from the research report, released at the Annual National Consultation of Voluntary Development Organizations’ event organized by VANI (Voluntary Action Network India), address the motives, challenges and successes of online fundraising, making way for the NGO sector to thrive in the digital age.

Harsh Jaitli, CEO, VANI adds: ‘’The CAF India report on Online Giving provides a vision for fundraising through online means as an emerging space for the sector to connect with its donors. For VANI, it is an interesting initiative by CAF India and we would like to see this process evolve into concrete actions and results. We would like to wish CAF India all the best for taking up this much needed project which will guide the sector especially as we move through a transition phase where traditional sources of funds are drying up.’’

This study was conducted with the aim to fill key knowledge gaps in the sector, which includes consolidating the learning from various Indian experts, NGOs and fundraising partners, undertaking pan-Indian donor research to understand donor motivations and digital behavior, to facilitate effective targeting of donors, reviewing international and Indian best practices and lessons learnt to guide effective communication and fundraising efforts.

For this study, CAF India has partnered with Ethica Strategy, an international consultancy that works to help advance social and environmental sustainability, to conduct the survey amongst 30 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to find out online giving trends across the country.

Download Online Giving in India – Insights to improve results.

About Charities Aid Foundation India

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India is a not-for-profit organisation working to make giving more effective and NGOs more successful. Established in 1998, CAF India’s vision is to build a society motivated to give ever more effectively and help transform lives and communities. In order to achieve this vision, CAF India has been actively engaged with stakeholders across a broad spectrum of areas. CAF India has worked with over 50 companies and 50,000 individual donors, providing effective giving to more than 300 validated NGOs across 22 states in India.

CAF India’s wide range of 'giving' solutions includes delivering on the CSR commitments of partners, grant management, CSR strategy development, programme management, payroll giving, individual giving, capacity building, disaster support, employee engagement, and volunteering and communication advocacy, tailored to meet their business objectives. CAF India has a proven track record of conducting due diligence of NGOs across India and helps establish trust amongst various NGOs which also facilitates increased engagement with the companies. For more details, visit the CAF India website.


Sangeeta S. Thakral, Head Communication and Marketing by email at Sangeeta.thakral@cafindia.org or by phone on +9999093684.

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