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How GiveIndia selects NGOs

How GiveIndia Certifies NGOs

 Home » About Us » What We Do » How GiveIndia selects NGOs

At GiveIndia, we value the trust and faith donors have placed in us while making a donation. To ensure that we live up to this trust, we have a stringent selection process for the NGOs profiled on our site. The process ensures that their donation reaches the right people and is utilised appropriately.

Objectivity of the selection:

Since the selection process is based on an entirely objective set of criteria, no person can influence the selection. The process is methodical and every organisation has to clear each step to be finally profiled on our site. Organisations that meet all the criteria get listed automatically.

Please note that, unless indicated otherwise, it is mandatory for your organization to fulfil all criteria. If we find, at any time during the listing process, that your organization does not fulfil our criteria we will not be able to list you on our website.

Criteria we use for selection:

General Criteria

You are registered as a Trust/Society/Sec.25 Company

You are registered under Sec.12 A of Income Tax Act
You have filed your returns for the assessment year 2011-12 (Income Tax, FCRA and other statutory)
The address given by your organization is physically verifiable
You have a good internet connection to send files/ images and check mail at least once in two days
A full time staff member of your organization will be the GiveIndia SPOC (Single Point of Contact) and given the responsibility to respond to any GiveIndia queries within 2 working days. This person has to an employee who has been with your organisation for at least one year, and is not a consultant. The staff member need not be dedicated to GiveIndia and can have other duties but for GiveIndia will be the single point of contact.
You are willing to let us interact with other funders directly (we will copy you on all such communication) and also for us to share our verification reports with them directly.

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Criteria on Vision Impact

Your organization has a vision statement articulated beyond the registration document, which drives the organization
Your organization has defined and measurable indicators which will measure its performance against the current financial year that is not yet over.
Indicators and achievements of your organization are verifiable through registers of beneficiaries maintained, especially the ones for which Donation Options are proposed.

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Criteria related to Good Governance

Your organization has a Governing Body, by whatever name called (e.g., Board, Executive Committee, Trustees, Directors), of at least 2 members
Your organization discloses name, age, gender, occupation, and position of all Board Members to us, with right to put up in public domain and share via GuideStar India etc
At least 2/3rd of your organization's Governing Board Members are unrelated by blood or marriage
Not more than half the Governing Board Members of your organization have remunerative roles
If the Chairperson of the Governing Board of your organization is related to any other Board Member then he/she should not be remunerated.
Your Governing Board has at least 2 meetings in a financial year, suitably spaced (at least 3 months apart), with quorum as stipulated in its own articles of Association
Minutes of Governing Board meetings are documented and circulated among Board members
The Governing Board approves and/or reviews programmes, budgets, annual report and audited financial statements with a majority of the members in attendance being unrelated and non-remunerated
The Board ensures the organization’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations

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Criteria related to Operations

Your organisation has been in operation for a minimum of 1 year from date of registration
You are unbiased in carrying out the activities of the organisation. For e.g. beneficiary selection, employee recruitment, etc (except for affirmative action purposes)
You are an implementing agency, i.e., you actually carry out programmes on the ground, and are not only an intermediary or funding agency.
You will pay at least 70% of the value of donations received from GiveIndia, by cheque

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Criteria related to Human Resources

All paid personnel are issued a letter of contract/ appointment
Your organization has an appropriate Personnel Policy in place (applicable for organizations with more than 30 employees)

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Criteria related to Accountability/ Transparent to Internal

& External stakeholders

Your organization has a written Board Policy for Purchase or Sale of Assets / Investments (applicable for organizations with assets/investments greater than Rs. 50 lacs)
"Your Annual Report should be available on request every year, within 8 months of the end of the organization's financial year. The Annual Report should be disseminated/ communicated to all staff, board members and major donors (contributing >5% of annual receipts).

The following six disclosures should form part of the annual report EXCEPT when you allow GiveIndia to put this information in public domain and share the same via GuideStar India:

1. Abridged financials (Balance Sheet, Income & Expenditure, Receipts & Payments Account or Fund Flow Statement)
2. Salary and benefits of its Head, the highest paid staff member and the lowest paid staff member
3. Board members names and position on the board
4. All remuneration and reimbursements to Board members
5. The distribution of staff according to salary levels and gender breakup
6. The total cost of international travel by all its personnel (including volunteers) – segregating those incurred on organizational expense and those that were sponsored, along with the name and designation of the person(s) who travelled, and the purpose(s) of travel"

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Criteria related to Financials

Signed audited statements are available (for at least the latest completed financial year): Balance Sheet/ Income & Expenditure / Receipts & Payments/ Statutory Auditors’ Report/ Schedules (or the Balance Sheet /Income & Expenditure statement should list all Projects and Balances, Incomes from all projects and Expenditure on them)/ Notes on Account specifying how income/ expenditure are recognized
Statement of Accounts should indicate whether they have been constructed on a Cash Basis (account for expenses and income at the time of actual payment and receipt) or Accrual Basis (at the time of earning or incurring)
There are no material transactions involving conflict of interest between a board/ staff member and the organization, unless specifically approved in a Board meeting where the concerned member doesn't vote
You will record donations received and expenses incurred from GiveIndia/Give USA funds separately, either as a separate cost centre or group in electronic form, or by maintaining a separate register for all such donations and expenses in physical form, so as to generate a current "utilisation statement" at short notice)
"You will submit annual Audited Fund Utilization Certificates for funds received in the financial year, through GiveIndia, by Oct 31 of the next financial year certified by your Chartered Accountant. Separate certificates would be required for funds received from GiveIndia and for funds received from Give USA. You need to submit the certificates only if the funds received are 1 lac or more through either GiveIndia or Give USA .
For amounts less than Rs. 1 lac you need to email us unaudited utilization reports. These need not be certified by a Chartered Accountant."

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Criteria related to Donation Options being created for


Every NGO wishing to be listed on the GiveIndia website has to create at least 1 Donation Option. Once approved, they appear on our website for potential donors to view and donate to. You are allowed to put up 3 Donation Options.

A donation option is a specific program or activity directly implemented by you where end beneficiary is - directly or indirectly - a human being. Towards the execution of this program/ activity, your organization must have a funding requirement – defined as the difference between total requirement and sum of all committed designated donations given by any number of donors towards that program/ activity.

Your organisation guarantees that it will not accept duplicate donations from any other donor once the requisite funds have been raised through GiveIndia.

Either your organization or its promoters/directors/staff must have at least 3 years' experience in the domain area of the Donation option.
You are willing to create specific Donation Options and to provide individual feedback to donors (sponsor a child, help build a community centre, etc.)
The Donation Options created by you should be related to components of an ongoing project/activity of the organisation. No beneficiary/cost component for particular beneficiary should also be funded by another donor. In essence, you must ensure there is no double-funding for the same benefit provided.
Donation Options must be in the range of Rs.500 to Rs. 25000 as most of the funds will come from individual donors. Requests for donations below or above this range will not be processed.
End beneficiaries of any Donation Option should be poor human beings. For example you cannot have an option 'Plant 10 trees to help stop global warming'. On the other hand 'Plant 10 fruit trees to provide supplementary nutrition to a poor tribal family' is acceptable.
100% of donations received through GiveIndia have to be assigned to poor beneficiaries. For a better understanding of what constitutes poor beneficiaries, please get in touch with our team
Donation Options can be created only for activities directly implemented by your organization. The basic idea of requiring only implemented Donation Options to be registered on the GiveIndia site, is to ensure that all NGOs benefiting from donations raised through our Tier I fundraising activities have undergone our due diligence, and we are able to assure donors about the same. If a Donation Option of an NGO is something NGO does not implement itself but through other NGOs to whom it gives the money, then the NGO it passes on the money to is not due diligenced by us. We therefore have no way of verifying the costs or checking the financials, etc. of the organisation that is spending the money.

Criteria for Donation Options implemented directly:
1. List only Donation Options that you "implement" yourself, i.e., the expenses incurred on the Donation Option are reflected in your accounts as expenses incurred and not as grants or donations made to other NGOs.
2. If you buy material/services directly and work with another NGO as a partner just to ensure that the material/services are reaching the target audience, it is fine. In such cases, the materials/services expenses will reflect in your books as expenses, thus meeting criterion 1.
3. If you pay school/college or hospital fees as a line item, it is an expense like any other expense (e.g., toothpaste expense, books expense, doctor's fees, etc.).
Your organization cannot be use any donations raised through GiveIndia for Political or Religious activities or programmes
As online donations from GI are not guaranteed, your organization should ensure the activity proposed can proceed in the  absence of the money requested.
You will create at least 1 Donation Option apart from General Fund and /or Corpus Fund Donation Options
For each Donation Option you must seek to raise at least Rs. 1 lac per annum. However the total value across all Donation Options (including the General Fund Donation Option) should be minimum Rs. 3 lacs
You can choose only 1 cause area from the 10 choices we offer for each Donation Option
Cost breakups can be verified in accounts, and are based on a reasonable approximation of the current/previous Financial Year's actuals.
Sundry overheads and feedback costs, not reported as traceable line items, cannot exceed Rs. 100 or 5% of Donation Option value, whichever is lower. Overheads that can be traced in the accounts specifically can be higher- even 15-20% of the Donation Option cost if required, based on what the actual costs are.
Where any line item that has a variability of more than 100% (i.e. where maximum cost is greater than twice the minimum cost) the cost should either be excluded from the Donation Option and treated as a separate entity or the minimum costs put. Averages based on previous year can be used if variability is lower than 50%, else the minimum will be used
The upper limit for 'cash transactions without bills' for any donation option is Rs.300 or 10% of the total Donation Option cost, whichever is lower. Any cash paid to beneficiaries/spent by NGO above this amount must be accounted for by supporting bills, which the NGO should produce if required.
Monitoring/follow through mechanism is in place to ensure that the benefit is being fully utilized.
Your organization undertakes to notify GiveIndia within 7 days if there is any change in ability to use donations for the purpose specified - either the organization's need changes in terms of amount (especially if it decreases) or there is a change in project/ activity requiring the Donation Option be deactivated

Fund Donation Options (FDO) can be created for programs being operated by NGOs wherein the service/ benefit being provided can be used for multiple beneficiaries and/or at varying levels. In short, Fund donation Options can be created for non-standard services provided by the NGO. For example, in hospitals, patients require medication to different levels depending on the intensity of the infection.
NGO must be able to utilize even one unit of donation within 3 months
The term 'Fund' to be used in Donation Option name

FDOs can only be created if the NGO
1. is not solely involved in incremental/ distributional activities. For example, an NGO which only lists DOs like education supplies/ groceries distribution to children/ elderly respectively will not be allowed to create FDO.
2. has a minimum of one RDO
3. agrees to create and maintain FDOs as a separate ledger/cost center in Tally. All donations (from GI or elsewhere) should be made as inflow into this ledger and all expenses should be marked against this ledger so as to ensure traceability.
If there is more than one FDO, then a minimum of one should be such that the end beneficiaries are people.

General & Corpus Fund Donation Options: These Donation Options are provided to you free of cost along with your listing with GiveIndia. You do not need to provide a feedback report with every donation, as we will send out these templates to the donors when they make a donation.

You are encouraged to create a General Fund option apart from regular donation options. General Fund is not earmarked money. This is a reimbursement of expenses incurred from your own resources that no donor is covering (for example overheads/ admin costs) You may choose how you spend from this Fund. The unit cost of this is fixed at Rs.250. We will provide a standard template to fill. You are not required to provide feedback for this option.

General Fund Criteria:
1.   100% funds received through the General Fund DO should be used for relief of poor
2.   The NGO must also specify an amount (as a multiple of Rs. 250 only) they have already spent in the current financial year or Quarter 4 of the previous financial year for which they would like to be reimbursed and is not covered by any other funding support. The amount and the reimbursement purpose should be filled out in the template.
3.   Once this amount is reached, this DO will be disabled. The DO can then be enabled by submitting a fresh feedback report with new details of utilization for which reimbursement is required.
4.   Please note that the feedback report MUST cater to money spent in the current financial year or Q4 of the previous financial year.

Corpus Fund Criteria:
1.   100% funds received through the Corpus Fund Donation Option should be used for relief of poor
2.   The NGO should have created a Corpus Fund with Board approval.
3.   Any NGO with an active 35AC Corpus Fund Donation Option can also fill the same template and email it to us to upload as by definition 35AC is granted to projects, which work for relief of the poor.
Donation Utilization:
• Should not be dependent on external factors such as availability of beneficiaries
• Should not require a minimum number of donations as a precondition.
• For donation options that are one time activity, the NGO can utilize the donation only after the date on which the donation is made. However the donation can be used before date of disbursement (the day you receive the money from GiveIndia).

1. Donate a hearing aid to an impaired person (1 day)
If Date of donation: 14/04/2010 & Date of disbursement: 10/05/2010,
The date of utilization must be after 14/04/2010 (it can be before or after 10/05/2010).

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Criteria related to Feedback Reports:

You have to provide a one time feedback report to the donor for every donation received
The feedback report must contain all details you have committed to report on at the time of creating the Donation Option
The items/services that you have committed to provide to the beneficiary must be actually provided and accounted for in the feedback report
You will provided full postal addresses for all beneficiaries, except in residential care programmes of at least 6 months' duration (where full address and phone number of the care centre is to be provided).

1. RURAL LOCATION- compulsory to give full name, father/husband's name, village name, revenue village name, Panchayat, PO name, Taluka, district, pin code,. If Village population is >200 families, street name/landmark (which should be within 0.5km of the home). Own or c/o mobile number should be provided for at least 50% of the beneficiaries.

2. URBAN LOCATIONS - full name, house number and tenement/chawl name, street, locality, landmark (within 0.5km), city, pin code, are all mandatory. Own or c/o mobile number should be provided for at least 50% of the beneficiaries.

For "Group" Donation Option like Self Help Groups, class of children, etc. if the number of beneficiaries >5, give contact information for any 5 beneficiaries, but names of all the beneficiaries should be given.
You will prepare and send timely feedback reports within 3 months of being notified of donations
NGOs defaulting thrice on overdue reports will be delisted for a period of 3 years from GiveIndia site
You will maintain & make available, for inspection (or scanned & mailed on request), a register of benefits given for GiveIndia donations (with signature/thumb impression of beneficiary) - for all material benefits (clothes, books, provisions, etc.).
Fund Donation options: The feedback details should include the following where:
   • End beneficiary is human
     • There should be a minimum of one FDO where end beneficiary details have to be shared
     • If benefit is provided to more than five beneficiaries, a minimum of five beneficiaries details to be provided in the feedback report.
     • For less than five beneficiaries, all beneficiary details to be provided    • The feedback details must include: Names or number of patients, benefit provided to each, period of utilization       (typically 3 months / date), and address of hospital/institution / individuals. Bills for the expenses must be available with NGO for scrutiny.
     • Photos are optional.

  • End benefit is Consumables
     • List of items purchased, quantity and amount, date of purchase, address of location where the items are utilized, names and/or number of persons benefitted, period of utilization, Photos       remain optional. Bills for the purchases must be available with NGO for scrutiny."

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Criteria related to Renewal

NGOs must raise a minimum of Rs. 2 Lakhs through GI using one or more of its fund raising tools namely DOs, iGive, Projects and any other mechanism that may be introduced in the future.
For every additional DO that an NGO wants to list with GiveIndia, it will have to raise Rs. 50,000 more. This applies to existing as well as New NGOs. DO for a new programme can be added only after a visit to the NGO is completed. The visit costs will be reimbursed by the NGO as per above detailed procedure.
The period of review to be followed is October to September. At the end of March, a semi-annual review will be conducted on status of funds raised and appropriate communication will be sent to the NGO. For an NGO listed between Apr-Sep, the requirement will be half of that given above.
If an NGO is unable
  a. To raise the minimum threshold level of Rs. 2 Lakhs, they will not be allowed to participate in the next renewal cycle. They can apply for listing in the following cycle. For example, if NGO A is unable to raise Rs. 2 Lakhs for the period Oct 2012 to Sep 2013, they will not be allowed to participate in the renewals for Oct 2013. They will be allowed to apply to GI for listing in 2014.

  b. If the NGO is able to raise the minimum amount of Rs. 2 Lakhs but unable to raise additional monies towards extra DOs (excluding MDOs) added, then a proportionate number of DOs of the NGO's choice will be dropped during the next renewal cycle. The NGO will not be allowed to add another DO during the next renewal cycle. For example, if an NGO has listed 5 DOs, they will be required to raise Rs. 3 Lakhs during the review period. If at the end of Sep they have raised only Rs. 2.6 Lakhs, then they would be required to drop one DO. Further, they will not be allowed to add another DO for a one year period.

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