How Goodera is bringing together volunteers and professionals to find meaning and purpose in givingShruti Kedia
Recently, Goodera, a CSR lifecycle and volunteering management platform, teamed up with The Ugly Indian to mobilise corporate professionals in Bengaluru to ‘free the flyover’ of unwanted posters and dirt by painting and repairing one.
With 250 million people expected to join the country’s workforce by 2030, India is projected to be the youngest nation in the world.
The youth, through volunteerism, have the power to contribute to the solve developmental challenges while also enhancing individual skills, social participation and inclusion. This is the model followed extensively by The Ugly Indian (TUI), an anonymous group, where, by collaborating with city professionals in the age group of 25-40, the team has “fixed” numerous dirty spots around Bengaluru.
Adopting a similar approach, Goodera, though their volunteer mobile-based application, mobilised over 120 professionals professionals to ‘free the flyover’ at Nayandahalli Junction of unwanted posters and dirt by painting it.
Abhishek Humbad, Founder of Goodera, says, “Volunteering is one of the strongest expression of a true shared economy. Our deep understanding of the development sector has enabled us to build a first-of-its-kind technology platform that enables corporate social responsibility (CSR)/ sustainability teams and corporate volunteers to continuously track updates of the CSR and volunteering projects they are working on, in real time, with last-mile visibility through impact dashboards.”
Goodera’s journey began a few years ago when Abhishek and his co-founder, Richa Bajpai, founded a startup based on renewable energy in Mahbubnagar, Andhra 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 in February 2014.
“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,” he adds.
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 that has been recently legally enforced has helped to encourage corporates promote a culture of giving and employee volunteering. Goodera’s technology platform helps them create impact while providing effective monitoring and constructive evaluation.
Goodera has offices 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.
“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.
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.
For instance, Amazon India partnered with Goodera to drive employee volunteering across India. The employees have participated in events such as 'Wake the Lake’, a lake cleaning drive, milk mug distribution drives in schools, mentorship to kids in schools, and computer skills training.
“The goal of this initiative is to drive maximum engagement amongst thousands of employees through volunteering, creating a larger sense of purpose amongst them,” says Minari Shah, Director, Corporate Communications, Amazon India.
Explaining the ease of volunteerism and participation, Abhishek notes that Goodera’s volunteering app enables individuals to receive real-time event coordinator post updates regarding logistics, and dos and don’ts. Further, users can also ‘check in’ on their site, upload pictures and post their experience and feedback.
He adds that nearly 10 percent of corporate India’s total CSR spend is managed on the Goodera platform.
For a sustained and a long-term engagement, Goodera hopes to collaborate with The Ugly Indian and corporates to adopt the maintenance of the flyover for a year, while also deploying its technology to continuously monitor and track the status of the flyover that has been revamped.
Last October, during Daan Utsav, a celebration of giving, Goodera provided its platform to corporates, free of cost, to promote giving within their organisations.
“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.
In the coming days, Goodera aims to reach out to more companies and corporates, empower them with solutions, increase employee volunteering, and help manage CSR efforts globally.