How DoAram, the new-entrant in e-giving, is setting its goal of becoming the world’s largest contribution platform.
DoAram provides an aggregated and verified list of NGOs, to enable corporates to easily find credible projects and organisations that align with their CSR philosophy and also help individuals to raise money for contingencies.
In just four years since the Companies Act 2013 came into effect, the cumulative spending on CSR has crossed Rs 50,000 Crore, according to the CRISIL CSR Yearbook 2019. The report also estimates that the CSR spending in FY19-20 is likely to touch Rs 15, 100 Crore, all pointing at a rise. The Companies Act 2013 mandates that a company is required to spend 2 percent of its average net profit of the preceding three years on CSR if, in any of those years, they had a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, turnover/ revenue of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or net profit of Rs 5 crore or more.
The challenge in giving
Today, even as CSR funding reaches meaningful proportions, there are a number of challenges. A key challenge hindering effective CSR enforcement is finding credible projects that corporates can support. In fact, in FY 2018, out of the 1,913 companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange that met the criteria for mandatory CSR, 341 companies said they were unable to spend because of reasons such as delay in identifying projects, setting up the requisite in-house expertise, etc. Also, many corporates stated lack of transparency about the non-profits as a key hindrance negatively impacting their ability to find credible organisations in the development sector.
“In India alone, there are 31 lakh registered NGOs. But, there is no centralised and verified data to contact them. Because of these, it is extremely difficult and challenging to find the right contact details and contact person. In addition, industry reports state that out of this, less than 10 per cent are compliant,” shares Anusha Ravi, Founder, DoAram, an e-giving platform.
On the other hand, many charities and non-profit welfare organisations find it difficult to find funds due to which they lack the resources and capacity. At the same time, many people need resources in an emergency situation, because either they have exhausted their savings or because it is out of their reach.
This is why e-giving platforms like DoAram are becoming relevant to both ends of the spectrum. Launched in September 2019, DoAram provides an aggregated list of verified NGOs, making it easy for corporates to find credible projects and organisations that align with their CSR philosophy and also enables individuals to raise money for contingencies. “Giving is not just about money; corporates can also contribute through skill and resources. We are bringing the much-needed structure and professionalism to giving,” says Anusha.
A transparent e-giving model
DoAram allows voluntary donors — be it NGOs, corporates, or individuals, either to donate or raise funds for NGOs listed on DoAram. These NGOs are registered on our platform once they go through a stringent process. Today, 2000+ non-profits have been onboarded and listed on the website. When it comes to monetary donations, DoAram not only provides a receipt of the donation but also closely tracks its utilisation and sends a complete post-evaluation report with the details on how the funds were utilised and the impact it made.
By building a transparent e-giving model, DoAram has caught the attention of corporates. “We have been contacted by more than 20 Corporates. Blackboard technologies, a billion dollar US-based company with a presence In India, became the first to sign the Letter Of Intent with DoAram.”
So far, DoAram’s platform has helped 50 individuals and raised funds for 60+ causes. Anusha says, “While there are a number of crowdfunding platforms for causes, what makes us stand out is that we are working on building a 360-degree solution for giving. We want to be the platform that individuals and organisations reach out to when they want to donate resources, money, time and skill. We are also working on building e-commerce and events offering to make it easier for non-profits to market their products and events.”
A bigger ambition
Though it has just been three months into the launch, the progress they have made so far has been satisfying, the founder says. A former engineer who worked with organisations like Onair, Cathay Pacific, Anheuser in the US, Anusha returned to India and went to expand her family-run educational institutions. “As a family, we knew the power of education and giving. As the CEO of Park Group of Institutions in Coimbatore and Chennai, my hands were always full. But, seeing how disorganised giving was, it was only natural that I leveraged my tech experience and on-ground knowledge of the development sector to work on a holistic solution.”
Having established a strong foundation, Anusha is now working towards making DoAram the world’s largest contribution platform. The organisation is aiming to onboard 25,000 NGOs and 100 Corporates by the end of 2020. They are in the process of integrating artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data algorithms to enable the platform to guide NGOs and corporates to meet their needs, which traditionally has been a challenge.
“Today, especially millennials and GenZ generation, are prioritising supporting causes over materialistic possessions and experiences. Not surprisingly, any simple act or gesture of giving, trends on social media. This trend has been validated through a number of studies and research. And, that’s why in the time to come, a platform like DoAram will become relevant than ever before,” Anusha signs off