Through this platform, donors can make payments through UPI, debit cards, credit cards, and net-banking — making it so much easier for the NGOs to receive the donations.
When it comes to donating for any social cause, the usual terms that you get hear are 'cheque', 'NEFT', or a simple cash exchange. Identifying a significant gap in this space, GivNow, a subsidiary of the digital payment platform Benow, was founded in early 2017 by Sudhakar Ram, the brains behind Cashless Technologies India, Pvt. Ltd. (CTIL).
Sudhakar Ram is a part of the founding team at Mastek — one of the earliest VC-funded software companies in India — where he was the CEO for more than a decade. He is a gold medalist from Loyola College, Chennai, and a silver medalist from IIM, Kolkata. Sudhakar was named the CNBC Business Leader of the Year in 2007, and he is also a prime investor in several startups.
Started with an objective to promote the 'habit of giving' in September 2017, GivNow acts as a platform for NGOs where donors can make payments through unified payments interface (UPI), debit cards, credit cards, and net-banking. With the usual means such as cheques turning out to be time consuming and not so user-friendly, this interface can be conveniently shared through SMS, WhatsApp or email, along with the web link that directs the user to the payment gateway — making it so much easier for the NGOs to receive the donations.
Daan Utsav, a festival which was earlier called the 'Joy of Giving Week', was launched in 2009; it is celebrated every year, commencing on Gandhi Jayanti, from October 2 to 8. All sections of the society, irrespective of financial status or reputation, come forward during this week to give their time, money, resources, or skills back to the society, by creating or participating in events of their choice. GivNow encouraged people to participate in Daan Utsav by offering them incentives such as 100 percent matching grants among various other initiatives.
Sudhakar Ram, Founder and CEO, Benow, says,
"Keeping social impact in mind, we are looking at bringing in donations worth Rs 1,000 crore in the next four to five years. The idea is to roll out a platform for the corporates and their employees as well, to engage with an NGO of their choice, so that the employees are also socially aware and responsible."
So far, NGOs that work for animal welfare, child development, community development, education, environmental sustainability, healthcare, livelihood generation, women empowerment, have collaborated and are using GivNow to garner donations. With 150 NGOs onboard and a sum of Rs 90 lakh already collected, GivNow aims to move forward rapidly to ensure that social welfare becomes easier and more accessible to those who want to make a mark.