The Covid-19 has created panic like never before! Yes, I know that WW1 and WW2 were bad, but for people born around 1940, this is perhaps the biggest ‘public crisis’ that we faced.

Now I am sure you are also inundated with requests for charity.

How have you reacted? I can tell you how I have reacted.

Every day I see ads for Sadhus being in poverty, I know priests (Vaadhyars) not having any earnings, animals like dogs not getting food as people are missing on the roads, Carpenters, Plumbers, etc. not being able to find work.

I seriously do not know how much charity we are all capable of doing, so it is up to you. I prefer sticking to 2-3 NGOs and helping them throughout.

I am working with 3-4 NGOs – of which 3 are working with children. I know 2 of them are having a cash flow crisis.

How could I help them? I have decided to pay them a small amount on a monthly basis.

What do I do with other requests? Sadly I turn them down. This is because I do not like to spread myself too thin. Makes no sense.

I know one friend who went to an NGO’s office and asked them to shift to his own office – and saved them rent on a month to month basis. Amount saved? Rs. 29,000 per month. Not bad at all.

What is in it for my friend? Saved cash, saved tax, – and anyway he had kept it closed. Not a bad idea.

Do you have any ideas?

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  1. This is a relevant topic. With my recent experience with several crowd funding sites, agencies for CSR and other fundraising teams, I realize the fundraising costs are huge. Spending 1 rupee for fundraising, for 3 rupees raised is considered excellent performance in fundraising circles. But unfortunately that is a whopping 25% which does not reach the intended purpose. It is like the courier charges. Understandably there are various costs involved in fundraising. But to get the best bang for the buck I personally believe involving with those individuals who, in spite of their best efforts, are struggling to make ends meet. Recently we gave an interest free capital for a lady who used to be a vegetable vendor, who was paying 1% interest per day. She has turned around amazingly, making a good profit with reinvesting the capital. Another family paying 5% per month, given a designated job was given interest free capital and their loan is getting settled. At least three more in a month and it is gratifying to note individuals working hard and with the support given being able to turn around. Several orphanages, elders homes and schools, that we know first hand, are worth considering.

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