TWENTY-ONE years of existence is an important birthday milestone, marking the transition into adulthood. For us at GiveIndia, the last year has been one of growing up real fast in the face of the pandemic – and what that has meant for us as an organisation. But yes, earlier this year, we had started planning how to mark it, celebrate it and thank all our loyal supporters.

But all of that took a backseat earlier this month when the looming crisis of the deadly second wave of Coronavirus started becoming clear.  Last year, around the same time we realised that as a fundraising organisation, whose vision is to alleviate poverty, the way we responded to this health and economic emergency could become our defining moment.

And it did. Then we were a team of 51, all working from home in different cities. And up until October 2020, thanks to the outpouring of generosity from donors, we raised ₹220+ crore and were able to support 56 lakh Indians with the help of our trusted NGO partners. And we did this as part of our India COVID Response Fund (ICRF-1).

GiveIndia has matured into adulthood

Now we find ourselves in a similar situation, but there are 83 of us, again working from home across India and have pulled out all stops to restart ICRF-2. Despite the very difficult times, with many colleagues and their families ill with COVID, since we launched our first mission to help provide oxygen to hospitals and Covid Care centres exactly a week ago, ₹10 crore has already poured in from individuals from around the globe.

One screenful of GiveIndia members marking 21 years of existence

This is what gives us cause to celebrate. Not so much our milestone anniversary, but the spirit of giving and compassion we have seen in abundance in the last two decades in India – and the last week has been no exception.

As GiveIndia CEO Atul Satija says: “I feel very fortunate to be part of GiveIndia right now – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else – and grateful to the team working under pressure in difficult circumstances. But more than anything, I am humbled to see people coming out in such large numbers to support us and many other NGOs and volunteers, demonstrating a high spirit of giving. And this is what I’d like to toast on our 21st birthday.” 

Fun facts about GiveIndia’s origin

Excerpt from Founder 1.0 Venkat N Krishnan’s concept note, 1999: “What I would like to do is to set up an organisation whose basic job is to “professionalise giving”, ensuring that recipient organisations are transparent in their reporting, keep records and document evidence, and make these available to givers (donors) regularly. Donors should have the satisfaction of knowing that their money was WELL UTILISED.”

Why Venkat chose the prefix Give: “I felt “GIVE” was a very good name because it describes the basic idea in one word…NGOs are also called VOLUNTARY organisations, and GIVE works out as a nice acronym for GIVING IMPETUS to VOLUNTARY EFFORTS.”

To donate for COVID relief work

Every little bit helps. You can donate to GiveIndia’s to our COVID missions here.

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