COVID-19 saw a dramatic worsening of India’s health and hunger situation, exposing the fragility of the country’s health infrastructure, food security and livelihood systems. So the revelations of GiveIndia’s annual Giving Survey came as no surprise – with the majority (67%) seeing developing treatment for a disease, tackling hunger, and providing access to nutritious food and essential health services as priority areas that India should concentrate on in the post-pandemic scenario.
Almost in recognition of the valuable work done by nonprofits during the pandemic, over 85% of those surveyed say that solutions to the problems of health and hunger can be found through philanthropy.
Conducted in December, close to 500 individuals from across the country took part in the GiveIndia Giving Survey with almost equal participation from men and women (49% male and 51% female) between the ages of 21-60 years.
Increase in charitable giving
Ordinary Indians are willing to contribute to philanthropic efforts. For instance, despite a sputtering economy and lower or stagnant earnings for the last two years, the survey reveals that almost 90% of the respondents want to donate more to charitable causes. This is up from the 2020 survey when 85% of the Indians said they would like to increase their giving.
During the second wave of 2021, many parts of India – particularly Covid hotspots – suffered from health emergencies, with hospital beds, medical oxygen and other vital supplies running short. There was a humanitarian crisis too, with thousands losing their means of livelihood.
Preference for donating online
India’s health and hunger crisis clearly influenced ordinary Indians to loosen their purse strings. Take the example of GiveIndia’s India Covid Response Fund-2 (ICRF-2) that was launched in April 2021. The Fund saw over 500,000 individuals donating on the online crowdfunding platform for health and humanitarian interventions.
With a large section of India’s population having access to the internet, it doesn’t come as a surprise when 67% of respondents say that they prefer donating online for various causes. India currently has over 600 million active internet users and this number is likely to touch 900 million by 2025. The number of donors is expected to go only higher in the coming years.
Greater social responsibility
It was not just ordinary Indians that stepped up during the pandemic; even the Indian corporate sector contributed through direct charity work or through nonprofit institutions like GiveIndia to bring relief to the needy. The survey reveals that India appreciates those companies that think beyond profits and themselves and benefit people and society at large.
For instance, 61% of respondents say that they would like to be associated with companies that embrace CSR (corporate social responsibility) work and 55% say that they would like purchasing products or services from companies that do meaningful work.
NGO transparency is valued
The nonprofit sector in India is often accused of not being transparent when it comes to sharing data on donations and work on the ground. But transparent nonprofits are likely to benefit more as the appetite to donate grows.
According to the survey, respondents say that they keep a close track of the nonprofits they donate to by reading newsletters, beneficiary testimonials and annual reports of the NGOs. They also talk to their friends or advisers about nonprofits. Another source of information is the NGO’s website and social media channels.
While most people feel that philanthropy could solve problems related to health and hunger, they also want closer coordination among all stakeholders. Most respondents (46%) said that public-private partnerships or partnerships between individuals, charities, businesses and government were the ways forward. The least number of respondents had felt that businesses of governments alone could solve endemic social issues.
Established in 2000, GiveIndia is the largest and most trusted giving platform in India today. Our community of 2M+ donors and 250+ corporate partners and brands have supported 2,200+ nonprofits, impacting 15M+ lives across India.
Kumara has been a professional journalist for over 15 years with stints in The Telegraph and Reader’s Digest. He grew up hating maths and physics. He is a post-graduate in history. Kumara believes that cricket and Seinfeld have answers to most questions that life throws at you.