India’s CSR reporting survey 2018

KPMG India

Foreword: The combination of a forward-thinking corporate sector and the propulsion generated by Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 (Act), companies in India are at the forefront of deploying financial and technical expertise to improve the lives of millions throughout the country.

Now, with the fourth edition of the India Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report titled, “India’s CSR reporting survey 2018,” KPMG in India has once again provided crucial and detailed evidence that the visionary strategy of India’s Companies Act is gaining extraordinary traction and creating meaningful impact.

In the four short years since the implementation of this groundbreaking legislation, Indian companies have moved swiftly up the learning curve. This report shows that compliance has become near universal with 99 percent of the N100 companies putting their CSR policy up in action from 55 percent during 2014-15, an increase of over 73 percent.

While these reporting statistics are impressive, the real story lies in the governance, programmatic, and financial commitments made. More than 90 percent of companies have standalone CSR committees, elevating the prominence of these efforts to the highest rungs of the company. Independent directors are serving on these committees, and 64 percent include at least one woman.

Education and health continue to receive great attention with 65 percent of the projects and 61 percent of the expenditure. As expertise evolves, there is clear evidence of companies making more strategic and impactful CSR decisions increasingly aligned with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

The report shows that during this past year, companies have spent INR7536.3 crore which is 47 percent higher as compared to 2014-15, a highly laudatory increase.

KPMG’s important contribution through this report does more than inform that CSR activities in India are going from strength to strength, it showcases for the rest of the world the potential and reality of the constructive role companies can play in addressing our shared societal challenges. With India’s example and the realization of the need for partnerships and hybrid solutions, governments and companies throughout Asia and indeed globally are looking to emulate India’s leadership.

Ruth A. Shapiro, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Executive
Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society

Giving Back to the Future

Scholarships for Higher Education

Our study finds that scholarships for higher education are highly impactful, at the individual, community, and country levels.

For an individual, receiving a scholarship makes attending university possible. It means greater earning power, greater confidence and motivation, and a greater desire to influence other lives through leadership.

At the community level, we observe that most scholarship recipients want to give back and do so by volunteering. They want to change society for the better by pursuing careers in education, the government, and the social sector.

The aggregate effect for the country is human capital development, which drives economic growth. Scholarships also help offset increasing tuition costs across Asia and mitigate income inequality by making it possible for low-income students to attend university.

A single scholarship enhances 26 lives on average, including the scholar, her family, the students she mentors and leads, and the community members she volunteers for.

We also present a toolkit for enhancing the effectiveness of scholarship programs. The toolkit showcases both the “why” and “how” of setting clear goals, improving communication and engagement with scholars, and enhancing their employability and career success. These strategies can magnify the impact of scholarships for students, donors, and governments.

Advocacy, Rights, & Civil Society : The Opportunity for Indian Philanthropy

Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University

In 2010, India’s Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act came into effect, requiring nonprofit organizations to report all receipts of foreign funds to the central government within 30 days of receipt. On top of this basic reporting, Indian nonprofits now must file descriptive annual reports that explain the amount, source, use, and intended purpose of the foreign funding received.

In the Advocacy, Rights and Civil Society report, Ashoka University’s Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP) reviews the implications of this new regulation on the nonprofit sector in India. It also examines and discusses significant areas of opportunities for Indian philanthropists to play a more proactive enabling role in the context of this changing landscape of funding for charities.

As much as the report focuses on India, it may serve a useful purpose for those interested in other Asian economies that have also implemented—or are considering the possibility of doing so—some form of restrictions on the receipt of foreign funding. The Doing Good Index 2018 found that this was the case for not only India, but also Pakistan, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. As the issue of regulating foreign philanthropic funds becomes a topic of interest across Asia, the report serves as valuable insight.

To view more of CSIP’s research, click here.

Study on Leadership Transition in the Philippine NGO Sector

Association of Foundations

Excerpts from the Executive Summary: In the last couple of years, many of the current non-government organization (NGO) Executive Directors (or their equivalent) started to echo their predecessors’ sentiments about the lack of next-generation leaders who can take the reins when they leave. Despite its importance to the sustainability of the organizations, leadership transition has not been given sufficient attention because it competes with other more pressing needs of the organizations. The absence of analysis in this area and the desire to draw up an evidence-based support package in response led the Association of Foundations, with funding support from Peace and Equity Foundation, to conduct a study and help better understand the situation.

Knowing what we know now through the study, business as usual does not seem to be an option if the NGOs want to be strategic and proactive in dealing with leadership transition challenges. Efforts to mitigate the risks of such leadership transitions and to maximize the opportunities they bring must be initiated now.

A Generation Ahead

Dasra and Synergos

Abstract: Next-Generation Philanthropists (NGPs) are poised to inherit the legacy of their families’ philanthropy and respond to the needs of modern society. It is critical to recognize the huge influence they will have over how impact is driven in the development sector. This in turn speaks to the greater responsibility NGPs have to make social investments thoughtfully and intentionally.

India will witness one of the largest transfers of wealth, close to INR 12,800 crore, in the coming decade. In addition, during the first half of this century, there is likely to be 8-10 times more wealth transferred to philanthropy than in the entire 20th century. The majority of this wealth will be managed by family offices, and a portion will be diverted towards charitable and philanthropic activities through family trusts and foundations. In recognizing NGPs as the future of philanthropy, “A Generation Ahead” uncovers insights to help accelerate NGPs’ donor journeys by drawing upon the existing corpus of information that has been collected on NGPs in India and globally. Our literature review is supported by 20 interviews Dasra conducted with next-gen donors and those who work closely with them.

Through “A Generation Ahead,” Dasra hopes to help NGPs, especially those starting out on their philanthropic journeys, become more strategic donors. It also wants to encourage and inform conversations among multiple generations involved in philanthropy, and advance the practice of strategic philanthropy.

Catalyzing Productive Livelihood

Asia Philanthropy Circle

Excerpts from the Foreword: Education in Indonesia is a large, complex, and diverse system. It is the fourth largest education system in the world, behind only China, India, and the United States, and has more than 50 million students, 2.6 million teachers, and 250,000 schools spread across an archipelago of more than 900 inhabited islands. Teaching all these people, young and old, the skills needed to succeed in Indonesia’s rapidly changing economy is a huge challenge. It is only natural that education is a priority for the Government of Indonesia.

The philanthropic sector engaged in strengthening Indonesia’s education system is extremely broad and includes multilateral institutions (such as USAID and the World Bank), social enterprises (such as Sokola), foundations (such as Tanoto Foundation and Djarum Foundation), education technology developers (such as Ruangguru), and corporate social responsibility programs.

While their engagement is welcome, philanthropists have raised concerns that these individual efforts alone may not be enough to create meaningful change in an education system as vast as Indonesia’s system. More can be achieved if key stakeholders coordinated their actions more closely and shared their experiences more often.

With this in mind, Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC) has developed this report. Its goal is to understand the current and future challenges facing Indonesia’s education system, to map existing initiatives and their impact, and to identify new opportunities for philanthropists to make a change for the better and to enhance their collaboration.

To read the report in summary or to download the report in Bahasa Indonesia, click here.

Philanthropy in India: A Working Paper

Caroline Hartnell (Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace in association with Alliance, WINGS and the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy, Ashoka University)

This working paper does not attempt to address the acknowledged lack of comprehensive and reliable data on philanthropy in India.

Rather it aims to throw light on the current state of Indian philanthropy through conversations with people who have been trying to promote, support or strengthen different areas of philanthropy. The writers asked them what currently exists in terms of their particular area of philanthropy and what role it is playing in relation to the state and the private sector; what is driving it and what is holding it back; and what potential role it could play.

The writers also asked for examples of stellar achievements. The areas covered include various forms of giving by the wealthy – what we have called ‘impact-focused philanthropy’, progressive philanthropy, corporate philanthropy and impact investing; social justice philanthropy, self-funded activist movements and community philanthropy; and giving by individuals of modest means. The writers’ aim is to provide an overview of philanthropy in India, particularly shining a light on new areas and innovation within philanthropy, and the implications of these for its future role. 



Building the Bench at Indian NGOs: Investing to Fill the Leadership Development Gap

Pritha Venkatachalam and Danielle Berfond (The Bridgespan Group)

Believed to be the first data-driven study of NGO leadership in India, the Bridgespan Group identified systematic gaps between the sector’s leadership development aspirations, and the investments made by NGOs and the funders by surveying approximately 250 NGO leaders, and more than 50 interviews with funders, intermediaries, and NGO executives in India.

Click here to read the full publication.

The Business of Green

Society of Ecology & Entrepreneurs (SEE): Creating the conditions for environmental philanthropy to thrive

A community of like-minded business leaders joined forces to fight deforestation and drive forward China’s environmental movement.

“It started with planting trees,” said Zhang Li, the current secretary general of SEE Foundation. The original aim of the association was to mobilise the resources of China’s newly rich entrepreneurs to take on the problem of desertification in the Alashan Region.

But this would be merely the opening act of an organization that grew into a national network of nearly 600 entrepreneur members, including high-profile figures from the real estate, construction, manufacturing, and financial services sectors. SEE’s members would come to include some of China’s most successful and prolific corporate faces, including Wang Shi, chairman of Vanke, the world’s largest real estate developer; Feng Lun, chairman of real estate leader Vantone Holdings; Chen Dongsheng, chairman of Taikang Life Insurance; and Pan Shiyi, chairman of property company SOHO China. The work of the organization would expand to include support for national ecosystem conservation and nature education, green supply chains, pollution prevention, and development of China’s grassroots environmental NGOs.

Overview of Charity Sector in Singapore: 2007 – 2013 (Philanthropy in Asia: Working Paper No. 3)

Alfred Koh, Swee-Sum Lam, and Weina Zhang (Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, National University of Singapore)

Abstract: This is an exploratory study on the state of the charity sector in Singapore using the Commissioner of Charities Annual Reports from 2007 to 2013, available from the Charity Portal. The depth of analysis is much limited by the availability of inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral data as well as the length of time covered by each annual report.

While there are studies that use the same data, we attempt to rationalise the data trends and their implications for strategy making by would-be entrants, practitioners and policymakers.

We first present the broad trend in the net number and revenue growth of registered charities to understand the size of the sector and its financial health. Overall, the whole sector has been growing at a steady rate in terms of numbers and total amount of receipts which include grants, donations and others. Among the three components, grants, or the money given by the government, contributed the most to the total receipts. A more microscopic review shows that the percentages of others to total receipts are increasing.

We analyse the receipts per charity in each subsector at the level of the total receipts as well as its three components. It was observed that different subsectors have different mix of receipts with government grants dominating in the Education subsector, followed by the Arts and Heritage subsector and the Health subsector.

Taken together, this study could be of interest to aspiring entrants who wish to do good while staying afloat at the same time. For instance, the social and welfare subsector is able to generate a greater proportion of receipts from the sales of goods and services. This suggests that models employing social entrepreneurship may be appropriate in building sustainability in this sector.

Finally, subject to the data at hand, we explore the possible research questions raised in the literature that may be of relevance to practitioners and policymakers. We discuss topics such as the relation of donations and economic conditions, crowding-in or crowding-out effects of grants, the cost of donations, and fundraising strategies.

Given the trend of an ageing population, the Social and Welfare subsector may have a greater role to play in the future. Therefore, this warrants more in-depth research on these issues to bring innovation and sustainability in transforming society and community.