Rachna Kapur, Founder, Network of Single Professionals

By Team YS|13th Jun 2009
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Self interest, fame, luxury and personal ambition have driven many of us to risk whatever we have to attain our goals, but how many of us endeavour to gamble for charitable purpose? Rachna Kapur is among the few intrepid entrepreneurs who undertook a journey fraught with hurdles for garnering support for thousands of poor and unfortunate. Network of Single Professionals (NESP), a social networking/fundraising group she founded in 2007, works towards creating awareness for non-profit organisations and charitable trusts across the world. The organisation is not only dedicated to providing business and social networking opportunities to volunteers, but also connects and engages contemporary single professionals with non-profit organisation and charitable trusts.

Apart from raising thousands of dollars for donations in the last two years, the group has gathered clothing, eye-glasses and canned goods for donations that have helped organisations like City Harvest, Toys for Tots, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, BJ's Place Homeless Shelter, Keep A Child Alive, Asha for Education, CRY, Smile Train and many others in numerous ways.


Presently, NESP has three chapters across the US in New York, Chicago and Washington DC with over 1,500 members. So far, the organisation has hosted a series of interactive and fun-filled events, like Charity Raffles, Happy Hours, Weekend Trips, Date Raffles, Theater Events and others, at some of the hottest venues around New York and Washington DC like Artica Bar & Grill, Tonic East, Copper Chimney, Amber, Tandoori Nights, and Pranna.


“Ours is an organisation that helps raise funds, goods and awareness for charitable causes. We support various groups depending on their needs. For instance, if there’s a natural calamity in any of the states in India, we immediately host an event to raise funds for the cause,” said Kapur.


NESP has witnessed a tremendous growth in the past couple of years. It is now teaming up with media houses like Desiclub.com and Sahara One for co-sponsoring events and garnering support for various NGOs.


Kapur’s selflessness is an explanation in itself as to why she chose to become an entrepreneur instead of opting for a safer career. But ask her and she says, “Who said I’m not doing a job. I still have my day job (project manager for Fortune 500). Besides, my organisation is not an enterprise; it works for the benefit of others not to reap profit for me.”


The biggest challenge which Kapur still faces is to form a team of dedicated volunteers to organise events in other cities and promote our organisation. However, she agrees that she has been blessed with volunteers in the past who joined her driven by the urge to help people, not for compensation.


So engrossed was Kapur in finding means to help the underprivileged that she did not realise her generous motive would require her to spend a huge amount of money. “When I organised an event, I never thought of the amount of money that would go in; most of it came from my own pocket. Now I’m hoping to attract a few advertisements on my website to bring down the cost and register the organisation as an NGO in the US.


The fact that a number of other organisations have shown interest in NESP, and have also given a positive feedback is the biggest achievement for the group. “I have also started a media section, where I interview influential people to get more support for the cause. I have had stars like Mika Singh and Raghav interviewed and are featured on the website,” said Kapur. In a short period of time, NESP’s reputation has rocketed considerably. While the organisation has featured in an article on Keep a Child website, Sahara One will soon film and telecast some its events.


Kapur finds even the thought of giving up the venture repulsive. “I love my organization and will never give it up. You can’t imagine how happy I feel when I receive the bundle of ‘thank you’ letters from the organisations I have helped.” She believes it’s the desire to help others that motivates her to come up with unique ways to raise donations for various causes. Her vision for 2010 is to expand the organisation throughout US and eventually across the world.


Tips for budding entrepreneurs — If you have a dream, go for it. It may seem discouraging in the beginning and will command a lot of hard work and determination, but at the end of it all you’ll be glad you did not falter.

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