Here's how Muskurahat Foundation found its donor trust with Razorpay, resulting in a 900% jump in monthly donations

With over 600 children under its wings, Muskurahat Foundation strives to bring smiles to the faces of these young ones belonging to the underserved segment of society. .
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Aimed at providing holistic development to underprivileged children from shelter homes and orphanages, Muskurahat Foundation is a youth NGO working towards imparting distinctive experiential learning. Muskurahat inculcates positive values in children, imparts life skills, and caters to their mental health as part of its academic curriculum.

We want to make independent citizens, we want to make happy citizens — they should be in the right state of mind and feel safe in the world, says Himanshu Goenka, Founder and President, Muskurahat Foundation.

Focus on holistic well-being of children

Led by 25-year-old Himanshu, the NGO boasts of 60 full-time employees working day in and day out to bring about a positive change in the society. In its eight-year long journey, Muskurahat has identified three major factors that need attention – value system, mental health, and life skills.

As these children belong to an underserved segment of the society, the foundation lays a lot of emphasis on their mental well-being to help them overcome traumas and emerge as confident and empowered individuals.

With due focus on their upbringing and value system, Muskurahat works tirelessly in imbibing good values in these children so they can survive and thrive in society and be the positive change that the future of the country needs.

Another focus area is imparting life skills to children. The world is not academical anymore, it is more lifestyle oriented. We want to create individuals with good life skills, adds Himanshu.

Overcoming challenges

One of the biggest challenges for Muskurahat has been to showcase the results of its work to donors and stakeholders. The efforts put in by the organisation, be it inculcating the right values in children or educating them to be good citizens, takes years to show their impact and, thus, isn’t easy to translate into results immediately. We are trying to create a transparent system where our stakeholders are aware of the developments and well-being of each child at Muskurahat in a very measurable way, through data. We are basically trying to convert the intangible into tangible, explains Himanshu.

Another major challenge faced by the NGO is attracting full-time employees. As most people do not see social work as a viable career option, the youth of the country do not look to join full time — even though the social sector is almost at par with other industries in terms of salaries, privileges, and employee policies.

However, Muskurahat hopes to bring about a positive societal change by encouraging more youngsters to adopt this as a career path. If a lot of youngsters start opting for the developmental sector as their career options, the face of the country will change in the next two-three years, says Himanshu.

Razorpay’s ‘trust factor’ contributes to tenfold funding jump

Raising funds from third-party crowdfunding websites not only brought about several technical issues but also lacked in adding trust in Muskurahat Foundation. Donors were always suspicious about where the funds were going.

After doing their due diligence and careful research of the different payment gateway solution providers in India, Muskurahat decided to partner with Razorpay to make donations seamless and easy. This not only removed technical glitches but also helped in building trust with donors, which played a major role in the foundation recording a 900% increase in the donation amount they receive every month. “Our donations skyrocketed because of the trust factor that Razorpay brought in, and that’s why I could shift from a volunteer oriented model to a full-time employee model, as I now had the funds I needed, explains Himanshu.

The partnership allowed Muskurahat to raise cashless funds and made managing their account easier. With an integrated UPI feature, payments were also simpler and quicker, making the whole process seamless for donors. “It has been over two years now and Razorpay has never disappointed us. There have rarely been any technical issues and even if something comes up it’s resolved within an hour, Himanshu says.

Muskurahat Foundation has also immensely benefited from RazorpayX, a platform that supercharges business banking needs. It helps in making automated vendor payments, payout of salaries, and TDS payments through the app. “The perception is that Razorpay is a payment gateway, but it is much more. It is truly a financial partner for your business, adds Himanshu.

Rahul Kothari, Chief Business Officer, Razorpay, adds, “All our customers have been working relentlessly to bring about a significant impact on the lives of the people they work with. At the core of any impact are streamlined financial processes. Hence, ever since our inception we have been focused on enabling and empowering disruptors so that they can exponentially grow their impact on the society. Muskurahat Foundation is one such example. When we onboarded them they had a clear problem of streamlining their donations, and we knew from our experience with other businesses that the only way we could do that is by trust, transparency, and technology. We made sure that through these three levers, every donor with an intention to donate is not left behind due to glitches.”

Future plans

Functioning as an after-school programme across Mumbai and Ranchi, Muskurahat Foundation is trying its best to address the learning gap that currently exists. With a solid long-term goal of starting their own schools, the foundation aims at getting a longer period of time daily with children to speed up their learning process and future-proof the next generation.

Reaching out to even the most remote locations, Muskurahat has been successful in impacting the lives of children from neglected communities. The foundation is parallely working towards realising its long-term dream of opening model schools. Even if one child in the country is not feeling safe and happy, he will not be able to add value to the world when he grows up and I think that will be my failure,says Himanshu.

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