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CSR Donors for Indian NGOs + A Guide on How to Mobilize Funds through them

It’s no longer enough for businesses to simply buy and sell their products and services to their customers. Nowadays, corporates voluntarily involve in initiatives to improve the living standards of the local and global communities through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

CSR is a crucial component of a company’s competitiveness that encourages a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere.

It has now reached to a new hallmark of Corporate responsiveness to social issues and encourage demand for sustainability to advance towards a new era of collective future action for factoring the sustainable business strategy for good governance and development of the society.

With the boom in CSR funding, this mandate has thus opened the doors for Indian NGOs, and has provided a huge opportunity to be tapped. For NGOs, corporate are not only a source of consistent funding but also access to strategic resources.

In India, there are several top-notch corporates that are supporting NGOs through their CSR funding and thus marking their contribution in the development of the society. Therefore, seeing the importance of CSR funding for NGOs, we have made a list of CSR donors that provide funding to Indian NGOs and how to mobilize funds through them.

Ambuja Cement Foundation

Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) aims to ‘Energise, Involve and Enable Communities to realize their Potential’ through its initiatives. The foundation undertakes projects and schemes to promote the social and economic development of communities in and around the manufacturing locations of Ambuja Cement.

These development initiatives address the needs of the people by working with the beneficiaries, NGOs and the government.

Focus Areas

  • Water resource management,
  • Agro-based livelihood,
  • Health care,
  • Education,
  • Women’s empowerment,
  • Infrastructure,
  • Disaster relief,
  • Energy conservation and
  • Wildlife protection.

Infosys Ltd.

Infosys Limited (‘Infosys’ or `the Company’) focus has always been to contribute to the sustainable development of the society and environment, and to make our planet a better place for future generations.

Infosys Foundation works towards removing malnutrition, improving healthcare infrastructure, supporting primary education, rehabilitating abandoned women and children, and preserving Indian art and culture. Infosys Foundation partners with non-government organizations (NG0s) to make a difference among local communities.

Focus Areas

  • Hunger, Poverty, Malnutrition And Health
  • Education
  • Rural Development Projects
  • Gender Equality And Empowerment Of Women
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • National Heritage, Art And Culture

Tata Steel Ltd.

At Tata Steel, their community-centric initiatives emphasise the spread of quality education, healthcare and sustainable livelihood opportunities in all their locations where they operate operational locations globally.

In line with their Founder’s philosophy of business enterprises being the drivers of social upliftment, all Tata Steel Group companies embody social responsibility in their vision.

They empower communities through agriculture development and market linkages, skill development of youth, promoting entrepreneurship and preservation of ethnicity and culture of indigenous communities.

State Bank of India

Corporate Social Responsibility aims to integrate economic, environmental and social objectives with organization’s operations and growth. It is a social investment to help sustainability of society. Corporate Social Responsibility is not merely compliance: it is a commitment to support initiatives that measurably improve the lives of underprivileged by addressing their needs.

The Bank’s objective in CSR is to engage in activities which benefit the under-privileged and less fortunate sections of society.

Focus Areas

  • Skill development,
  • Education,
  • Health,
  • Environment protection,
  • Disaster relief,
  • Cleanliness and
  • Other social obligations.

Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd

Coca-Cola India Private Limited (hereinafter referred to as “the Company”), recognizes the impact it has on communities in which it operates and believes that it has a tremendous opportunity to change the lives of these communities and aims to be a trusted partner contributing to the social, economic and environmental progress of India.

As a responsible corporate citizen, the Company is committed to sustainable development and inclusive growth and has been focusing on issues relating to water, environment, healthy living, music, grass roots education, social advancement and promoting gender equality and empowerment of women over the past several years.

Focus Areas

  • Eradicating hunger, poverty and mal-nutrition
  • Promoting education
  • Promoting gender equality
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability
  • Protection of national heritage, art and culture
  • Measures for the benefit of armed forces veterans, war widows and their dependents
  • Training to promote rural sports, nationally recognized sports, Paralympic sports and Olympic sports
  • Contribution to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government for socio-economic development and relief and welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Schedule Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women
  • Contributions or funds provided to technology incubators located within academic institutions which are approved by the Central Government
  • Rural development projects
  • Slum area development

HCL Technologies Ltd.

HCL Technologies Ltd. commitments to make a positive difference to the environment or the underprivileged is not about a one off initiative but is a sustained effort to make a visible change to people’s lives.

The objective of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy (“Policy”) of HCL Technologies Limited (“HCLT” or “Company”) is to lay down guidelines for proper execution of CSR activities of the Company so as to support the sustainable development of the society.

Focus Areas

  • Eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition
  • Promoting education
  • Promoting gender equality
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability
  • Protection of national heritage, art and culture
  • Measures for the benefit of armed forces veterans, war widows and their dependents;
  • Training to promote rural sports, nationally recognized sports, Paralympics’ sports and Olympic sports; and
  • Rural development projects

Reliance Industries Ltd.

Reliance Industries Ltd. aims to continue its efforts to build on its tradition of social responsibility to empower people and deepen its social engagements.

At RIL, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is embedded in the long term business strategy of the Company. For RIL, business priorities co-exist with social commitments to drive holistic development of people and communities. The Company’s CSR initiatives help elevate the quality of life of millions, especially the disadvantaged sections of the society.

The Company has been involved in various social responsibility initiatives over the decades. In 2010, these activities were brought under the Reliance Foundation (The Foundation), the umbrella organisation for the Company’s social sector initiatives. Through these initiatives, the Company engages with communities to ensure their well-being by enhancing access to quality education and healthcare, capacity building for employment generation, access to good infrastructure and ecological conservation.

Focus Areas

  • Rural Transformation
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Protection of National Heritage, Art and Culture
  • Disaster Response

Bajaj Auto Ltd.

Bajaj Group believes that the true and full measure of growth, success and progress lies beyond balance sheets or conventional economic indices. It is best reflected in the difference that business and industry make to the lives of people.

Through its social investments, Bajaj Group addresses the needs of communities residing in the vicinity of its facilities, taking sustainable initiatives in the areas of health, education, environment conservation, infrastructure and community development, and response to natural calamities.

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities of Bajaj Group are guided by the vision and philosophy of its Founder, late Shri Jamnalal Bajaj, who embodied the concept of Trusteeship in business and common good, and laid the foundation for ethical, value-based and transparent functioning.

Focus Areas

  • Education
  • Environment & Natural Resources
  • Health
  • Women’s Empowerment & Self Reliance
  • Supporting Armed Forces & Veterans
  • Rural Development & Other Projects

Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company with a heritage of over 80 years in India. It is committed to operate and grow its business in a socially responsible way.

HUL’s vision is to grow their business, while decoupling our environmental footprint from our growth and increasing our positive social impact.

Their aim is to achieve responsible growth and they will inspire to bring this to life by encouraging people to take small everyday actions that will add up to make a big difference.

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) has three global goals namely help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and wellbeing, reduce the environmental footprint of their products and enhance the livelihoods of people as they grow their business.

YES Bank Ltd.

YES BANK, through its Responsible Banking ethos aims to enhance value creation and is committed towards playing a larger role in India’s sustainable development by embedding wider economic, social and environmental objectives.

The mission is to link CSR and sustainable development with stakeholder value creation through innovative solutions and services & Weave sustainability principles into YES BANK’s core business strategy and processes.

Focus Areas

  • Livelihood security and enhancement
    • Education
    • Skills/ Employability training
  • Healthcare and Social welfare
  • Environment Sustainability
  • Arts/Sports and culture

How Indian NGOs can mobilize funds through CSR: A guide

Here is a step-by-step guide for NGOs on how they may mobilize CSR funds:

  1. Understand the Clause 135 of Companies Act 2013:
    In India, clause 135 of Companies Act of 2013 governs the CSR, and was passed on 29th of August 2013. NGOs need to understand the applicability of the clause on companies, its details, permitted themes for intervention, etc. To give a snapshot, the CSR provisions in the act apply for companies with an annual turnover of 1000 crores INR or more, and with more than 5 crores INR as net profit for a year. The act mandates spending of at least 2% of the average net profit in three consecutive years on CSR activities. The themes are also well-defined, along with what will be and what will not be considered expense on CSR. NGOs may ask a legal consultant to understand the act better.
  2. Statutory requirements for NGOs:
    Most of the corporate donors donate only to those NGOs which have certificates like 80G registration (Provides 50% Income Tax exemption to the donor), 12A registration (Tax-free income for NGO), apart from NGO Registration certificate. It is in best interest of the NGO to get these registrations done to increase the chances of receiving funds. Foreign companies may donate funds only if the NGO has an FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) registration. Ensure that your NGO has all the documentation in place, and do not forget to renew these every year.
  3. Map and understand the corporate donors in your area:
    Map the existing companies in your area. Start by understanding their profile, preferences and policies. Try to find out whether they are already undertaking some activities under CSR. And finally, fix a meeting with the CSR team or HR.