Managing CSR for more than 150 corporates and 2 lakh volunteers using tech — the Goodera wayJoanna Kurian
One-tenth of corporate India’s CSR spend is managed by Goodera.
When Abhishek Humbad and Richa Bajpai, 30, founded Goodera in February 2014, they had no idea they would become so successful.
It had all begun a few years previously, when the duo met during their engineering days. Richa studied at Rajasthan University while Abhishek at BITS Pilani. Soon, they founded a startup based on renewable energy in Mahbubnagar, Andra Pradesh. While working on their renewable energy project they realised how a lack of transparency in the CSR space led to different issues. Taking this as an opportunity, they decided to build a one-of-a-kind CSR lifecycle management platform.
“While doing our renewable energy project, we came to realise that what has been communicated to the donor and to the corporate is completely different. That's when it dawned on us that through technology we could transform the entire sector by bringing in transparency and efficiency. That’s how we started Goodera,” says founder and co-CEO Richa.
Today, more than 150 large enterprises including 24 in the global Fortune 500 have adopted Goodera to effectively measure, manage, and report their CSR projects across more than 30 countries. Furthermore, over 2,00,000 employees globally volunteer using Goodera.
Nearly 10 percent of corporate India’s total CSR spend is managed on the Goodera platform.
“It is a challenge to convince a large enterprise to buy technology regarding CSR. It is not easy, but it is a huge success when they are convinced. Once the initial set of clients came in and people started buying, there was an exponential increase of clients getting on board and NGOs getting donors,” says other founder and co-CEO, Abhishek.
Significance of technology in the CSR space
Goodera is co-headquartered in Menlo Park, California, and Bengaluru. It enables and empowers corporates to manage their CSR and sustainability goals in a simple, transparent, measurable, and engaging manner through its innovative cloud, mobile, voice, and big data platform, incorporated with strong domain expertise.
“If you are a corporate or a donor, you can see how your money is getting invested on the ground. For example, if you have given money for a certain project, you can see how the project is evolving over time and the kind of work that is getting done through the dashboards that we have. Every data point is geo-tagged and time-stamped to confirm its authentication. That is how corporates use our platform to manage CSR funds. Apart from that, corporates also use our platform to engage their employees in CSR activities because they get a lot of volunteering opportunities on the platform,” explains Richa.
Goodera provides corporates with automation and intelligence across monitoring and evaluation, impact measurement, grantmaking, reporting, and employee volunteering. “Say a company has a couple of tasks, which happen manually in a very inefficient manner. On our platform, these get automated and at the same time, it becomes very easy for NGOs to make reports to their donors. Also, our volunteering platform, Goodera People, is a mobile and web platform that assists corporates in increasing employee engagement through various volunteering campaigns,” says Abhishek.
According to a recent study by Goodera and Mint, it was reported that the energy sector leads the pack in terms of CSR spends, closely followed by financial services, information technology and information technology enabled services, auto, pharma, and telecom companies.
Giving initiative during Daan Utsav
During Daan Utsav, a celebration of giving from October 2–8, Goodera provided its platform to corporates, without any cost, to promote giving within their organisations. Hundred percent of the donations made will reach the NGOs. Goodera also provided all the necessary collaterals which corporates used to encourage the spirit of giving amongst their employees. As part of the initiative, all the donations made by employees will help them secure tax benefits (Instant 80G Tax Exemption Certificate in the mailbox of each donor). Furthermore, they will be granted the capability to run friendly fundraising competitions between teams.
India’s development sector, which has gradually evolved over the last few decades, plays an integral part in the sustainable growth of the country. The CSR law, which has been recently legally enforced, has helped by made corporates encourage giving and employee volunteering. Goodera’s technology platform helps them create a meaningful impact with effective monitoring and constructive evaluation.
NGOs that have benefited from this platform have a lot to say.
“Raah Foundation has been working towards providing a livelihood for tribal folks in Maharashtra. Having worked in the development sector for close to 17 years, we are witness to the transformation that the sector has gone through. The partnership with Goodera is a great example of how technology can revolutionise the CSR and development sector. The platform has not only helped us and our donors measure and evaluate our investments better but the company has been instrumental in helping us drive initiatives such as Daan Utsav and other giving initiatives at scale,” says Sarika Kulkarni, Founder, Raah Foundation.
The Forbes-30-Under-30 (Asia) duo aims to take the platform global in the coming years.
“We bring fair technology, people, and domain expertise and we think that the combination of these three will actually transform this space not just in India but globally while creating social value for all the stakeholders,” says Abhishek.
In the upcoming days, Goodera aims to reach out to more companies and corporates, empower them with solutions, increase employee volunteering, and help manage CSR efforts globally.