Tag - ngos

Crowdfunding: An aberration in the landscape of fundraising for charitable causes?

At a time when India is making rapid strides to the moon and having other technological advancements, a fraction of the society is still underprivileged. While many a times, we see the government support them, it’s majorly the philanthropic institutions and charities that are trying to help the cause.

Did you know, in our country, there exist approximately 32 lakh NGOs striving to make our society a better living place for the less privileged? Since most of these non-profits exist in the remote areas of our country, their effort goes in vain. So, how can we get them in picture?

To make it a smoother ride for such non-profits, crowdsourcing, one of the oldest process of soliciting contributions from a large group of people from an online community, proves to be a boon. Of all the innovative advances in the online methods of raising funds, the most remarkable has to be the upsurge of online fundraising websites including India’s largest fundraising platform – Ketto.

Check out how charities can support their mission on Ketto – quickly and efficiently!

Ketto multiplies force

Crowd funding on Ketto multiplies the effort to help the needy by gathering a large number of people from varying sectors of society. One person cannot be the change. We, as human beings, need to have complete unanimity in order to bring a revolution. The largest fundraising platform in India does exactly that!

‘Cause crowdfunding on Ketto is cool, fast and efficient

With times changing, outlooks too have undergone a paradigm shift. Processes are no different. Today, when the youth is driven by  the fast and cool lifestyle, the concept of obtaining monetary support online for a cause has hit a home run. It is one of the coolest, and not to mention, the fastest way to gather funds for a cause.

While some organizations and people prefer doing it through live crowdfunding shows, Ketto provides you an online platform to reach a larger number of masses in seconds. Undoubtedly, making it the most resourceful manner of raising funds online.

Charitable causes demand attention

Look at it this way. While crowdfunding is not a cent percent success all the time, it does accomplish a major purpose of educating the masses about the nation’s social issues.

Even if a person doesn’t donate, a little bit of chatter around the subject is most likely to result into a greater support for a cause from his/her friends, family and the extended chain.

Wait no more, start a campaign!

Charities have been constantly working day-in and day-out to solve various problems pertaining in our society. We have an endless list of concerns to look after. It’s time you take the initiative.

Crowdfunding education on Ketto: An online revolution lifting burden from NGOs and individuals

Ever thought how different life would have been, had your parents not sent you to a school? We are definitely fortunate enough to have had a stable educational journey. But, not everyone is as lucky as the educated minority–as us! You wish life was that easy on those underprivileged, who are gifted with the same amount of brains, but are never pushed across the boundary, due to lack of funds.

That has spurred several charities and NGOs to take a notice of our youth’s living rawness. Though the landscape seems to be changing, but at a snail’s pace, you would agree. We need more, much more. Perhaps raising money from a large number of people usually in small increments, via the Internet might help?

Crowdfunding essentially. Just imagine the magnitude of impact it can possibly create if our population of 1.5 billion decide to come along to increase the literacy rate? (That massive number… Woah!)

Crowdfunding is for anyone and everyone

In this materialistic world, dreams are expensive. Especially the ones that involve education. Gone are those days when crowdfunding used to be an alien concept: to learn as well as to execute. With the advent of internet, it’s become much easier. Almost anyone and everyone can start a campaign on our website to raise funds in support of the marginalised of the society as well as for themselves.

We have already talked how crowdfunding – the new kid on the block is proving to be an effective tool. Remember Shweta Katti’s story? (A girl, born and raised in the red light area of Mumbai, was sent to the USA by raising funds for her education on our platform). There are more of such examples that have changed lives. Let it be your turn to start a campaign next.

How does Ketto help in the execution of the cool concept of crowdfunding?

Whether you are an NGO supporting education as your cause, or a student who needs funds to pay that pesky tuition fee, Ketto is the platform for what you’re looking for to fund everything from paper and crayons to tomorrow’s next big discovery.

When we say, crowdfunding is an easy and productive method to raise funds from a large number of mass, we mean it.

You ask, how? We give you the answer:

  • Crowdfunding helps you pay in-full for education by spreading the costs among numerous contributors all over the world (less stress)
  • Instead of graduating with thousands and lakhs of rupees of student debt, students can choose to use Ketto to fund college and graduate school. It completely slashes out bank loan as an option (relief, right?!)
  • It doesn’t cost a penny on Ketto, you can simply start your campaign by signing up on our website
  • It’s as easy as Facebook, no kidding! (If you still find it difficult, Team Ketto is there to help, don’t worry!)

India, as a developing country has seen movements like Teach for India taking our country by a storm in recent times. Just like TFI, there exists a massive number of NGOs which are striving hard to make a visible difference in the life of children living in rural areas.

Education is deemed to be the primary concern for our nation. As they say: Padhega India to Badhega India (Education is the key to India’s success). It’s time to cheer up, buck up and fire up your dream to go abroad for higher education, or give the underprivileged their right to education. It’s time you grab your key to tomorrow on Ketto.

Why NGOs Need Online Fundraising

NGOs need online fundraising

Online fundraising is the new kid on the block but is already proving to be a winning choice for NGOs.

In a country like ours, it is commendable that we have approximately 32 lakh non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working towards the betterment of the nation. This means that there are a significant number of Indian citizens who were spurred enough by our nation’s social and political issues to form an association that works doggedly towards resolving them.

It is unsurprising that a majority of these NGOs – approximately 59% – are located in rural areas, working towards providing the very basic fundamentals necessary for life (running water, electricity, sanitation etc.). Of course, these are not the only issues rural NGOs deal with. Issues related to women, children, education, health, the disabled, elderly, housing etc. are also focused on.

According to a survey conducted in 2012, 41% of NGOs in India work in social services towards children, women, the disabled, the elderly and others, 19% work in education and research, 5% in development and housing, 2% in health, 1% in the field of environment protection and so on.

Of course, one NGO may have more than one area of focus. Such as Smile Foundation, an NGO that works for education, healthcare and livelihood preparedness for women and children. Or the NGO Care India, whose area of focus is disaster preparedness and relief in addition to and in relation with issues faced by women and children.

Even with the effort our NGOs put into raising awareness and funds for several causes, it is an unfortunate truth that they are only able to raise Rs 41.5 crores, of which a sizeable portion gets whittled away in salaries, rent and various other operational expenses. Nearly 54% of the total funds raised are sourced from grants, while a mere 16.4% comes from donations.

To raise a significantly higher amount of funds, the traditional method of offline fundraising needs to be supplemented with online fundraising. The internet is a powerful beast and can be tamed to suit our requirements.

In fact, the most fundamental advice given to NGOs is related to creating a strong online presence. Smaller NGOs are often advised to follow the basic tenets of success – to ensure that their website is mobile-optimised, that they begin sending out periodic e-newsletters, that they begin to accept donations online, that they create a Facebook page for their NGO and that they observe the online fundraising methods and social media campaigns of larger, established NGOs.

This is because online fundraising may be young, but it is growing exponentially each year. Yes, offline fundraising does provide a substantial 90% to online fundraising’s 10%. But the latter has grown leaps and bounds in its few years of existence and continues to do so.

The online realm offers some distinct advantages over the traditional offline methods of fundraising. Online fundraising gives NGOs the promise of longevity in terms of donors. It makes sourcing newer donors and sustaining their support easier for NGOs.

With the 2012 Bain study showing that the younger demographic (under 30) has a strong inclination to give back to their community and tends to make a large first donation online, with a sustained habit of giving, online fundraising is the cool kid on the block that’s quickly beginning to rule the fundraising roost. It is a fact that online donors give more and continue to give over a longer period of time as compared to offline donors. Our advice to NGOs large and small – if you haven’t dug into the online fundraising pie yet, help yourself today! You are guaranteed some sweet, sweet fundraising dessert.

The Baked Good (The Bake Collective interview)

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Who knew desserts and social causes could blend so delectably?!

The Ketto team has the deepest respect for red velvet brownies. We also have a high regard for strawberry cheesecake. And chocolate truffles…they do such a lot of good for society. And we don’t just mean how yummy they are for the tummy! What on earth are we talking about? Meet The Bake Collective, a bunch of bakers and volunteers with delicious magic in their hands and goodness in their souls.

We caught up with co-founders Charlene Vaz and Kavita Gonsalves and got to know more about The Bake Collective’s mouth-watering bake sales for social causes, the NGOs they’ve raised funds for and how their campaign for Light of Life Trust came about on Ketto.

Tell us more about the people behind The Bake Collective.

We are an informal network of bakers and volunteers who crowdfund for social causes. The Bake Collective was co-founded by Charlene Vaz and Kavita Gonsalves.

Kavita is a sustainability consultant who works with a number of NGOs and is a part-time lecturer teaching Sustainable Design. Charlene works as a Strategic Global Account Manager at Dimension Data and also moonlights as a Chocolatier and founder of ‘Charlene and Chocolate factory’.

Our team of bakers and volunteers form the backbone of The Bake Collective.  And our well-wishers in India and abroad bolster us further.

Where do you operate from? Any plans to expand further?

The Bake Collective spreads the delicious word about upcoming bake sales and gathers volunteers via social media primarily. In addition, we use our personal and extended networks to connect with the world and crowdfund for our social causes. We don’t limit the work to our cities – Mumbai and Bangalore. For example, a friend in Australia held a bake sale in her neighborhood to support one of our campaigns.

In 2013, The Bake Collective’s Bangalore chapter was set-up. We completely encourage people to start a The Bake Collective chapter in their own cities and towns to work for causes close to their heart.

How did you come upon combining baking and social causes?

It all began as a Facebook chat with a friend who works in the social development sector. We had a brainwave about a bake sale to raise money for one of their causes. It made complete sense to us. We both loved to bake and wanted an excuse to do so. So why not do it for a good cause? That’s how The Bake Collective was born in 2012.

It started as a one-time event that did so well that soon after, we had NGOs and non-profits, in the start-up phase, asking us to help them with their work. We also had many local and home bakers and volunteers asking us when the next event was. Thanks to that demand, we are now two years in the running and organise bake sales every 2-3 months for charitable causes.

The Bake Collective recognises the privilege of being able to help others through compassionate baking, making a difference to someone’s life, someone less fortunate than us.

Any mouth-watering goodies we should know about?! What are the most popular ones?

There are many favourites – red-velvet brownie, meringue, upside-down pineapple cake, cheese cookies, beautifully decorated fondant cupcakes, cowboy cookies, chocolate truffle, snicker doodles, good ol’ sponge and  coconut cake, strawberry cheesecake, fruit crumbles…the list goes on! We’ve also got eggless, butterless, sugarless and vegan options, and offer savory snacks as well.

TBC’s supported several NGOs. Please tell us how you began working with each of them and what the experience was like.

The Bake Collective supports NGOs that are in the start-up phase, typically in their second year of running. We have fundraised for Milaap, Urmi Foundation, World For All, Make A Difference, Mimaansa, Light of Life Trust and Voice of Stray Dogs.

By doing this, TBC has supported shelter homes, orphanages, helped purchase teaching material, furniture, books, etc. for rural schools, toys for children with disabilities, imparted vocational training for candidates from rural areas, funded small-town women entrepreneurs (skilled artisans), helped build water-purification systems, toilets, water connections and solar-lighting systems for rural homes, arranged transport for sending disabled children to school, been involved in the welfare of street animals… this list goes on too!

How did the collaboration with Light of Life Trust come about?

Light of Life Trust heard about the work of The Bake Collective and approached us to support their Anando project which supports teaching materials in rural schools.

How did you come across Ketto?

Kavita, the co-founder of TBC, happened to meet Varun, the founder of Ketto, at one of Ketto’s fundraisers for Shweta Katti, the first girl from Mumbai’s red-light area who got to go to a US university. This led to a collaboration between Light of Life Trust and Ketto.

What are you planning for TBC in the future?

TBC will continue to work with local and start-up NGOs.  In the process, we hope to encourage other individuals and have them organise their own bake sales in their communities, whether at the workplace or at a garage sale.

We also hope to connect with commercial establishments like cafes, restaurants and corporations by having TBC bake sales, vouchers, contributing baked goods to our causes or having a non-day event where a portion of a food bill is contributed towards a social cause. We want people to contribute in the best way they know how, and in the process, build a more compassionate and fairer world.

If you would like to volunteer with TBC or even fundraise for your cause, get in touch via email at thebakecollective@gmail.com or drop them a message on their FB page 

Visit or support the scrumptious TBC campaign on Ketto here!

Varun Sheth: Financier, Entrepreneur, Giver

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With a strict, no-nonsense attitude towards making charity simple, Ketto’s Founder and CEO Varun Sheth wanted to cut the drama around charity and giving, to make it fun and accessible to the young, progressive population of India. After graduating from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce & Economics in Bombay and working at leading financial institutions like ICAP and SCPL, it’s not surprising that the idea for starting Ketto came to Varun at a TED conference. A strong background in finance, a passion for crowdfunding and the drive to create something revolutionary led Varun to quit his job and begin laying the foundation of Ketto.

After months of research, Ketto was founded on August 15, 2012 and in a short span of time, has created an admirable niche for itself, helping empower the youth of this country to  effect social change.

Here is Varun’s take on the evolving landscape of crowdfunding in India, the importance of digital media and his vision for Ketto.

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How did the idea behind starting Ketto come to you?
The social has always been of interest to me and being a seasoned finance professional, the thought always was how I could marry those two concepts. That’s when the idea of using the internet as a platform to raise funds for
social causes came by. The thought came across while I was attending a TED conference.

What was your vision for Ketto then and what is it today?
The vision has not changed much. The thought was pretty simple: to get the online youth of today to give back but do it in a fun way. The idea was to make giving cool, simple, reliable and easy.

How has the crowdfunding landscape changed in India?
Crowdfunding as a term is fairly new to India but the concept has been widely used all over India since centuries in local communities to build temples, schools and hospitals . Over 30 years back in 1976, Shyam Benegal collected Rs 2 lakh from 500,000 farmers to fund Amul’s ad film Manthan. It’s only now has the industry is seen getting relevance as it has become more organized and the internet has allowed it to become more and more global.

What role has Ketto played in changing the dynamics of philanthropy in India?
Ketto has created a unique bridge between the 100 million young Indian professionals who are online and internet savy and the 300 million people in India who don’t have access to basic social services such as education, healthcare, sanitation by using the access of NGO networks and providing these NGOs the necessary funds.

Can you highlight Ketto’s achievements in the past one year.
Raising funds to send luge athlete Shiva Keshavan to the winter Olympics in Sochi this year and sending Shweta Katti, the daughter of a sex worker in Mumbai, to the US for her undergraduation and many more.

How do you leverage your background in finance for Ketto?
It helps creating the right pitches and campaigns, and understanding the customers better on their expectations and how to best manage them. My finance background also helps me in speaking to corporate donors and
creating partnerships with them.

 

18 Months On: The Journey’s Just Begun

What started as a tiny idea at a TED conference has grown to become a revolutionary engine in two phenomenal years. Varun Sheth launched Ketto on August 15, 2012 and the crowdfunding engine has since become a vehicle of change for many Indians.

Simply speaking, crowdfunding is the practice of raising small sums of money from people online to fund a cause or an activity. While crowdfunding is an incredibly popular method of fundraising in the west, the concept is still new in India. We hope to educate and empower Indians to change the lives of millions in this fun and easy manner.

At the same time that Varun had his eureka moment with Ketto, actor and humanitarian Kunal Kapoor was looking for a way to make charity cool and accessible. They joined hands and positioned Ketto as the platform where those in need of funds could directly benefit from those inspired to donate.

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Over these past two years, Ketto has brought together individuals, companies and non-governmental organizations to create a bridge through crowdfunding, connecting over 100 million young internet-savvy Indian professionals with more than 300 million people in India who don’t have access to basic social services such as education, health care and sanitation.

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Although global crowdfunding reached $2.7 billion dollars in 2012, funds raised in Asia were only $33 million, a figure that founders Kunal, Varun and Zaheer believe is a mere drop in the ocean. There is so much more that India needs and that Indians can do.

With the belief that these numbers can multiply exponentially given the population and the number of people who want to effect social change, Ketto is working tirelessly with NGOs, corporations and individuals to ensure that more children go to school, more people have access to better sanitation and medical services and that more Indians get to represent our country internationally, among various other compelling causes.

Any person who wishes to donate can simply browse through over 100 causes listed on Ketto’s website and with the click of a button and as little as Rs 100, can help change a person’s life. If you are a NGO or a person looking to raise funds, all you need to do is upload information for your cause, set a goal and watch as your cause transforms into an online revolution.

With Varun’s expertise in finance and passion to work in the social landscape, Kunal’s popularity and goodwill, Ketto aims to set the wheels of social change in motion with one click of a button.

At Ketto we empower others to give back to society, in part by educating the burgeoning online population of India about the potential, reach and impact of crowdfunding, which we will do both on this blog and off. It was this same digitally-savvy and charitably-minded population that helped us send Shweta Katti, a young women who grew up in a red light area of Mumbai, to study at

Bard college in New York, as well as to send Indian luge athlete Shiva Keshevan to Sochi to represent the nation at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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While there is a lot more that we are planning to achieve through the powerful tool that our crowdfunding website is, publications like Entrepreneur and

YourStory have already begun spotlighting our work as innovative, inspiring and indicative of the Indian desire to give back. We look forward to sharing more of this coverage with you as we continue on our journey.

The stories on our blog will help bring our campaigns to life, highlight the emerging role of crowdfunding in the evolving social landscape of India, illuminate the great work of non-governmental organizations in India and abroad, discuss microphilanthropy and talk about social entrepreneurship, among many other things.

We would love to hear your ideas, comments and feedback on microphilathropy and crowdfunding. If you wish to start a fundraiser or believe that Ketto’s services can be leveraged to help an NGO or individual, please write to us
on info@ketto.org or reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s been an incredible two years for Ketto and the journey has just begun, we hope that you’ll join hands with us for a better and brighter future for India.