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#DPW2022 | Building Philanthropic Infrastructure A clarion call for India to step up

Strategic Philanthropy | Mar 22, 2022

While India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in the last decade, its growth story needs to be more inclusive. Over the last 5-6 years, the Indian philanthropy sector has shown interesting trends across funder segments – CSR, retail, and family philanthropy. On the one hand, the pandemic affected the inflow of funds to the sector, but it also inspired a spark of generosity among people who had never given before. This cadre of new givers in India’s philanthropy landscape is issue-driven, eager to learn, and demanding more transparency, thus holding the power to transform social impact giving. India now stands at a crucial juncture that calls for greater investment in building a robust philanthropy infrastructure to support different funder cohorts. This session launches the India Philanthropy Report 2022, which provides a comprehensive view of the key statistics and shifts that have defined India’s giving landscape over the last few years and stresses the need to invest in building an enabling ecosystem for all funder segments.


0:01:46.0 Neera: At the crossroads of great change, we are faced with the need for great resolve. To challenge the challenging, to build a resilient world for tomorrow. And while we remain rooted to the realities of our communities, today the systems we create, the conversations we hold, actively question these realities and make space for change. Because, for a billion Indians to thrive, we must relook at our realities as fluid, our potential for change as flexible and interconnected. So this year, we are coming together to embrace that potential of transforming communities through conversions of perspectives and continued action that rebuilds the future with resilience.


0:04:51.0 Neera: I still see some folks coming on in, but I’d like to take this moment and welcome everyone to the 13th edition of the the Dasra Philanthropy Week. And while the last decade has given us great reason to celebrate our economic progress, the devastating pandemic has forced us to confront our current reality. There are two stark realities, in how I see it, becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies, one can call India, and the other perhaps we call Bharat, where 400 million realities have become the largest number of extreme poor globally.

0:05:29.0 Neera: With this backdrop and the fresh wounds of the COVID war, this year’s forum focuses on continuity, community and convergence. Sharing learnings for collaborative actions for greater continuity, keeping communities at the centre and forcing convergence towards inclusive scalable solutions. Accelerating Dasra’s vision. A transformed India where a billion thrive with dignity and equity. With you today, Dasra celebrates it’s 22 years of pioneering an approach to shaping collaborative philanthropy, which we’re thrilled to know now has new players, tremendous innovation and a changing landscape.

0:06:08.9 Neera: Regardless Dasra’s work is guided by a strong belief in prioritizing the lives of vulnerable communities, trusting and respecting the wisdom of local home-grown non-profits and leveraging the power of trust-based networks to build social capital with what we’re calling a Jedi lens. Jedi, equity, diversity and inclusion. Dasra now thrives on two core capabilities, becoming the backbone of collaborative platforms and catalyzing proximate philanthropy towards Dasra’s mission, collaborative action to accelerate social change.

0:06:43.7 Neera: Since 1999, Dasra has strengthened the social sector talent pipeline, which many of you have our alumni with you. We’ve had over 350 Dasra alumni into the sector, fundraised more than $200 million, or 2100 crores to the sector, supported thousands of diverse NGOs across the country and affected the lives we hope of over 90 million Indians. We need a philanthropic revolution and a bold ambition now, and so we’re declaring that by 2030 Dasra will aim to raise a billion dollars, 7500 crores and affect over 500 million lives.

0:07:22.4 Neera: Join us in this urgent call to action # a billion thriving, the nation needs you, Bharat needs you. And so, welcome to this session called Building Philanthropic Infrastructure. It’s a clarion call for India to step up, and we have the privilege and partnership over more than a decade with Bain & Company of launching perhaps the few data pieces on philanthropy in India. It’s my pleasure to invite Radhika, to share the India Philanthropy Report 2022.

0:08:00.8 Radhika: Thanks a lot, Neera, for the opportunity to partner with Dasra, again this year on the India Philanthropy Report. As with previous years, we hope that IPR continues to provide a guide to the overall giving landscape, and also act as both, to the extent possible, releasing the source of truth, as well as provide insights into key trends.

0:08:22.5 Radhika: As Neera mentioned over the last two years overall, giving patterns have also been disrupted by the pandemic, so this year’s report focuses on three primary questions. The first is why does philanthropy and private philanthropy matter, and how has its importance grown in recent years. The second, what are the key long term as well as recent trends in giving. This year, we’ve also taken a stab for the first time in forecasting what might happen over the next five years, and this is something that we hope to come back to in the subsequent years to trace the progress. And finally, what do we need to collectively do as funders, recipients, and broadly the interested ecosystem to unlock giving in line with these projections.

0:09:10.4 Radhika: So of course, this year’s report really comes against a backdrop of a very dramatic year from the perspective of the economy. We have seen at one end both a sharp increase in the networks of UHNI, HNI, individuals, but also increasing distress including metrics like an increase in the share of rural poor for the first time in decades. And therefore, private philanthropy takes on increasing importance in this context. By various common metrics, including the spends of neighbouring countries and the media own zone estimate of requirements, we’re falling short of the spending required against various social sector objectives. And therefore will see a gap in terms of our ability to reach our Sustainable Development Goals.

0:09:57.4 Radhika: And therefore, there is a pressing need for innovation and private solutions to complement public funding towards the social sector. Over the last five years, public spending across sectors has grown at a fairly healthy pace for about 12% year on year. And paradoxically, it is really private funding whose share of the total contribution towards social sector objectives has declined. While it has grown in absolute terms, the relative share compared to the public giving has declined. Peeling the onion, though, each segment within private giving has behaved quite differently.

0:10:36.5 Radhika: Over the last five years, again, we have seen foreign funding toward social causes in India has contracted as a result of various increased restrictions on the deployment of funds and the causes to which it can be given. Domestic revenue giving on the other hand, which includes CSR, retail funding, as well as donations by UHNI, HNI individuals, has grown at 8 to 10 percent a year. Though it has stagnated in the past year through COVID.

0:11:08.1 Radhika: The most recent years trend of stagnation in overall giving is really confirmed also by the experience of various NGOs on the ground who have seen their available funds become challenged as the existing spend pool has got diverted towards COVID related causes to some extent. And we will look at how this has actually played out across giving segments.

0:11:32.5 Radhika: Within the private domestic giving overall, which as I had mentioned, have grown at 8 to 10 percent over the last five years. We are seeing quite divergent trends. CSR accounts for more than a quarter of the total giving now, and this is up substantially relative for the last few years. CSR spending has overall grown at 15% a year, so it’s outpaced the spending growth for the overall private sector, most reliable data, and it’s based on bottom-up assessments of giving of the largest companies, government data, as well as trends that have been triangulated on the back of growth in corporate profits of companies and various databases tracking the economy. So this is one consistent increase that we’ve seen over the last few years. Coming to UHNIs, and these we’re defining as families with a net worth of more than 1000 Crores. There are some interesting patterns in giving that we’ve observed in the UHNI, segment over the last few years. The first is that while it is a very important spend contributor, it’s not as consistent over time.

0:12:44.8 Radhika: If you look at this… The trend in giving for CSR for instance, it has been secularly increasing until the COVID year, but you see that spend from UHNI is a little bit more lumpy, and this is as a result of the fact that the spend is being aggregated and given to causes that are not consistently year on year. It is currently less than 15% for private giving, but given past trends, this number may well bounce back up, driven by some large donors entering the space. The HNI segment is the next one, and this is the least clear dataset. HNIs are defined as households with a net worth of between 7 Crores and 1000 Crores, but this is the segment which is least consistently tracked. It falls somewhere between retail, which is tracked through a sample survey level, and UHNI giving which tends to be reported more clearly. HNI on the other hand, tends to not be reported that well, and therefore, this is based on both an estimate of the number of households that fall into this segment.

0:13:58.9 Radhika: The net worth that they have today, and estimates of giving as a proportion of that net worth that is extrapolated from the experience of the segments above and below. But we anticipate that there is a significant unlock possible here. And finally, if you look at retail, which is right on top, this today is about one-third of total private domestic giving. It has been fairly consistent at this level, and is based on… The data is actually quite scattered, but this is based on multiple triangulations of both survey data on total giving for all unorganized giving, as well as, income tax filings, some information from donor platforms and so on, which track organized giving. At the headline level, like I said, 8 to 10 percent growth over the last 5 or 6 years, but we’re starting to see quite different patterns in giving across these different segments. I’ll now just quickly delve into each one of these in some detail. CSR is the most broad-based of all sources in terms of sectoral allocation, as you can see here, in addition to health care and education, which tend to be preferred segments across the board.

0:15:12.6 Radhika: There is also allocation to categories like sports, rural development, and others, which aren’t so well covered by other donors segments. So CSR has an important role to play in terms of the funding of these segments. The number of companies under the CSR ambit, has steadily increased over the last few years, and our benchmarks suggest a two percent profit mandate, which is unique to India, is a key driver of giving in this space. However, giving still tends to be confined geographically to states and cities where companies have their physical footprint, and so broadening of the CSR giving geographically to reach new communities in states that are the most disadvantaged, for instance, in the north and the east is actually quite a critical imperative here. Over the last year, in line with the trends across other donor segments, we’ve also seen that CSR giving has been more tilted towards healthcare and the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, which were both directing spends broadly to address some of the COVID related exigencies that came up over the last year.

0:16:22.9 Radhika: As a result, we’ve seen sectors like education, rural development, sports, and some others see a reduction in their allocations, but we expect that again, as things come back to normal over the coming years, we will start to see a diversion to historic trends in terms of giving. UHNI giving is the best tracked in some sense across segments, because it can be traced back to a few hundred individuals who are major donors. For competitive focus, this is the chart that you see here removes outliers across countries. So by outliers, we’ve defined, anybody whose donated more than 10% of their net worth in any year as an outlier, and so these have been removed from the analysis for purpose of consistency. And what this then starts to reveal is an interesting pattern of a gap that still exists across UHNI wealth bucket relative to the giving of ultra-wealthy individuals in other countries.

0:17:22.0 Radhika: This isn’t just in developed economies like the US and UK, but also a trend that we’re starting to see quite consistently and strongly relative to China. We believe this is a segment where there is potential to unlock further giving on the back of changes in the demographic mix of the UHNI segment. Equity events, which we expect will start to become more prominent, in particular, in the startup space and this is more a supply-side driver. And then on the demand-side, greater transparency and institutional capability building, which will be quite critical to encouraging a further unlock in giving.

0:18:00.9 Radhika: Unlike CSR, which has a wide, sectoral base, UHNI Giving is quite strongly concentrated on education. So there’s a sharp and consistent focus on the sector, which we believe is the result of a focus on improving long term social parameters. An interesting emerging trend, which is now held over the last couple of years is the increasing salience of technology in related sectors amongst the givers who are the biggest contributors towards UHNI Giving overall. We’re also starting to see an emerging population of a younger base of donors who are around 40 years. These are the people whom we’re calling Nowgen givers. And we believe that as you look forward over the next five years, this Nowgen is going to become increasingly important in terms of overall contribution towards UHNI Giving. And more broadly, as we start to see more structured avenues for giving this Nowgen should also start to play a more important role. The HNI segment, as I’ve mentioned earlier, is in some sense, both the least well tracked across segments, as well as has a unique challenge in that, these givers are often too small to have, family Offices or foundations of their own, but also at the same time have the potential to make much larger contributions that can be absorbed by the kind of crowdfunding platforms that are focusing on the retail segment.

0:19:47.9 Radhika: The chart shows that over the last five years, the number of households which fall into this wealth bracket has consistently increased. And as the demand side barriers to giving are addressed. We believe that the HNI segment has the potential to be a major untapped source of giving today and therefore increasingly important in the years to come. And finally, if I look at the retail segment, it is still largely unorganized. A majority or a large part of household giving at the retail level today is towards religious giving, which we have excluded from this analysis. Of the remainder, the majority of giving about 70% or so, still is towards health care, and is often based on impulse giving, without really a structured approach or a plan towards donating. This is still at an aggregate level largely informal, though, over the last few years, we’ve seen a very slow trend towards formalization, including the emergence of spending that is happening in a very small way through crowdfunding platforms which have seen some traction over the last couple of years.

0:21:11.1 Radhika: As the base of upper middle-income households which are today the biggest source of retail giving increases, we expect that this segment of retail is going to become increasingly relevant to the total giving by. And therefore with with this context, we believe that while total domestic private giving has grown at 8 to 10 percent over the last 5 or 6 years, there could be an acceleration to, in that growth number to anywhere between 10 to 15 percent over the next five years, if we put in place the right set of interventions as is relevant across segment. On the CSR front, we do anticipate continued growth. This is estimated based on the expected rate of growth in corporate profits led by increasing formalization of the economy, as well as the consistent two percent mandate that is currently in place, the assumption being that that continues to hold going forward. On the retail side, the biggest driver of the increase in giving, is expected to be the continued growth of at about 10% a year, in the base of the number of households in that upper middle-income segment that are the most important retail donor segment today. Alongside this, as platforms, crowdfunding platforms become more important as sources of aggregation of spend.

0:22:41.3 Radhika: We believe this is gonna create a new consistent avenue for retail givers. On the HNI front, the most important unlock is going to be the opening of structured giving opportunities. This includes creating access to data on giving opportunities and the channels via which there is a means for the segment to channel giving to NGOs and other more formal sources relative to the informal giving that is happening today. And then on the UHNI front, we’re looking at both an increased relevance of the Nowgen giving trend that we’ve started to pick up over the last couple of years, as well as bridging of some of the gap in giving relative to other economies in the process.

0:23:33.1 Radhika: So with with these projections, the question then becomes, how can we unlock this potential private giving? What are some of the key calls to action? As I mentioned, each of these segments has their unique requirements and therefore the interventions that are required are also quite specific. In terms of CSR, we’ve seen a consistent increase in giving, it’s a fairly broad base of companies that are contributing, but there is an important call to action to geographically diversify away from the location of the company headquarters, or company operations as is the case today, combined with longer-term commitments to NGOs to provide funding for projects, which have a duration of 3 to 5 years, reflecting what it actually takes on the ground to deliver impact. And then finally, the promotion of the right kind of institutional knowledge in terms of corporate giving best practice, especially as more companies come into the CSR albeit over the next few years.

0:24:46.7 Radhika: On the UHNI and HNI side, which is what we probably call family philanthropy, the biggest call to action is around both data as well as mechanisms for the structure deployment of spend, and as we see in the HNI segment in particular, there is… There needs to be more specific data on where spend is required, so organize sectoral data on requirements, what we’re also calling shovel ready opportunities on causes that can absorb these large amounts of giving. And then finally, the technology platforms and networks to enable large givers to share their knowledge and best practice on the types of requirements that exist and who’s creating most impact in the sector.

0:25:40.8 Radhika: On the retail side, as more families start to be… To reach the stage where they have the disposable income to be able to give back, we believe the imperatives are around finding ways to expand giving outside of just healthcare and the impulse giving where spending is concentrated today and creating more innovation around recording giving models that create a more structured pathway to spending, and in addition, creating stronger impact feedback loop so that givers have a clear sense of where their money is being deployed, the kind of impact it’s creating, which then helps to unlock giving in future. So these are some of the sector-specific calls to action, in addition to which there is also a clear set of imperatives in terms of ecosystem capabilities, funded NGO partnerships and broader data transparency. So on that note, I’d like to also call in Neera to share her perspectives on the broader unlocks that are required on the basis of these strengths.

0:26:53.4 Neera: Thank you. Thank you, Radhika and it’s so helpful. I hope for others to bring this kind of rigour and data to better understand philanthropy, I’m not gonna go into this too much ’cause we have such an esteemed panel here that the faster we can go to hear their perspectives, Radhika, I thought it’ll just be good for all of us to hear that. I’m just gonna introduce, although none of them need an introduction, so I thought I would share something quirky or a fun fact about each of you, which I hope is true as you come into the spotlight. So if I can invite Rohini into the spotlight. I’ve heard you have a degree in French literature, so maybe you can add some French in your speeches today or help us with a book we should all read. I’d like to bring on Rupa, who I read loves biographies as a genre and personal histories. And your favourite is Katharine Graham, the Washington Post Journalist. Hope that’s true? Yes. Great.

0:28:00.4 Neera: Now, I’d like to bring on Ashish into the spotlight. Ashish, I read that you were a teacher’s pet and you got the award from one of the teachers who picked you to actually teach the class when you were in Kolkata, is that true? Yes, true. And finally, I’d like to invite Atul, on this whole theme of being a teacher, his mother is actually a school teacher. True? Yes, true. And I have a fun fact for you Radhika as well, that I’m told you’re actually quite a nerd and love to learn more and more and sign up for all these Coursera courses, but you don’t actually complete them, so maybe you should give your money somewhere else. So welcome everyone, let’s get back to business. Let’s get back to talking about philanthropy, you would have heard what Radhika shared. Yeah, so why don’t we just spend a few minutes on your reflections perspective. Rohini, let’s start please with you.

0:29:04.0 Rohini: Thank you. Namaste everyone Thank you Dasra. Thank you, Bain, also for doing this report year on year, it certainly adds great knowledge to the sector and much necessary. Hi to the whole panel. So very quickly, I’m not surprised about some of the findings, one is that CSR is steadily growing because obviously more companies have to [0:29:26.0] ____ the norms and we’ve seen some economic growth, so that’s not surprising. If we do want any kind of diversity of giving in CSR. I’m afraid it will have to be specifically incentivized by law or policy, it’s not gonna happen on its own, and maybe a discussion on now that the culture of CSR is setting quite robustly, how do we do that and what are the kind of incentives that companies can co-create so that there’s much more diversity of giving in the areas where the companies do not operate.

0:30:00.4 Rohini: When it comes to retail funding it’s good one-third of the sector that’s really huge. And we saw huge outpouring of retail giving during these last two years, we do need a lot more scaffolding around a lot more homes to make it much easier for retail giving, there is some that even that we support through our philanthropy, we possibly need more, but for me, that’s the most heartful… Heart-warming part of the report, because eventually a lot of people giving a little routinely and structurally every year is the most important philanthropy for a democracy like us, even more than that, of UHNIs. Having said that Yes, UHNIs, the share has come down. This is not great optics, my fellow UHNIs at a time when we keep reading how just exactly how much more wealth UHNIs have made in the pandemic than the rest of the rest of humanity. But I think rather than look at, say, a percentage of net worth or something, Neera, Maybe we need another way to describe UHNI giving. Did they give more absolute in absolute numbers than last year? See, because it’s a journey, and then you can keep doubling every year or something because of many reasons and many constraints that we know, but even so I think the call-to-action is right to UHNIs figure out the pathways to give much more give much more… Much more transparently.

0:31:34.5 Rohini: Share with others what is your passion in you’re giving… Umm, let’s create learning sessions among UHNIs and between UHNIs and various partners, there’s a lot more work to be done there, I think one of the constraints to UHNIs giving is definitely a lack of trust between say civil society entities who are… May not even be known to UHNIs or lack of communication between UHNIs, their foundations, their staff and the various amazing civil Society Organizations in India, We have fund like GROW, which we are also a part of, anchored by google will help to bring more organizations out there in the front, ready to scale their work so that UHNIs actually have more and more pies for giving. However, I do think a report like Bain’s the attention brought by Dasra, and I think I’m sure the media is going to pick this up tomorrow for sure.

0:32:40.2 Rohini: I think that kind of pressure on UHNIs to take more and more of the PI of Indian philanthropy is overall, a good thing. I think the world is now talking about trust-based philanthropy, and I think we also need to put the spotlight on that and happy to talk more later in the conversation, how can we learn to lead with trust, how can we learn to start with trust? So that we can end up with trust, and I think starting with trust also allows you to unlock much more money, so I think that is also an important way to reduce constraints on giving by HNIs and UHNIs, I also think that there is a huge scope for UHNIs, HNIs and their organizations to help more organizations to scale, GROW is just one fund, and there are a few other scattered such examples, but today, using technology as a backbone, as a means and not as an end, I think there is huge possibility to invest in the scaling up of the civil society so that no excuse can be made, and in fact, even now, it should not be made, that there are not enough organizations ready to scale.

0:33:53.5 Rohini: I think there are, I think they need help. And I think some investment of philanthropic capital and making that scale happen is absolutely essential today, so we are in a very critical decade, as we all know For Humanity, post-pandemic, a lot of recovery to be done, a lot of losses to be caught up on, and this is the year for all people with excess income, with excess resources of all kinds to step forward and really try to make the difference in this one short decade of which, only eight years are left, and I think we will be held accountable… I think wealth will very much be held to account in this decade, and it’s going to be very exciting and stimulating to collaborate as a community of givers to see what we can do together, which is gonna be more than what we are able to do individually and back then, that trend did not come through in the report, so much Radhika, but there is very clearly a new trend of collaboration among philanthropic foundations and individuals, and I think that’s going to start to make the difference in the next few years, so I’ll end my comments here and hopefully join in later in the Question and Answer round or the chat between us all.

0:35:15.2 Neera: Great, yes. Thanks, Rohini and we will come back to you to peel up a little more and hear your comments as you hear your… These other fellow panellists, I think we are seeing a lot more collaboration, the other side of collaboration, there’s been a question mark of a greater concentration of power and therefore, is that collaboration actually diffusing that or not? I think the other piece we’re seeing that we do need to continue to fund emerging organizations, so like the GROW Fund, our 20 million dollar rebuild fund is really going out there to try to find organizations that are emerging and let other organizations actually support these larger ones, so we just need to find a way for both of these engines to be on the other side of the giving and I’d love to hear more of that other side of trust-building Rohini, but I’ll come to you now Rupa, what was your take just hearing the research and some of Rohini’s comments as well as.

0:36:09.4 Rupa: So first step, thank you so much, Neera and Radhika, I think you guys do this year after year, and I think the first step in developing a deeper understanding is having data and insights on the table, which you guys have done, so superbly. And so kudos to you, you know, if you were to ask me what was my overall reaction on reading your report, and if there’s one word to describe it, or actually two words, it is that it’s extremely sobering.

0:36:46.4 Rupa: I think to be in a situation in India where for the last six years, your overall giving numbers from the private sector have remained flat at a time, even leaving aside the pandemic, we have seen tremendous economic growth and phenomenal prosperity and wealth increases in a certain segment of the society to have no increase, it’s a near-zero increase in a six year period, I think should give us all room to pause and reflect. It is very wonderful to see CSR giving going up, and I think CSR has done a lot of good for this country, and you know they have… It has opened up new pathways, but a system of philanthropy… I, I, is it my… I humbly believe cannot be driven beyond the point by corporate giving, I think corporate giving has many strengths, but it also comes with many limitations in driving social change. And if you look at every other segment of private giving, it has actually declined in absolute numbers, and that is the what your data is showing us in segment after segment. So I think…

0:38:04.0 Rupa: Which makes me wonder really… I think, our conversations in the sector, therefore, need to be really strongly focused on the supply side. How do we create a massive movement in giving in this country? How do we significantly multiply the number of givers and the amount they give? And we cannot… I think, we need to pay a lot of attention to that, which is why what Ashish is attempting to do in one way, and what Atul is doing in another way, I think, are so… Going to be so, so crucial in the coming decade. We have to create a movement, we have to create a massive movement towards giving.

0:38:48.4 Rupa: Secondly, I think we have to make it much easier to give. It is incredibly difficult to give in India. I see the conversations on the WhatsApp group of my college classmates. People don’t have a clue on how to even begin the process, right? So I think people like Rohini, Ashish, etcetera, who have really set the bar extremely high in terms of setting up and understanding the system, and setting up mechanisms for giving, not many other people can do that. And so, how do we make giving really easy? I think, it’s a function of making the information available. It’s about having the right professional cadre of people, whether it is advisors, whether it is auditors, whether it is impact measurement experts.

0:39:33.4 Rupa: And thirdly, it’s about having the standards of reporting and disclosure. Whether it is on the impact side, and whether it’s on finance and governance. And the last point I’ll make and stop there, and stop there is about, What are the conversations we are having? Who needs to be in these conversations? And what do the nature of those conversations need to be? I think we ourselves, as a firm, spend a lot of time talking about core grants versus non-core grants, and project grants, people need to move. And I think that those are looking at demand-side issues. I think, the urgent need of the hour is supply. I think, we just… I think, these issues are important, but they are very nuanced issues, and they are, I think… I think, probably if you had to pick one thing to do at this point, it would be to massively, massively increase the supply of donors and amount of money given outside of corporate CSR.

0:40:35.3 Neera: Thanks, Rupa, that’s very helpful. In fact, along with just the ease of giving, I remember we had had a conversation with the group of us, and Kishore Madiwala had said, “You know what, if giving is like a muscle. The first time you write your cheque, it’s like a really weak muscle. And as you keep writing cheques, and as you keep writing cheques, it’s kind of that muscle strengthens in it. It gets easier.” And I think that that applies to all of us. But let’s come to you, Ashish. What’s your take? About both, hearing Rohini, Rupa, but also the thoughts from Radhika.

0:41:08.5 Ashish: Yeah, thanks for inviting me, Neera. And hi to my fellow panellists. I think, excellent report. I’m so glad that you all put this out on a regular basis. I think, as others have said, we all knew that CSR, I think, has been a great boom for India. It’s growing at a steady pace, and I think, as corporate profitability grows at 15% a year, as you projected, it’s steady Eddy, plus volatile. We all knew that foreign funding is declining, and I think, the report clearly shows it. And retail, I think, thanks to people like Atul and many others, has really accelerated.

0:41:46.6 Ashish: To be honest, I would take the numbers around UHNI and HNI with a pinch of salt. I do think that we do have a data issue. I find it hard to believe that it’s flat-lined over six years. There has been a lot of wealth creation in the equity markets, and people are generally feeling wealthier. And the economy hasn’t done great, but it’s done reasonably well over that period of time. So, I actually think that giving may be growing at you know 10 to 12 percent. I doubt if it’s flat-lined. But it just shows that there is a greater need for more data for us to be able to particularly get a handle on HNI and UHNI giving.

0:42:32.9 Ashish: I completely agree with what Rupa said. You know we’re still, at the end of the day, scratching the surface. And you pointed out in the report. I don’t even think of it as a percentage of wealth right now because wealth has recently crystallized. But we know that this can increase by an ordered magnitude in the next decade or two. And what we need is a movement around giving. Need philanthropists to connect with this idea of nation-building, building a better society, building a better India. I mean that’s one of the big reasons why most people are doing what they’re doing. There’s always some elements of legacy and other motivations, but I think, a lot of people… Because we are a country that has lots of needs, there’s so much to be done.

0:43:20.0 Ashish: I think, there is a… Most people are in this because they want to make India a much better place. And I don’t think we’ve done enough to sell that idea to a broader group, particularly of HNIs and UHNIs. So, I think, as Rupa alluded… I think, some of us have come together, and we’re launching a new platform called Accelerating Indian Philanthropy. And I think, the idea is, particularly in the UHNI and HNI segment, there’s a need for a few things. One is inspiration, second is peer networks. I think people need to be connected, they need to learn from each other. And so it’s really ‘by philanthropists, for philanthropists’. A third is around this perception around trust. There is a trust deficit, like Rohini pointed out. I think, we need to educate philanthropists that it isn’t actually as hard to give as you imagine it to be. And by the way, whilst these people in the civil society space could be different from you, it’s not that they’re untrustworthy. I think, many of them are doing great work. Yes, there’s room to professionalize. Yes, there’s room for us to help. But I think, most people are doing excellent work and are very trustworthy. So we need to get around these hurdles of trust through information and for changing people’s perceptions. I think, making it easier to give, like Rupa pointed out, various ways to do so.

0:44:53.0 Ashish: Could be collaborative initiatives, like the initiative you’ve launched, Neera, you mentioned the 20 million rebuild and many other ways to do it. I think there is not enough intention paid to potential tax incentives. I’m not suggesting that we get a big break, but I do think that there are some nuances around the tax code that could make it easier. For instance, there is a deduction against income, but there’s no deduction against capital gains. There is… It’s not easy to donate shares or ESOP. A lot of folks will have ESOP. How do they… Can they just donate without crystallizing the tax incidents. So I think thinking through, because I think going forward, it’s not just gonna be people cutting a check. I think there’ll be other forms ’cause the wealth creation really is through equity and that’s where it gets crystallized.

0:45:48.5 Ashish: So finding other ways to make it easier, not just tax incentives and the law is to be clearer will be important. And finally, I think that philanthropy needs to be sold, it’s not bought. So I think we need to get out there and build this infrastructure, many of us. Neera what you are doing. Nikhil Kamath has launched a new initiative and many other people to build this sort of intermediary infrastructure, people who really create these networks by philanthropists for philanthropists, also have the ability to provide some bespoke advice to individuals. I think particularly in the UHNI segment there’s a need for bespoke advice, because I think what we want is… Initially people may give into a collaborative, but at the end of the day, everybody has their own passion. And they need to become more knowledgeable.

0:46:44.4 Ashish: They need to connect with peers and they need to embark on their own journey and they essentially need to give more, give sooner and give better. And I think that whilst your data may not be as heartening over the last six years, although I would take it with a pinch of salt. I actually think we’ll see a tsunami in the next two decades. I think wealth creation in India is going to grow at a fast click. And generally philanthropy comes in a few years after wealth creation. People have to be comfortable that their wealth is more permanent and not ephemeral in nature. People also have to sort out in their heads, what they’re going to give to their kids and how much they want to give to philanthropy. People need to build the muscle, as you were saying Neera. And often for people who are in the throes of their business life whilst there’s a latent desire to do so, it’s not front and center, it gets deferred.

0:47:45.0 Ashish: And so I think for that reason with a large effect, we’re gonna see a tsunami. And if we can build this infrastructure, we can only accelerate this tsunami going forward. I really look at India as being at the moment where the US was 100 plus years ago where after the [0:48:02.3] ____ of the 1818s, it’s really philanthropy really took off in the early 1900s. The first couple of decades in the 1900s when Carnegie and Rockefeller set up their major foundations. And then there was a big tsunami, became a normal almost. As Carnegie said, he who dies rich die disgraced. And that became the phrase of the era as it were. And it made people who were industrialists feel ashamed if they weren’t giving. And I think we can get to the same place in India. I think thanks to people like Rohini and Nandran and Mr. Pringy and many others who’ve been excellent role models. I think we have all of the right ingredients. It’s really a question of building the right infrastructure, the intermediate infrastructure and building this movement like Rupa said so that we can accelerate this going forward.

0:49:00.6 Neera: Great. Yeah. Thanks Ashish. We’re all often asking ourselves those of us in this intermediary space, who pays for this infrastructure to be built and you really need some enlightened folks. And I can’t thank Rohini, yourself and Rupa enough for having supported to build really that’s right. We’re actually seeing this willingness for bespoke advice, actually people and philanthropists starting to pay for it. Doesn’t fully pay for it, but at least in the last few years, a willingness that, “Okay, I’ll put out a bit to really have my strategy shaped or help me connect.” So I think that’s promising their for us to see that that flourish a bit more, but Atul let’s come to you and then Rohini, I’m sure you’re dying to come back in. So I’ll come back to you right after Atul’s comments.

0:49:44.1 Atul: Thanks, Neera and thanks Radhika. Like everyone said in a very data deprived ecosystem, the fact that you put the effort to gather information from all sources and put this report out, not just this year, but in the years before, as well is very commendable. So thanks for doing this for everyone here. The fun of coming last is a lot of things you have, have been covered, but I’ll try to speak from our practitioners perspective as we engage with philanthropists, retail donors, and corporates as well. If you look at the CSR ecosystem, historically we have not engaged in that from a given year, but over the last couple of years, because of COVID, we got a chance to spend more time in the CSR ecosystem. Like Ashish said, CSR market is going to grow at the pace of profit growth in the Indian incline.

0:50:35.7 Atul: We are not seeing people come up beyond 2% in CSR, which means that it’s not an opportunity to grow the CSR PI beyond what it’ll organically do. The real opportunity for everyone to meaningfully deliver better impact or more impact from CSR ecosystem is not in making it bigger, but making it better. And I think the intermediary ecosystem of CSR, I feel was slightly more thriving a few years back than it is now when people saw the CSR law coming and started creating services, platforms, technology around it and they realized very quickly that the market will hit a ceiling. And after that, where is it going? And the use of some of these things, we didn’t see as much as we initially thought would happen. But I think that was a three, four years back with COVID things are changing. The laws have made it more difficult for corporates to be compliant and the data around what CSR has delivered on impact is starting to come out and it is stabilizing, which means people are rethinking how they want to do corporate giving over a medium term. So longer contracts.

0:51:43.2 Atul: Thinking beyond their geographic bases to start giving. One of these conversations are starting to look very, very meaningful, at least over the last one and a half years for us. So I think there is a lot of opportunity in the CSR ecosystem to focus on even more impactful giving in CSR, and that requires some work on bringing more evidence to the table on medium-term CSR programs, not just infrastructure and short-term service delivery on the ground in pockets.

0:52:14.5 Atul: So CSR is mostly going to be driven by some of the more impactful evidence-based giving. On the HNI UHNI side, Ashish spoke about it really well. It has to be sold, it is discretionary for all segments of minor CSR, even in retail. So unless you have an army of people that are actually engaging with philanthropists to understand their personal preferences, biases, it is very difficult to convert a high empathy UHNI to become taste giving and then go deeper into it to become a committed giver. I think that ecosystem hasn’t seen as much innovation or investments in the last six, seven, eight years. The window of my observation, but it is starting to change very, very rapidly now, and COVID has brought a lot of people for the first time as givers, which wasn’t the case earlier.

0:53:12.7 Atul: And this is global, not just in India. A lot of people experienced giving for the first time during COVID, so it just suddenly expanded the top of the funnel in the last two years, and if we don’t invest in that now, it is not like a rubber band where it will stay there once the first stretch is down. You have to hold it there for a while for the ecosystem to stay at that expanded philanthropy base to build upon. I think initiatives like Ashish’s effort with ILSS that Anu runs generally funding unrestricted and overheads for nonprofits to build this infrastructure to ask for money and the work that you do at Dasra, Neera, on working with philanthropists and doing some consulting around them. I think that needs a disproportionate investment in the short term to leverage the opportunity that COVID has provided while we were responding to it.

0:54:07.5 Atul: I feel like Ashish, I suspect the data from the sense that I would have actually expected that number to be much better than the data is showing, which means that there is more optimism in the practitioner ecosystem than data is suggesting. And I really think there is a lot more here. Because this is first-time givers and very scattered, it’s very difficult to gather that data, I suppose, but I definitely think the ecosystem has opened up on the HNI and UHNIs side. If I were to bet on it, I would actually bet on higher than a 12 to 14 percent number. Radhika, that’s there in the report on HNI UHNI growth, largely because the wealth creation has been disproportionate and also at a younger age, and people are figuring out what to do with that. We’re starting to see that happen in a very interesting way. YIPP is one initiative, but there is LLP for not at that range of giving, but on a smaller ticket of giving.

0:55:08.7 Atul: Collaboratives are something very, very new. At the scale and spirit which we are seeing them come about, of your own effort, Neera. Either ways definitely, they are. Sameetha launched something as well. And there is a lot more effort happening on both creating giving collaboratives, but also collective impact that gives confidence to philanthropists to come together, which is also starting to happen. So that’s on the HNI and UHNI side. Retail giving, where I spend most of my time, I like the data Radhika, that’s there on the report in the sense that it’s starting to become more and more formal, which is what we see as well. It will continue to grow. I don’t know how much of that will be medical versus for other causes. I do think medical has a huge headroom to continue growing in a country like India, where insurance systems from government and outside are not covering a very, very large majority of our audience. There is huge head room.

0:56:16.3 Atul: I hope that doesn’t cover the cost of platforms like ours and others investing in non-profit fundraising beyond Amica because that’s extremely critical, whether its on education or whether it’s on rural development, whether it’s on a horizontal causes like gender, climate, stuff like that, and that requires a certain amount of investment from the platforms to grow, not just making giving more formal, but also more balanced as the ecosystem evolves. I do think that the formal giving part of it by the overall category growth, Radhika, the report says is growing very modestly at around 10% or so. The formal giving through platforms and otherwise, in retail, I would bet would grow at about 30 to 40 percent. That’s been the rate in the recent past, it’s growing from a small base, but that can continue to grow for many, many years that 30 to 40 percent overall.

0:57:14.3 Atul: I think there was a comment made on… In retail giving in particular, retail givers need a lot of trust to come and give because they are giving on impulse. They look at need and they start giving and solving for trust is far more important for retail segment than for any other segment. And there you can solve for trust by having a one on one dialogue with say UHNI, where we need platforms, intermediaries, information or platforms to come in to be able to solve further. I know Rupa has been very passionate about the non-profit sector transparency, credibility layers to come in, and I really think that’s needed in the next couple of years, if you were to take it beyond 30 to 40 percent growth on the platform side.

0:58:03.2 Atul: Once people come into the giving ecosystem, I think the engagement part of it is totally not cracked right now, there are experiments on recurring giving that platforms have done, but unless you make intentional giving of a retail donor for the first time to make it engaged giving, it won’t grow, and there is huge appetite in the middle class of India that’s grown well to increase their giving once there is engagement and platforms today are not, we are all in the 1.0 version of technology maturity, and I think in the next avatar of the iteration, you will see a lot more engagement driven giving. Right now, it is largely get people through ads, get them into the ecosystem, make it easier for them to give and payments are sorted, and downstream sort of ecosystem is yet to be built to drive engagement. Yeah, and these would be sort of the comments I had.

0:58:56.6 Neera: Great. No. Thanks, Atul. I’m gonna come quickly back to you, Rohini and also add in a few questions that we’ve heard, if you can talk a bit more about trust and what can actually be done there, and so much is asked of NGOs, what about the other side? But there’s also some questions around funding being quite siloed as in, UHNIs like to give more to education, the retail gives a little bit… Gives more to healthcare. Do we have to stay in these structures and what can we do actually to unlock overall kind of domestic giving, if you wanna just pile that all in and then I’ll come to you Rupa with the question and Ashish as well.

0:59:36.7 Rohini: Yeah, thank you, Neera. I’m glad that there are a lot of questions showing up in the chat. I think in terms of trust, yeah, well, I’ve talked about this a lot, but definitely a lot more people need to just begin to more generously give to organizations with great flexibility of funding, and also sometimes we forget, we need to be as donors trustworthy too, in the sense, do civil society organizations trust us is a question we should be asking ourselves in the mirror in front of us. And why should they trust us, they might trust us if, one is, we start with trust on them and are not suspicious. Secondly, they might trust us more if we commit multi-year funding. Unless something really bombs, there should be a clause in the contract saying, Okay, if something really goes wrong, we can pull out, but otherwise that if I like the work that your organization is doing, you can trust me to support you over time, because I know if I don’t do that, you will not succeed, and I will not succeed either then, as a donor.

1:00:43.8 Rohini: So opening up several avenues like that to build trust is bound to lead to more innovation, more collaboration, and eventually more impact and more skills. So that’s what we do in terms of trust. A lot of people learnt that they have to trust in the pandemic, so they had to give, they had to change the allocation of capital, they had to find new partners very fast who are untested, because work needed to be done with urgency. Building on that and making trust based philanthropy a cornerstone of your giving is something I think that’s very important and will reduce the trust deficit between givers and receivers, though I don’t like those terms, but anyway, in this country, so that’s on trust unless you have something specific more to ask. But there’s one more thing about diversity and going beyond education and of course, education is very important.

1:01:36.5 Rohini: We spend, Nandan actually more than me spends a tremendous amount of our giving on the technology enabled platforms that we have been working so closely with government on, and it is important to continue to do that because the nature of learning is changing and we need investments, risk capital in new forms of learning anywhere, learning on the go, different people learning different life skills. So while education remains a key sector… Some businessmen tell me that their business is their philanthropy because of the fantastic impact it has on society and livelihoods, and I would say to them, yes, thank you. It does create overall benefit for society, but sometimes successful businesses also create negative externalities in terms of say, pollution, in terms of say, unwanted migration and several other things. So there are those gaps to fill the outside your fence as well. And then what about building the entire intellectual infrastructure of India that is still waiting to be build.

1:02:43.0 Rohini: We need so many more research organizations, science organizations, we need so many more cultural institutions to come up, so stopping to imagine new ways of giving beyond the normal is, is really… Maybe we just need more brainstorming sessions without somebody having to pull out a check at the end of the evening to say, Okay, if you just had to just think of a wonderful joyful ways of giving to something that you could tell your children proudly, what you started in this country. Look at all the monuments lying around this country which are totally unprotected, pick up something of your passion and do it, and I think that, what Atul was talking about, as you give more, no, of course the muscle grows, but you also connect more deeply and joyfully with the work that you’re doing, and I think that joyfulness matters a lot. So I think we are going to see, Ashish, I hope you are right, that we are going to see much more giving, and we are going to see much more structured giving, and certainly, we are here for the long run along with all of you in this venture.

1:03:54.1 Neera: Well, thanks, Rohini. Since you in some ways tagged Ashish, Ashish, there is a question that I’m gonna direct towards you, which is, why do… Do we need to be following the Western way of philanthropy, and is there something that might be different to India in our trajectory?

1:04:12.4 Ashish: Yeah, I think there are a few. I only use the Western example more to say that philanthropy really takes off with a lag effect after wealth gets crystallized to typically a decade or two later. I do think it… Our model can be a different model in several ways. I think one is that convincing more philanthropists to give while living, I mean, I think Western philanthropists tended to set up these foundations with endowments. I think in India, our pressing problems are in the next 10, 20, 30 years. Hopefully we would’ve crossed the hump and become a more developed country in 30 years from now. So I think convincing people that they need to do it much sooner and while they’re alive, so that’s one. Two, is I think the Western model there isn’t the opportunity to work as closely with government. I think India is different in that you can really partner with government and particularly as local philanthropists, I think there’s that real opportunity to do so. And thirdly, I think, you know, we have so much to learn from other, not necessarily Western nations, but I think from the rest of the global south, you know, there’s lots of examples when I think philanthropy was taking place there are philanthropic models from the west.

1:05:40.7 Ashish: But we have lots of development models from ASEAN, from certain parts of even Africa or Latin America that have done things well. And so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, or even within India, knowledge is, you know, is just so much more readily available than it was a 100 years ago or 50 years ago. I think we know what works. It’s a question of getting things going. And so I think at least with the UHNIs, I think the collaboratives and all is great to get people started, but I think a lot of it is talking to… Is developing people’s own agency. People have a passion that’s generally fairly hardworking people. They have some competitive edge if they’ve made money. You know, and if they can really get invested in the area that they’re working in, they can do tremendous work over 10, 20 years.

1:06:34.6 Rupa: And I’ll give you two, three examples just in the last week I met with Sunil Wadhwani who had set up WISH foundation and the AI foundation, and he wants to do two more things. He’s ambitious. He’s not just stopping with the AI thing and WISH. He wants to do two more or Rizwan Koita who just set up this new Digital Health foundation, who’s young and brilliant ideas and doing stuff that’s, you know, really innovative. So I think as opposed to Rizwan just participating in, you know, the usual non-profits, I think he’s finding his own path and he’ll end up doing very interesting things that we may not think of. And this is true also of the number of the young unicorn founders, et cetera. I think they’ll bring new energy, new ways of doing things. So I don’t think we have to worry about the supply side or, you know, NGO readiness. I think people will… If you can create agency and if people really want to put in some time alongside their money, and they’re really passionate about it, there’s no dearth of ways to spend money effectively in India. And we need to do it now or in the next 10, 20 years as opposed to waiting for much longer.

1:07:49.7 Neera: Yeah, no, thanks Ashish. Rupa, I’m gonna come to you just to build a bit on what Ashish was saying, which is, you know, both a positive and a challenge with this innovation as philanthropists innovate themselves. And I know that, you know, you represent [1:08:01.4] ____ funding and you support other organizations. And I think there is a question for the existing organizations asking themselves, how do we stay relevant with all this new stuff coming in? Atul, I know you have an incubator also with these new ideas, but Rupa, there was a question specifically on the social stock exchange, if you just wanna speak a bit to that, but also the approach that, you know when is taken.

1:08:26.0 Rupa: Yeah. You know on the issue of… I’ll come to the social stock exchange, but just a quick comment on the issue of diversity that Rohini spoke about and the fabulous example of Rizwan that Ashish just gave. You know, I think philanthropy is the ultimate risk capital, right? I think it has, it has appetite for infinite risk taking, you know, and I think the question therefore is how does… How do different categories of philanthropists deploy that risk capital because there are no returns promised to any LPs or any shareholders, you’re not a government funder. So really I think the question is, and taken in the context of Rohini’s comment on diversity, you know, there are… The bulk of the money goes into certain areas, you know, over 90% plus. And the question is, you know, I think philanthropy has the capability to push the envelope in new directions and push the thinking, and that money no one else is going to deploy.

1:09:39.5 Rupa: Governments are not going to deploy, private people… Private sector is not going to deploy. Neither is the mass philanthropists, you know, the folks who work with say Atul in Give India and, you know, so causes like whether it be very important causes like online safety of women, for example, in an increasingly digital world or online dispute resolution mechanisms. You know, because, you know, the are so important or even things like we are working with Atul on land and property inclusivity, property titles, for example. Now, of course the government has taken it up on a war-footing, but it took a while for that sector to reach tipping point for governments to really see the importance of doing that. Right. So I think philanthropy has the way to chart out the next frontiers for society. And I think the sliver of people that Ashish is looking at working with are probably the best suited for that. So I think… Also, I think there is a role and responsibility of different kinds of philanthropic capital. And, you know, I just wanted to call that out. I think the social stock exchange recommendations, there were two committees set up by SEBI back to back.

1:10:55.5 Rupa: And now of course, the regulations have to come out and we’ll see what finally reflects in the regulations. But the philosophy that we had in the various committees was as follows. One is, can you come up with mechanisms which are uniquely tailored to the Indian context, that make it possible, even for smaller NGOs, to participate on the social stock exchange? Which by the way, is not a new institution, but a new platform proposed to be created on the BSE and the NSE. Right? So that was the idea. And there are three broad buckets of recommendations. So, the first is a slew of new instruments, whether it be donation certificates, which have been called zero-coupon zero-principal bonds, or social impact funds, which are modifications to the SVF guidelines, and things like that. So, there are a new range of instruments that have been proposed. Very importantly, a lot of emphasis on ecosystem and infrastructure building for the non-profit sector. So, how do you have an accreditation process for people who do social impact measurement? How do you really bring in auditors into the space to really have standards, which are realistic given the size of the NGOs, etcetera.? But how do you bring about some element of standardization? Because a large part of building trust, if we really have to make this a movement, it has to be made very easy. So the reporting standards, etcetera. Very simple, very standardized makes it very easy and also contributes to building trust.

1:12:30.9 Rupa: And finally, I think the recommendations also include a whole new set of institutions therefore, information repositories, social impact auditors, certification programs which the NISM is going to come up with, and finally standards. So, I think there’s been a set of prescribed recommended standards for reporting, which are tailored to the size and stage of the NGO. We don’t want to overburden a small NGO, but stage-appropriate reporting and disclosure standards have been recommended, as have simple ways to report on social impact. In a way that that is relatable, standardized, where you don’t have to really tear out your head to figure out what’s really going on here. So there is… The underlying assumption here is that there’s going to be a… How do we activate a system where many, many people come in, just like you would invest in a mutual fund for example, standardize a lot of things, so there is an entire untapped layer there, which you can call HNI, or you can call… Even below that, if you build a really strong movement on why giving is good, and the social stock exchange recommendations were designed to cater to that segment. But really the risk, the ultimate risk taking, pushing the envelope on the next frontiers, in philanthropy, into causes which are going the road less travelled, I think will come from the UHNI segment.

1:14:02.1 Neera: Yeah. Rohini, you want the last comment, and then I need to wrap up. I see your hand up.

1:14:08.2 Rohini: Oh, no. Oh, I’m sorry. We have run out of time. No, I was just thinking, Rupa, to your point about the social stock exchange, I hope it goes well, but it is in some sense, antithetical to risk-taking. So, I’m not sure so much of the risk-taking that is needed to help grassroots organizations and leadership and ethical leadership on the ground, just innovate and try out all kinds of things. And that, and what you just described on the social stock exchange, do you think they’re opposite to each other?

1:14:41.2 Rupa: That’s a wonderful [1:14:41.9] ____ spot. Very, very, very good observation, Rohini. So, I think it is different strokes for different folks, right? So, if you have a standardized approach, let’s assume for a moment that it’ll be in the more traditional sectors of giving, right? And so therefore, the attempt is… And these are people who are making their first entry into philanthropy and all of that. So, the more you can standardize, the more you can build trust, the more it is easy mechanisms for giving, whether it is social venture funds, whether it is donation certificates and all of that.

1:15:14.0 Rohini: Yeah.

1:15:14.2 Rupa: I think the real innovations in philanthropy will not come from this segment. It will come from the Ultra High Net-worth segment, who I think have… Will give it pay the time and attention that Ashish talked about, Rizwan, the kind of time and attention you pay to thinking about issues. I think pushing the frontiers… So, I think we also have to be realistic, Rohini, about our expectations from different segments of givers. I think we have to accept it.

1:15:39.9 Rohini: I agree.

1:15:40.3 Neera: Yeah. And with that Rupa, I do wanna save a couple of seconds, Atul, for you just to come in, because I know a big strategy and thrust for NGOs looking at innovation, do you agree with this tension between standardization and innovation a bit, if you wanna give your thoughts? And then I do need to wrap up.

1:15:57.4 Atul: Yeah. So, Neera, I think you need just common minimum infrastructure required, so people don’t have to worry about information, data, transparency, credibility. At that level, standardization is absolutely essential, but I think innovation will come then on top of that, once the basic infrastructure to enable giving is there. And we see a lot of that will link to talent technology, risk-taking capital, those enabling conditions coming on top of whether it’s social stock exchange or nonprofit platforms of similar kind coming in enabling some digital common platforms to build on it.

1:16:37.2 Neera: Super. Thank you. So I do want to promise our audience and listeners that we will come back together and talk about GEDI. Gender, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. And how can philanthropy really start to lean in more there. I also wanted to congratulate Rohini on being selected the best grassroots philanthropist in Forbes this year. Congratulations, Rohini. But I think with that supporting of grassroots must come something that I read about in Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste”, book on caste. And I do hope our philanthropy conversations begin to address issues of Caste, which are issues of deep inequity in our country and her book talks about radical empathy.

1:17:21.2 Neera: So, I just wanna leave you with this quote as we end. “Radical empathy, on the other hand, means putting in the work to educate oneself and to listen with a humble heart to understand another’s experience from their perspective, not as we imagine we would feel.” Which sometimes philanthropists do. Radical empathy is not about you and what you think you would do in a situation you have never been in and perhaps never will. It is the kindred connection from a place of deep knowing that opens your spirit to the pain of another as they perceive it. Empathy is no substitute for the experience itself. We don’t get to tell a person with a broken leg or a bullet wound that they are not in pain. And people who have hit the caste lottery are not in a position to tell a person who has suffered under the tyranny of caste what is offensive or hurtful or demeaning to those at the bottom. The price of privilege is the moral duty to act when one sees another person treated unfairly. And the least that a person in the dominant caste can do is not make the pain any worse.” And with that, thank you all for joining this session. We’re gonna have a quick poll for you to answer. Please come to our other Dasra philanthropy sessions during this week. Thank you, Rohini, Radhika, Rupa, Ashish, and Atul. You don’t get to fill out this poll.

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Nov 20, 2017 | Personality

Strategic Philanthropy

Karnas of Philanthrophy - Telugu - Eenadu

Nandan Nilekani and Rohini Nilekani have pledged half their wealth for Philanthrophy. View PDF
Jun 1, 2018 | Personality

Strategic Philanthropy

The Art Of Giving : Nandan Nilekani & Rohini Nilekani

“Wealth doesn’t fully belong to us, we are only trustees. Our children knew that. Power to give away is the most important value of money,” inspiring words from Nandan and Rohini Nilekani, days after signing the Giving Pledge. As part of the pledge, they have committed to donate half of their wealth to charity. In […]
Nov 23, 2017 | Interview

Strategic Philanthropy

Building the Indian philanthropic sector - what can we learn? | India Conference at Harvard 2021

This is an edited version of Rohini Nilekani’s conversation with Mona Sinha, co-founder of Raising Change, at the Harvard India Conference 2021. In my work over the last three decades, I’ve tried to put together a theory of change and what I have realised and tried to communicate is that in the continuum of society, […]
Feb 21, 2021 |